Technology can be a useful servant but a dangerous master.
In fact, Jobs was very clear when he said that technology in itself is nothing. What is important is the faith that goes behind the people - the faith that people are inherently good, and if you give them the tools, they will do wonderful things with them.
So how do you manage to reflect that your purpose of using information technology is to empower people? How do you tell the recruiter that for you, technology is indistinguishable from magic?
Technical resume can be difficult to make. We mostly believe in copying and pasting. It's just a technical resume, right? Why spend hours and days when there's a shortcut right there?
We bring you the best technical resume guide for 2020. We made sure to include the newest trends for writing the tricky parts of your technical resume.
Be it the technical summary or the technical work section, we have included all the tips and tricks in one place.
To make it easier for you, the professionals at Hiration have built a super cool resume builder. With 25+ customized resume templates to match your job profile, you can build your technical resume instantly. Check it out here.
Scroll down for your go-to guide on technical resume.
What is a Technical Resume?
Technology is a very rapidly evolving industry with diverse areas of specialization.
Searching for a job in these technical fields will require a different set of interests and skills. But all of the recruiters will have one thing in common: they will want to see a powerful tech resume.
To build a strong technical resume, check out our pre-existing technical resume templates on our professional resume builder.
Your technical resume will vary widely, based on your experience level, your certifications, and your long-term professional goals.
This blog post on technical resume samples can help you understand the following:
- The kind of information your employers will be looking for
- How should your technical resume be formatted on the page
- Some special tips for writing various sections in your technical resume.
And all kinds of details that will help you stand out.
There is no right way to create a tech resume for a technical position. However, there are certain details that almost every employer wants to see.
These can be put into distinct subheadings as follows:
- Technical Resume Summary
- Education Section
- Work Experience Section
- Skills Section
An ideal Technical Resume looks like the following:
Cover letters with a technical resume
We all worry about sending a cover letter with our technical resume. The most common fear is of going unnoticed. Are cover letters a waste of time?
So, do write a cover letter. Great cover letters complementing your technical resume will give you an advantage over other candidates.
But keep in mind the following tips:
- Do not copy your technical resume into your cover letter.
- Make it short and personal.
- Use the hiring manager's name and e-mail ID. Find it out online, or call the company.
- Prove that you understand the problem that the job entails. Read the job description for a hint.
- Demonstrate how you can provide solutions to address that problem based on instances from your previous roles.
- Add a call to action. Example: "I'd appreciate it if we can further take it up over call or in person."
Boom. You're done with your cover letter.
Hiration Pro Tip: After you send your professional technical resume, send a follow up email after a couple of days.
Check out Hiration's guide to writing stellar cover letters with examples here.
Why do you need a Technical Resume?
Any technical resume:
- Grabs the recruiter's attention
- Reflects your strongest skills and accomplishments
- Conveys how you are the perfect match for a position or project
- Gets you the job interview
Further, a technical resume exemplifies:
- What are the skills you have learnt/exercised across your career
- How these skills can be exercised in your subsequent jobs
- What was the impact of exercising these skills before
- How you may deploy innovative tools or methods to overcome challenges
Your technical resume therefore stands as a testimony for why you should be working for your target company.
Where do you need a Technical Resume?
Your work experience is the most important part of your technical resume. Your work history reflects your skills as well as your ability to remain in a role for an extended period of time.
In fact, your work history is the best way to decide where your tech resume is headed. You may have to share your technical resume with companies that are looking for transferable skills, to ones you have to sell your brand and your identity, to ones who are looking at your accomplishments.
We have noticed how everybody processes so much information all day that they lose sight of what is important.
So value your ethics and share your technical resume with the company that values similar ethics to maintain a sane and flexible work experience.
How to write a technical resume
There are several technicalities that go behind drafting your technical resume - from writing the Master CV to tailoring your technical resume - according to your target job description. The following guide will enable you to create a final draft that looks like the wonderful technical resume examples given below.
Choosing the format
When it comes to the layout of your technical resume, you will have two different options:
Present your technical resume using the classic chronological layout.
In chronological format, you focus on your career progression and your past jobs. This is why, a chronological format will work better for candidates with no employment gaps. They must have a track record of previous job profiles with decent levels of responsibility.
Present your technical resume using a modern functional layout.
The functional layout, on the other hand, focuses on what you are able to do for your target employer. It does not care about what you have done in the past. This format does not include extra details around past jobs, responsibilities, and accomplishments. You should draw the attention towards your skill sets and ambitions. The functional format would be a better choice if your work history involves a few gaps or career changes.
Both are acceptable in the industry but each one emphasizes different aspects of your background.
You will have an opportunity to boast about the work you have done in the past, and the projects you have completed.
- Start by listing each of your past jobs in reverse order
- Put your most recent position first.
- For each job title, provide the employer, employment year, and the basic requirements of each job.
- Add a list of your achievements while you held that role, including the awards you won and challenges you overcame.
- Try and make your accomplishments quantifiable. Provide performance figures wherever possible.
This layout focuses more on what will be able to do for your job. It focuses on your future career.
- Open this technical resume section by listing your “core competencies” or special areas of experience and talent.
- Follow up with a short summary of past job titles.
- You do not necessarily have to follow up with employment dates and too much detail about responsibilities and accomplishments.
Still can not decide which layout is the best for you? Check out The Best Resume Layout: 2020 Guide with +50 Examples and Samples to find the best layout for your technical resume profile.
Hiration Pro Tip: We recommend going for a reverse chronological resume as it is the most preferred format by recruiters.
Following information must be included in a technical resume:
- Full Name
- Updated Phone Number
- Professional Email Address
- Present location
Example of a contact information block would be:
216-775-3363 | email@example.com | SF,CA
You can also add your LinkedIn account, Twitter handle or other social media addresses to your technical resume. Do it only if you think it'll bolster your overall application.
Technical Summary section
If you notice the technical resume samples, you will see that each of them begin with a summary. It is usually placed at the top of the document, below the candidate's name and contact information.
A technical resume summary is also called by various other names such as career summary, resume summary statement, resume profile summary, resume summary of qualifications, qualifications summary, etc.
Before writing the summary, ponder over the following points to make sure you do not miss out anything:
- What are the core skills the interviewer is looking for?
- What are the soft skills the job requires?
- What are the strict NOs mentioned in the job description?
Your technical summary should provide the following information:
- Most important credentials/key skills
- Quick overview of the information that appears in the rest of your profile
- Your biggest achievements according to the job profile
Have a look at the summary sample given below:
4+ years experienced software engineer skilled in software development, testing, documentation, etc. across the complete development life cycle of a product. Adept at end to end software design & development including requirement gathering, documentation, infrastructure setup, coding and unit & integration testing. Gained proficiency in a wide-variety of programming languages & developed in-depth knowledge of the latest technologies as a result of working on numerous complex projects. Handles complex project management & coordination work very efficiently to deliver results. Looking forward to applying the acquired gamut of skills to a challenging software development role.
Check out this explicit guide on how to build a powerful summary for your job profile here.
Tech Resume Skills
One of the most important sections on your technical resume is the key skills section. The ATS quickly scans you on the basis of the key skills.
Hence, it is important that rather than listing a dozen odd skills relevant to the job, you demonstrate them.
Instead of adding skills relentlessly like a robot, elaborate them. Show how you exhibited that certain trait, resolved bugs, handled mid-project crisis and inner team dynamics.
Quantify your skills if you can, because it is going to give you 10x more attention than merely adding the appropriate keyword.
Any good tech resume will contain a healthy mix of both hard skills and soft skills, with emphasis on the former. Hard skills demonstrate how you are fit for the job, while soft skills prove how well of a team member you are.
An example for key skills for technical professionals could be:
• Engineering Design & Analysis • Technical Documentation • Design Formulation & Optimization • Prototype Development • Machine Layouts and Assembly • Equipment and Fixture Design • Conveying Systems/Jigs & Fixtures • SPMs, Machining & Heat Treatment • Castings, Forgings & Welding • Pneumatics & Hydraulics • Costing & Estimation • DOE, DFSS, DMIAC, DVP&R & VAVE • ANSI/ASME/DIN/ASTM/API/ISO • R&D and Innovation •NPD & VI Projects
Any special skills related to:
- problem solving
- customer service
- interpersonal relationship management
may also be included to throw light on specific parts of your tech resume.
If you have a special skill or interest and you are not sure whether it will leave a lasting impact through your tech resume, put yourself in the position of your hiring manager.
If you would find this skill interesting in a candidate, write it down.
For a technical resume, a special requirement is of technical skills section.
Create a special tech resume section dedicated to these skill sets. These skills must include:
- A direct relevance to your target position
- Skill sets that are not directly relevant but may elevate your profile potentially
These technical resume skills can include:
- software skills
- leadership and management skills
- presentation skills
- foreign language skills
- design skills
Look at this sample technical skills section:
Frameworks: Codeigniter, YII, Drupal, Spring, Flask
OS: Windows, Linux
Software: Apache, Nginx
Database: MySQL, MongoDB, Neo4J
Still confused about this technical resume skills section, check out this blog post Resume Skills Section: The Complete 2020 Guide with 100+ Examples of Skills for Resume
Tech resume: Work experience
The work experience section of your technical resume is the most important section. And it is most frequently done incorrectly.
Before writing down this section, go through the following points:
- Include the name of the company, description of the company, location, job title and dates of employment for each position of your profile.
- Write 5-8 points for each position highlighting your responsibilities and achievements
- Quantify your experiences to back up your achievements.
- Do not list too many responsibilities without any tangible achievements.
- Bold important keywords that instantly catch the eye of the hiring manager.
- Make suitable buckets for different types of work you did. Ex: product management, client management.
- If you are a fresher, list volunteer or unpaid experiences that qualify as work experiences.
- In case of an extensive list, you can create a new section for activities, associations, and volunteer work.
- If your experience runs deep, do not include details about positions held 15 to 20 years ago.
- You can insert this section beneath or above your education credentials.
- Choose to opt for the layout that suits your experience well:
traditional chronological layout, the functional layout, or a hybrid of these two styles.
Action verbs and Powerful words
To write a technical resume that creates an impact, use action verbs and powerful words.
The best power verbs to use in your technical resume are:
- Tech Resume words for 'Planning' or 'Strategic Planning': Administered, Brainstormed, Strategized
- Tech Resume words for 'Managing': Steered, Directed, Led
- Tech Resume words for 'Organizing': Acquired, Designated, Activated
- Tech Resume words for 'Supervising' or 'Leadership': Chaired, Authorized, Spearheaded
- Tech Resume words for 'Executing' or 'Worked on' or 'Handled': Arranged, Compiled, Composed
- Tech Resume words for 'Communication': Advocated, Authored, Clarified, Conveyed
- Tech Resume words for 'Helping': Aided, Bolstered, Assisted
- Tech Resume words for 'Creativity' or 'Problem Solving': Altered, Drafted, Overhauled
- Tech Resume words for 'Responsible for' or 'Getting Results': Accomplished, Operated, Targeted
The trends of buzzwords comes and goes. Do not forget to check out our 2020 trendy list! Take a look at some of the most used action verbs and powerful words here.
GPA and Education
Your education and GPA will provide essential background information to your potential employers. It is a very important part of your technical resume, especially for the freshers.
- Start by listing each of your degrees and academic credentials
- Follow up with the name of your institution
- Provide information about your course of study, major, minor, etc.
- Add your graduation year
- List your GPA, if you choose to
Following is an education template for a technical resume:
B.E. Computer Science
UC Berkeley | Berkeley, US | May '13
The University of California, Berkeley is the top public university in the United States
Top 15 percentile of the class
Training, certifications and internships
Your technical certifications, trainings and internships can help you grab even more attention. They are considered even more relevant to your potential employer than your academic degrees.
In order to keep your certifications, trainings and internships from going unnoticed, be sure to :
- Place this information in a separate section.
- Emphasize credentials that are recent and the ones that are of special relevance.
Take a look at this technical resume samples for your training and certifications:
Certified MongoDB developer, by MongoDB. Inc., ‘17
AWS Certified Developer - Associate Level ‘16
Oracle Certified Java Developer- Professional ‘15
Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer ‘14
Attended the ‘National workshop for Python Developers’ | MIT | ’12
Take a look at this technical resume sample for your internships:
Stark Tech LLC
Summer Intern | New York, US | May '12
Worked as a Web Developer & Mobile Application Intern to develop web pages by using scripting languages
Are references required?
Before signing an official offer, almost all employers follow a code for the review process:
- They contact you for a personal interview
- They want to see a list of professional references
BUT usually, these steps do not happen until after a thorough technical resume review. So we recommend that:
- You should have your references ready.
- They must be in a separate document.
- Do not include this information into the text of your tech resume.
Since your technical resume should be short and concise (one or two pages at the most), it occupies unnecessary space.
If your employer has specifically requested a list of references, you should:
- Submit the names, phone numbers and email addresses of at least three professional contacts or former employers
- They must be the ones who can vouch for your skills and accomplishments
- Be sure to contact these people first
- They must know beforehand that their names have been added as your references
- Choose the people who can speak on your behalf
Wondering whether to write "references available upon request"? It is not highly appreciable. For more tips and tricks for the references section, check out our guide here
Customized technical job profile
Here's a sample technical resume for a Technical Architect.
How to stand out?
Power verbs, action words and some buzz
Including words that instantly catch the eye of the hiring manger is imperative. Stand out by using power verbs, action words and buzzwords.
Some action verbs to include in your technical resume work experience section are:
Interpreted, Analyzed, Administered, Developed, Managed, Prepared, Performed, Reviewed, Resolved, Addressed, Implemented, Led, Restored, Responded, Maintained
Build an Online Portfolio
An online portfolio can immediately boost your technical resume. Bring out your geeky animal out! Let the hiring manager reach beyond your technical resume.
- After building your super cool tech resume, link your portfolio to it.
- If you can not fill your portfolio, sign up for some small projects or freelance jobs. You can also do a little fun work for yourself.
Technical resume fails: Mistakes to avoid
Keep looking out for some of the common mistakes in technical resumes:
- Missing details: The employers may be most interested in a certain certification. They may want an experience with a very specific technical skill. Do not let any details go unnoticed. Mention all your experiences explicitly.
- Non-specificity: General skills and abilities are great. However, read the post carefully and tailor your tech resume to your job profile.
- Overstatements: Do not claim skills and abilities that will be difficult for you to prove. Indicate your level of expertise and years of experience with the platforms carefully.
Be sure to use this checklist for your technical resume:
- Read the job offer
- Bold important words and numbers
- Use one-liner bullet points instead of paragraphs
- Quantify your achievements with performance figures wherever possible
- Use power words and action verbs to begin all your points
- Be short and to the point
- Highlight/bold your most important work
- Prove your skills in your experience section
- Add "other" sections that have your best accomplishments
Not sure about how to write this technical resume? Think of your technical resume as an opportunity to stand out!
For any doubts or queries, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.