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10 Steps to writing the Perfect Software Testing Resume

July 31, 2017
QA resume, QA sample resume, QA resume for freshers, Software tester resume, software testing resume

If you want to land a testing job of your choice in your dream company, you have to let the world know about your capabilities and professional experiences. And one of the best ways of doing so is by creating a detailed and structured QA resume. But while creating your resume, you can’t jump right in and start flaunting your software testing skills. On the contrary, you have to adhere to the industry guidelines and think from the perspective of a recruiter, who would be eventually reviewing it, and then start adding lines to QA resume. In this article, we would talk about 10 steps which would improve the quality of your resume and increase the chances of interview calls. 

1. Creating an Outline

First things first. To provide proper structure to your resume, you must maintain the basic structure throughout QA resume pages.

  • You start by providing a margin to QA resume. It should be between 1 and 1.5 inches wide. The margin should be set from all our sides of the page.
  • It’s purely up to you whether you want to put a border to make the margin more vivid or keep it as is. The main reason for setting an outline/ margin is to make it more readable and prevent it from looking like a jam packed newspaper column.

2. Creating Sections

Mostly the sections in any combinational resume (one of the widely circulated resume types) consist of these following parts.

  • Contact Information, Professional Summary, Skills, Work History, Education
  • Clearly segregating different sections not only makes the QA resume more readable but also help recruiters focus on a particular area. You must make sure that the contents of each section are mentioned in respective sections.
  • You must ensure that these sections are properly arranged. As contact information talks about the candidate and the skills being one of the foremost criteria for selection, these two sections should be mentioned first. We will cover the best practices of each section later on.

3. Writing the Contract Info

Contact information should be written on top of the QA resume. You should mention your name, address (Locality and City are enough), mobile number and email id.

  • In this section, you must mention your name in a slightly larger font size so that recruiters can easily make out your name. Also, you can mention other contact related details like address, phone number and email id in a slightly smaller font.
  • While mentioning your contact information, never forget to mention your email address and phone number. These two are the most widely preferred means of communication to the candidate and you must ensure that the contact information provided in legit and accessible by all.

4. Writing QA Resume Summary

Resume summary tells a lot about your past roles and responsibilities and what vision you have in your career. It actually tells the recruiters and project managers how you see yourself growing and what you want to do next.

  • This section should be informative and not generic. “5+ years of experience in automation testing”, doesn’t give out a lot of information and neither does it convey your vision.
  • Your resume summary should be crisp but should strike the right chords with the recruiters. One such example of good QA resume summary is, “An Agile tester having 5+ years of experience in client handling and automation testing, with a knack for testing innovation”.
  • The above example doesn’t only say that you are an agile tester and have 5+ years of experience in automation testing but also tells the reader that you are innovative and would like to improve testing methodologies in existing projects.

5. Mentioning Skills

Skills consist of the different tools, software products, frameworks, test strategies and programming languages that you have worked on or have expertise in.

  • As your experience increases so do your skills. So you must find a proper way of showcasing all your relevant skills. That’s not all. Your primary focus should be those skills which are relevant for your current job position.
  • For example, if you have over 10 years of experience in testing and you are currently looking for a managerial role, mentioning manual testing and test case creation in skill section won’t be relevant at all. Rather, it would be better to mention skills like, Release planning, client handling, managing and allocating tasks to available resources.
  • Also, you must efficiently arrange your skills so that QA resume doesn’t become unnecessarily lengthy. You can use two columns to list down your skills with the most relevant skills first.

6. Listing past Work History

Work history generally lists your previous companies. In work history, you must mention the name of the company, the position that you held there along with the number of years you spend in the organization.

  • In the description, you may mention your responsibilities, but your primary focus should be to bring into focus the different edge that you bring with your approach. For example, for an automation tester, scripting, running and reporting test results is the primary responsibility. But if you go out of your regular tasks and take some efforts to schedule your automated tests with CI, that would instantly impress the recruiter.
  • In work history, you must avoid using pronouns and directly mention the action verbs. For example, “Helped other project members include javascript executor in Selenium scripts for fast test execution”, is the right way of mentioning the works you have done.
  • If you have over 10 years of experience and have worked at over 8 companies, you must mention only the significant ones. The reason is, recruiters should get an idea of your future prospects by looking at your work history. The roles that you played in your last few companies are good enough for recruiters while adding all experiences unnecessarily lengthens your resume.

7. Use Testing specific Keywords

For medium and big companies, it is almost impossible to scan through each and every resume to select eligible candidates for the interview process. For this very reason, recruiters use ATS (Applicant Tracking System). ATS scans through each and every resume looks out for specific keywords relevant to the job position and filters the candidates who have mentioned these keywords in their resume.

  • For this reason, it is extremely important to skillfully add domain specific keywords to your resume. You can insert these keywords in QA resume summary, skill section and in your work history description.
  • For testing, the keywords may vary on the basis of testing discipline and the expertise a position demand. Some of the most common testing specific keywords are manual testing, automation testing, AGILE scrum, database testing, defect tracking tool, JIRA, Selenium, cross-browser testing, testing planning and management, test documentation, to name a few.

8. Finalizing your QA Resume

You can’t just finish writing resume, click save and directly upload it to some job portal or send it forward for a referral. Once completely written, you must revise it and least twice and look out for any grammatical, spelling or syntactical mistakes.

  • You must check if you have rightly included the needed keywords and remove any pronouns. Once you have checked it thoroughly, if possible you must pass your resume over to one of your friends or family members and ask for their feedback. It often occurs that we tend to miss the obvious mistakes after working on the same thing for a long time. The change of perspective allows the person reviewing QA resume to scrutinize the resume completely and helps to nail down the prevalent mistakes in it.

9. Updating your QA Resume

As your roles and responsibility increase so does your working experience. So you must update your resume at regular intervals. Resumes are concise documents, so there is no point in updating it every week or month. Rather, the logical option would be to update your resume, add new skills every 3 to 6 months.

  • While updating QA resume, you must add new skills that you have acquired in your resume as well as in your job profile on different job portals.
  • If you want to mention all acquired skills in QA resume, you must keep track of your learning and the new responsibilities that you took up within those months.

10. Avoiding bad QA Resume writing practices

If you want to increase your chances of interview calls, you must avoid the bad resume writing practices.

  • You must avoid putting highlights, images or background color in QA resume. You should keep the font styling consistent and avoid adding too much content.
  • You should never add false information in QA resume and always back up your skills with quantifiable adjectives. For example, if you have properly refactored the automation scripts to reduce test execution time, you must either mention the improved efficiency or mention the percentage by which execution time was cut. Such examples backed up with proper statistics really impresses the recruiter and earns you positive feedback.

Conclusion

  • You must take QA resume writing seriously. As it is a professional document, you must follow proper guidelines to make it easy to read.
  • Once completed, you must cross-check your resume at least twice and get it reviewed by someone else before uploading it on job portals.
  • While writing the resume, you should think from a recruiter’s standpoint and mention relevant keywords to increase your resume’s visibility.

Arindam Bandyopadhyay is an automation tester with over 5 years of experience in software testing. While during the day he juggles between Eclipse and spreadsheets, at night he lets his fingers do the talking as he writes about anything and everything his paradoxical mind desires.

About the author

arindam bandyopadhyay author

Arindam Bandyopadhyay is an automation tester with over 5 years of experience in software testing. While during the day he juggles between Eclipse and spreadsheets, at night he lets his fingers do the talking as he writes about anything and everything his paradoxical mind desires.

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