Getting Your Resume and Cover Letter to the Top of the Tech Recruitment Shortlist
28th July 2020
Nicola Steel, from our Preferred Recruitment Partner JJP Talent Solutions provides her insight into resumes and cover letters that make it to the top of the tech recruiting shortlist.
Read on to find out how to write a winning resume including the format, structure and explanation of skills and work experience.
Your resume is your key marketing tool which can land you a job interview and in turn secure your dream role. Therefore, as a seasoned tech professional, it is imperative that your CV stands out from other applications. The key is knowing how to structure your CV and how to best market your skills and experience in a way that will get employers’ and recruiters’ attention.
Here are my top tips to write a winning resume:
Keep your format and structure simple
The main objective of your resume is to inform either future employers or recruiters of your skills, experience and ultimately your suitability for the role and company. Your CV needs to be easy to navigate to discover key information. Divide your CV into clear sections with bold headings, use a simple font and break up text so that it is easy to read. A clean and functional resume with the right content will get you noticed rather than fancy fonts and graphics which can be both confusing and distracting.
Follow this basic CV structure:
- Personal details - full name, location, contact information, phone number, email address;
- Career objective or summary;
- Skills Table;
- Work experience;
- Interests; and
Short and to the point
Keep your CV short and to the point - one or two pages long if you have less than 10 years’ professional experience. It is acceptable for more senior candidates to have 3 or more pages.
Punchy career summary
Your career summary is crucial because it is the first thing an employer or recruiter will read. Keep it succinct, relevant and ensure that it reveals some of your personality so that decision makers are encouraged to read your CV in more detail. If you are a graduate and do not have much professional experience begin with a career objective outlining your skills and work ambitions. If you have professional experience you may want to include a short career summary describing your experience and where you are aiming to go next in your career.
List your latest education experience first and work backwards including qualifications received, where studied, start and finish date, special areas of study plus awards or other achievements. If you are a recent graduate, you should include your university and high school results. If you have professional experience, then your degree and professional qualifications are more relevant.
For technical roles, skills tables detailing your technical skills and years of experience is highly recommended.
Explain your work experience and skills
List your most recent jobs including job title, organisation, and dates you worked there. Place them in reverse chronological order with the most recent job first. Under each job, use bullet points to give a brief overview of your role, responsibilities, and achievements, weaving in the skills you used. You can also mention relevant internships and volunteer work in this section. Do not include roles from over 20 years ago.
Interests and hobbies
Interests and hobbies should add value to your job applications in terms of showing your personality, interest in the industry, and your interests outside of work. Culture fit is an important factor when making a hiring decision and interests can demonstrate what kind of person you are and how you may fit into the organisation.
Tailor your CV for each role you apply for
Read the job advert or description in detail so you really understand what the employer is looking for then ensure your skills and experience match the requirements. If you are new to the job market or would like to change careers, research your target employers by searching for relevant jobs online, list the key requirements and link them to your own skills and experience.
Check, check and check again!
Mistakes in your CV can seriously damage your likelihood of securing an interview. Check that there are no spelling or grammatical errors in your CV. Proof-read your CV several times and get a second opinion.
In addition to a CV, you should also provide a cover letter. Cover letters are important and can make or break an application. A good cover letter needs to firstly make it clear that you meet the job requirements and secondly make it clear you specifically want the job you are applying for. Therefore, do not use a generic cover letter and ensure that you tailor every cover letter to the role you apply for. A cover letter should be succinct, highly relevant and is the ideal opportunity to sell yourself!
JJP Talent Solutions is providing ACS Queensland members with access to 10 free resume reviews per month (first in, first served).
Recruiting for tech roles in your organisation? Reach out to Nicola for discounted recruitment services, with ACS members offered 5% – 10% off various recruitment services.
If you would like more information, advice, or a resume review, please contact Nicola Steel on 0499 773 546 or email Nicola@jjptalent.com.au