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UMGC Career Connection
How to Build Your Tech Resume

Shuruq M. Alfawair
By Shuruq M. Alfawair

There are currently 4 million tech job opportunities, with 245,500 of those projected for the year 2021 in the United States alone. With such high demand for tech talent, it is important to brand your resume and stand out from the applicant pool. Having a clear, concise, and tailored resume is crucial because it can take only six seconds for an employer to decide whether you will get an interview! Continue below for tips to make your tech resume shine.   

Tailor the Resume

When writing your resume, make sure to tailor it to the specific job you are applying for. Read through the job description in its entirety and highlight the important skills, education, and certifications mentioned throughout. Important: Do not copy and paste directly from the job posting! Take some time to focus on your relevant experiences and think about how you have used these skills in the past (even if those experiences are not tech related). 

In addition to researching the role, take some time to learn more about the industry. Utilize websites like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, My Next Move, and Vault Network with industry professionals to see if they have insights to share related to skills and qualifications that are not mentioned in the job description. Your goal is to position yourself as a candidate who understands the role and the struggles the industry is facing to show how you will be an asset to the organization. 

Resume Content

  • Professional Summary Vs. Objective: There has been much debate on titling this section. Does it matter if you use “Professional Summary” or “Objective”? The answer is that it all depends on your audience. A professional summary is a high-level overview of your experiences explaining why you are a good fit for the role. On the other hand, an objective must be specific and targeted to the role that you are applying for. Whether you prefer a summary or objective, make sure it is clear and direct. It is the first thing a recruiter will read and will determine whether they will keep reading.
  • Skills and Certifications: Include relevant technical skills and certifications in this section.
  • Education: The education section is listed in reverse chronological order. If you are new to the field, you may put relevant coursework, projects, and tools you used during your studies. If you are a recent college graduate, place your education section at the top. If you have been out of school for longer than a year, place your education at the bottom of your resume.
  • Experience: When in doubt, refer to the job description. Your experiences must always align with the job description. Do not exaggerate on your resume. Anything you include will be fair game for the employer to ask about. If you have limited experience in the field, consider highlighting your transferable skills. The key rule in resume writing is to not list your duties and responsibilities. List your accomplishments! Ideally, you want to stick with 3-4 bullet points for each experience listed. However, you may add more due to the length of experience and if you have additional relevant skills you wish to highlight.
  • Formatting: A resume's length is typically between 1–2 pages. However, the length of your resume will depend on the relevant experience you have. A well-written resume utilizes actions words, is grammatically correct (be cautious of verb tenses), and has consistent formatting. Use a professional font (Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, etc.) with a 10–12pt. font size. Finally, do not rely solely on the built-in spell and grammar check tool—always have someone else review your resume.

UMGC Tools and Resources:

If you require any assistance with your resume, you always have access to excellent resources via CareerQuest. The tools available to you are Resume Tutorial, Resume Builder, Vmock, and Resunate. You can also schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor.

Happy resume writing!

Shuruq Alfawair is part of UMGC’s Amazon Career Choice team as the Job Development and Placement Specialist. She is responsible for identifying employment opportunities for Career Choice participants. For the past two years, Shuruq has worked with job seekers to secure employment, which has included cultivating strong employer partnerships within the public and private sectors.