Want Your Resume Read? Don’t Hide Your Technical Skills

February 24th, 2014 | Articles, Job Search, Resume | No Comments »

Technical Skills Resume

Employers shouldn’t have to play a game of Where’s Waldo when looking for the technical skills in your resume. The purpose of any good job application is to stand out from the start, captivating employers and recruiters within those six critical seconds. Each page needs to be the megaphone that amplifies your hard skills beyond those of your competition.

That’s why you can’t waver with the technical element of your resume. Take these tips on how to put your hard skills into writing and you won’t be lost in all the white noise.

Don’t just pile them up

Many job seekers make the mistake of lumping their technical skills in one spot. A centralized list of hard skills isn’t a bad idea but it fails to give employers and recruiters any real-world context. Think about whether or not they can answer these types of questions:

When did you last use .Net technologies?
Is VMware something you’re immersed in daily or just a skill with passing familiarity?
Can you handle white-box and black-box testing on your own?

If all of your technical skills are only left to congregate in one spot, it’s hard to answer these questions.

Show your skills in action

Each one of your technical skills needs to talk for itself. Employers are less inclined to hire someone whose work appears to be strictly theoretical. Across current and past positions, you need to explain what you’ve accomplished with each hard skill. There’s a clear way to do that.

Put technical skills in practice

First, pick out the major accomplishments of each position. Day-to-day duties are okay but they don’t have the selling power of career milestones. From there, you need to write out what you’ve done in a way that incorporates the keywords of your technical skills.

Let’s imagine that you’ve designed, coded, and polished an iOS application that has been a hit in the Apple Store. It doesn’t have to be a Flappy Bird; just something that does extremely well with a niche group. When highlighting that milestone in your resume, you want to accentuate the accomplishment with the technical skills you used to get there. Here’s one way you could write it:

Delivered a wildly successful iOS app to market by using HTML5/CSS3, Objective-C, and a receptive design that kept users engaged in the experience. So far the app has earned $1 million in the Apple Store.

This resume bullet point paints a strong picture. It shows what technical skills were used to achieve your goal and even includes the ROI those skills provided for the company (any numbersyou can include can make an even greater image).

The only thing to keep in mind is you don’t want to overdo the inclusion of technical skills. If you used a wide spectrum of hard skills on a project, look at what the company is looking to get out of a new employee. That way, you don’t waste your time boasting about technical skills that aren’t on the company’s radar.

by James Walsh

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