I’m a Ginger Zee fan!
She’s the meteorologist on the Weekend Edition of “Good Morning, America” and I try to catch her every weekend. As I was watching Ginger today, my mind started to imagine what her resume might be like. I’m thinking it must be fairly technical. Meteorologists need to talk authoritatively (and Ginger does!) about the technical aspects of all things having to do with weather from haboobs, ball lightening, shelf clouds, macrobursts, tropical storms to the Arizona monsoons and much, much more.
Her resume would need to highlight her technical prowess.
But, not so much if she had eyes on Bianna Golodryga’s or Dan Harris’ GMA co-host positions (not that I have any inside information!).
If Ginger used the same resume for her meteorologist position as for the co-host position, she would be told:
“Way Too Technical!”
Worst yet, she might not even be told, as her resume is tossed overhanded into the wastebasket. You certainly don’t want that to happen to you.
My musing about Ginger Zee and her resume came about because recently a couple of my clients (engineers) had the feeling their resumes were “too technical” for their next position, plus a TwitterFriend was looking for help to rewrite a friend’s resume with less technical jargon.
A change to your resume is certainly called for when your next job or position is one where the technical no longer serves or won’t play as prominent a role.
Here are 3 things that I coach my clients to do to “De-Tech” their resumes — and if you are finding yourself under similar circumstances, you can easily do these, too!
TIP #1: Gauge The Amount of Technical Needed
Before you start removing all traces of the technical, read the job posting carefully to understand the degree to which the technical is required.
Do some detective work to understand how much the technical is valued within the culture of your potential company and team.
Check out the LinkedIn profiles of your possible peers and see what in the technical realm is emphasized (or not). And be sure to check out your hiring manager, via LinkedIn and networking, to ferret out his/her take on the amount of technical he/she feels is warranted for your position. If you can find and speak with the ex-incumbent, you’ll get some additional insights.
This analysis is your guidepost to how much technical should be on your resume.
TIP #2: Corral Those Technical Terms
Many engineers will fire-hose spray their entire resume with all the software, hardware, middleware, etc. that they’ve ever used or had exposure to; and for additional emphasis will list the aforementioned under each position! This approach reminds the hiring manager at every turn that you’re hung up on the technical.
A light sprinkling of your technical skills is a better approach. If even less is needed, try gathering your technical skills into a single controlled area in your resume, such as a Technical Addendum or Technical Skillset Section.
Show only those skills that you are competent in (not just exposed to). Eliminate any “old” technology, especially any that have become obsolete — unless for some reason, the position you are applying for has this particular technology as a requirement.
Re-locating your technical into one spot will showcase your technical knowledge without having your resume scream: “I’m all about the technical”.
TIP #3: Reposition Your Accomplishments.
Focus your accomplishments to address the top keywords (which are presumably non-technical) presented in the job posting. The research you did in Tip #1 is helpful here.
For example, an engineer’s current accomplishment might speak to the efficiency of an application the engineer has written, such as —> architected a new algorithm and structure resulting in a 50% reduction in run time for the financial data access application.
If the top keywords are “understanding the customer and the business”, the re-focused accomplishment would say something along these lines —> championed inclusion of customers’ requirement for faster access to financial data; delivered application that increased customer productivity and response to their customers by 50%.
Both statements describe the same situation. The second statement zeroes in on what the hiring manager feels is important, which in this case is more about understanding the customer/business and less on the technical. This is the surest way to make your resume resonate.
✩✩✩ BONUS TIP: “De-Tech” Your Interview, Too.
Don’t let all the good work that you’ve done on your resume be erased during your interview. Don’t answer with techno-speak! Ditto with the questions you ask. Yes, do “de-tech” your interview responses.
You Have Now De-Tech’ed Your Resume!
If you’ve applied these 3 tips, you’ve transformed your resume from being “too technical” to just right.
If you’re not a do-it-yourself type of person (even with some coaching) or the situation calls for deeper professional help, consider calling in a Master Resume Writer such as Donna Svei (@AvidCareerist ) or Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter (@ValueIntoWords). Get to know them via Twitter, like I have. They are very knowledgable and accessible — and what a good way to exercise your networking skills.
What do you think about the tips in this post? Do you have your own tips on how to “De-Tech” your resume? Your comments would be helpful to the many job seekers out there. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Remember when working on your resume….
#TakeThisMoment to tell the world the value you bring from the world’s perspective! ~ Jackie Yun
p.s. Wouldn’t you love to see Ginger Zee as the co-host of GMA? I would!!! 🙂