What to Include in a Technical Resume
Your ideal position in data analysis and technical support may involve implementing ERP systems for a manufacturing company, responding to help desk tickets for a hospital system, analyzing marketing data, or upgrading legacy systems while your employer makes decisions about future IT strategies. Since every position in this industry will be different, your resume will vary widely based on your experience level, your certifications, and your long-term goals.
In a nutshell, theres no single right way to create a resume for a technical position. But at the same time, there are certain details of your background that almost every employer will need to see. These details can be broken down into the distinct subheadings below:
- Resume Summary
- Education Section
- Work Experience Section
- Skills Section
Review the technical resume samples in this set and youll notice that every one of them contains each of these sections.
Youll also notice that when it comes to the layout of your resume, youll have two different options: you can present your credentials using the classic chronological layout, or you can use a modern functional layout. Both are acceptable, but each one emphasizes different aspects of your background.
If you choose the chronological format, youll zero in on your career progression and your past jobs. For this reason, the chronological format may work better for candidates with no employment gaps and a track record of previous positions with accumulating levels of responsibility.
The functional layout, by contrast, shines the spotlight on what youre able to do for your target employer, not on what youve done in the past. This format excludes extra detail about past jobs, including employment dates, responsibilities, and special accomplishments. If your work history involves a few gaps or career shifts, and youd rather draw your employers attention toward your skill sets and ambitions, the functional format might be a better choice.
How to Write the Technical Resume Summary Statement
As you review technical resume samples, youll notice that each one begins with succinct summary at the very top of the document, just under the applicants name and contact information. Like these examples, your own summary should provide an overview of your most important credentials and a quick forecast of the information that appears in the rest of your profile. Take a look at the summaries below and review the technical resume samples to gain a general sense of how this introduction should appear on the page.
Experienced data analyst able to examine raw data and reports, present findings, and design ad hoc queries with SQL using Cognos ReportNet. Manage transaction logs for user accounts and resolve issues with rejected transactions using IBM 3270 mainframe. Able to manage planning and distribution activities for wide range of product types using Logility Demand Planning.
Professional help desk manager with six years of experience providing client/server and network support within a variety of industries. Certified in MCDST, Microsoft SQL, MOS and CompTIA A+. Extensive experience with high volume, high-pressure call centers.
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How to Write the Technical Resume Education Section
As a data analyst or technical support professional, you education will provide essential information to your reviewers and will serve as a very important pillar of your application. Start by listing each of your degrees and academic credentials, followed by the name of your institution and your course of study. Add your graduation dates and GPA if you choose.
Do also keep in mind that your technical certifications may grab even more attention and may be even more relevant to your employers than your academic degrees.
In order to keep your certifications from going unnoticed (by human readers or by resume scanners), consider placing this information in a separate section. Emphasize credentials that are recent and those that may be of special relevance to your target employer. Again, review these technical resume samples and allow them to serve as a model while you make your own presentation and formatting decisions.
How to Write the Technical Resume Work Experience Section
As mentioned above and demonstrated by the technical resume samples in this set, the work experience section of your resume can follow a few different formatting routes and placement options. You can insert this section beneath or above your education credentials, and you can choose to adopt the traditional chronological layout, the functional layout, or a hybrid of these two styles.
If you choose the chronological layout, youll have an opportunity to show off the work youve done and the projects youve completed for past employers. You can start by listing each of your past titles in reverse order, with your most recent position listed first. After each title, provide the employer, your employment dates, and the basic requirements of each job. You can also add a short list of your proudest achievements while you held that role, which might include awards you won or challenges your overcame during that time. These last two bits should be in bullet point form, and where possible, try and make your accomplishments quantifiable.
The functional layout will focus more on what youre able to do for your potential employer and where your career is headed in the future. If you choose this option, take a look at the technical resume samples and note how those with a functional layout open this section by listing their “core competencies” or special areas of experience and talent. This list is typically followed a short summary of past job titles. In a functional resume, these job titles dont have to be followed by employment dates and extensive detail about responsibilities and accomplishments.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Technical Resume Work Experience Section
As you complete your work experience section, no matter which format you choose, youll need to use action verbs that are memorable and precise. Consider these examples:
How to Write the Technical Resume Skills Section
At some point below your work experience and education sections, you’ll create a special resume section dedicated to skill sets that haven’t yet been discussed. These may be technical skills that bear direct relevance to your target position, and they may also include skill sets that aren’t directly relevant but may elevate your profile in the eyes of potential employers. These can include software skills outside the requirement for this role, leadership and management skills, presentation skills, foreign language skills, design skills, and any special skills related to budgeting, scheduling, problem solving, negotiation, customer service, or interpersonal relationship management.
If you have a special skill or interest and you aren’t sure you should include it in your resume, put yourself in the position of your target hiring manager. Would you find this skill interesting in a candidate? If there’s any chance this skill might set you apart in a crowded applicant field, list it here. Again, use these technical resume samples to understand the kinds of skills that add zest to a professional profile.
Should I Include References in my Technical Resume?
Before making an official offer, almost all employers will take two steps following the resume review process: They’ll contact you for an in-person interview, and they’ll ask to see a list of professional references. But these two steps usually won’t happen until after the completion of a thorough resume review. Have your references in hand and ready to send in a separate document, but don’t try to insert this information into the text of your resume. Since your resume should be short and concise (one or two pages at the most), you’ll want to use the available space to showcase your credentials.
When your employers specifically request a list of references, submit the names, phone numbers and email addresses of at least three professional contacts or former employers who can vouch for your skills and accomplishments. Be sure to contact these people first so they’ll have time to prepare for the call, and be sure to choose people who you can trust to speak on your behalf.
Technical Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
As you complete your IT support or data analyst resume, watch out for some of the common mistakes that take place in this industry.
Missing details: Your employers may be most interested in one hard-to-find certification, or experience with a very specific data management system, and if you have this experience, you don’t want that detail to go unnoticed. Don’t leave any information off the page or buried if there’s any way it can help you.
Non-specificity: General skills and abilities are great, but make sure you read the post carefully before you begin tailoring your resume to your target audience.
Overstatements: Don’t claim skills and abilities that you won’t be able to prove once you step into this role. Indicate your level of expertise and years of experience with the platforms that seem most important to these employers.
Job Prospects in the Technical Support Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT support positions are expected to grow at a rate of about 12 percent between 2014 and 2024. This rate is slightly higher than the average across all fields. Data analysts and computer systems analysts are listed under separate categories, but growth in these related fields is also expected to increase steadily during the appointed decade.
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