Anyone who has job searched in a technical field—engineering, IT, software development and so on—knows about unrealistic expectations. Many job postings, advertisements and calls from recruiters involve a list of desired technical skills that could take two lifetimes to accomplish. Yet, you still need all the required skills for that exact job posting.
This level of unrealistic expectations is just one way that technical resumes often differ from nontechnical resumes. I have several ways of dealing with the problem at Robin’s Resumes®:
- First, I work with you to ensure that you meet at least the minimum requirements for the job. If you don’t meet those requirements, I advise you on how to find more suitable announcements or consider looking for a job in a different field.
- Second, if you are close to meeting the requirements for a technical position, I can advise you on how to network and see if the company will write a job announcement just for you so that you are the one who passes the screen.
- Third, I make sure the resume lists the technical skills that you already have. Then I focus on the results of using those skills. The fact that you managed to go from Point A to Point C is much more important than how, exactly, you got there. So, for example, the resume might say “Automated builds and streamlined releases by migrating source code from X to Y,” where X and Y are tools you currently have.
- Fourth, I make it clear on the resume that you are capable of learning other technologies or taking on additional responsibilities. Sometimes this is shown by describing soft skills, coursework, projects you undertook outside your normal responsibilities (perhaps while volunteering elsewhere), and papers you have written. Sometimes this is shown by an actual list of skills you plan to develop or are capable of learning.
- Fifth, even if your resume passes the Applicant Tracking System and shows you are qualified for the job, those who network and are known by the company and/or hiring manager have an 80% better chance to be hired. So start now to develop professional relationships that may pay off with a job offer in the long term.
- Sixth, technical resumes must relate complex information to hiring managers and recruiters who may not be as technically savvy. That is why I always stress achievements, as even the most nontechnical person can see the value in streamlining a process; capturing millions of dollars in savings by switching from one strategy to another; or leading teams across geographic or internal corporate boundaries.
It is important to include as many keywords as possible from those that a potential employer will expect because most resumes today travel through computerized Applicant Tracking Systems. Many of those systems are programmed to look for specific keywords and select only those resumes that contain the keywords. I want to make sure your resume is among them.
As a graduate of MIT with a long career in simulation and chemical engineering, including leadership positions, and as the holder of 2 patents, I understand the hurdles and triumphs of a technical career. Let Robin’s Resumes® help you create a technical resume that stands out from the crowd—and gives you full credit for all you have achieved.