The tech market, amongst many, is tough right now and only looks set to remain this way as we move into 2024. But there are some easy quick wins that can help your resume stand out in a sea of applications. Keep reading as we walk you through our top tips for building your resume in 2024.
First thing’s first…
We’re stating the obvious here, but it’s key to remember that your resume is your marketing tool. It should represent you in the best possible way, by being clear, concise, and having a considered layout that can grab any hiring manager’s attention.
Should I include a personal profile?
Yes! Absolutely include a line or two that sums you up as an applicant. This should not be an essay, keep it brief and keep it personal. Approach it by thinking ‘What are the one or two key things this company should know about me?’ and build it out from there.
I’m struggling to fit everything onto one page, what should I do?
If there is one thing you should take away from this article it’s this: you have so little time to get noticed by a busy hiring manager and anything listed beyond the first page is unlikely to be seen. With shorter attention spans and busier calendars, it’s more important than ever to ensure your resume is succinct and well structured. By playing around with the layout you can make sure nothing gets left out.
Is layout really that important?
In short, yes! A good layout will make it easy for a hiring manager to understand your suitability and skill set. This will also improve your chances of getting through the initial digital screening rounds which scan your resume looking for key information. By having clearly titled sections, information split into succinct bullet points and a good flow through the sections you are giving yourself the best chance at standing out. Can you cleverly list your skills in a way that jumps out of the page? Be sure to make the layout neat and professional and avoid over stylizing.
Skills vs. competencies
There is a difference between skills and competencies. Don’t get these mixed up. If you want to include both then use bullet points to save space but also clearly point out the two. This is a good way to show, for example, leadership capabilities vs. deep expertise in different technology solutions (and detail these out). If companies are looking to change their supplier from TCS to Wipro, for example, they’ll want to know you’ve dealt with such suppliers.
Responsibilities vs. achievements
Your responsibilities when you started a role and what falls in your remit now, can look very different. That’s why it is important to include your responsibilities in your most recent experience, inclusive of additional pieces you have picked up and then your achievements against those. My advice here is to go through your current bullet points and ask yourself, ‘What did I achieve here?’‘ What was the end result? Can you go further and add a metric or a statistic that demonstrates the success?
Do you use ‘we’ too much when talking through a project? It’s okay to do things as part of a team, but you need to clearly identify the areas that you were individually responsible for. This can be hard to demonstrate on your resume but it’s a super important part of selling yourself. Like the above point, can you measure the impact of something you specifically were working on? In what way did this contribute to the overall mission? If you’re responsible for strategy (and want to maintain that) and the team is responsible for execution, then this is a good indicator of the type of role you should be going for in the first place.
Tailor to the job advert
Your resume shouldn’t be a static document. Some of your skills and experience will be more important in some roles than others. Build upon the main focuses in the job advert and don’t be afraid to add sections in and take others out. Always take steer from the advert, and ensure you are meeting the requirements as best you can.
Look out for details about the company’s current position, like whether there is a team already or if it is growing the team or the business. For example, adding to your resume that you’ve grown a team will tick an additional box.
Keep it updated
The world of work is changing like never before and nowhere is this truer than in the tech sphere. New technologies are appearing faster than training programs and educational curriculums can keep up, so it’s important you adopt a mindset of continuous improvement. Find out if your employer will sponsor you to take a course that will expand your skills and make sure you update your resume regularly with new skills and knowledge you’re picking up in your role.
Get an external sense check
Lastly, it can be really helpful to sense check your resume with a friend, colleague, or mentor. If they know you well or have worked alongside you, they might be able to point out things that you’ve missed or identify a key skill you possess that you hadn’t even thought of, as well as providing other constructive feedback on layout and tone of voice.
Whether you’ve seen a job on our website or just want to get your resume in order for when that perfect opportunity comes up, we’re always here to help you stand out. If you’d like any more resume tips, get in touch with our team now.