Getting noticed as a QA professional is tough. You must prove you’re the jack-of-all-trades recruiters have been searching for all along.
But how do you demonstrate a multifaceted background on your manual tester resume?
Keep reading for tons of actionable tips, as well as manual tester resume samples!
Manual tester resume example
- Not only has the applicant shown he has plenty of formal training for the job, but he has the experience to back it up.
- The resume is straight to the point and not too long.
- The candidate displays a results-driven attitude throughout the entire resume - from the summary to the list of achievements at the bottom.
- More importantly, the career progression and skill growth are evident.
How to format a manual tester resume
You may be a QA guru, but your expertise won’t mean anything unless your resume is properly formatted.
Among some of the most common reasons why a resume never reaches a recruiter’s desk is a wrong layout and poor design choices.
Correct formatting is critical to pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) checks and, later down the road, win you an interview.
When it comes to your manual QA tester resume, we recommend you:
- Opt for the reverse-chronological resume format if you have more than three years of related experience.
- Use the hybrid resume format, if you’re switching careers or just starting out as a manual tester.
- Include a portfolio with case studies in the resume header to grab hiring managers’ attention from the get-go.
- Be conscious of the length of your resume. You can go over a page, but only if the information you add is absolutely relevant to the role.
- Move the education and certification section near the top of the resume, if you’re applying for a corporate position. Larger companies place emphasis on continuous self-improvement.
- Save your resume as a PDF file unless otherwise stated in the job ad, so none of your formatting and design choices get lost in transit.
Once you select the general layout of your resume, you must decide which sections to add.
Depending on how much practical experience you have, the arrangement of the sections will vary.
If you’re yet to make progress in the QA industry, list the education section near the top of your resume.
But if you’re a tenured professional, start with your work history in a reverse chronological order.
How to write your manual tester resume experience
Generally, manual testing professionals aren’t required to have in-depth understanding of programming languages. As such, the industry has a low entry threshold.
What’s more, this makes most junior QA resumes look almost identical.
So, to stand out among other job candidates, reference tools and tech skills in the experience section whenever possible.
Don’t forget to share how you’ve applied them in practice and what goals you’ve reached in the process.
This will let recruiters determine the current scope of your expertise. And whether you’ll be able to assist with hybrid testing projects in the future.
Another way to ensure you’ve built a powerful resume is to include personal projects which showcase other relevant job skills.
Take a look at the sample experience section and think about what it says about the applicant.
- Improved test case reusability.
- Taught junior testers
- Test requirement coverage and accuracy
- Reduced report turnaround time
It gives the impression of a very hastily made resume with not much thought put into the writing process. Some of the more glaring issues include:
- The company description doesn’t reveal what was the business focus of Lucas’ past employer. As a result, recruiters won’t know which industries he is knowledgeable about.
- The applicant hasn’t included a company website to elaborate on the projects he was involved in.
- Instead of achievements, Lucas has listed a laundry list duties and responsibilities. Plus, the presented experience doesn’t match the seniority of his position.
- None of the bullet points explain what type of testing was conducted.
- The formatting and punctuation isn’t consistent throughout the entry.
Taking into account the above points, here is an improved version of the example:
- Improved test case reusability by 33% by reviewing, analyzing and rewriting parts of the existing testing documentation and guidelines.
- Mentored over 15 junior manual testing specialists on best standards and practices by involving them in ongoing software development projects and teaching them about TDD.
- Expanded the test requirements coverage to include 86% of the company's top-selling software, thus increasing time allocated for testing custom-made features by a week.
- Reduced report turnaround time by two days for critical issues after implementing Xray for JIRA as a test case management method for both the development and testing teams.
How to quantify impact on your resume
When talking about your work history, you must be able to quantify your accomplishments.
As you’ve already seen in the example section above, data and numbers play a crucial role in supporting your claims.
Having this in mind, consider factors such as:
- Size of the projects you’ve worked on
- Variety of testing you’re able to conduct
- Overall impact your work has on company work processes
- Number of high-level complexity issues you’ve resolved
- Contribution to corporate achievements (increased income, business scope expansion, etc.)
- Risks you’ve managed to mitigate
- Ability to implement and adapt new tools and methods
- Effective team and cross-team communication
How do I write a Manual tester resume with no experience
If you’re switching careers or you’re fresh out of college, there are a few things you can do to build a foolproof resume:
- Review the job description and see how much of the requirements you can match.
- Think about any transferable skills and experience you can bring from past projects.
- Decide whether the hybrid resume format or the functional resume layout would be more appropriate for your case.
- Take into account relevant side projects or competitions you’ve participated in.
- Reference pertinent training or bootcamps you’ve completed.
How to list your hard skills and soft skills on your resume
You won’t always be able to completely align your talents with the job description. And you shouldn’t.
Hiring managers value applicants who are willing to admit when they don’t know something. Still further, they prefer candidates with an intense drive to learn new skills.
So, don’t get discouraged!
This is a good opportunity to balance out your resume skills section. Create a nice mix of your:
- Hard skills - all the top tools and technical skills for manual testers you bring to the table. (Don’t forget that ATS software is programmed to search for such keywords.)
- Soft skills - your strongest social talents and any other relevant transferable skills. These will make you stand out as an exceptional candidate.
Remember, results and data are much more convincing than just empty words. So, for each of the skills you add to the section:
- Think about a situation where your abilities played an important role.
- Share a challenge you’ve had to face and how your talents have helped you.
- Mention how the problem was resolved.
- Consider if there is a way to quantify the outcome of the situation.
Compare the list of skills you have with the ones listed in the job description.
If you’ve already covered the must-have portion of the requirements, here are other key skills you can list:
How to list your certifications and education on your resume
As we mentioned in the beginning of this guide, if you’re aiming to win a corporate position, you must emphasize your academic background.
If you have more than five years of experience as a QA professional:
- Move the education segment under the experience section
- Mention only the highest level of academic qualifications you have
- Avoid listing your GPA because it won’t be as relevant as if you were a fresher
- State the name of the college or university
But if you’re switching careers or a college grad:
- List relevant majors and minors
- Share any related accomplishments, school projects or computer club memberships
- Include your GPA to show you’ve been consistent with your studies
Have a look at the sample education section below for reference:
- Won the 2022 University of Texas Software Development Jam as part of a four-member team by providing testing and analysis support throughout the software development process
If you want to include a certificate on your resume, always check the date of validity before adding it.
With that in mind, if you’re just starting out as a QA specialist, any of the ASTQB(ISTQB) certifications will boost your chances of getting an interview.
Experienced manual testers should feature advanced-level qualifications, such as CSQA or CQE.
For other essential QA certificates, check out the table below:
How to write your manual tester resume summary or objective
Although the experience section is by far the most significant part of your resume, what really gets your foot in the door is the resume summary.
This is the small box at the top of your resume, where you highlight your best career milestones, strengths and qualifications.
If you have lots of QA experience, make sure to choose achievements which make sense for the role at hand. It’s important to show how your expertise will benefit potential employers.
By contrast, if you’re a novice manual tester, write a compelling resume objective.
How is it different from the resume?
Technically, they are very similar in terms of content and format.
But the focus of the resume objective falls mainly on how you will apply your current skills to the benefit of your future employer.
Have a look at the following sample manual tester objective. Do you think it’ll impress hiring managers?
This example doesn’t say much about the candidate, apart from information that could be found elsewhere in the resume.
As a result, Lucas has wasted the opportunity to stand out with a unique talent or an accomplishment. He also hasn’t hinted at how his talents could work in favor of the company.
And while he has listed quite a few skills, there is no mention of how they were applied in practice.
Let’s revise it:
This version is cleaner and provides an excellent overview of Lucas’ abilities and how they were acquired. Plus, the focus is not only on his tech skills, but also social skills necessary for the role.
Last but not least, Lucas shows that he is a competitive individual who adheres to current industry standards and practices.
Additional sections for a manual tester resume
You can always add extra sections with relevant information about your professional growth.
These segments include, but are not limited to:
- Personal projects and case studies
- Publications and conference presentations
- Bootcamp training, hackathons and computer club memberships
- Awards and prizes
How to put a personal projects section on a resume
As with any other tech-related job, personal projects and case studies is what catches the eye of both recruiters and team managers.
When listing a project on your resume, make sure you:
- State the name of your project
- Provide the start and end date of your involvement
- Describe what was the project’s main goal
- Add one or two project-related achievements to highlight the scope of your work
In the end, your entry should resemble the one below:
- Raised over $2.4 million in investments for the project's core product by advising and supporting a team of 15 developers and business analysts with target audience and end-user requirements identification.
- Take into account your experience before choosing an appropriate resume format;
- Link to a portfolio with case studies in the header;
- Emphasize how you can contribute to the company’s goals in the summary;
- Lead each experience section bullet point with an action verb;
- List your academic qualifications and relevant certificates;
- Present a well-rounded skills section;
- Feature a personal project which highlights other job-related talents you have.