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Resume & Cover Letter


If you are a career changer, my biggest advice is to focus on writing your descriptions of your previous roles for a tech audience:

  • "Translate" your duties into terminology that will be familiar to someone in the tech industry. (For example, did you do anything that could be described as "writing documentation"? Did you have to provide feedback in a way similar to peer review? )
  • Resume space is limited - try to have all of your duties demonstrate either some kind of technical experience or a transferrable skill. Even if you are really proud of something you accomplished, if it's hard to show the relevance to your next job, consider removing it. This can be really emotionally difficult, but it's important to make sure everything on your resume is providing value in your job search.
  • I haven't personally used this resource, but if you're looking for your first dev job and want advice on setting up your resume, this guide looks really helpful!

  • A lot of companies use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to filter through applicants - it's a good idea to try running your resume through an ATS like Jobscan or Resume Worded to make sure it won't be auto rejected by these companies.

  • If you don't know how to format a resume, Standard Resume has some useful templates

  • If you want a better sense of the kinds of things recruiters and hiring managers are looking for when they look at resumes, I found this video of an experienced recruiter and hiring manager reviewing resumes just as they do when they're hiring to be really useful.


In the US, employers outside of academia generally expect a resume, not a CV. If you don't know the difference between these two terms, here is a helpful write-up.

Another thing to note - while it is common in some countries to include a head shot, when applying for jobs in the US, your resume should not include one. Due to concerns about discrimination, some employers won't even consider an applicant that has included a head shot with their resume/application.