Pursuing a career in a highly technical field means your potential employers are very likely looking for very specific skills sets, job experience, and education. You’re going to be faced with a lot of challenges in a very dynamic environment, and they need to know that you are able to keep up and bring something valuable to the position each day.
The demand for people with technical skills has gone up sharply over the years, but so has the amount of competition. If you want to stand out in this kind of job market, it’s important that your resume carries the necessary information and makes the right impression.
Generalities may sometimes be necessary on a resume, but they won’t be very helpful if you’re pursuing a technical career. Don’t be afraid to get specific on the details. Even if the HR person reading the resume doesn’t understand all the information, they have likely been trained to look for specific keywords.
Show off your technical skills. Don’t hide them under a lot of text. You may even consider adding an extra subtitled section that is dedicated specifically to your technical skills. This is where you can make it immediately clear whether or not you have skills with specific programming languages, operating systems, applications, hardware, and anything else that may be related to the job.
Despite the focus on all things technical, you don’t want to come off as an impersonal robot. You’re still going to have to work and collaborate with other people, and employers will want to know that you are compatible with the company culture. Use your skills section to give some life to your resume. What do you do when you’re away from the computer? Do you have the ability to work collaboratively and remain dedicated to a team? Be clear about these skills, but also be ready to provide examples when you are in the interview.
Your resume will act as your first impression, so it’s important to present yourself as professionally and directly as possible. We have a natural tendency in writing to default to the passive voice, but you can make a much better impression when you stick with the active tense. For example, someone could waste a lot of words by using the phrase: “I have been responsible for [blank],” when they could have just as easily said: “I managed [blank]” or “I worked as [blank].” These types of phrases provide a clearer picture of what you actually did.
Tailor Your Resume
What kind of job are you seeking? Will you manage multiple people or projects? Maybe this is just a contract position. Look carefully at the requirements on the job listing and tailor your resume accordingly. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should include things that aren’t true. It simply means that you can tweak the basic information to highlight the more relevant skills and experiences.
Keep the Focus on Results
Anyone can list a number of skills and experiences. What makes you stand out is the ability to show how you have used those skills and experiences to achieve positive results. Show your potential employer how you left your former company better than how you found it.
Any technical field will face a lot of changes, and your employer will want to know if you’re the kind of person who can adapt to these changes and pursue new opportunities. Show them how you overcame these challenges in the past, completed important projects, and otherwise provided value for a company.