Tech Resume Guide for 2022

When applying for a job, your first impression is a race against the clock. A resume has just 7.4 seconds in front of recruiters, according to a 2018 eye-tracking study from Ladders Inc. Even the fastest runners in the world can’t sprint a 100-meter dash before the initial screening ends.

In tech jobs, there is no shortage of benchmarks each applicant must pass. Software and programming aptitude across a variety of languages and systems is often the bare minimum to be considered.

Content and format are both key elements. With such a short window of opportunity, it’s important to craft a resume that is easy to read and remember.

Your resume should reflect you—not only your strengths and experience, but also how you want to introduce yourself as an applicant. The strategies below are a menu of ways to optimize your tech resume.

General Tips: What to Include in Your Resume

In the tech industry, a resume is an opportunity to exhibit your technical qualifications. According to a LinkedIn study, some of the most sought after skills this year will be artificial intelligence and scientific computing.

Your resume will also give you a chance to explain real-world applications of your skills, such as communication and teamwork. The same LinkedIn data also highlights creativity, persuasion and emotional intelligence as in-demand skills.

This combination of hard and soft skills creates a robust profile of a potential hire who is skilled at the work and everything that comes with it.

Below are examples of different content sections you can include in your resume. Tailor sections to your experience, skills and the position to which you are applying.

  • Name and contact information: This should be the header of your resume. At minimum, include your first and last name and primary methods of communication. You can also link to an online portfolio, professional social media or LinkedIn account, or your location.
  • Personal summary or objective: A brief overview of your goals. When deciding whether to include this section, consider how much space it will take and what new information it will provide.
  • Education: The degree and school you attended. You can also include your GPA, if it is strong, and related coursework.
  • Relevant experience: Previous jobs or internships, listed in reverse chronological order. Eventually, you will need to start cutting positions that aren’t specific to the desired position. The goal here is to provide a holistic view of your background and experience.
  • Technical skills: Relevant computer skills, like programming languages or design software aptitude. Specify the exact language or program and include your proficiency level along with each skill.
  • Honors and awards: Scholarships, industry honors, or speaking engagements you’ve earned and their respective year.
  • Projects and publications: In-depth examples of your work that are not captured in the bullet points under “experience.” These could be research initiatives, teams you’ve led, or external work you do.
  • Certifications: Field-specific certifications and the year you obtained them.
  • Professional references: The name, relationship and contact information of people who can speak to your professional background and strengths. Some hiring managers will ask for this separately in the application or at a later point in the process.

Once you decide how to sort the information, you can begin filling it in. Remember these resume writing tips as you go:

  • Include specific, quantifiable examples of your work history. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s guide to resume writing recommends quantifying if it will help you stand out. For example, when discussing a managerial role consider including the size of the team or the number of assets in your control.
  • Lead with action verbs in bullet points. Words like “diagnosed” or “marketed” paint clearer pictures than terms like “worked” or “helped.” Explore the University of Michigan Career Services Network’s list of action verbs for inspiration.
  • Proofread against the job listing. Is every mandatory and desired qualification addressed somehow in your resume or cover letter? Imitate the verbiage of the posting in your personal summary.
  • Despite common advice, a second page isn’t an automatic strike against you. Recruiters were about twice as likely to hire applicants with two-page resumes rather than one, according to a study from professional resume writing service ResumeGo. “If you’re an entry-level worker, you should probably stick to one page, but once you’re beyond that first job, we expect you to graduate to a two-page resume,” Amanda Augustine, a career coach with TopResume, told CNBC. She recommended refraining from adding a third page, however.

Formatting a Tech Resume

A tech resume should be professional, clean and scannable. Consider some of the design decisions below to craft a standout resume.

Choose an overall design

Think about what you want the immediate look of your resume to be and what that will say about you. Tailor your choices to the position and hiring manager. Applying for a creative position? It could be an opportunity to experiment with different layouts. However, a traditional style might be more appropriate for government jobs.

Try some of these resources for resume templates:

Decide on the information hierarchy

The Ladders Inc. eye-tracking study found resumes following the F-pattern or E-pattern reading tendencies are more successful. The lines of the letter “F” mimic how a reader’s eyes scan a page. Read more about F-patterns and how they can influence your layout from UX Magazine.

Then decide how you want to organize your information. Contact information is at the top and experience should be listed in reverse chronological order, but there is flexibility beyond that. Many resume-writing guides agree that recent graduates or entry-level workers should list their education near the top, but that can change as your experiences increase. TopResume recommends you “showcase your strongest assets and experiences first. Recruiters and hiring managers have precious little time and you’ll want to ensure the front-loading of pertinent information.”

Select typography

The key is to choose a readable, professional font. When surveyed, recruiters favor Times New Roman, Arial and Garamond. HubSpot recruiter, Rich Lapham, explained on the company’s blog: “Recruiters have an idea of the skills they are looking for on a resume, so if you try a new style or format it can be tougher for recruiters to find the information they are looking for. Keep it clean and simple.”

Experts also recommend a font size between 11 and 12 points. Use font stylings like italics and bold judiciously and with purpose.

Tech Resume Examples

Computer Science Resume

Skills and qualifications to highlight:

  • master’s in computer science or software engineering
  • Experience adapting theoretical principles to real-world situations
  • Comfortable with advanced math like linear algebra and statistics

Resume examples:

Computer Engineer Resume

Skills and qualifications to highlight:

Resume examples:

Cybersecurity Resume

Skills and qualifications to highlight:

  • master’s in cybersecurity or information systems
  • Ethics and tech policy training
  • Advanced knowledge of database management
  • Familiarity with programming and scripting languages
  • Experience analyzing malware and datasets

Resume examples:

Data Analyst Resume

Skills and qualifications to highlight:

  • master’s in data analysis or statistics
  • Advanced knowledge of data structures
  • Experience with machine learning
  • Knowledge of database querying languages and statistical software

Resume examples:

Data Scientist Resume

Skills and qualifications to highlight:

  • master’s in data science or data analysis
  • Expertise in Python and object-oriented programming
  • Data visualization
  • Knowledge of modeling techniques

Resume examples: