Team Lead and Engineering Manager at EY
I’m a software engineer and a Team Lead. I participate in the hiring process of other engineers in the company and over the last year I've helped hire 15 software engineers in our company and conducted around 45 interviews. In my experience, one of the biggest challenges for applicants is applying with a well-structured resume.
Due to this common issue, only 3 out of 10 resumes would make it to the initial interview. Candidates keep on repeating the same mistakes in the structure of the resume. They don’t talk about their actual skills and include irrelevant information. I want to share some tips and tricks on how to make your resume stand out based on my experience.
If you know Front-end and Data science, you can work on both positions. Hence you need two resumes. Each of them should contain the experience that is relevant to a given position. This raises your chances of getting the job.
DON’T: List every possible work experience that you had
DO: Show relevant experience for the role that you’re applying to
Work experience relevant to Front-end:
Work experience relevant to Data Science:
Tip: The best length is 2–3 pages. In my experience it’s hard to focus and read when it’s past third page.
Name and general information
Always specify your contact details. It’s hard to believe but from what I've seen, 1 out of 2 candidates tend to forget to include this information.
DO: Keep relevant and concise contact details
Tip 1: A photo is not necessary. Instead of your photo in the resume you could attach a link to your LinkedIn with the photo available there. Don’t attach a random selfie with a bad lighting as this will not look professional on your resume.
Tip 2: Full address is not necessary. Unless the potential employer is going to post to your address.
Summary of qualifications
The main goal of your summary of qualifications is to show that you’re qualified for this particular role. It’s useful to highlight your work, skills and achievements throughout your career. Bullet points will help keep the summary concise.
DON'T: Have many summaries in one sentence
DO: Have one summary per sentence
Your recent experience is the most valuable on your resume. Therefore sort places of work in descending order starting with the latest. This will help the reader see the most valuable information first.
It's useful to have these listed with each workplace you mention:
Tip: The most recent place of work should be described in most detail. In this way the prospective employer would see your latest and relevant experience first. Structure the information in order to better read it. Use bullet points and start with the verbs. In this way it’s easier to show your achievements.
DO: Use bullet-points and verbs when describing work experience
Programmer, July 2011 – present
Backend Developer, January 2011, Duration: Three months
Verbs that you can use to describe your experience:
For IT — this would be programming languages, for other professions it will be program, online-platforms and techniques.
DO: Group skills by topic
Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence: Pandas, Numpy, Matplotlib, Keras, Sklearn, TensorFlow, OpenCV, Natural Language Processing, Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learning
Data Mining: Data Pre-processing, Data VIsualization, Market-Basket algorithm
Mathematics: Statistics, Bayesian Inference Network
Always specify your degree in your resume. Even if you have a degree in psychology and you apply for an IT job. It makes sense since a degree gives a good base. This will show that you’re capable of learning and are familiar with deadlines.
Next, mention courses that you’ve passed. Courses are much shorter than a degree. That’s why only specify courses only those related to the field. If you want to be a marketing expert and have recently passed a sewing course — most likely it’s not worth specifying on the resume (only if you’re not applying for a marketing expert of the clothing brand).
Keep in mind that work experience is most valuable. It will describe you better than any online course. Hence if you have relevant experience, you most likely don’t need to mention online courses.
I would not suggest to mention all your hobbies. Potential employers would not be interested in your interests in playing tennis and skiing. Instead you could mention your interests related to work. This could be:
If you're applying for a Junior position and you have no experience you could rework your existing experience and highlight your qualities which could be applied to all areas, including IT. What can be included here?
DON'T: Show experience relevant to only one industry
General Manager, McDonald’s, 2019–2020
DO: Show experience relevant to any area, including IT
General Manager, McDonald’s, 2019–2020
You could publish your homework for the courses as part of your experience. If the work you have done is related to programming - publish the code into GitHub and paste the link on your resume.
Tell me about your experience in the comment section. Which rules are you following when constructing a resume?
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