Writing Your Resume
You've just started your job search and you
want to put together a professional-looking
resume that will have employers knocking at
your door. But where do you start? You have
a wealth of skills and experience to offer,
but you're not sure how best to present it.
The following technical resume-writing tips
will help you get started:
- Summarize your technical knowledge
in a concise, easy to read format
showing all of the hardware platforms,
environments, languages, communication
protocols and databases you have used.
In addition, rate your level of
expertise with each, specify how long
you have been using the technology and
when you last used the technology. This
example provides a
sample format you may
- Start with your most recent and
relevant work experience first and work
backwards from there. You don't start
with your educational qualifications
unless you don't have any relevant work
- Quantify your experience wherever
possible. Cite figures such as your
track record with being on-time and
on-budget, the number of lines of code
you have written or debugged, how you
improved efficiency (length of time or
dollars saved), number of tables in the
database, number of machines
- Use action verbs to describe your
work and your accomplishments instead of
providing a passive list of job duties.
You want to portray yourself as someone
who gets the job done. e.g "designed,
developed, tested and implemented a
purchase order system in C++ with 50,000
lines of code, meeting all timelines and
deadlines" rather than "responsible for
programming in C++."
- Don't sell yourself short. Your
resume is your opportunity to "sell" the
skills and qualifications you have to
offer to potential employers. This is
not the time to be modest. Be sure to
highlight your strengths and any special
skills and qualifications you possess.
And don't forget to mention any special
awards or recognition you have received
for your work.
- Keep your job descriptions short and
to the point. Employers don't have the
time to read through a detailed
description of all of the projects you
have worked on. Stick to the significant
accomplishments for each of the jobs you
have held. Your resume should not be
longer than three pages at the most.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread.
There is nothing more likely to turn off
a potential employer than a resume with
typographical, spelling or grammatical
errors. If you don't have the attention
to detail to pick out spelling or
typographical errors on your resume,
what does that say about your attention
to detail in your day-to-day programming
activities? Don't take the chance.
Reread your resume several times, use
spellcheckers and grammar checkers and
then have a friend read the resume. Make
sure the resume is letter-perfect before
you send it off to anyone.
For more detailed information about
writing resumes that result in job
interviews, have a look at the following
Resume Writing Advice
This series of articles from the Rockport
Institute will put you well on your
way to writing a resume that will land job
Susan Ireland's Resume GuideThis is a very
comprehensive resume writing site, complete
with resume and cover letter samples.