How to write a technical resume for IT professionals

How to write a technical resume for IT professionals

Written by Rebecca Butler, Consultant – Technology at Profusion Group

I’ve always loved the coaching and consultative side of recruitment and in recent years have found myself helping my network with the same problem time and time again. I see candidates who have an exceptional skill set and are an all-round superstar, yet are struggling to get many calls or interviews when they’re looking for their next opportunity.

The problem? – Very often it’s the resume! A common theme being vague, lack-lustre or generic content. In a highly competitive market it is hard to stand out (jazzy fonts and diagrams aside)…. this is where I can help.

I will give some insight into the general presentation and structure, however, the main takeaway will be the content and level of detail when describing your experience. The examples I have used are from the standpoint of a DevOps Engineer, Software Engineer and Systems Engineer, but hopefully, it will be useful and relevant for anyone working in Tech!

 

Overall Structure

  • Introduction or overview of skills: This should be introducing yourself and consolidation of your key skills, both soft and technical. I recommend no more than 10 bullet points.
  • Skills matrix or technology table: I cannot stress how important this part is! Recruiters and Hiring Managers use keyword search strings on Seek, LinkedIn and their own database, so mentioning all the technologies you are experienced in, will push you higher up the search and make it easy for them to quickly scan your resume to know what technologies you’ve worked with throughout your career.
  • Education and certifications.
  • Roles (see structure below).

 

Role Structure

  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • Dates worked: Be precise to the month i.e. January 2018-August 2019
  • About the business: Sentence or two describing the business; particularly if it is not well known.
  • Projects: A sentence or two would suffice to give a quick overview of what you were building, upgrading, designing, installing etc.
  • Your responsibilities: (help with the content below)
  • Achievements: This is a great opportunity to show why you stand out.
  • Example: Suggested and implemented ‘data cleansing’ practices that reduced data record errors from 90% down to 10%
  • Environment & Tools: Technologies and methodologies used at each company – This should be as well as the skills matrix at the top so the reader knows what techs you have used and at which role/project.

 

Content

Down to the most important stuff… content! Like most things in life, the more effort you put in, the more reward you will get.

The aim is to strike a balance between including enough detail so the reader knows exactly what you have done, and not adding so much detail that your resume is the length of War and Peace; Too vague and it will look like the 100s of other resumes (yes, we often receive 100+ applications for one role); too long and it will dilute the information and make it unclear what your main strengths are. Here are some examples to show the difference between a good resume and what I’d consider to be a stand out resume.

 

Example A

DevOps

  • Deployed applications on AWS
  • Built CI/CD pipelines using Jenkins

Systems Administrator

  • Supported the Windows, Linux, VMware and Citrix environment
  • Supported Virtual Environment

Software Engineer

  • Upgraded the bank’s UI using Angular, CSS and Bootstrap
  • Migrated legacy platform to Microservice architecture

 

Example B

DevOps

  • Reduced deployment time and deployment complexity of a multi-tier application, utilizing highly available, scalable, fault-tolerant systems on AWS stack by implementing EC2, S3, VPC, IAM, ELB, CloudWatch, and Route 53 best practices.
  • Designed, build, and maintained fully automated CI/CD pipelines and AWS infrastructure environment using tools such as Jenkins, CloudFormation, Puppet, Kubernetes, Docker, Groovy, Ansible, etc.

Systems Administrator

  • Provided 2nd and 3rd level support to the systems infrastructure across multiple platforms (Linux, Windows Server, VMware and Citrix) to ensure the systems are highly available and are able to function at optimal levels.
  • Virtualisation support and implementation involving SCVMM, VMware, VCenter, vSphere VMotion, NSX, ESX(i), and Hyper-V environments.

Software Engineer

  • Developed and implemented critical upgrades and enhancements to the UI. Using Angular 7 & Bootstrap and CSS to create a responsive web and mobile front-end to allow bank’s Super customers to manage and allocate their investments to either cash, securities or term deposits.
  • Migrated existing Monolithic platform to Microservice based architecture using Spring Boot, Netflix Zuul API Gateway, Eureka Service Registry. Upgraded legacy platform to Microservice architecture.

Example A is a perfectly good resume, however, if you put yourself in the shoes of a Hiring Manager or non-technical Recruiter and you are presented with these two resumes of similarly experienced candidates; which one would you choose?

Most people reviewing resumes are very time poor, so even exceptional candidates can sometimes have their resume overlooked. The clearer and more easily consumable you make the information the more you will stand out from the crowd!

 

To summarise, my suggestions are…

  • The first page should explain clearly and concisely your core skill set.
  • Make it clear what technologies, methodologies and tools you are experienced in.
  • Invest time in giving sufficient detail when describing your experience and achievements.
  • Don’t leave too much up to the reader’s imagination or chance!

Thanks for reading and I hope this is helpful for anyone looking to give their resume a bit more oomph!
If you’re looking for a new challenge, help with your resume, or a discussion around the IT Market, feel free to reach out to me at Rebecca.butler@profusiongroup.com or 02 9240 6312