So, you’re looking for your next big gig in the tech industry.
You have the work experience, tech skills, qualifications, and the right education to go after any opportunity you see fit, but your resume-writing skills are not the best.
And, like it or not, it does take an exceptional technical resume to stand out in such a competitive industry.
Well, there’s actually no reason to worry. With the right guidance, you can leverage all your experience, skills, and other qualifications to effectively create a memorable tech resume that will get recruiters hooked!
This is exactly what this article is here to help you with, including:
- Technical Resume Example
- How is a Technical Resume Different?
- 8 Steps to Ace Your Technical Resume
- 58 In-Demand Tech Skills
And much more! Let’s dive in!
Technical Resume Example Done Well
First thing’s first - you’re probably wondering what an effective technical resume looks like, right?
Here’s a rock-solid tech resume crafted with the Novorésumé resume builder:
Here are all the things this tech resume does right:
- Relevant information section. In addition to the essential information, like their email, phone number, and location, the applicant has added their GitHub profile and personal website on their tech resume.
- Memorable resume summary. The profile summary in the tech resume above is short but effectively highlights the applicant’s experience and relevance for the role.
- Reverse-chronological order. This format allows recruiters to see a candidate’s most recent and relevant work experience first.
- Achievement-focused work experience. The applicant has focused their work experience section around their achievements instead of their responsibilities, which he’s also backed up with numbers and hard data. This is something most tech resumes don’t do, so definitely something that can help you stand out.
- Brief education section. With so many relevant skills and work experience to show, the applicant has kept their education section short and sweet, with only their Bachelor’s Degree listed.
- In-demand tech skills. The applicant has only included tech skills that are relevant to the position and in-demand within the industry.
- Valuable optional sections. By adding optional sections such as awards, certifications, and languages, the applicant has a better chance of standing out from other applicants with the same work experience and education.
- Optimal resume length. The tech resume above fits perfectly on one page, which is the gold standard in terms of resume length.
Want more tailored tips for building a specific type of technical resume? Check out some of our more niche guides below:
- Computer Science Resume
- Data Scientist Resume
- DevOps Engineer Resume
- Engineering Resume
- IT Resume
- Java Developer Resume
- Web Developer Resume
Click here for a complete list of all our resume examples.
How is a Technical Resume Different?
Tech positions are quite different than normal jobs, as they require plenty of hard skills and expertise, so it’s only normal for your tech resume to be different too.
Specifically, here are the most important differences between conventional resumes and tech resumes that you should know about:
- To highlight your tech experience from the get-go, include your GitHub profile in your contact information section and maybe even Stack Overflow if you’re an active contributor.
- Focus more on your hard skills instead of soft skills. The employer will assess your soft skills during the interview after they’ve made sure you have the right set of hard skills for the job.
- If you have any certifications, including them will definitely be helpful, especially if you’re applying for a corporate job.
- Do you code in your free time? That’s definitely something that will work in your favor. Hiring managers see this as a sign that you’re actually passionate about coding, and aren’t just in it for the money. So, include a “Personal Projects” section in your resume to stand out from the competition.
- If you’re new to coding, (e.g. a recent graduate), you can make your tech resume pop either by including information/links to the projects you’ve worked on during university, at a Bootcamp, or even in your spare time.
8 Steps to Ace Your Technical Resume
You’ve seen what the end product should look like.
Now let’s go through the steps you need to follow to write the perfect tech resume fast and easy!
#1. Choose the Appropriate Format
Your tech resume’s format is just as important as its contents.
If you do it wrong, your resume risks looking messy and completely unreadable at worst, which can mess up your chances of getting hired.
So, the first thing you should pay attention to is choosing the right format for your tech resume. Here are the three most popular options out there:
- Reverse-chronological resume format. As the name suggests, this format lists your work experience and skills in reverse chronological order, from the most to least recent ones.
- Functional resume format. This resume format focuses on skills over work experience and is the perfect choice for recent graduates or entry-level applicants who don’t have a lot of experience to add to their resume.
- Combination resume format. As a combination of the reverse-chronological and functional resume formats, this format aims to showcase both your experience and skills.
While all three formats are beneficial in their way, we recommend that you choose the reverse-chronological format for your tech resume. It’s recruiters’ favorite resume format and that’s for good reasons:
- It’s easy to skim through.
- It draws attention to your most recent professional experience.
Here’s what the reverse-chronological format looks like:
Once you get the formatting out of the way, you can start focusing on your tech resume’s design and layout.
Here are the most essential resume layout tips to keep in mind:
- Set the right margins. To make your tech resume visually appealing and easy to read, provide ample white space by setting the margins at 1 pt on all sides.
- Choose a professional font. It goes without saying that a font like Comic Sans shouldn’t even cross your mind when picking a font for your tech resume. We recommend going for something catchy and professional, such as Ubuntu, Roboto, or Overpass.
- Take advantage of bullet points. Bullet points are another great way to save some space and organize the information on your resume in a reader-friendly way.
- Keep your resume under one page. As we already mentioned, it’s important that your resume is one-page long (or around 475-600 words). Recruiters are busy people who probably won’t be too excited if they have to go through a 3-page long autobiography of your life.
- Choose the right file format. Unless you’re asked otherwise, save your tech resume as a PDF file. This ensures an impeccable design no matter the device or OS the recruiter uses to open it.
Want to Avoid the Hassle? Use a Tech Template Instead
If you’re in the tech industry, chances are your design and writing skills aren’t your strongest point.
Not to mention, you probably have more important projects to spend your time on than wasting hours tinkering with the resume design and layout, only to end up with a result you’re not particularly fond of.
Well, what if we told you there’s a way to avoid this part altogether?
By using one of our resume templates, you’re going to skip this entire process altogether - all YOU have to do is fill in your resume contents.
And the best part? All our resume templates are:
- Created in collaboration with the very best recruitment professionals
- Applicant Tracking System-friendly
- Aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching
Want to speed up your resume creation process? Pick a template and start writing your resume as you read!
#2. Add Your Personal Information
The contact information is one of the easiest sections to write, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook its importance.
After all, what’s the point of putting in the hours to create the perfect tech resume, only to never get an interview callback because of a small typo in your phone number or email?
As such, double and triple-check to make sure this section is completely error-free.
As for what to include in this section, here are the essentials for a technical resume:
- Full name
- Professional title
- Phone number
- Social profiles such as LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (optional)
- Link to personal website (optional)
And here’s an example of a tech resume’s contact information section done right:
Make sure your email address is professional (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) and not your childhood email address, such as email@example.com. An unprofessional email address just makes it seem like you’re not serious about the job.
#3. Write a Captivating Resume Summary/Objective
According to an eye-tracking study, recruiters only spend 6 seconds reviewing a resume during the initial screening.
This means you have very limited time to grab the recruiter’s attention and get them to take a deeper look at your resume.
The most effective way to do that? Write a captivating resume summary or objective.
These are short (2 or 3-sentence-long paragraphs) that go at the top of your resume, just under your contact information, and their main goal is to give the hiring manager a quick introduction to you as a candidate.
- A resume summary is a 2-to-4-sentences-long summary of your professional experience, including the years you’ve worked in the industry, your professional title, and your most noteworthy accomplishments and relevant skills.
- A resume objective is a snapshot of your career aspirations and goals. Perfect for entry-level professionals or recent graduates, the resume objective can also highlight academic achievements and skills acquired through other activities, such as internships and volunteer work.
Here’s an example of what a tech summary should look like:
- Experienced IT Manager with 8+ years of experience in providing impeccable technical support to our clients and effectively managing in-house IT teams. Skilled in using my analytical skills to prioritize tasks, identify technical and managerial issues, and lead my team to provide timely and effective solutions to internal and external problems. Great communication and leadership skills as well as wide expertise in complex problem solving and hardware and software support.
And here’s an example of a captivating tech resume objective:
- Hard-working Computer Science graduate seeking to work as a junior IT analyst. Passionate about building software that perfectly meets the needs of end-users and revolutionizes the industry. Skilled in databases, system security, and troubleshooting, with an analytical mindset. Looking to apply my newly acquired knowledge and passion in practice and help your company carry out in-depth evaluations of system capabilities.
#4. List Relevant Work Experience
Your work experience can make or break your resume.
First thing’s first, you need to start with the formatting. To list your work experience section in your tech resume, do this:
- Start with your most recent/current position and go backward in time from there.
- Add your title, the company name, its location, and the years you’ve worked there.
- Include 3-5 bullet points with your achievements and responsibilities under each work entry (with fewer bullet points for older/less relevant positions).
Simply listing your work experiences, though, is not enough. You also need to make them compelling and achievement-oriented.
See, the hiring manager knows your responsibilities for the role. After all, they’re the ones hiring for it!
Instead, they want to know how you stand out from the rest of your peers, and the best way to show that is by including achievements instead of responsibilities.
Compare these 2 examples:
- Improved client websites on a weekly basis.
- Improve 100+ client website speed by a range of 25% to 60%.
The first example is too vague - the hiring manager does not know what “improve” means, nor do they know whether you improved the site speed by 10% or 60%.
The second, on the other hand, is way more achievement-oriented and helps the hiring manager really understand the impact of your work.
That makes sense, right? Now let’s review what a work experience section would look like on a technical resume:
03/2018 - 02/2022
- Increased UX scores by 40% by improving applications so that they deliver an overall better user experience.
- Decreased website load time by 42%, effectively improving SEO results and increasing the number of monthly website visitors by 15%.
- Monitored installation, integration, configuration, and maintenance of the IT system for minimal downtime.
- Trained over 30 staff members in internal website functions.
What If You Don’t Have Work Experience?
If you’re a Computer Science graduate looking for work after college or if you’re going for a career change, chances are you don’t have a lot of relevant work experience to put on your resume.
Nonetheless, recruiters will need to see some proof that you can actually do the job, be it through your coding skills, or your portfolio.
The good news? There are plenty of ways to build a tech portfolio, even without work experience. Here are the top ways to do it:
- Get freelance gigs through websites like Upwork
- Mention projects you’ve coded in the university
- List personal projects you’ve worked on in your free time
- List the tech coursework you’ve attended at the university
#5. Don’t Forget Your Education
Including some details about your education is an essential part of a well-done tech resume.
That said, you don’t need to go to lengths for a good education section. On the contrary, you’re better off keeping it brief and to the point in order not to take up too much space for other, more valuable sections, such as your hard skills and your achievements.
So, to nail this section, simply list the following elements:
- Your degree name
- The institution’s name and its location
- Your years of attendance
- Relevant academic achievements and coursework (optional, in case you don’t have a lot of work experience)
Here’s an example of what the education section of a tech resume should look like:
B.A. in Computer Science
University of Birmingham, UK
08/2009 - 05/2013
For a job in the tech industry, you only need to mention your most recent (and higher) degree. That means you can leave out your high-school degree and even your Bachelor’s if you hold a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. in the field.
#6. Add Technical Skills
Industry-related skills on your resume can improve your chances of standing out by as much as 59%. This fact alone makes the skills section one of the most essential sections of any resume.
When it comes to the tech industry, however, your skill-set - with emphasis on your hard skills - is all the more important and can be a deciding factor on whether you’ll get called for an interview or not.
You may be a software engineer with 10+ years of experience in Python and still get instantly disqualified if the job needs someone who knows how to code in Java.
This doesn’t mean, though, that soft skills aren’t important in a tech resume; it only means recruiters are more likely to assess your soft skills during the interview and focus more on your hard skills when they’re reviewing your resume.
To figure out what hard skills are required for the position, simply check the job description. For most tech jobs, the employer will provide a comprehensive list of all the necessary hard skills to make sure only relevant candidates apply.
So, when creating your Skills section, do this:
- First, include the essential skills mentioned in the job description.
- Second, list skills that aren’t listed in the job description, but that you think would help you perform well in the role you’re applying for.
- Finally, if you still have space on your resume, you can use it to include your soft skills.
Not sure what technical skills to include in your resume? Here’s a list of the 58 most in-demand tech skills this year!
Hard Skills for Tech Resume
- Lean manufacturing
- Multivariate analysis
- Linear regression
- Workflow development
- STEM skills
- Payment processing
- Automated Billing Systems
- CRM Platforms
- Computer Hardware/Software Knowledge
- Internet Applications
- Operating Systems
- Internet Security
- Data Privacy
- Programming Languages
- Agile Development
- Database Administration
- Front-End & Back-End Development
- Cloud Management
- Data Synchronization
- Social Media Experience
- Project Management
- Technical Writing
- Network Architecture
- Quality Assurance
- Technical Support
- Software Installation
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Maintaining servers, routers, and PCs
- Configuring, managing, and maintaining networks
- Backup management
- LAN technology
Soft Skills for Tech Resume
- Attention to Detail
- Problem Solving
- Customer service
- Decision Making
- Working under pressure
- Time Management
- Analytical Skills
#7. Take Advantage of Additional Sections
So, you’re done with all essential resume sections. If you’ve already hit the one-page mark, then you’re ready to start applying for jobs with your tech resume.
If, on the other hand, you still have some extra space that you’d like to fill up, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some optional resume sections you could leverage to get rid of the extra white space and stand out from other applicants even more effectively:
- Awards and certifications. Have you won an award that showcases your talents or completed any courses to hone your skills? That’s definitely something to mention on your resume! (E.g. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Certified Cloud Technology Professional (CCTP)).
- Languages. If you’re multilingual, make sure to add your languages to your resume. They’re very useful for technical support roles, and they’re always a nice-to-have addition for other types of IT roles.
- Interests and hobbies. Your hobbies and interests reveal a more personal aspect of your character and can help you connect with your interviewer on a more personal level. Sure, they’re looking for a highly-skilled tech guy, but the hiring manager is a lot more likely to pick a candidate with that they have more in common than someone who’s all about work-work-work.
- Publications. The tech industry isn’t all about practical work. If you’ve done any theoretical or research work that got published, you’re bound to impress recruiters by adding your publications to your resume.
Here’s what these sections should look like on a tech resume:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
- CompTIA A+ Technician
English - Native
Spanish - Full Professional Proficiency
French - Full professional proficiency
- Solving crossword puzzles
#8. Include a Cover Letter
Last but not least, don’t forget to add a cover letter to your tech job application.
In case you were wondering, the cover letter is a must for any industry. Not only do recruiters expect to receive one, but they might not consider you altogether if you fail to submit one.
So, dedicate some time to writing a cover letter that will give recruiters more detailed insight into who you are and what you can offer the company.
Not to mention, you can use the extra space to explain anything you didn’t have space to explain on your resume, such as a career gap or how you achieved a particularly noteworthy accomplishment.
Here is the best structure to follow to create an effective tech cover letter:
- Header - Add your full and correct contact details, as well as the name and contact information of the hiring professional the cover letter is addressed to.
- Greeting - If possible, try to greet the recruiter by their name to show you went the extra mile researching the company and the people doing the hiring. The recruiter will usually be the head of the department you are applying to and you can almost always find their name listed on the company website or the company’s social media platforms.
- Opening paragraph - Use your cover letter’s opening paragraph to grab the recruiter’s attention by listing some of your biggest achievements or most relevant skills.
- The second paragraph - This is where you should let recruiters know what skills or experience you can bring to the table and why you’re more qualified than other applicants.
- Third paragraph - Here you can mention why you’ll fit in well with the company and why you’re passionate to work there.
- Closing - The closing of your cover letter is the last thing the recruiter will read and will probably be what stays with them the longest. So, you want to leave a memorable impression and give them a reason to call you back.
Check out our guides on cover letter tips and common cover letter mistakes to take your cover letter to the next level.
And that’s a wrap! You should now be ready to write a killer technical resume from scratch or build one in the blink of an eye using our fast-and-easy resume builder.
Before you go on to do that, here are the main points we covered in this article:
- Choose the reverse-chronological format to build your tech resume. It effectively highlights your most recent experiences and it is also recruiters’ favorite worldwide.
- Make sure your contact information has no errors or typos, and that you add relevant details like your personal website or GitHub profile.
- To stand out from the crowd, make your work experience as achievement-focused as possible and back up those accomplishments with hard data whenever it’s possible.
- Keep the education section of your tech resume short and to the point, and only list your higher and most recent degrees.
- Focus on your hard skills instead of your soft skills on your technical resume.
- Don’t overlook the importance of the cover letter for a successful job application.