4 Tips for Technical Resume Writing

If you are a technical writer, engineer, computer specialist, or some other technology-based professional, you require a resume that is different from a resume used by a non-technical professional. Here are some tips for technical resume writing that will not only identify you as a technical professional, but will make you stand out from the crowd of other technical professionals:

Tip #1: Create a career objective. Most companies have mission statements for a reason: it identifies what they intend to do and why. Your technical resume should be no different. Write your career objective and place it at the top of your resume, just underneath your contact information. Your career objective should be brief, which usually means no more than 3–5 lines. It should also be tailored to the job for which you are applying. One example of a career objective can be the following: “To utilize my previous project management and technical writing experience to coordinate and motivate product development teams.”

Tip #2: List your places of employment and personal accomplishments. Instead of writing about every place at which you’ve worked and then providing a long paragraph describing your job duties, break up those paragraphs into 3–4 bullet points that highlight specific work accomplishments. Start each bullet point with an action verb like “implemented,” “led,” or “increased.” For example, you might create a bullet point that states the following: “Created and deployed an inventory tracking software program that saved company XYZ $2 million over 5 years.”

Tip #3: List your publications, presentations, patents, or other publicly recognized accomplishments. A large part of your resume should be devoted to your technical accomplishments, whether they are publications, presentations at professional meetings, inventions, or other items that can be located online or otherwise. Remember to list all contributing authors, applicants, presenters, etc. If you applied for and received funding for your projects (e.g., grants), list those items as well. Accomplishments should be categorized into groups and include sub-headings.

Tip #4: Include a cover letter. Although not officially part of the resume, including a cover letter should be considered mandatory practice for any technical job applicant. Your cover letter should explain how you found the job listing, why it interests you, and what you can do to improve the company’s bottom line. You should find out the hiring manager’s (or managers) name(s) and address the cover letter to him or her (or them). Just like with your career objective, your cover letter should be tailored to the specific job position for which you are applying.

For more resume tips or useful guides for interviewing, check out Vested.

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