Many technologists use the new year as an opportunity to get out there and hunt for new jobs. But 2022 is a somewhat different market from past years, thanks to the lingering pandemic and the evolution of remote and hybrid work. How can you best prepare your résumé for this environment?
Match the Skills and Keywords
Any professional who’s spent time searching for a job knows it’s important to tailor your résumé and other application materials to the specific job. Read the job posting and note the listed skills (both technical and soft skills such as communication and teamwork); make sure your résumé features those skills, which will help it pass through the automated systems that scan for certain keywords.
Show Your Results
In the experience section of your résumé, it’s likewise important to show the results of your work. Did your app streamline the company’s operations or boost revenue? Did your cybersecurity work avert a major attack on your previous employer? Whatever it is, list it (and make sure to quantify your victories with stats whenever possible). You should also reserve a line or two to emphasizing how your interpersonal skills and teamwork helped your projects succeed—an important detail to prospective bosses who want to know how well you’ll work with a team.
Yes, You’re Flexible
We’ve entered a new era of remote/hybrid work. Given the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have kept pushing back their office re-opening dates until later in 2022. Managers and recruiters are concerned about candidates’ ability to work remotely, so you’ll have to use your résumé and application materials to show you’re comfortable with pretty much any kind of hybrid-office or remote-work environment.
How do you do that? For better or worse, everyone has spent the past two years dealing with the ramifications of the pandemic in terms of how they live and work. Use a line or two of your résumé to describe how you accomplished a substantial company goal by working from home, and/or how you effectively collaborated with your team while working remotely. In your application materials, suggest you’re comfortable with remote and hybrid work (and the tools involved in that work, such as Slack and Teams).
Keep It Concise
Yes, tech unemployment is low at the moment, and companies everywhere are scrambling to secure the tech talent they’ll need to enact their strategies for 2022 and beyond. However, recruiters and hiring managers will still spend a relatively short amount of time on each résumé before moving to the next candidate. When in doubt, keep things concise; if you’re a technologist with decades of experience under your belt, it’s okay to discard your oldest jobs and outdated skills.
“Craft something you’d like to read,” Tara Goodfellow, Managing Director at Athena Education Consultants, once suggested to Dice. “Don’t fill it with so much fluff you can’t even figure out what the actual responsibilities were. It should be balanced with outcomes and key points of your job.”
If you suspect that an automated system will scan your résumé first, it might be tempting to jam as many buzzwords and keywords and skills in there as possible—anything to get you in front of a human being, right? Except there’s such a thing as over-optimization; too many keywords, or application materials that mirror the job description too closely, may trigger a red flag.
Remember, automated software is slowly but surely getting better at reading context; you want your experience sections to tell a clear, concise story of who you are and what you can do for a prospective employer. Use keywords, and list your relevant skills and jobs, but make sure you’re writing for a human being, not a machine. Recruiters and hiring managers will appreciate that.