Can you write a masterpiece of a QA Software Tester resume that will turn into an interview call?
Read on to know-how.
I’m sure that after reading this article, you will be able to write a killer flawless software testing and quality assurance resume that will definitely turn into an interview call. We have also included ‘5 minute resume makeover tips’ at the end.
This is a two-part series:
Part 1: How to Write a Killer QA Software Tester Resume (This Article)
Part 2: Steps to write a resume with Sample QA Testing Resume for download
What You Will Learn:
- Writing a Killer Software Testing Resume or CV
- How Much Time Do You Get to Impress Employers?
- How to Make a Great First Impression?
- Writing a Killer Software Testing Resume or CV
- How to Write Project Details in the Tester/QA Resume?
- What Should I Put in Resumes if I Have a Gap in My Career?
- How to Learn Software Testing Skills to Put in Your Resume?
- Sample Software Testing Resume Essential Parts
- Tips for Writing an Effective Software Testing Resume
- New Emerging Trends in the Job Seeking Market – Shorter Resumes
- 5 Refining Tips For A Ninja Resume – 5 Minute Resume Makeover
Writing a Killer Software Testing Resume or CV
Your resume is the very first step in any job application process. It’s an opportunity to advertise yourself and demonstrate that you are the best person for the available position. Getting an interview call depends on how you present your skills in your resume or CV.
How Much Time Do You Get to Impress Employers?
The Software Testing market is becoming very competitive and getting a job is even more difficult. For a single QA job position, recruiters are getting hundreds of Quality Assurance Tester resumes.
You must stand out from the crowd and writing a good resume is the very first opportunity to do so. Recruiters don’t have time to read all the resumes thoroughly. Your resume will be quickly scanned within a few seconds.
Do you know that the employer only spends 20 to 30 seconds reviewing your resume? To get it noticed in such a short time frame, your resume must be appealing, organized, and error-free.
Does that make sense? To make a first good impression on the prospective employer, you must represent yourself effectively on the first page of your resume, rather the first half page of your resume is very important to make or break it.
Most of the candidates whom I have come across pay very little or no attention to writing a good resume. They just copy and paste other’s resume without even bothering to change their interests and hobbies. Remember, no matter how talented you are, if you don’t present your skills properly in the resume, no one is going to see your talent.
How to Make a Great First Impression?
Many candidates write the whole story about themselves even without thinking about what the employer wants. First focus on the employer’s needs. Read the job openings carefully. Note down all the job requirements.
Judge yourself based on these requirements. Prepare a list of your skills matching job requirements and highlight these skills on the first page of your resume.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting an Interview Call?
Make sure you have a clearly stated job objective mentioned at the top of your resume. Keep it as short as one or two lines and avoid writing irrelevant cliches.
Freshers always need to keep different versions for different jobs. For example, if you are applying for a Software Testing position… highlight Software Testing skills at a prominent place in your CV.
Writing a Killer Software Testing Resume or CV
Here, I’ll answer the most commonly asked questions while preparing a software testing fresher resume/experienced testing resume.
#1) What if you don’t have Software Testing experience?
Answer: If you are an experienced software tester then you shouldn’t have any problem writing your project details.
#2) How can freshers looking for Software Testing jobs get relevant experience?
a) The answer is simple. Get some experience by working on dummy projects available on the internet. Search for online dummy projects (For Example, Inventory Management Software) and download test software and all available documents.
Follow the complete testing process like:
- Requirement Analysis
- Writing Test Cases
- Executing Test Cases
- Logging Defects
- Preparing Test Reports
If possible get your work evaluated by experienced software testing professionals.
b) By adding dummy projects learned from Software Testing courses: If you have joined any software testing course to learn manual testing and automation tools then you can put this dummy project experience in your resume, which may range from 1 to 6 months.
This way you will have at least some experience to put in your resume rather than keeping the experience section entirely blank. This will be an added advantage from the resumes of other freshers.
How to Write Project Details in the Tester/QA Resume?
The experience section writes details of projects you worked on.
You need to write project details with the following headings:
- Project name:
- (Optional) Client name:
- Project Description: (Brief project overview in 2-3 sentences)
- Environment: (mention Software Coding Language, Testing tools, etc.)
- Team size:
- On-job accomplishments: (mention all key responsibilities)
What Should I Put in Resumes if I Have a Gap in My Career?
Don’t hesitate to put a valid reason for any gap in your career. Also, you shouldn’t have any problem in getting a job after the gap in your career.
There could be thousands of reasons for the career gap like – enjoying holiday, relocation, handling the family business, skill upgrade, maternity, etc. Be honest and I’m sure that you will easily convince the interviewer about your career gap.
On-The-Job-Accomplishments on First Page of Your Resume
Convince the employer that you have problem-solving skills by giving some real-time examples from your work experience. Clearly, state what the problem was and how you solved that problem in the workplace. Prepare some solid examples to support your claims.
You can also put these examples in your resume. Also, be ready to answer all relevant questions asked by the interviewer for your accomplishments. For Example, “When I joined so and so the project in my company I saw the work was ad-hock and there wasn’t any standard software testing process.
I took the initiative to build a standard software testing process that fits our project needs. With this streamlined process, we managed our time effectively and started concentrating more on the main software testing tasks”.
Mention Relevant Modules/Subjects You Studied
This will matter most to freshers. For software testing positions, candidates with computer networking and system administration skills are preferred. If you studied any subject or completed any course related to computer networking and system administration then add it to your resume.
If you have Linux/Unix operating system knowledge then put it in the relevant-skills section of your resume.
Software Testing Certifications and Training
Software testing certification is an added advantage for all testing and QA positions.
Rather, testing certifications like ISTQB, CSTE, etc. are some of the mandatory criteria for most of the companies. Always keep learning and equip yourself with the necessary tools and skills, so that you will never face any job problems in the future.
Recommended Reading =>> How to list certifications on Resume
If you have completed any software testing course or diploma after your graduation or post-graduation, then put it under the “Skill Upgrade” section of your resume.
How to Learn Software Testing Skills to Put in Your Resume?
If you don’t have the necessary relevant skills to add to your resume, then learn those skills online. Like for software testing jobs, learn defect tracking and test management tools.
You can get all open-source Software Testing tools online. Download widely used open-source tools and start practicing at home.
#1) Learn the TestLink test management tool online. Once you have good hands-on experience with the TestLink tool, you can add this skill to your resume.
To learn more about TestLink, please refer to this TestLink Tutorial.
#2) Search for an online version of the Bugzilla defect management tool or download and install the Bugzilla defect management tool on your home PC. Learn how to add and manage defects in Bugzilla.
Once you get the basic knowledge of this tool you can add this tool to the “Defect management tools” skill section. This way you can learn many automation tools online.
Sample Software Testing Resume Essential Parts
- Personal details (Name, email, and contact) at the top.
- Career objectives – Not more than two lines.
- Educational Qualifications – In reverse chronological order (Latest education first).
- Skill upgrade details – Like testing certifications, training, computer networking, and system administration skills.
- Work Experience – Details of each employer and project.
- Interests and significant achievements.
- Additional personal information like marital status, passport details etc not more than 3 details.
Tips for Writing an Effective Software Testing Resume
Software Testing Resume Format Tips:
- Keep CV brief but comprehensive in expression.
- Keep in mind – Single spelling errors are sufficient to reject your resume. Spell check twice.
- CV should be easily readable.
- Make a clear job objective.
- Highlight relevant skills.
- Do not add fake experiences or skills.
- Focus on what your employer needs and prepare your resume with relevant skills you possess.
- Always think from the employer’s perspective. Think about what the recruiter will expect from the job position.
- Avoid table structure. Use tables to mention your qualifications and skills only.
- Do not write more than 3 pages of a resume unless you are applying for a team lead or managerial position.
- Do not add irrelevant personal details like age, height, weight, father’s details, etc.
- No need to write ‘Curriculum Vitae’ or ‘Resume’ word at the top of your resume.
- Do not use the word “I” while describing project responsibilities. For example, instead of “I wrote test cases..” use “Wrote test cases.)
- Make sure you write your name, email address and phone number on top of your resume.
- While writing education, always start with recent education first.
- Write qualification details with columns – Education/Qualification, School/College, Year, Percentage/Grade, Class.
- Write relevant skills and on-job accomplishments on the first page of your resume, work experience, and educational details on the second page.
Most important: Be ready to explain everything you put on your resume. On request, you must present necessary examples to the interviewer.
Only writing a good resume is not sufficient. Before applying for Software Testing jobs you need to write an Effective Software Testing job Cover letter as well.
New Emerging Trends in the Job Seeking Market – Shorter Resumes
The world of resumes and interviews is changing – constantly.
Being in the training and facilitation industry gives us a special insight into this field as we are blessed with students that take the time to keep us posted on their career pursuits and the interviews that they have attended; our heartfelt gratitude to you all always for sharing.
In this tutorial, we will try to consolidate all the trends that I have come across, so that we can share all that was shared with us by the readers.
First things first: This is a great time of the year for the job market. Post-holidays, New Year and new possibilities. I have especially had a huge influx of resumes coming my way and requests for interview guidance.
Unfortunately, some of the requests are for proxy interviews. For those who don’t know what this is: It is to pretend to be someone else and appear to the interview as the interviewee. While this might have short-term results, please bear in mind that companies (especially in the US) have a 30 day probation period.
So, a successful interview might not necessarily mean a successful job. “A shortcut is often a wrong cut”- may not be applicable in all situations, but in this one, it absolutely does.
Now that we have moved past that, we will examine 3 main trends that are gaining momentum.
#1) Shorter 1 or 2 page resumes
#2) Skype or video-based interviews
#3) Presentation based interviews
If you would like to have a refresher on resume creation, please check this post:
A few tips to add to the above article are:
- Take complete control over your resume: Don’t let a resume creation company, family member or a friend take this over for you.
- No mistakes: Spelling, grammar, hyphenation, margins, alignment, etc.
- No False information: This is where I am going to hear all of you sigh and say “how is that even possible”- but trust me. When you create a resume that focuses on your skills and strengths, there is really no need for any false information to be included.
- No confidential information about your previous clients, companies or projects
The current market is really leaning towards shorter resumes than the full versions. 1 or 2 page resumes even for the most experienced ones are preferred.
Include the following information in your resume:
- Objective (optional)
- Professional summary
- Consolidation of your technical skills
Take A Look at the Shorter QA Resume Sample
Title (For Example, Quality Engineer/QA Tester/Manager)
Certifications: (if any)
Contact info: phone, email, address
LinkedIn or another website/blog link (if any)
Objective: To excel in a challenging and innovative QA work environment and strive to exercise my full potential (OR) to make a smooth and successful transition into IT- QA post my thorough preparation and internship (OR) (something to that effect. This can be totally optional as well).
Professional Summary: (This is not very different from the traditional resume – some examples can be as below).
- Well versed with SDLC – Agile and Scrum methodologies.
- Underwent 100 hours of professional training in the Software testing process.
- ISTQB or something else certified.
- Good understanding of the STLC process – Test case documentation and review.
- Familiarizing with Automation Testing using QTP
- Involved in testing during system testing or UAT phases.
- Expertise in Test Management using QC or JIRA
- Defect management using Bugzilla
- Certified Software Test Engineer by the QAI in the year 2014.
- Received the “Pat on back” excellence award for my contribution towards “XYZ” project.
- B.Tech Computer Science Engineer by Education, 2010 Graduation Year.
- Implemented a new framework in QTP.
Tools: HP UFT, HP ALM – Administration and User, VersionOne-Agile Management software, Atlassian JIRA
Environments: UNIX, Windows, Mac, Mobile – IOS
Programming languages: Java, VBScript
SQL and PL/SQL
This is where this kind of resume differs largely from the existing type. Here is my take on whether the subject – project description part can be eliminated.
In fact, companies prefer it that way, because it shows integrity to not talk about how other clients have implemented a certain system and to instead on your tasks and work highlights. As always, start with your most recent project and keep going backward.
#1) OpenEMR, hospital management system for XYZ hospitals – Nov 2013 to Dec 2014 – Quality Engineer
This is a 3 tiered system and we have successfully implemented an end to end testing system that pays special emphasis on the release of targeted testing and ample regression as well.
The team structure is onsite-offshore and agile processes are managed by leveraging VersionOne as the management software.
As you can see above, this is hardly a page and for someone with many projects, this could go up to another page more, which makes it 2 pages at the most.
Tip #1) It is believed that an employer does not spend more than 20-30 seconds on a resume. So be sure to take your time with your resume and write a professional summary in a way that your prospective employer is compelled to persuade you.
Tip #2) You do not have to discard your longer resume version when you have the shorter one, at least not yet. There are still some employers who prefer longer ones. Keep both of them handy.
Tip #3) With a limited area, it is common to feel tempted to pile on as much as we can onto that one/two pages we have. But that is often counter-productive.
Therefore, if you have lots more to say than you can in the 2 pages, then take a look at what can stay and what can go – Prioritize, Purge and Reorder. Let the resume have some wiggle room.
Tip #4) When choosing a font, non-sans serif ones are the best. Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Calibri are some of the good choices. Make sure that the text is no smaller than 9.5 size and headings 11 or 11.5
For best results, these tips are to be combined with the ones above.
Also, Read =>
- Onsite Tester + Coordinator position job interview Questions and Answers.
- How to prepare for S/w Testing interview
- Common interview mistakes and how to avoid them
5 Refining Tips For A Ninja Resume – 5 Minute Resume Makeover
This section of the 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:
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 their resume. This 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:
i) Objective: 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 your 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 are definitely 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 write this section. 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, there are 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 your 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 you’re not from a computer science background and if you believe it might work against you – keep it at the end or remove this section altogether.
- No need to mention high school, college or any other education percentage or GPA: It is irrelevant unless you are a fresher and are 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, your father’s name on the separate line, religion, passport number, etc. are 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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Please let your references know and ask them for a convenient time.
- Most importantly, don’t lie on your resume. It is true that 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 skillset 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 always rephrase that statement 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 that there is plenty of white space so the person reading it can skim through 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 sans-serif fonts such as Tahoma, Verdana, etc.
I hope I’ve detailed each and every aspect of writing a killer software testing resume. Now you should not face any difficulties in writing an effective software testing CV.
This brings us to an end of the first tutorial in the career series – How to prepare a killer QA Software tester resume.
As always, we strive for a useful, helpful and enjoyable reading experience. Please let us know how we did in the comments sections below. You are most welcome to post your questions as well.
Lastly, our very best wishes to all the job seekers out there – all the very best!
Further reading =>> Explore different types of resumes here!