Writing a resume is an art form. There is not a one-size-fits-all formula or template you can paste your information in to and be on your way. Everyone’s experience is different. One challenge that many job seekers struggle with is finding the balance between showcasing their technical skills and demonstrating their humanity – that they’re more than lab tests, data analysis, and computer programming.
When you’re searching for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) job, chances are, a potential employer will want to see your technical expertise. They want to know that you can use the equipment or software they have effectively. But if you’re a chemist or software programmer, talking about your work can become a bit overwhelming. And quite frankly, it might go over a lot of people’s heads if they’re not intimately familiar with the field.
The key is to include quantifiable results and technical terms, but do so in a way that makes sense.
- Include key terminology used in the job description, but don’t go overboard.
- Limit your core competencies or technical proficiencies to select skills that are targeted to the specific role. Swap these terms out as appropriate for each position. You don’t need to list every single programming platform or biochemical test you’ve ever used.
- Use correct terminology, but then explain results in easily understood language so that even if the person isn’t familiar with the test or program, they know what purpose it served. For example, saying that you used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to replicate DNA segments for testing.
- Don’t assume that the person reading your resume works in your field. They may be an HR person conducting the initial screening.
At the same time, you want to show your “human” side as well, and that you do possess strong interpersonal skills and aren’t solely focused on technical work. This means highlighting aspects of your job where you’re collaborating with others, working as part of a team, and leveraging your soft skills.
- Include examples of training, mentoring, or coaching others. This shows that you can use your skills to support others in their work and help them be more successful.
- Highlight instances where you collaborate with clients, vendors, or other business units. Maybe you’ve led presentations or played an integral role in solving problems or improving processes.
- Inflect personality into your resume so you don’t present yourself as a robot. Show that you are able to work well with others (and enjoy this part of your work) and explain complex concepts in an easily understood manner while also executing those technical tasks.
The same challenges can exist if you are in a humanities-based role such as public relations, advertising, content marketing, or teaching. You don’t want your resume to be too heavy with only interpersonal skills and emotional IQ; you also want to demonstrate that you have technical knowledge and have achieved quantifiable results.
- Consider projects you have worked on and what software was used and the results achieved. Whether using percentages, monetary values, or other statistics, try to incorporate metrics into your content.
- Don’t just focus on soft skills. Consider tasks you manage that involve financial skills, website design, analytics, report generation, or CRM systems.
It can be a good idea to have someone who doesn’t work in your same position or field read through your resume and point out any areas that may be confusing or unclear. Also ask for suggestions of other skills you could highlight; they may remind you of something you have forgotten or didn’t consider including.
If you’re having trouble striking the right balance between technical skills and emotional IQ, turn to the team at Grammar Chic. We’ll work with you to create a clear, concise document that presents you as a well-rounded professional. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.