Transforming Your Resume For The Tech Industry￼
Writing a compelling resume for the tech industry can be difficult. Use these 3 steps to help you put forth a strong effort.
This article is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.
If you’re seriously considering a move into tech, the education from Flatiron School’s bootcamp programs will give you the strong foundation you’ll need to make the switch. But there are also steps you can take now to transform your resume for the tech industry that celebrates your background and prior experience.
Flatiron School graduates work with a dedicated career coach and receive personalized guidance in crafting a strong tech resume. Here are three initial steps you can take today to showcase yourself as a tech professional.
Step 1: Embrace and highlight your transferable skills
Transferable skills are soft skills you’ve developed in settings including work, school, hobbies, and beyond. They are the unique skills you’ll bring to a technical role that complement your hard skills and contribute to a larger team and work environment.
Technical skills are important but so are soft skills. Just look at any job description for a software engineer, product designer, data scientist, or cybersecurity engineer and you’ll see that they’re looking for things like collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, communication, ability to learn quickly, and innovation, just to name a few.
When people are good at something, they tend to assume everyone else is too. Not true! To identify your unique transferable skills, ask yourself:
- What experiences am I most proud of, and what skills was I using at the time?
- What do others recognize as my greatest skills? (If you’re not sure, ask!)
- What comes easily to me that can be hard for others?
- What am I doing when I feel I’m at my best? What skills am I using?
- Where have I made something better or innovated a process or service? How did I do that?
Look for patterns and come up with a list of five to ten skills. Then, couple that with research into technical job descriptions that interest you – like a Software Engineer, Data Scientist, UX Designer – and pull out the ones that matter most. Or, take five job postings that appeal to you and analyze the transferable skills they’re looking for, visualize them with a quick word cloud, and identify which ones match up with your own. Tie these into your resume bullet points, along with the positive results generated from the work.
Step 2: Feature all tech experiences, big or small
Reflect on your work, education, service, or life experiences. Identify anytime you used, implemented, or developed technology to get something done. Add it to your resume.
Perhaps you collaborated with an engineering team to make changes to a client system. Or, maybe you created a complex Excel spreadsheet that greatly simplified the planning process for a volunteer event. There might have been a time you used a variety of software systems to record and distribute a training video. You could have been involved in implementing a new point of sale system. As a hobby, you might have taken apart and rebuilt a computer.
To recall these experiences, ask yourself:
- Where have I used technology in the past successfully at work, school, or in my personal life?
- What systems and software have I worked with?
- Where have I created or designed something, and did I use technology to do that?
- When did I need to learn or use new technology to get something done?
- Have I worked with developers, data analysts, designers, or other technology professionals? How?
- Where did I use technology to improve a system or process?
Even if these experiences were just a one-time project, they are worthy of highlighting on your resume. You can also list courses you’ve taken that are related to technology, quantitative skills, or design to show what you’re doing to already build your expertise.
All of these experiences show a knack for and comfort with technology, working with other technologists, and learning and growth, and will help transform your resume to speak to the tech community.
Step 3: Write a Snappy Resume Summary
Craft a three to four sentence summary statement for the top of your resume that shares your motivation and passion for a transition into tech, plus the value you can bring to an organization. In steps one and two, you’ve already reflected on your transferable skills and core experiences to feature, so put them together here and catch the eye of a hiring manager. Then, tailor this statement to different types of opportunities.
A good summary is specific and backed up with facts and data. It includes:
- Information you want a hiring manager to know about you.
- Details on what’s compelling about your background or experience.
- A highlight of what’s unique about any skills, projects, experience, or motivations for pursuing a career in technology.
Transforming your resume as you embark on a new career helps you showcase your whole self and experience. These three steps not only help you prepare your resume but also prepare you for the interview process itself. At Flatiron School, we’ve found consistently that those who prepare their materials and themselves for the next steps are the most likely to succeed, and you can be one of them!
About Rebecca Schramm
Rebecca Schramm is a career coach with Flatiron School. She previously worked at Columbia University as a career counselor and in corporate communications in media. She specializes in coaching career changers, clients who identify as women, and clients from underrepresented backgrounds in science and technology.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 2 May 2022. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ. For up-to-date information visit FlatironSchool.com.
Posted by Rebecca Schramm / May 2, 2022
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