Before reading the list of the most common mistakes people make on their resumes, it is important to remember you have only a couple of seconds to make an impression. Employers will glance over your resume for about 15 seconds before moving on to the next one. This is especially important for those applying for technical jobs, and software engineers in particular, because their resumes can be very lengthy and detailed. Here are the top 7 things you should avoid when writing a technical resume:
- Long Resumes: Do not dilute relevant information with mediocre content, because most of your relevant information will likely be overlooked. Keep your resume to one page or a maximum of two pages if you have 10+ years of experience.
- Paragraphs / Lengthy Bullets: If you want your resume reviewer to read something in particular, keep it short. Each bullet should be 1–2 lines, and ideally, no more than half of the bullets should be two lines.
- Team / Group Focused: Team accomplishments are not that interesting because you are the one looking to get hired, not your team. Mention what you specifically built, created, implemented, designed, architected, programmed, etc.
- Messy Resumes: It has become common practice for many software engineers to just open up Microsoft Word, hit Ctrl-B, and start typing. This results in resumes that look cluttered and hard to read. Use a well-designed template with columns instead. This will allow you to fit more content while making it easier to locate key information, such as company names and titles.
- Listing Responsibilities Instead of Accomplishments: It turns out that if you are a software engineer, we basically know what you did—you programmed. Bullets like: “Implement features for X project” are not particularly helpful. They do not showcase anything you actually accomplished. Your bullets should list your biggest 3–5 accomplishments per role, not your responsibilities.
- Languages and Technologies: It is a good idea to list languages and skills, but remember that the interviewer can always test your knowledge and level of proficiency. Make sure you always specify your level of experience; for example: “C++ (Proficient), C# (Prior Experience), etc.
- Leaving Out Experience because it’s not “Resume Material.” There are countless cases where people decide not to include significant projects because they were done for a class / independent projects / unfinished / unsuccessful / etc. Forget about all this because at some point, coding is coding. If it makes you look good, it is “resume material.”
Finding an IT job is difficult. Let one of the skilled recruiters at The Centrics Group guide you through the job search, pairing you only with the IT jobs that match your resume. Our candidate screening process is well respected by prospective employers, and they trust our referrals. Contact one of our many skilled IT recruiters at 1-877-531-7466 or by e-mail.