Navigating the job market can prove to be difficult, but for those who possess in-demand technical skills the offerings have never been better. Companies across the country are scaling up, both in-person and online, and looking for highly qualified candidates in fields like web development, data science and network and software engineering to fill out their ranks. However, this doesn’t mean just anyone can acquire a high-powered position.
Crafting the perfect technical resume is an important step for anyone looking to gain employment within the industry. With the right mix of skills, certifications and relevant experience, this document has only seconds to succinctly communicate your story to a recruiter and convince them you’re the exact fit they’re looking for. Easier said than done, right?
In this article, we’re taking a look at all the elements that go into writing an impeccable technical resume: from the design to the content and items to include and avoid,you’ll find all our best tips here. Plus, we’ve compiled some of our favorite resources, templates and examples to help you get started!
What is a Technical Resume?
What is a technical resume and how does it differ from a traditional resume? The good news is that you don’t have to modify your existing document too much to fit the specifications required for this format. A technical resume places special emphasis on skills, training and certifications that would help you excel in a tech-based role. Depending on your area of expertise, these might include all computer programs, databases, coding tools and platforms in which you have experience. Additionally, a technical resume should include a well-written summary providing a quick overview of your professional journey and major achievements.
Overall, the jobs you apply for using a technical resume, cannot be filled by just any applicant. The primary goal of the document is for recruiters to quickly gleam if your skills and tools are comparable to the needs of the position. The secondary goal for you as a job-seeker is to stand out from the pack and convince the reader you are uniquely qualified for whichever role you’re seeking.
Sound accomplishable? Here’s everything you need to get started.
How to Write a Technical Resume
1. Getting Started with the Right Format
Similar to a traditional resume, the most effective format is in reverse chronological order. Your most recent role is likely not only your most impressive position, but also most relevant, so you’ll want it to catch the recruiter’s eye first. Either running down the side or at the top of your doc, you should include your career summary (also known as a resume statement) and pertinent personal information.
When it comes to formatting and design, you’ll find lots of tips and examples online (our favorites are below), but the golden rule is to keep your layout simple and uncluttered. Constructing your resume off of an existing online template is totally fine, but make sure to adapt it to your specific needs. For example, if you’ve received awards, you’ll want to flaunt them! So choose or adapt an existing template to include a section for them.
Many career professionals will urge job seekers to limit their resume to one page, but this is up to your personal preference and number of past roles. Overall, conciseness is key; a good rule of thumb is one resume page per 10 years, so only those at a later stage in their career need to continue on to page two. Of course all the resume rules still apply, so take the time to tailor your document to the role and take a fine-toothed look for any common spelling errors, grammar issues or formatting flaws.
2. What Personal Information Should I Include?
The standard amount of contact info remains the norm here. Your technical resume will include your full name, contact number and location/address at a minimum. Most templates will include these at the top or in a contact information block placed to the side or bottom of the sheet. Increasingly popular, is candidates providing their social media handles. The best rule here is to only include these if you think they’ll bolster your application and you’ve kept a professional presence online (although many recruiters will find them anyway, so keep it clean!) If you’ve maintained a coding project repository, like on Github, definitely include it, and remember to hyperlink it for convenience if you’re submitting as a PDF.
Your technical resume will also include a section touting your educational background. Include any and all degrees or academic credentials you’ve earned from your undergrad degree and onward, once again in reverse chronological order. On the tech side, don’t forget to add any certifications or bootcamp courses that prove the depth of your knowledge and expertise.
3.What Technical Skills Should I Include?
The quick answer here is to include ANY skills related to the position that make you a competitive candidate. Why? First of all, for highly competitive roles, recruiters will use keyword scanning tools to weed out those without relevant experience. Thoroughly read over the job posting and ensure you’ve listed any skills the posting notes as required (as long as you do have the experience, of course). Some choose to break down their skills into expert, intermediate and learning. This helps hiring managers get a better sense of where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
The technical skills you list under your skills section, should be quantified throughout your work experience. In other words, are you demonstrating how you put your knowledge of a specific software or framework into action?
A common question in this area is whether or not to include “soft skills” We generally recommend it as long as you can once again show how you put the skill in action. For example, listing out leadership and teamwork is great, but can you demonstrate how you managed a team of five or more people, or helped liaison between cross-functional groups? Many job seekers might separate out their skills section into categories for soft skills, hard skills, like big data or network security, and specific programming languages or databases, depending on the role.
4. What Professional Experience Should I Include?
One of the key sections of the technical resume, take the opportunity here to NOT outline details of the companies you’ve worked for, but the impact you had while in the position. Keep a results-oriented mindset, and in a series of bullet points, list out your tangible accomplishments, not only your daily tasks. High impact descriptions will include numbers (how big was the team you led? What percentage did you raise revenue by?) and action verbs like “strategized,” “executed” or “directed.” Remember to demonstrate how you applied specific tech skills in a relevant manner. Personalize your resume to the role you’re applying to by highlighting specific projects that match with the job description.
5.Our Top Tips to Include (and Avoid)
By now, your technical resume is probably almost complete. Use this section as a checklist of our biggest key takeaways and small details you won’t want to overlook.
- Relevant professional achievements with quantifiable data
- Any certifications completed or awards garnered
- Highlighted summary section and key skills
- Demonstration of key skills throughout professional experience
- Action words and one-liner bullet points for easy readability
- Overly flowery non-specific languages and vague summaries
- Links to unprofessional social media profiles
- Headshots, images or complicated graphics – save those for your portfolio
- Skills without context or proven uses cases throughout your career
- Any education or work experience completed prior to your college education
6. Final Reminders
While there are certainly several standard elements of the technical resume you must follow, don’t lose sight of the fact that this is YOUR chance to stand out from that stack of similar high-achievers! Find areas of opportunity to demonstrate your passion and tailor your document to the job you’re applying for. This might include changing your summary for each position, or adding in personal projects that demonstrate your investment to the tech trade. Even a single line devoted to outside interests can cause your application to stick out in a recruiter’s mind or spark a connection, you just never know!
Technical Resume Templates and Free Resources
You’ll find all kinds of resources online to get you thinking about the type of content to include on your technical resume, and even a wide variety of templates free to use. Here is a list of some of our favorite online resources.
- Zesty – This is a popular resume builder site with more than 18 templates available for free use, ranging from traditional to modern and inventive. Their builder tool guides users through the process, section by section, resulting in a well-formatted and complete document. The site also houses a large library of example resumes, broken down by profession and role.
- Indeed – The popular jobs site is our first stop for checking out salary data, but it also houses a large career guide, containing writing and formatting tips to make your application stand out. Regardless of profession or skill, they likely have an article on how to describe it perfectly on your resume or cover letter.
- Hiration – This site bills itself as the “one stop shop for all your resume needs” and differentiates itself with its’ custom AI-powered resume review product. They also offer more than 25 free resume templates, a builder tool and products that help users launch their own digital portfolio or prep for a technical interview.
- Resume Lab – From builders, templates, examples, to a “how-to-write” guides, this site holds users hands throughout the entire resume creation process. Throughout the process, Resume Lab offers optimization tips, and allows users to customize font and color with real-time interactive document preview.
- Template.net – We love this site for the extreme depth and breadth of its content. Not only will you find templates for just about any professional need you might have (think resumes, CVs, cover letters etc.), but you’ll be given multiple options for every specific query. For example, our search for a web developer resume returned more than 13 results.
Technical Resume Examples to Inspire!
OK, sometimes you’re left staring at your screen, and you realize a blank template is not enough. We’ve all been there! When you hit that wall, here are some complete technical resume examples to kickstart your own thinking, and inspire you to take those critical next professional steps.
From Resume Genius
Starting Your Career in the Tech Industry: Next Steps
Putting together a technical resume to be proud of is only the first step towards landing your dream role in the tech industry. Fortunately, we have tons of additional resources for you to check out here at CodingBootcamps! Here are a few excellent places to start:
- Now that you’ve got your resume down, get ready for the next phase of the process: acing your technical interview.
- Discover the career paths and skills you need to master to land the most coveted roles in tech including, back-end web developer, data analyst, software tester and many more.
- Level up your career! Explore the highest paying tech jobs, highest paying programming jobs or the most in-demand tech roles for 2022.
- Expand your knowledge with Our program listings and comparison pages for a variety of tech specialties, including Coding, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Fintech and UX/UI.