Does your résumé have what it takes to get the attention of a tech recruiter?

by Amery Zhen on May 18, 2016

Every year, nearly 240,000 people in the U.S. graduate with engineering degrees. In a competitive landscape like that, how do you stand out and land your dream job right out of school? The answer lies in showcasing your experience through your résumé. As AppLovin’s Technical Recruiter, I see hundreds of résumés a month, and here’s what I advise to make yours stand out:

Make your résumé interactive.

Share links to personal and/or school projects or a portfolio using Stack Overflow, Github, or Bitbucket. This is especially helpful when you don’t have any internships and want to demonstrate your programming abilities. Always showcase your tech skills rather than merely list them.

Have an active online presence.

Of course you should use career networking sites like LinkedIn or LookSharp (a jobs marketplace just for recent grads) to connect with industry professionals at companies where you are interested in working. But it’s also important to join relevant engineering groups on those sites, such as those for Java developers, mobile engineers, or web development, and actively participate in forum discussions. Truly demonstrating that you are intellectually engaged in your profession goes a long way toward building a profile that will be attractive to hiring teams.

Demonstrate that you’re part of the engineering community.

Compete in hackathons, join tech meetup groups or CS clubs, or work with educational nonprofits such as Code for America or Girls Who Code. These communities are hotspots for innovation and provide opportunities to share creative ideas on how to tackle technical problems or even build something new. When you list activities such as these on your résumé, you show that you are genuinely passionate about your engineering, beyond school or work. Also, many employers like to see that candidates give back to their communities, so showing that you volunteer with an engineering-related group is a great way to do so.

Make sure your expertise is relevant and consistent.

It’s not enough to just say that you’re interested in a particular sub-field — you have to show that you’re interested in it. If you’re currently passionate about mobile development, for example, and know that that’s what you want to pursue after graduation, then list all of the mobile-related internships or projects you’ve been involved in. Doing so indicates to hiring managers that you have experience and a vested interest in that area.

Highlight significant achievements.

Whether it’s with an internship at a company in Silicon Valley or a senior project on Dynamic Topic Modeling, be clear about what you’ve achieved. A lot of résumés tell recruiters that a candidate worked on a project, but they fail to indicate what the candidate actually learned or accomplished in that context. Don’t think of your résumé as a laundry list of where you’ve been; think of it as a portfolio of all of your professional accomplishments.

In all of the résumés that I see, these are the things that make me want to contact an applicant. Follow these tips and you’ll be contacted for an interview in no time.

Amery Zhen is a technical recruiter at AppLovin.