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Top 5 Resume Tips for Tech Professionals

PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 24, 2011) Hull Maintenance Technician Fireman Yoasha Wood, from Brooklyn, N.Y., cuts a piece of metal aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan is conducting routine training in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Terry Godette/Released)

If you happen to be an extremely skilled and experienced tech professional, your resume could start to read like the technical version of a Tolstoy novel. In other words, your application might be too exhaustingly long for a reasonable hiring manager to sift through. As it turns out, including anything and everything on your resume (from tuba lessons at the age of eight to mastery of the latest programming languages) is a big no-no these days. With scads of overqualified applicants applying for the same jobs due to high unemployment, hiring managers are now keen on resumes that are quick and easy to peruse. So if you find yourself back in the job market after a lengthy absence, here are just a few tips that will help you ensure your resume is modern and attractive.

  1. Keep it short and sweet. Resumes of old allowed you to list every job you’ve ever held, and flesh out the skills section with every bit of hardware and software you’ve ever touched, whether you’re intimately familiar with its inner workings or you simply feel you could master it expediently. And bullet points were a major issue. These days it’s a little different. If you can’t fit your resume onto one page it’s too long. So pare your job list down to the last three you held (or the most relevant); you can fill in the blanks during an interview. And when it comes to technical skills, simply list those that are the most recognizable or the most widely called for.
  2. List requirements. You may be applying for tons of different positions, but taking the time to tailor your resume for each one could just make the difference between a callback and an application that ends up in the trash. A generic resume used to be sufficient, but since you now have to pare it down to the essentials it’s important to ensure that your resume includes the requirements for each position you apply for.
  3. Include links. Any employer who is interested in hiring you in this day and age is going to check your online profiles anyway. So rather than letting them stumble across your personal Facebook page, keep your personal accounts private and include links to your professional profiles in your resume. This will save them some time and ensure that they see the information you want them to. Plus, it’s another opportunity to impress, so make sure your profiles are up to snuff.
  4. Skip the objective. You may not have heard, but apparently the “objectives” section that once headed your resume has gone the way of the dodo, likely in an effort to save space and condense the resume. You can talk about your goals within the company once you’ve been hired.
  5. Learn the new format. An old-school resume generator probably would have produced a grammatically correct template for you. But these days you should be less concerned about complete sentences and punctuation and more worried about saving space. Your basic format nowadays is a resume that’s no longer than a single page and if you’ve got a lot of information to enter, do it by bullet point.
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