With the vast number of technically qualified candidates out there, it can be hard to get noticed. Here are eight résumé writing tips to help you stand out of the crowd.
1. Don’t settle
In the world of techies, it’s quite common for people to study hard all their lives, only to find that another candidate with equal qualifications and experience took their dream job. You may not land many interviews. But it is important not to present yourself as someone who is willing to sacrifice everything and settle for less.
2. Explain “Why me?” not “Hire me!”
You have to show you are perfect for the particular job you are applying for. You have to list the points which help the employer reach that conclusion themselves. This is not a Roadies audition. No one is going to read your CV and say, “Employee banega? Push ups maar.” Relax. Let your résumé do what it is meant to do.
3. Market yourself, but don’t confuse the employer
As a techie, you probably know more about your field more than they do, but do not talk down to them and risk making them feel dumb. Instead, glorify your work in a way that impresses them. You must choose the right words, and ensure that you use correct spellings and grammar.
4. Show off your technical skills, not your language
You are a techie, not an author. As a thumb rule, remember that you want to impress Wren and Martin, not Shakespeare. You do not have to be pretentious with your language. It is always better to say what you can in the simplest shortest way. Often, in the attempt to make people feel we are intelligent, we end up forcing them to pick up a dictionary. So remember to circumlocute verbal diarrhea. (This includes words like circumlocute.)
5. Explore your capabilities
Techies can be innovators. Maybe you have ideas, or maybe you have even made some small software, or a tiny program. You are a reservoir of talent, knowledge and energy. Make sure you know your own potential, and mention every quality that an employer would want to know about.
6. Do not lie
Lies are easily caught, and they are extremely damaging to your image in the eyes of an employer. If you have not really handled the herculean tasks that you have listed in your CV, the recruiter will find out even before the interview. Your CV will be rejected. So be honest.
7. Spice it up
Apart from facts about your qualifications, you can also mention any special abilities you may have, as a tiny side note, even if this means listing your talent of smelling a rat, swatting flies (seven with one blow!), and so on. Your apparently insignificant qualities can set you apart. If not relevant, they will at least be memorable and might make your recruiters laugh. In that case, your sense of humor might just land you an interview. (At the same time, there is every possibility that the boss, if he is a grouch, might fling your CV out of the window. No one wants a grouchy boss, so you are probably better off.)
8. Set deadlines and work on your résumé now!
The right time to work on your CV is right now. Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. You don’t really need to use a standard template and or outsource your résumé writing. Be innovative and design your own. To hit the bull’s eye, all you have to do is make a CV that is interesting, honest, professional, correct and complete. Best of luck!