Technical Resume Writing

I am a technical leader in my organization, reporting to the President of the company. Our company is a multi-national organization with 160 employees in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Specifically, I help write job descriptions, I conduct initial phone screens, I help lead the on-site technical interview team. My input weighs heavily into the decision making process on whether or not someone gets hired.

Your resume is your only opportunity to make a great first impression. Keep the resume short, simple, to the point. The resume should be tailored for the job. If I am looking for a software developer with XXX skills sets... I don't want to see a resume that is 90 percent about working with YYY skills sets.

Know the job that your a interviewing for, and then tailor the resume so that the content in the resume sells me on your ability to meet the requirements for my open position.

In my job, professional, clear communication is really important. Poorly written resumes that do not communicate clearly are real turn-offs. Spelling mistakes, grammar errors, bad sentence structure are actually killers. They generally speak to the fact that my time was not important enough for them to spend a few minutes to proof read their resumes!

My profession is around software development and consulting. In this field, you need to be able to write clearly and express yourself concisely. Attention to detail is really important. Getting these basics wrong on your resumes will instantly turn me off.

The most damaging mistake is lying on your resume or over-selling yourself. We value honesty and a bit of humility in our organization. When people come to me and say that they are an "expert at XXX", I expect them to be able to talk competently with my technical staff about topic "XXX".

Sometimes, it is clear that people oversold themselves or just simply lied. Those types of people do not have a role in our organization.

College students - keep your resume 1 page or less. I don't need a 3 page C.V.! You don't have that much experience.

Professionals with 10+ years of experience - I don't need to know what you were doing back in 1989 with computers (unless it is relevant).

Professionals with many years of experience - When listing job experience, I want to know more than "I used technology XXX". I am interested in hearing what business value your project provided, and more specifically, the business value that YOU provided on the project.

I love reading things such as - "I was the technical lead on a project responsible for the design, development, and delivery of the solution. This solution help improve XXX by 5%, with a cost savings (or revenue generation) of YYY% quarterly). Experienced professionals can help demonstrate how they fit into the business. This is KEY for hiring senior talent!

Comments for Technical Resume Writing

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Thank You For Sharing Such Helpful Tips
by: Lisa McGrimmon

Thank you so much for your excellent tips on resume writing.

I'd like to highlight a couple of key points that you made.

I particularly appreciate your comment that professionals with more than 10 years of experience should not include dated experience on a resume (unless it is somehow relevant).

I facilitated job finding clubs through the tech bust, so I have quite a bit of experience with technical resume writing. I have found, for some reason, people in high tech industries seem to have the most difficult time letting go of work experience from the distant past.

Also, your comment about the importance of using your resume to describe the value you added to a project, and not just the fact that you used a certain technology is key.

Using your resume to say that you did a job is not enough. Job seekers need to demonstrate why they were great at their jobs in order to be invited to interviews.

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