The good news? Tech professionals are in high demand. But with so much talent competing for the best jobs, a standard resume won’t cut it. So what are recruiters looking for in a tech resume, and what’s the best way to highlight your skills?
A tech resume should be more than a document listing your skills and experience in bullet points. With hundreds of applications to wade through, recruiters often only have a few minutes to get a sense of your personality, creativity, and ability.
For tech-newcomers who have recently graduated from a tech bootcamp, your resume is also a chance to show off your transferable skills—and demonstrate how you’ll apply them in your new role.
If you’re staring at a blank page, unsure of where to start, you’re not alone. So we’re here with tips, tricks, and examples to help you get your foot through your dream company’s door.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Tech resume dos and don’ts
- Building and formatting a tech resume
- How to highlight tech skills on your resume
- Tech resume examples
- Final thoughts
Let’s get into it!
1. Tech resume dos and don’ts
Creating a tech resume can be a nerve-racking endeavor, especially for career changers. In the absence of years of experience in the field, your resume is often your one shot to convince recruiters you’re the right fit for their company.
It can be challenging to showcase everything you have to offer in a one-page document, but a tech resume doesn’t have to be all-singing, all-dancing. It simply has to quickly and efficiently communicate what you bring to the table.
It’s also important to note your resume often won’t even be seen by a human first. With the high amount of resumes being uploaded to job application sites, many companies rely on automatic AI software to filter the resumes before they go to hiring managers or recruiters.
If your resume doesn’t include keywords, isn’t readable, or isn’t formatted correctly—the hiring managers may never see it. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s important to know what you’re up against before you start firing resumes off.
To help get your application seen by the right people, let’s go through some quick-fire do’s and don’ts:
- Tailor it to specific companies. When recruiters scan a tech resume, they look for the specific keywords listed in the job description. To boost your chances of standing out, tweak your resume for each application and make sure these keywords are highlighted.
- Talk about tools. In today’s remote-first tech landscape, proficiency with certain tools is a distinct advantage. You’ll want to highlight your stack on your resume, and your proficiency with more common remote working tools like Jira, Hubspot, Asana, and so on.
- Get friends, family, and colleagues to proofread it. Nothing says sloppy more than a typo or grammatical error. Get a second, a third, or even a fourth pair of eyes on it before you start sending it to companies.
- Have big blocks of text. Your resume needs to be scannable, with a highlights reel of your key experiences, skills, and the tools you work with. Stick to bullet points and lists—you can elaborate in your tech cover letter.
- Make it longer than one page. Likewise, anything longer than two pages is at risk of being disregarded for another’s.
- Make it too design-heavy. For new designers especially, it’s tempting to want the design of the document the star of the show. While a tech resume can certainly include creative elements, above all else it should be easy and quick to read—by both humans and AI software.
Remember: If you get through to the interview stage, the hiring manager will use your resume as a reference point for the questions they ask. It’s crucial to highlight skills and experience that you’d be comfortable expanding on in a conversation.
To find out more, check out our guide to the recruiter phone screen.
2. Building and formatting a tech resume
Now that we know what not to do, we can move on to actually compiling your resume.
To make things as clear as possible, we’ll break this section up into two parts: What to include in your tech resume, and how to format a tech resume.
What to include in your tech resume
Your resume should include eight key sections:
- Name and contact information. You don’t need to include an address unless the role you’re applying for is location-specific.
- Personal summary. This is 1–2 sentences summarizing who you are as a tech professional. This can include your title, the sector you’re currently working in (or are looking to work in), key skills and credentials, and an overview of your experience.
- Relevant links. Here’s where you link out to your website, portfolio, and any professional networking profiles.
- Relevant education. Emphasis on the relevant—no one needs to know where you went to elementary school! Stick to highlighting your university education, bootcamp programs, or relevant courses and classes.
- Tools. As mentioned earlier, highlighting your proficiency in the tools used by the team or company you’re applying for is a great way to boost your chances of getting noticed. If you’re a whiz in Figma or a GitHub guru—highlight it.
- Skills. This is arguably the most crucial part of your resume, and what recruiters want to know about in particular. We’ll talk a little more about this in the next section.
- Work experience. Don’t have any? No problem: If you’re a bootcamp graduate, emphasize the skills you learned on the projects you worked on for your portfolio. You can also highlight work experience in your previous career if it’s relevant for the role.
- Other cool things about you. Your tech resume doesn’t need to be devoid of your personality; it’s a good chance to tell your potential employers some cool (but relevant) facts. Do you speak other languages, run a blog, or own a business? Include any noteworthy features that make you stand out from the competition.
We know what you’re thinking: All that on just one page?
Not necessarily. Depending on the role you’re applying for, you can sacrifice one section to place emphasis on another. What’s most important is relevancy.
How to format a tech resume
Get the format right. A tech resume is more likely to be well-received if it’s a word document or PDF, but whichever you prefer, make sure it’s presented in the document type required by the uploading tool. Be sure to double-check the job description too, as this often lists a preferred format.
Embellish elsewhere. Already noted, but it can’t be overstated: When it comes to tech resume design formats, the simpler and clearer the better. The creativity, storytelling, and design can shine through in your cover letter and portfolio.
The differences between them can help shape your approach for each:
A tech cover letter is a longer-form document than your resume (but still no longer than a few paragraphs) that introduces yourself as a candidate, expands on your relevant experience, and details your motivations for applying to a specific role.
A tech portfolio showcases your skills in action. It’s a collection of the real-world projects you’ve worked on that demonstrate your competency in your chosen field. Portfolios are usually embellished with videos, images, additional files, and so on.
Both of these should be linked to in your resume, and vice versa.
Use tools and software to spice it up. There are plenty of tools and software out there that can help you design and format a beautiful tech resume, like Canva, resume.io, and CakeResume.
But keep in mind that over-designed resumes will sometimes be automatically rejected by candidate-tracking AI software. Vibrant colors and branding are great, but don’t get carried away: a UX/UI design resume in particular needs to be simple, clear, and quickly scannable..
We know—it’s tricky to toe the line between a creative resume that showcases your unique personality, and a clear resume that cuts through the fluff to quickly communicate your value.
But once you see how it’s done, your life will be a lot simpler: you’ll find some great examples to help you further on.
3. How to highlight tech skills on your resume
Emphasizing your tech skills on your resume is vital. Ultimately, it’s these that recruiters are most interested in.
There’s definitely a right and wrong way to showcase these. More than simply bullet points suggesting you’re proficient in X skill, recruiters want the proof in the pudding. Provide evidence of how you’ve put said skills into practice.
There are also two different types of skills to highlight, hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills refer to the technical skills you need to actually perform the role’s basic duties. For a UI designer, this might be wireframing or animation. For a web developer, this might be documentation or specific coding languages. For a digital marketer, this might be tracking and reporting campaign metrics using a CMS.
Soft skills refer to the interpersonal skills that make someone a great employee, such as effective communication, project management, leadership skills, and so on. While the word “soft” might suggest these skills are not as important to tech recruiters—many of these soft skills are actually in incredibly high demand. Your ability to be a great team player or manager could be the difference between getting an interview and being overlooked.
So you’ll want to highlight both your hard and soft skills—especially if you’re a career changer on the hunt for your first tech role. The transferable skillsyou’ve picked up from your previous careers will help you stand out among more experienced candidates.
Here are a few best practices for highlighting tech skills on your resume:
- Quality over quantity. An endless laundry list of everything you can do isn’t going to get you noticed. It’s better to focus on a few key skills that are directly relevant to the role you’re applying for.
- Use the right language. Mirror the language used in the job description. Where possible avoid repetition of generic terms like “experience with” or “proficient in”.
- Provide relevant examples. It’s one thing to say you’re good at something, but employers want to know how you’ve put it into practice. Definite bonus points for real-world projects!
4. Tech resume examples
Now that we know the elements that form an awesome tech resume, we’ll take a look at some people who got it right.
Here are tech resume examples for five of the most popular tech jobs:
Data analyst resume example
- A clear, simple overview of everything a recruiter needs to know, in grayscale—meaning it’s far more likely to be accepted by resume-scanning AI.
- A career progression, which gives us some insight into Derek’s career goals and motivations as an entry-level data analyst.
- Specific projects that showcase Derek’s skills in action, with metrics demonstrating the impact of the work he did.
To learn more, check out our guide to writing a great data analyst resume.
Web developer resume example
- A creative way to display key skills and competencies, with bars and dots to break up the text.
- Richard chose a bullet-pointed summary for added scannability—a great move.
- The theme is bright and colorful, while still being clear and simple. The best of both worlds.
UX designer resume example
- Winona has struck the perfect balance between information and personality. There’s a pop of color and a unique logo that showcases creative flair, but it doesn’t take away from the key pieces of information.
- Winona’s personality shines through in the “ask me about” section, but Winona has prioritized information—so it doesn’t sit above skills, tools, or education.
UI designer resume example
- This sleek, professional tech resume by Michelle Flacks is simple enough to pass through any AI software, but the effort that’s gone into the design is still clear. A bespoke logo and slanted lines make it unique, without distracting from the words themselves.
- Michelle has kept it simple with three key sections which, in this case, is more than enough.
Digital marketing manager resume example
- A more in-depth look into each skill, with a scannable graphic that quickly lets the recruiter know the competency level—with the option to learn more.
- A clean, sleek feel overall, with an enjoyable but subtle contrast between the two colors.
- A succinct personal summary that touches on qualifications, skills, and experience.
Learn more with our digital marketing resume guide.
5. Final thoughts
The best way to make sure your tech resume is up to scratch? Get eyes on it.
More specifically, eyes from someone well established in your field. That way, they can guide you on whether or not your resume would make the cut in their teams—and you can make the necessary changes before it lands on the desk of a prospective employer.
So there we have it: Your ultimate guide to writing a stand-out tech resume.
With so much to include, it’s all too easy to overthink it to the point of paralysis. But as long as you follow the industry-standard tech resume best practices, you’ll have an interview for your first tech role in no time.
To learn more, we recommend giving these articles a read:
- Ten big signs it’s time for a career change—which applies to you?
- How to successfully change careers in 2022: Your step-by-step guide
- How to get a UX design job with no industry experience
What are 7 main crucial contents in a resume? ›
- Personal Information. Name Current and Permanent address (may be omitted from a resume posted on the web) ...
- Objective. In one short sentence summarize your goal for your job search. ...
- Education. ...
- Work and Related Experience. ...
- Awards and Honors. ...
- Activities/Hobbies. ...
- Skills. ...
- References (3-5 people)
Include relevant internships, soft & hard skills, and projects. Other sections you can include on your resume are hobbies & interests, languages, certifications, or achievements. Keep all the content on your resume clear, precise, and relevant.How long should a tech resume be? ›
Technical Resumes Often Require 3 Full Pages
Technical resumes, by their nature, require a depth of detail to provide critical context for your achievements. The hiring authority wants to know what you've accomplished - but also want's to know HOW you've delivered value.
- Data analysis.
- Web development.
- Computer programming languages.
- Financial management.
- UX design.
- Graphic design.
Technical skills include tools and machines on which you work and get proficiency after a certain time. Soft skills on the other hand are the interpersonal skills or people skills that can be used in any/every job. These include communication, teamwork, and adaptability.How do I know my technical skills? ›
More Technical Skills
ADD RELEVANT SKILLS TO YOUR RESUME These skills include the expertise required to do a job, knowledge of specific software and hardware applications, and advanced design skills. In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these keywords.
- Too much information. ...
- A solid wall of text. ...
- Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. ...
- Inaccuracies about your qualifications or experience. ...
- Unnecessary personal information. ...
- Your age. ...
- Negative comments about a former employer. ...
- Too many details about your hobbies and interests.
Resume experience order: no matter which type of resume order you choose, you should always order your jobs reverse-chronologically on your resume. Start from the most recent position and work your way backwards. Job skills: there's no right way to order your skills, just simply list them.What are four things a great resume shows employers? ›
What are four things a great résumé shows employers? qualifications, meet the employer's needs, likeable, work well with others, appeal to both human and electronic reviews.What is the best font for a resume 2022? ›
- Arial. This sans-serif font is often used for branding and website or mobile design, which makes it a great option if you're in the creative field or are applying to a marketing job. ...
- Georgia. ...
- Helvetica. ...
- Tahoma. ...
- Times New Roman. ...
- Trebuchet MS. ...
How do I write a good 2022 resume? ›
- Use a Resume Statement Instead of An Objective.
- Optimize Your Document for Artificial Intelligence.
- Keep The Template Design Clean and Simple.
- Show off Your Most Up-To-Date Certifications.
- Quantify Everything.
- Communication. ...
- Organization. ...
- Analytical Abilities. ...
- Creativity. ...
- Project Management. ...
- Perseverance. ...
- Problem Solving. ...
The short answer is: never. References on your resume take up valuable space. Whether your resume is one page (if you have less than 10 years of experience) or two pages (if you have more than 10 years of experience), it's important to use that space to promote your qualifications.How do I beef up my resume? ›
- Study a Language. ...
- Enroll in an Acting or Improvisation Workshop. ...
- These types of workshops can also be very beneficial for people who fear public speaking. ...
- Turn a Hobby Into a Business. ...
- Volunteer. ...
- Write. ...
- Get Physical. ...
- Get Social.
How Many Jobs Should You List on a Resume? You should list as many jobs on your resume as you can assuming they are all relevant and you're not going beyond the 10-15 year limit. The number of jobs typically varies between 7 and 3. As long as each job or position is relevant, you shouldn't worry about the exact number.Which font size is best for resume? ›
The standard font size for resumes is 12 points in a classic and easily readable font. Larger fonts are good for emphasizing your name and section headings. If you can't fit your content on one page you could try using a sans-serif font at 10 points, but that's the minimum font size you should use.What font should a resume be? ›
Arial is the font most commonly recommended by our experts. Times New Roman was the go-to font for so long that some of our experts now say it appears dated, but it's still a safe choice in terms of readability.What are technology skills? ›
Technology skills — also called technical skills — are your ability to use computer-based technology to complete different tasks. Some of the most important technology skills to have are computer literacy, database management, website development, digital marketing, project management, and cybersecurity skills.What is a soft skill example? ›
“Top soft skills are teamwork, attention to detail, time management, organization, verbal and written communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, adaptability/flexibility, problem-solving/conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills …What skills do tech companies look for? ›
- Electrical and Engineering.
- Information and communication technology.
- Chemical Technology.
- Computer Science.
- Data Science.
- Cloud Computing.
- Network Security.
- Database Management.
How do I explain my technical skills in interview? ›
- As you prepare, list all the tasks you've performed in your current or past work.
- Break down each task into the skills you use.
- Be specific. The more detailed the list, the better. If you're having trouble coming up with skills and descriptions, check out:
- Which programming languages do you use regularly in your work?
- Do you have any technical certifications that make you qualified for this job?
- Can you explain the most rewarding project you have worked on so far? ...
- What steps do you take to ensure accurate estimates for a project?
That means featuring the most important and relevant information first and removing irrelevant or outdated information, such as jobs you held 15+ years ago. Be sure to include your name and contact information at the top, a resume summary, your work experience, skills and education.What is the most important part of a resume? ›
The "skills" section of a resume is the most important, according to many employers. A candidate that lacks experience should still have the necessary skills, showing a potential for growth. A variety of skills is also important to indicate that a candidate has a number of interests.Should you list all jobs on resume? ›
Do you need to include all the jobs you've ever had on your resume? Short answer: No, you don't. But be prepared to explain why an old job isn't listed on your resume if the prospective employer discovers it or asks about any employment gaps between the jobs you did list.What skills can you not put on a resume? ›
- Basic computer skills. ...
- Languages you are not fluent in. ...
- Irrelevant skills. ...
- Skills you don't possess. ...
- Generalized skills.
How many bullet points per job on a resume? Write between 3–6 bullet points per job in your work experience section. Make them 1–2 lines each. Use more bullet points for your most recent and relevant experience.What should I put on the top of my resume? ›
Name and Contact Information. At the top of your resume, put your full name and a professional-looking email address. Your phone number and street address are optional, but for most people, I'd recommend putting it. If you're applying for jobs out-of-state, it might make sense to leave your address off.What should a technical CV look like? ›
- Cut out the acronyms and jargon. ...
- Dedicate a section to technical skills. ...
- Balance technical experience with additional skills. ...
- Don't forget to include courses and qualifications. ...
- Show you're up to date. ...
- Mention the methodologies you use.
Technical skills are the specialized knowledge and expertise required to perform specific tasks and use specific tools and programs in real world situations. Diverse technical skills are required in just about every field and industry, from IT and business administration to health care and education.
What is the best resume format? ›
For most people, the reverse-chronological resume format is the best option. This means listing your work experience and education in reverse-chronological order, i.e. starting with the most recent position and working backwards through previous jobs or degrees.What is the difference between CV and a resume? ›
A resume is a one- to two-page document presenting key facts about your professional experience, educational background, and skills. A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a longer document that details the whole course of your career. A resume is used for job search, a CV—for academic purposes.