Tech Career Toolkit: Resumes, Job Searching, and Interviewing
Reposted from The Bookmark
If you’re looking for a tech-related job opportunity, we’ve got good news: The tech space is the place to be. From virtual reality to IoT innovations, the industry is gearing up for exponential growth. The possibilities are endless, but the competition is tough. In this super-saturated landscape, your resume is your ticket to ride. Here are six ways to make sure yours stands out.
- BRING ON THE NUMBERS.
Quantify your achievements wherever you can. It’s good to highlight the tasks and skills you used to complete a project. It’s even more meaningful to show how your contributions had a direct impact on the business. Here are some bare-bones examples:
- Created xx application, decreasing manual work time by xx hours per week.
- Developed xx database, lifting monthly ecommerce sales by xx dollars.
- Reduced site load time by xx seconds, increasing page trafﬁc by xx percent.
- DON’T WASTE SPACE.
Resume real estate is valuable — and always in short supply. Be sure to use it wisely. Unless they’re super interesting (or directly related to the job), don’t include any interests or afﬁliations. Don’t know where to start? Delete Microsoft Ofﬁce from your skills. You’re applying for a technology position. It’s assumed that you already know the basics.
- HIGHLIGHT YOUR TECHNICAL SKILLS.
That being said, don’t skimp on the impressive tech skills you do have. Even common skills like HTML/CSS or WordPress put you ahead of candidates who can’t list them. If you’re proﬁcient in lots of programs, servers or databases, break them out in a separate section. If you don’t have lots of technical skills, it’s okay to list soft skills like leadership, teamwork or public speaking.
- PLUG YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE.
If you want to stand out in the tech space, don’t just say you’re tech-savvy —prove it. Create an online portfolio or responsive website and list it in the contact section of your resume. Just be sure that if you’re directing trafﬁc to the site, you’re proud of how it reﬂects you.
- INCLUDE KEYWORDS.
Use keywords in your resume that match the ones on your job description. Some companies use resume-scanning software to weed out weak resumes before they ever reach a recruiter’s desk. Even without the robots, including familiar keywords is a great way to help less-techy recruiters put your resume in the “yes” pile.
- CURB CARELESS ERRORS.
Be sure to proofread! Better yet — run your resume by a second set of eyes. Though you aren’t applying for a writing position, a completely clean resume demonstrates attention to detail and shows that this opportunity means a lot to you. Don’t give recruiters a reason to doubt that you’re the best person for the job.
JOB SEARCH SURVIVAL GUIDE
A saga in three parts.
I: FIND THE JOB
Hunt, search, scour, repeat.
Get social |During the job hunt, LinkedIn is your partner in crime. The platform is free, and it’s a great way to see where your connections have been — or ﬁnd contacts working where you’d like to be. It makes the world a whole lot smaller.
Search by location |To be happy at your future job, you’ll have to like the place you’re living. Make a list of cities (or states) where you could see yourself. Then, start looking for the tech companies in those places.
Tap your connections |Check in on old friends, colleagues and classmates. Where are they working now? How long have they been there? Do they like it? Companies want to hire people who’ve been vetted. A recommendation from an esteemed employee can go a long way.
II. HELP THE JOB FIND YOU
You sent your resume. You crossed your ﬁngers. But the work’s not done.
Make yourself visible |It’s a major red ﬂag if you don’t show up in a Google search. Ensure your online presence is top-notch and professional. (Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your future boss to see.)
Set yourself apart |Your resume isn’t all that deﬁnes you, so create a site that gives recruiters the full story. Whether you build a dazzling web portfolio or craft the perfect Instagram presence, this is your chance to let your skills — and personality — shine.
Don’t rely on online applications |Online applications are easy, but they’re not particularly impactful. The best way to get a foot in the door is to have someone hold it open for you. When you submit your resume, don’t let it disappear into cyberspace. Follow up with the hiring manager directly if you haven’t heard back.
III. SEAL THE DEAL
You got called in for an interview. Don’t panic. Do this:
Prepare talking points |Prepare a handful of anecdotes and accomplishments that you’d like to share. General interview questions like “how do you respond to adversity” and “what do you hope to gain from this job” are a lot less scary if you’ve got a stress-tested answer on the brain.
Say thanks |Send a detailed thank you note (addressed to the person you spoke with). Old fashioned snail mail can make quite the impression. But at the very least, write a thoughtful email to the contacts you made during your visit.
Keep your head up |Statistically, you won’t win them all. Rejection is something nearly everyone has to face. Even if you aced the interview and impressed everyone you met, sometimes, things just don’t work out. Keep your head up and keep working. If you stick to these steps, you can rest assured knowing that you’re doing your best.
You’re just about ready to start filling out those job applications! We have a few more resources for you to seal the deal on a new job. Use our Action Verb Word Bank to ensure your resume has maximized action-oriented verbs to help you describe your day-to-day responsibilities and emphasize your accomplishments. Also, before you start applying for jobs double check your resume with our printable Resume Checklist.
You can find both resources here: Resume Checklist and Action Verb Word Bank