Friday, December 6, 2013

Crafting Your Resume (Part Six): Applying for Technical Positions in High-Tech Startups

Part Six: A Few Final Tips and Strategies


Today in this final entry to our blog series we will wrap up our discussion on Crafting Your Resume with some ideas on how to present your past experiences to your benefit, some tips on editing, and a few general ideas to help you stand out as a great candidate.

General Tips & Ideas

• Be specific on your resume, but also leave something for an interviewer to follow up on.  Do your best to make the reader curious!

• It’s important to be able to explain your projects to non-technical person – in a way that they will be able to understand and appreciate what you have accomplished.  This is a skill that often needs some practice – it’s better to work on this before someone calls you to follow up on your resume.

• Make your resume self-contained.  Your reader should not be forced to Google the company name, etc. to understand what you have accomplished.


When you list your experience on your resume, your goal is to make the reader curious about you and interested enough to follow up with a phone call or an interview.  Here are a few tips to create a solid “experience” section while still keeping the reader’s interest:

• Start by making a standard, easy-to-read list of your experience: dates/title/company name

• Mention all relevant personal projects – and make sure that you are specific enough for your readers to understand what you were doing

• List the challenges your have met and the results you have achieved.  It’s critical to spell out concrete results and measurable achievements here.  Show the reader that you can be a valuable asset to their team.

• To highlight your accomplishments: create a brief, concise list with small bullet points beneath project – making sure to mention the specific things you accomplished and the key technologies you used.

• Make sure to list all of your relevant skills.  Don’t assume that they are implied by other skills or achievements on your resume.  Remember that the first reader may be a non-technical person who needs to see relevant skills listed on your resume in order to pass it on to the hiring manager!

• Leave your reader curious and wanting to know more:  be specific, but leave some details out to prompt an interviewer to follow up and ask you some questions!


Since the resume provides people with their first impression of you, take the time to make it easy-to-read, clear, and interesting.  A final edit of your resume can help you to clean it up and make a great first impression!

• Craft your own resume!  Don’t have it edited by others so much that it looks like someone else wrote it.  Make it authentic. If you write it yourself it presents a true picture of your personality and you will avoid having a resume with no personality.

  Make it unique: in general, if you write it yourself your resume will automatically be unique and won’t look packaged.

• Does your grammar matter?  Yes, it does!  Proper grammar is very important for certain positions, such as QA Engineers, or marketing professionals.  However, it’s important for ALL positions – even though poor grammar may be forgiven on an engineering resume, it’s always better to apply from a position of strength.