When you are staring at a blank wall of text that makes up a typical resume, it is hard to see how you could possibly set yourself apart from other technical candidates. However, with just a few small changes, you can help us understand your career journey and goals and get you that much closer to connecting with a fulfilling role.
Less is more
The very common advice to keep your resume to one page is valid. Sometimes it's difficult to condense robust technical experience if you have been in the workforce for 10+ years.
In those cases, I recommend absolutely no more than two pages. Having a multi-page resume won’t immediately disqualify you, but you are unintentionally creating friction for the reviewer’s ability to learn about you. The person reviewing your resume will most likely spend between 30-60 seconds parsing the information provided. If some of the great things you have achieved are on the second page, it may get buried or lost in the process.
Practice highlighting the most impactful, relevant experiences and projects for a role versus just word dumping all of your experiences.
Know your audience
You should tailor your resume to the role that you are applying for. Read through the job description for the role to identify skills and attributes that the hiring team is going to be looking for. Then make sure to highlight jobs and projects that reflect those skills in your resume.
List specific tech stacks, tools, and skills that you used in each role that can tie back to the job description. You want to make it as easy as possible for the reviewer to connect your past experience with the needs in the role you are applying for. If the job description says you will design and implement scalable services in Node.js and AWS Lambda, you’ll want to include any experience you have
Be sure to do your research about what level of experience the role you are applying for requires. Different companies have different leveling scales. Meaning, what one company considers a “senior” engineer might not translate to the same level at another company.
Make the skills actionable
Big clunky “skill lists” of every framework, language, database, and software you’ve ever encountered can be really overwhelming for a reviewer. It is hard for us to know how comfortable you feel with that tech without seeing real examples of how you have used it.
It is not enough to list React or GraphQL in a skills section. It would be better to say “ Built user-facing features in React including an onboarding flow for introducing structured pricing memberships that resulted in a 9% increase in member signups”.
Now as the reviewer, I know you have used React in production and see the impact your work had. For each role, bullet of the most impactful tasks, projects or initiatives you contributed to. Keep these bullet points to one or two sentences each and make sure they include the “what”, the “how”, and the impact.
Webflow tip: We use the MERN stack, GraphQL, Terraform, Docker, Kubernetes, and AWS. Keep an eye out for which tech you’ll work with the most in the roles description and make sure to call out your most relevant work
It’s not all about tech; Invest in foundational skills
Sure, you are applying to a technical role at a tech company, but it’s not all about technical skills. Being a great technical leader or senior technical team member requires you to have some soft skills or “foundational skills” as well.
Foundational skills are attributes that help someone interact effectively and harmoniously with other people including skills like communication, collaboration, and adaptability. Highlight your experiences, mentoring someone in your team, making a decision based on the betterment of the team, or getting involved in your community.
Webflow tip: For more senior technical roles we always look for examples of candidates mentoring their team members, leading a team or project, and working on projects for the betterment of the team not just themselves.
Bonus tip: In addition to foundational skills we always like to see examples of candidates aligning with our core behaviors: Start with customers, practice extraordinary kindness, be radically candid, move intentionally fast, just fix it, lead by serving others, and dream big. Learn more here.
Have fun with it
The rules are made up and the points don’t matter. Everyone is going to have different resume format preferences. Some people hate two columns, photos on resumes, and different fonts. Some people love it. In our opinion, we think you should build your resume in whichever way makes you feel confident as long as it does it’s job of highlighting your roles and achievements.
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