Tips on Resume Writing for Technical Positions

Resumes come in all shapes, sizes and formats, but remember, the purpose of a resume is to get
the interview, not the job. Hiring managers and human resource administrators review hundreds
of resumes every week. You need to make your resume stand out, but not look "weird".
It should read easily and be concise. It should communicate who you are and how you are on target
for the specific position, but not tell your whole life story.

Some general guidelines for technical resumes follow:

1. Begin with an experience summary or objective. This should be 2-3 short sentences that tell hiring managers what you do, what your major strengths are, and what you want to do.
2. List your technical knowledge in an itemized fashion. Use known terms, not in-house acronyms that reflect your experience gained from work and school. List hardware, software, middle ware, methodologies, and packages with which you're experienced.
3. List your degree and educational qualifications. Include the school, major course study, degree received, honors, and if it is significantly strong, the GPA.
4. List your experience chronologically. Include beginning and end dates as to show you have no gaps. Show career progression at each company. If you have been there five years and began as a Programmer/Analyst and are now a Project Manager, include brief details about each position you held and the specific technologies you used, numbers of people you managed, and the applications involved.
5. Quantify your experience wherever possible. Cite numerical figures, such as monetary budgets/funds saved, time periods/efficiency improved, numbers of workstations administered/fixed, etc., which demonstrate progress or accomplishments benefited directly by your work.
6. Begin sentences with action verbs. Portray yourself as someone who is active and gets things done. Use the past tense to describe activities at previous companies. Use the present tense for your current projects only. Do not be redundant.
7. Don't sell yourself short. Treat your resume as an advertisement for you. Be sure to thoroughly "sell" yourself by highlighting all of your strengths, but don't exaggerate, target the job you are capable of handling.
8. Be concise. As a rule of thumb, resumes reflecting five years or less experience should fit on one page. More extensive experience can justify usage of a second page. Consider three pages (about 20 years or more experience) an absolute limit. Avoid lengthy descriptions of whole projects of which you were only a part. Talk about what you did, not what the company or division did. Consolidate action verbs where one task or responsibility encompasses other tasks and duties i.e. managed staff of 10 programmers versus interviewed, hired, fired, trained, mentored, developed, and motivated staff of 10 professionals.
9. Omit needless items. Remember, the purpose of the resume is to get the interview. Non-important items include: social security number, marital status, health, age, irrelevant awards, unrelated associations, memberships, publications, and recreational activities. Omit references, travel history, previous pay rates, and supervisor names reference and supervisor names. (References and supervisor names can be sources of leads on an "internet" resumes).
10. Have someone review your resume. Use spell check and read it backwards.
11. Proofread. Be sure to catch all spelling errors, grammatical weaknesses, unusual punctuation, and inconsistent capitalizations. Do not use acronyms specific to one company. Proofread it numerous times over at least two days to allow a fresh eye to catch any hidden mistakes.
12. Print it on plain, white paper with deep margins for client's notes. Do not use graphics or special bond paper, fancy envelopes, or any color other than plain white or ivory. Your resume will be photocopied, faxed, and scanned numerous times, defeating any special paper efforts.
13. Make sure the type size is large enough to reproduce via fax and copier. Some fonts "condense" their letters, and the document then becomes very hard to read after a résumé has been faxed then recopied. Special texts, fonts, margin frames make it difficult to store or download for some word processing.
14. Control and document where the resume has been sent so that you know what is happening in your job search.
15. Lastly, revise your resume after every internal promotion, both to make sure it clearly represents you and secondly, shows the progression you have planned for yourself.