A commonly asked question, mostly by newcomers into IT, is- “Do you have a sample software testing resume that I can use?”
Sure, we all learn by seeing. To begin with, we need to establish a point of reference, so there is no harm in checking out someone else’s resume. However, relying completely on it and trying to tailor it to suit our needs is not always the best way to create our own resume.
How would it be if I took a picture of a perfect looking person and photoshopped my face to it – it just would not be right, would it? The same rationale applies here.
Each of us come from different educational backgrounds, different professional exposure and are at different proficiency levels – our resume has to be a snapshot of everything that is uniquely us. The piece of paper (or electronic document) is a representation of ourselves when we could not be there in person.
Therefore it is of utmost importance to let your resume capture the essence of who you are as a professional. In this article, I tried to put together a few simple pointers that will help ease this software testing QA resume preparation process, especially for first-timers.
See Also: How to Write a Killer Software Testing QA Resume as a first part guide.
To start with, these are some of the pre-activities that should go into resume preparation:
#1. Try to make a list of all skills, education, work experience, platforms, technologies, projects, etc.
#2. For a start, forget about the format and template. Sticky notes, a piece of paper, notepad on your computer – all are perfectly good starting points.
#3. The list could look something like this:
#4. Pick up the technical skills section and try to sort them in the order of your proficiency. I generally, use the rating method on my skills. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the expert and 1 being just familiar- try to assign a rating to your list
#5. Take a moment to review your readiness with respect to skill acquisition required to apply the job of your choice.
For example: From the above list, it is clear that I am not at the required skill level to apply for a QTP position. That is ok. To enhance our strengths we always need to know our weaknesses. This method helps us with that. There are 2 options at this stage:
a) If QTP is not my area of interest, I just move on and apply for a manual testing job that better suits my skill.
b) But if I want to pursue automation testing I could take a few days time, work on building the skill. Once I move to anywhere between 3-5 rating level, I may reconsider a QTP career.
Once listing, rating and self-evaluating is through, the next step is to think of a template.
Every IT resume has the following sections. Of course, the order in which these sections appear is a personal choice. As for me, I find the below order very effective, so stick to it if you think so too.
a) The header – basic information about how to reach you – Name, Address, Email ID, Phone number, link to your profile on a professional network, certifications etc.
b) Objective – Optional section, especially useful to explain your choice of getting into IT- QA field if you have not been from a computer science background and have a different career prior to now, or if you have been from a certain branch of IT and want to transition to another one.
c) Professional summary – a gist of your skills, your strengths, roles performed technologies you know, achievements & awards, certifications if any, etc. Start with the points that are most significant in the list.
d) Certifications – Include this section, if you have been certified in many areas. Note: I have come across some newcomers who include – “preparing for ISTQB” or something to that effect in this section. This is generally not apt. Include only the ones that you have already been certified. For multiple certifications use a table.
e) Work experience – list all the organizations you worked for until now. A table works best for this. Order the columns in this table by keeping your most recent experience as the first row.
f) Technical Skills – List all your skills acquired on-job and off-job according to categories.
g) Educational information – Tabular format works best for this too. Start with your highest education as the first row. Provide the P.G/ graduation/10+2/10 standard, year of passing, institution/city you went to next. It is optional to include the score you received.
h) Projects – Projects is the main section in itself. This is where specific information about the kind of work you have performed during the course of your previous employment leading up to now. In case of multiple projects start with your most recent project and move to the next.
For each project include:
Client: (optional and wherever relevant)
Duration: Start Month/Year – End Month/Year
Description: (A small paragraph about the application that was worked on. Detailed functionality is not necessary)
Roles and Responsibilities: Use bulleted points to describe what your day to day activities on the job was.
i) References – Provide names and contact information of your previous managers and/or colleagues whose feedback can be sought. Alternately, you can choose to provide it on request by saying “References will be provided on request”.
Now that we have the information gathered during the pre-resume step and the template, all it takes is to organize the information into a template. Use the template attached for more clarity.
=>> Software Testing QA Resume – Download Sample Template
This software testing CV template can be used by experienced as well as beginner level professional. All the sections are given in here. All you need to do is fill in your information. The samples for how to define roles and responsibilities, professional summary, project description etc. are provided too.
To summarize these are the steps in resume creation process:
Few Important Do’s and Don’t’s:
1. Try not to create a huge resume. 3-4 pages are optimum for a beginner level professional. For experienced personnel, try not to run over 5 pages.
2. Do not include personal information like – passport numbers.
3. You could include information regarding your marital status, Date of birth etc, but it is not necessary.
4. MS Word or PDF is the standard formats for a resume.
5. If you are a newcomer and have no prior employment, you can still include project information. These projects are going to be off-job, self-initiated. For example: pick gmail.com or amazon.com and test it thoroughly following a testing process that is close to the real-time project. Document your results and include that as your experience.
6. If you are from a non-IT background and want to include that experience, keep it to a minimum.
7. Resumes nowadays are being picked by search engines. So include as many keywords as possible and include them repetitively. Although, use them with caution. I have come across many resumes that include every skill available in the market. A resume is your entry ticket into a job interview not into a job. Including skills that you are not good will put you in a compromising situation when you can’t explain them in an interview.
8. Do not circulate your resume flippantly. Do not post/circulate your resume just to get a feel of the market or to understand how much pay you might receive. Do it only when you are ready for an interview. You do not want to miss a chance at landing a job due to unpreparedness. Be prepared to attend an interview from the minute your resume is out there.
9. Avoid writing huge paragraphs. Stick to bullet points.
10. Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
11. Once you are complete, save your doc with an appropriate name. Typically, “Name_Role/tile_years of experience.doc- (Name-QA Analyst-8 Years.doc)” is recommended.
Tip: You can also use the Naukri.com resume search option to search their database for resumes related to software testing skills. Using keyword and other advanced search options you can find the best profiles of professionals with matching skills and experience. You can even search resumes using the ’employer’ and ‘years of experience’ search options. But don’t copy their resume. Just use it as a reference. You can refer the template we provided in this articles along with other live samples to write a perfect resume for you.
Now, the resume making process does not seem so daunting, does it? Let us know what tips and guidelines you find most useful.