Do you know that employer spend only 20 to 30 seconds to review your resume? To get it noticed in such a short time frame your resume must be appealing, organized, and error free.
Today’s article is about refining your resume so it finds you your dream job.
Here are a few guidelines that will make your resume stand out from the crowd:
For basic resume building, check out these posts:
- Write a Perfect Software Testing QA Resume (with Sample resume)
- How to Write a Killer Resume
- New Emerging Trends in the Job Seeking Market – Shorter Resumes
What You Will Learn:
5 Quick Tips to Refine Your Resume
#1) Less is more
There is no need to write pages and pages about your projects, your experience, your achievements etc. Please note that no one gets hired based on the resume. It is to summarize you professionally and based on it, you will get called for an interview where you will have your chance to explain it all.
Here are some things you can avoid, to keep your resume short and relevant:
This section is unnecessary because the objective of any job applicant is to get the job. So writing that one more time is irrelevant and redundant. However, if you are from a different field of work and are transitioning into the current role then you can use this section.
For many beginner testers, this is true. You might have been working in a completely unrelated field. You have decided to pursue an IT QA career.
Many of our STH students definitely are in this situation and I am often asked to give examples of what they could write in this section.
Point #1: You don’t have to absolutely write this section. So, if you are not comfortable explaining, give it a miss.
Point #2: If you have decided to write it, remember, there are no wrong reasons only wrong ways of expressing those reasons.
Let me give you an example.
One of the students asked me- “I am in this for money. I like troubleshooting and since testing allows it and pays good money, I am willing to try QA. How do I say this to the employer without sounding like a gold-digger?”
Find the right words. Your objective in this case can be– “To find a challenging QA position that puts my troubleshooting skills to good use and supports me better, financially.”
Finally, one or two lines are all you get. Don’t go overboard.
ii) Previous Work Experience:
If you have worked in unrelated fields, your resume need not have that information because it is irrelevant to the current position.
iii) Project Information:
Try not to include in-depth details about the application’s architecture or strategy. This will be a red-flag as companies view it as ‘giving away confidential information’ which boils down to lack of integrity on your (the applicant’s) part.
#2) Full disclosure is not necessary
A lot of times I get questions such as – Do I have to mention my educational qualification? Do I include the year of my graduation or my major in college or my percentage in high school?
Resumes are about putting your best foot forward and if there is something you don’t want to bring attention to- Don’t write it.
Are you thinking, isn’t it lying? No, it isn’t.
We have a little time to make an impression on the hiring person and we want our achievements to back us up. The rest doesn’t matter.
- Education or degree – If not from a computer science background and if you believe it might work against you- keep it at the end or remove this section all together
- No need to mention High school, college or any other education’s percentages or GPAs – it is irrelevant unless you are a fresher and applying strictly based on your score.
- Currently employed? No need to give the landline office number in an attempt to prove that you do indeed work where you say you do. This is dangerous and a little silly too.
- Year of Graduation: If you suspect ageism, don’t mention it.
#3) Don’t get Personal
- Marital status, the number of kids you have, your birth date, fathers name on separate line, religion, passport number, etc. – not necessary.
- Also do not include Instagram or Facebook links in your resume. LinkedIn or professional blogs will do.
#4) Be Professional
- Get a new email address if your email is something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com It is totally free and takes a few minutes to set up.
- Do not include references in your resume. Provide them when asked. Because it might be a good idea to give some advance notice to your references that they should expect a call. Let your references know and ask them their convenient time.
- Most importantly, don’t lie on your resume. It is true we all tweak our resumes when applying for different positions. This should be limited to highlighting a few important details as opposed to concocting completely fictitious experiences or skills.
- Apply for a job if your skill set is a 70-80% match to those needed for the job.
- For the rest, let your potential and capability speak for itself.
#5) Get your basics right
- No spelling and grammar errors: It is hard to take a document serious when it has basic errors. Especially, when it is so easy to do spelling and grammar checks. It communicates neglect.
- If you are not sure about the usage of a sentence, don’t use it. Try alternatives. For example: Someone once told me “Having 3 years of experience” is not right because ‘having’ is a word more applicable to ‘eating’. Being a non-native English speaker, I don’t know if this is true. So I rephrase that statement always to “3 years experience in QC.” Better safe than sorry, right?
- Don’t cram too much stuff into your resume. Keep it readable. Make sure there is plenty of white space so the person reading it can skim thorough it easily and still stay engaged.
- Font: Don’t use curly or any other illegible fonts. Also, keep the size right- don’t go too small or too big. Resume experts recommend using a sans-serif font such as Tahoma, Verdana, etc.
As always, I hope this article has served you.
About author: Swati S, our STH team member has provided this useful piece of resume advice.
I would love to hear any resume tips you would like to share with us here. If there are any other related topic recommendations please do let us know.
Your comments, questions, suggestions and readership is highly appreciated. All the best!