Nathan Eddy, Dice Insights
February 7, 2022
For many technologists, the past two years have changed their jobs, companies, and industries in considerable ways. Some employees have shifted entirely to remote work; others have adopted new skills in response to big marketplace shifts. Given all of that, it’s probably time to give your résumé another look—and an edit.
Where should you start with that edit? What should you emphasize—and potentially delete?
Emphasize Your Remote/Hybrid Experience
Given the prevalence of remote and hybrid work, employers are extremely interested in your ability to work productively from home. With that in mind, technologists should update their résumé to state if their current and past roles have been fully remote, hybrid, or fully in-office. If you have significant remote experience (and at this point, most technologists do), putting it on your résumé will assure recruiters and hiring managers that you have the experience and skills necessary to deliver results from your home office.
Emphasize Your Value
Jim Johnson, senior vice president and field practice director at Robert Half Technology, said it’s always important to reevaluate where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go. This includes ensuring your resumé highlights the results you’ve delivered to your past employers.
“Your value to an organization is showing you understand you’re not just being hired to do a task, but in doing this task, you’re creating value for them,” he said. “They’re looking for an IT professional who is aware of their worth and their contribution to the organization’s bottom line, whether that’s because they manage projects and budgets effectively or they’re deploying technologies that help companies become more flexible.”
Samantha Lawrence, senior vice president of people strategy at Hired, said: “It’s harder than ever for candidates to stand out as remote work becomes the new norm and opens roles up to candidates across the country, or even the globe.” Emphasizing your value can help you win a global competition.
Hint at Your Desire to Learn
When editing your resumé, cover letter, and other application materials, make sure to highlight your interest in certain skills and technologies; given the current crunch for tech talent, many companies are more than happy to pay for training and education.
“You want to make sure that the technologies that you’re interested in are the technologies that you want more experience with, and highlight that on your resume,” Johnson said. “If it’s something you’re learning, make sure that you put that in areas of interest or technology skills development, because companies are looking for people who want to expand their knowledge, who want to contribute in different ways.”
Highlight Soft Skills
Johnson added that the inclusion of soft skills also helps somebody stand out, whether that’s strong written skills, or good at time management or creativity and problem solving. “The key is including demonstrable experience that you could speak to,” he said. “It’s taking your soft skills and putting it into kind of a functional representation—what I did for the company but utilizing these skills.”
It’s important to include skills that employers are looking for when hiring remote employees, Lawrence added. These include self-sufficiency, collaboration, problem solving, excellent time management skills, and ability to work autonomously. “You should also include your remote specific experience, for example if you used Slack for collaboration and Loom for asynchronous working or learning,” she noted.
Analyze the Prospective Company’s Culture
Applicants can and should tailor their résumés based on the culture of a prospective employer. Research the organization and understand what makes its employees successful. “Keep the audience in mind,” Lawrence said. “What do you think the hiring manager wants to know about you and why you’d be a fit for the role? If you can communicate that in your résumé, then I don’t believe you need extras.”
Johnson recommends you put together a few different versions of a resumé based on the type of position you’re looking for. “Don’t think that one standard boilerplate résumé is going to be the best way to get that next job,” he said. “You need to be comfortable and have a couple of working versions of that based on the types of positions you’re interested in.”
Lawrence added that technical applicants should include hyperlinks on their résumé and link their LinkedIn page, any personal portfolio websites, or their Github (always test the links to make sure they work before submitting).