There is an art to resume writing. There is an even finer art to writing a technical resume that highlights your skills as a developer, without overwhelming a hiring manager with tech stacks that crowd the page. So how do you master the skill of resume writing and avoid some big pitfalls along the way?
It often takes hiring managers less than one minute to scan through a resume and decide whether you move to the short list of resumes or not. One minute. It might seem unfair or downright crazy that your job search is based on less than 60 ticking seconds. Jobs can have hundreds of applicants; especially if you live in a thriving metro area.
So barring any major spelling mistakes, formatting issues, or illegible fonts – we’ve highlighted some of the biggest offenders we see on tech resumes as well as included links to some great overall resume advice.
It’s too long.
We’ve seen resumes 10-15 pages long (seriously). The resume is filled with projects, every last detail about the tech stack you know and have seen once in your life. Longer is not always better. This is where the age old, quality over quantity is imperative. If your best qualifications aren’t on the first two pages, you’re selling yourself short.
Rule of thumb: no more than three pages for a general resume. And this is generous according to the Talener NYC Director, Kim Siembieda. Junior candidates shouldn’t exceed 1-2 pages, and mid-level should stick to two pages. Your resume should introduce your skills; you are there to tell your story.
It lists every technology you’ve ever seen.
And you can’t explain how you have used them. Rule of thumb: If a hiring manager closed their eyes, moved their index finger around and pointed to a technology on your resume, would you feel comfortable answering in depth technical questions about it? Sound crazy? It happens more than you think. Be prepared to explain the smallest line on your resume, not your biggest project.
If you really want to illustrate the scope of your abilities without overselling yourself, add in a section that lists technologies that you are familiar with or have seen in action before.
Education: Check. Experience: Check. Motivation…
It’s great that you went to a top school for your CS degree and have three internships under your belt. But if you haven’t gotten a job right out of school and need to go through the interviewing gauntlet, then you need to show your motivation for finding a job and continuing your learning. This is critical for bootcamp grads as well. Include associations, tech groups, meetups, hack-at-thons & trainings outside of work. Show your motivation!
Looking for more information about technical resumes? You can always reach out to a Talener team member, contact us, or check out some resources from some of the companies we have worked with, below: