Strategies for Crafting a Resume to Propel Your Tech Career Forward

    Navigating the tech industry as a woman can be challenging, but standing out with a well-crafted resume is crucial for securing leadership positions. In this roundup, we’ve gathered expert insights from Leena Mary Alex, HR Advisor Talent Acquisition at Enbridge, and Jacqueline Bezely, Global Recruitment Manager at Rakuten Kobo. They answer pressing questions on CV tactics that can help women highlight their leadership abilities and achievements, address skill gaps, and strategize their resumes to align with the dynamic demands of the tech industry. From emphasizing continuous learning to incorporating the right keywords, these experts share practical advice to help women enhance their tech-focused resumes and advance their careers.

    CV tactics to stand out

    How can women effectively highlight their leadership abilities and achievements on a tech-focused resume to stand out in a competitive industry?

    Your resume should show your leadership abilities and achievements effectively to get ready for a demanding Tech sector. A recent study found that over 65% of Women feel unsure of themselves and their abilities. This makes them hesitant to go for jobs that could suit them and that they have most of the skills for. I’d urge women to go ahead with applications if they have 60% of the qualifications required.
    Use the tips below to highlight your capabilities, experiences, and achievements well.

    Career Summary: Start your resume with a Career summary that showcases your tech skills, leadership qualities, and professional achievements. This will be your unique value proposition, what sets you apart from others. Like your fingerprint, you are unique. You have a combination of competencies, and experience that no one else has. Emphasize your accomplishments and display them in the best way.

    Use Quantitative Data: Enter figures to demonstrate your accomplishments. For example, mention how your team improved overall productivity by X% under your effective leadership or how your project execution increased income by Y%. Another option is to make a separate document with charts and graphs that indicate how much you have worked with various technologies. You could attach this along with the resume or cover letter.

    Emphasize Leadership Positions: Draw attention to any leadership positions you've held, such as managing a team for a project, coverage for your leader in their absence, or coaching and supporting junior staff. This could be in a volunteer role or extra projects besides your normal job. Describe the scope of your responsibilities and any accomplishments in these positions.

    Show Action Verbs: Begin with bullet points with action verbs to show leadership and initiative. For example, rather than saying "Responsible for managing a team," write "Led a cross-functional team to accomplish project goals before the deadline."

    Tailor Your Resume: Customize your resume for each job application to highlight the leadership skills and experiences most relevant to the role. Use keywords from the job description to ensure your resume gets the attention it deserves from hiring managers or applicant tracking systems (ATS).

    Online Portfolio: You can create a personal webpage to display your work, leadership roles, and any other professional achievements that may not fit your resume. Add a link to this profile on your resume. This gives employers a comprehensive picture of your abilities and successes. You can include quotes or endorsements from co-workers, managers, or customers on your webpage as testimonials. 

    Leena Mary Alex, HR Advisor Talent Acquisition at Enbridge

    Strategies to address skill gaps

    What strategies do you recommend for women looking to address skill gaps on their resumes, emphasizing a commitment to continuous learning and skill development in the tech field?

    Whether you’re trying to address skills gaps or time gaps on your resume, there are a few strategies that help you show your strengths. Often the best contributors within an organization are the ones who are eager to learn, adapt, and try new things. Highlighting relevant trainings and courses you’ve taken to address skills gaps demonstrate a proactive approach to learning and your willingness to invest effort into growing your skills. This could include formal courses, workshops, LinkedIn Learning certifications, free online trainings, or training provided from your place of work.

    Another way to showcase your commitment to continuous learning is to showcase any relevant projects or side projects you’ve worked on. This shows initiative and practical application of your learning, even if it wasn’t in a traditional work setting. Bonus points if you can house these projects in places like your GitHub!

    While it’s important to showcase your commitment to continuous learning, be honest about your current skill level and any areas where you may have gaps. Recruiters and hiring managers appreciate candidates who are self-aware and honest about their abilities.

    Jacqueline Bezely, Global Recruitment Manager at Rakuten Kobo

    Networks and Career Growth

    In the tech industry, networking is crucial. How can women leverage professional networks to enhance their resumes and advance their careers?

    Women Tech Network is a great place to start! Attending events through networks like WIT, also going to events that are usually male-dominated. Don't be afraid to input yourselves at large summits, or tech-focused workshops – that is where you can meet Allies.

    Take advantage of potential mentors. This can be done through your current company's internal mentorship program, or approach someone you’ve met and look up to outside your organization. Having a mentor who has the experience you are looking to gain can be a great resource for support, questions, and networking. The quickest way to get an interview is through a referral, so making professional connections and nurturing those relationships is not only great for continuous learning, but also hugely beneficial to leverage when applying to jobs in the tech industry.

    Women in the tech industry have access to professional groups and organizations that cater to their specific needs. These groups often offer opportunities to network, get mentored, and access resources that can help women advance their careers in tech. You can stay updated on industry trends and find people who can support and mentor you by joining and networking with professionals and organizations in the tech field. There are many online groups on LinkedIn and other social media platforms that you can join. They share the most recent news in their industry. Being actively involved in such groups and volunteering for any of their events demonstrates your dedication to ongoing learning and giving back to the community.
    You can meet people from your industry, potential mentors, and peers who can give you valuable information, tips, and sometimes even lead to job opportunities in these events.Networking is a two-way street. Share your knowledge, skills, and insights with your network. Interact with others, thank them, help where you can, and be generous with your time

    CV to break the bias

    Given biases and stereotypes in the tech sector, how can a woman craft a resume that counters these challenges and presents a strong professional image?

    Focus on quantifiable achievements, nothing shows legitimacy like having numbers and metrics to back up your experience. Use gender neutral language when describing your skills and accomplishments. Women tend to use more passive language that gives credit to the team, even in areas where they excelled. Being conscious about using gender neutral language empowers women to be confident and assertive when describing their experience. Now is the time to brag about YOU!

    Strategize your CV content

    How important is it for women to stay current with tech trends, and what strategies can they use to strategically incorporate relevant keywords into their resumes for tech leadership positions?

    In the tech industry, things change very quickly, with new technologies, tools, and methodologies coming and changing often. It is important for you to keep up to date if you want to be effective and successful in the field. Keeping up with tech trends shows your ability to adjust to new technologies and changing industry demands, an essential skill for leadership roles. Knowing the latest tech trends helps you to find creative solutions to complicated problems and stay on top of the competition.

    Strategies for Incorporating Relevant Keywords into Resumes:

    • Look at several job descriptions of tech leadership roles that you want to apply for and identify keywords and skills that employers often look for.
    • For each application, tailor your resume to match the relevant keywords and phrases from the job description.
    • Use these keywords wisely throughout your resume, such as in your summary, skills section, and job duties. 
    • Emphasize your competence in relevant technologies, programming languages, and tools on your resume.
    • Use specific examples and relevant numbers where possible to show your expertise. 
    • If you have certifications in certain technologies or methods, make sure to list them on your resume. Certifications provide concrete evidence of your skills and can help your resume attract hiring managers' attention.
    • Besides technical skills, showcase your leadership qualities, strategic vision, and team-building skills on your resume.
    • Use examples from your experience, to show how you've effectively led tech teams or projects.
    • Network with tech communities, go to industry events, and join professional development opportunities to stay updated on the latest tech trends and best practices.
    • Be visible in your network and show approachability.  Include insights gained from networking and learning experiences in your resume to show your dedication to continuous learning and growth. 

    With the expert advice from Leena Mary Alex and Jacqueline Bezely, you now have a comprehensive toolkit to craft a standout resume for the tech industry. By leveraging quantitative data, you can clearly showcase your achievements and demonstrate your impact in previous roles. Emphasizing your leadership positions and the scope of your responsibilities will highlight your ability to lead and mentor effectively.

    Addressing skill gaps through continuous learning and highlighting your proactive approach to professional development can set you apart as a committed and adaptable candidate. Networking and utilizing referrals can also play a crucial role in advancing your career.

    Strategically incorporating relevant keywords and showcasing your competencies in technologies, programming languages, and tools will ensure your resume aligns with job descriptions and catches the attention of hiring managers.

    Now that you're armed with these insights and tried-and-tested methods, visit WomenTech Network jobs portal to find your next thrilling career opportunity. Take the next step in your career journey with confidence and the right tools to succeed.