Notes for making Resume for Tech Interviews

Resumes are entry tickets to Tech Interviews and you have to make your entry ticket right. Here are some tips from Anoop Garg, Co-founder of Programming Pathshala on how you can make a simplistic and impactful resume.

Are you preparing for Tech Interviews?

If yes, You must have been making a Resume to appear for Tech Interviews.

Question is, what is the right format? For Tech Resumes at Programming Pathshala, we recommend the following guidelines to our students.

  • Make a one page Resume. If you have a lot of content, ask yourself, if it is all relevant for the recruiter?
  • If you still have a lot of content, you can arrange it in two columns on a single page. On average, employers look at resumes for six to seven seconds and you have to make sure it is readable in one glance.
  • Most Tech corporations use automated Application Tracking softwares (ATS) to pick relevant resumes using keyword search and it is best that a resume is kept ATS compliant.
  • No colours, Pictures, Unnecessary Symbols etc. or anything that is garbage value for ATS. Software Developers anyway need not to face public as part of their jobs and hence pictures are irrelevant.
  • Consistent Fonts and Spacing, Better to use LaTeX or an overleaf format. Using Microsoft Word or Pages on Mac is not recommended, as you can often miss on consistent formatting.
  • We usually recommend this overleaf format here. You can follow this link to make your own resume in this format.
  • You can put your Personal Details like Full Name, Current City and State, Phone, Email, Linkedin & Github. Often family details, complete address or any more personal information is not relevant.
  • We do not recommend writing Career Objectives or Aim as they are generic. If you have been working in diverse or a different field for a long time and need to specify your motivation to apply for a particular role, it is useful.
  • For Freshers or recent graduates, It is recommended to keep Education as the first section. For working Professionals, particularly with >2 Years experience, can prefer to have work Experience as the first section.
  • You can put maximum up to 3 levels of education like Undergraduate, Higher Secondary and High School or Post Graduate, Undergraduate. Although I would recommend that 2 levels of education usually suffice in reverse chronology. Here is a very good example:
Education Section on a Tech Resume
  • In the Education section, Keep the name of Institution, City, State (If City is not that known), Name of Degree, Subject, Timeline and CGPA as per your country/Institution convention. For eg. In India use CGPA/10.
  • In the Work Experience Section, Put your role, name of the organisation in bold heading. If you have more than one experience, put them in the order of reverse chronology.
  • Make bullet points of your work in the past participle. Avoid writing paragraphs or even full sentences.
    For eg. Designed a chatbot using xyzzy technologies
  • In the bullet points, Talk about what you did, Outcome of your work/project, Data Points in terms of impact/accuracy etc and most importantly Technologies you used or got exposure of. Avoid using adjectives like making a good app or best app etc. Here is a good example.
Presentation of Work Expereince, with right use of Data Points and relevant details.
  • Employers need to know your Technical Skills. It is perhaps your most important section along with education and work-experience. Good Way to put your Skills is to keep them in buckets like languages, technologies etc.
  • We do not recommend to assess yourself as basic, intermediate or expert in different skills. It is very subjective and may not make much sense to recruiters. What you think of as an expert may be noob to a recruiter and vice versa. Here is a good example:
Technical Skills in a Tech Resume
  • In the Projects, Mention Name of the Project, Timeline, Organisation or Professor or any other association and an accessible Github link preferably.
  • Do not write a paragraph as a description. Use Bullet points for what you did, Outcome of your work/Project, Data Points in terms of impact, accuracy etc.
  • Write about Frameworks/Technologies you used or got exposure to.
Example of writing Projects.
  • Make a section of Academic Achievements and use data points like Ranked in Top 0.1 percentile in the class of XXYY or Ranked 1st among XYZ Participants in the contest/Competition etc.
  • Make sure that your achievements are stated in an objective manner, with proper context. For eg. Writing that you were ranked 14th in a particular contest may not give an objective assessment. Rather than that, writing that you were ranked 14th among 4000 participants makes much more impact.
Achievements Section, keeping the impact in terms of data and context.
  • You can add one more section as per your preference. If you have published some papers, put them with a section heading Publication there with their link to access online.
  • If you have been very active in extracurricular activities then maybe talk about that. Try to see what is more relevant for tech roles and put it there.
  • If you have a lot of white space left, write relevant courses with keywords like Data Structures and Algorithms or System Design, Competitive Programming Achievements or anything else that you find relevant.
  • Avoid writing about hobbies etc. as they usually do not create any impact.
  • Make sure you do not have any spelling or grammatical errors as it gives an impression of us not being diligent enough.
  • Make sure you avoid writing full sentences or paragraphs anywhere on the resume.
  • Ask 4 of your friends to read through your resume and give you feedback as often, we are not able to see our own mistakes.

Bingo! All the best.

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