Here are three resume writing tips from experienced tech firm recruiters that will go a long way toward getting the job you want.
1. Personalize each resume.
"When applying for a job, the key objective is to get an interview with the prospective employer. A resume needs to stand out among the many other resumes that an employer receives. At such a volume, an employer will have a clear sense of what they’re looking for from a resume and will make a decision on a resume within 10 to 30 seconds. A resume needs to elevate all the relevant information to the reader and prompt them to follow up. Most importantly, they should be personalized to the company. If one spends 10 minutes personalizing your application, it will be obvious to the reader. Likewise, it’s obvious when somebody has simply sent a generic resume to multiple companies. Understanding the needs of the prospective employer and the requirements of the position being applied for are key to making a successful personalized application."
--Barry Kwok, a recruitment consultant for early stage tech companies
2. Read a ton of postings before creating your resume.
"A serious job seeker should read a LOT of postings before writing their resume and applying for jobs. Most people in the hiring loop will only look at a given applicant once, which means sending in a half-baked resume is doubly destructive. Not only does it diminish the odds of an immediate response, it taints the water for other positions that may come up in the short-term future. Not great. Reading job descriptions can help give a sense of the type of language used by the hiring audience to describe a particular set of skills and abilities. Using similar language improves your odds of showing up when they scan through resumes looking for viable prospects. Of course, the resume has to be accurate and you have to be able to back up anything you claim, but knowing how to put the details together can be a big advantage."
--Michael B. Junge, director of sales and recruiting at Irvine Technology Corporation
3. Be concise and precise—and quantify.
"The majority of resumes I see are, frankly, terrible—and in very basic, easy-to-fix ways. First, they’re too long. A three or more page resume doesn’t help you look more impressive; it makes you look worse. By definition, the more content you have on your resume the weaker the average item is. And since people only look at your resume for about 15 seconds (and often even less), it’s the average item that matters, not the sum of all your experience. Second, even when candidates get the length right, they often fail to focus on what really matters: accomplishments. Generally speaking, I know what a job title means as far as your responsibilities (software developers write code and fix bugs—duh!). What I want to know is not what you were responsible for doing; I want to know what you actually accomplished. And, please, quantify these accomplishments when possible."
--Gayle Laakmann McDowell, founder and CEO of CareerCup.com
This post was adapted from the new Vault Guide to Social Media.