After viewing thousands of technical resumes, I gathered five common themes that will help your tech resume stand out to tech recruiters and hiring managers.


If you want to make your tech resume stand out it’s important to first think about your technical experience in three ways; the where, the what and the how


The Where:

Making your tech resume stand out is important, so when you’re adding your tech experience, it can be helpful to have a list of all of the tools you’ve used that is separate from your “experience” section, but what recruiters/ hiring managers want to know is exactly where you used those tools. A general list does not explain whether or not you used JavaScript at your most current role, or the role you were at five years ago. You could have both Cisco and Juniper routers listed… but it’s unclear which routers you used most recently. The recruiter may just pass on calling you because they have a tight deadline and it’s unclear if you have the recent experience they’re looking for- especially if ten other resumes are clear. 

The point is to make sure you are clear, not only with the technologies you have experience with, but to also list them under the employer in which you used them.  

The What:

When writing about your technical experience under the correct employer, be as clear as possible about what exactly you did with that technology. The recruiter or the hiring manager will make connections and judgments based off of the information you give them… don’t confuse them on the lack there of. Did you maintain and write new code for an internal application in Java? What exactly did you do with those Cisco switches? Did you build Jenkins pipelines from scratch? Think about what exactly you did hands-on with those technologies and list them. 

The How:

Think about pairing verbs with your tech;

Maintained, developed, implemented, configured, created, built, etc. This gives clarity to what you did exactly. 

Focus on what you did with the technology, not what your team did:

It’s ok to have a brief explanation on the goal of the project, but your resume is individual. The recruiter/ hiring manager want to know about your specific contributions, not your entire team’s. 

Stay away from adding technologies on your resume that you didn’t use hands-on:

If the fluff isn’t obvious in the resume, it will be in a conversation.  If you worked in an environment (like Kubernetes), but didn’t actually touch it hands-on, you can outline that it was the environment you worked in, but don’t try to embellish. Listing every tech you’ve ever read about is a huge red flag and screams inexperienced, desperate or unfocused to seasoned interviewers. Think about it this way; if it’s on your resume, you give the recruiter/ hiring manager full permission to ask you detailed questions about it. If you aren’t able to speak to it… don’t include it. 

These tips will help your tech resume stand out to tech recruiters and hiring managers. 

Once you get the interview, learn how to prepare for a phone screen here

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