social media director
social media director
social media editor
social media editor
social media expert
social media expert
social media manager
The rise of social media has not only completely transformed how we communicate with each other as individuals, but also how businesses communicate with us as existing and potential customers.
As Bonnie Sainsbury, an award winning social media influencer and digital business strategist once said, “Social media will help you build up the loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.”
A company with a strong social media presence and strategy can reap enormous rewards including stronger branding, growth in their customer base, an increase in website traffic, and ultimately, a better bottom line. On the flip side, a weak social media presence and strategy can spell disaster for a company. Those that fail to capture audiences on social media or make the wrong moves may not only potentially damage their reputation, but also lose customers and sales.
It’s no wonder, then, that highly-skilled social media managers have become one of the most sought-after professionals in the workplace. After all, almost all companies – regardless of which industry they’re in – can reap the aforementioned rewards if they hire a strong social media manager to oversee their social media operations and personnel.
Whether you’re a social media manager who is on the hunt for a new job, or you’re a social media professional who is eager to finally take on a managerial role, you’ve come to the right place.
Our 2020 social media manager resume examples and guide will show you how to keep ahead of the competition and get hired for the most prized positions out there. Just keep reading and you’ll discover a range of practical resume writing tips and tricks such as:
- What recruiters are seeking and how to give it to them
- What the ATS is and why it’s critical to create an ATS-friendly resume
- Which skills are essential to highlight in your job search
- How to highlight your training and certifications
- The simplest way to make a resume that’s worthy of going viral
1. Multiple Template Examples
2. How Do You Write a Social Media Manager Resume That Will Get You Hired?
How to format the resume
As a social media manager, you’ll know full well that image is everything. In order to create a hit social media post, you’ll need to do everything in your power to ensure that it looks enticing enough for viewers to engage with in the first place. The post will therefore need to be organized in such a way that immediately captivates them without too much thought on their behalf.
It may sound surprising, but this is also the case for your resume. After all, recruiters spend an astonishingly short amount of time (an average of just 6 seconds!) reading each resume. That means that in order to want to write a resume recruiters can’t get enough of, you’ll need to make it both easy and enticing to read and consume.
It’s for these reasons that we always advise job seekers to use a tried-and-tested resume format to keep their resume looking neat and organized. If you’re an experienced social media manager, the most obvious choice out of all of the resume formats is a reverse-chronological format.
The reason it makes sense to use this format is because it puts a spotlight on your career progression and achievements. It does this by positioning your “Employment History” section prominently in your resume and also by arranging each of your jobs in reverse-chronological order (starting from your most recent job and working backwards from there).
Another important part of making your resume captivating for recruiters is ensuring that it upholds particular layout rules. For better or worse, recruiters aren’t at all accommodating when it comes to this matter. They tend to have quite a narrow idea of what a resume should look like, so it’s advisable to play by these so-called rules. We’ve listed the main ones you should make sure to follow below:
- Number of Pages: 1 page at most.
- Fonts to Use: Standard fonts that you use to write your monthly reports, such as Calibri and Arial.
- Fonts to Avoid: Any fonts that a more conservative company would request you avoid using to create social media assets, such as Punquin Crazy Pants and Dream Script.
- Margins: 1 inch on all sides.
- Line Spacing: 1 or 1.15.
- Header size: 14-16 point size.
- Text size: 11-12 point size.
Pro tip: If you believe that your professional experiences don’t sound too crash hot, it may be in your best interests to select another type of resume format that doesn’t emphasize this aspect as much. We suggest looking into using a functional resume format instead. This format is designed to primarily draw a recruiter’s attention to your skills first and professional experiences second.
What are recruiters looking for? How can you target your resume so that you can offer these qualities to them?
Recruiters are looking to hire a social media manager who possesses the know-how, skills, and right attitude to take a company’s social media presence and strategy to the next level. Whether through formal education, training and certifications, and/or on-the-job experience, an ideal candidate must offer a high level of social media savviness.
They must demonstrate a strong ability to utilize the right tools and strategies, formulate impactful campaigns, track results, and boost the company’s overall social media efforts across all key channels, to name just a few of the qualities recruiters are after.
As this is a management position, recruiters are also looking for a candidate who can expertly manage a team of social media professionals. An ideal candidate must provide them with the necessary guidance as well as leadership to ensure they are all working to their full potential.
Needless to say, if you want a recruiter to perceive you as the candidate they’ve been looking for all along, you’ll need to create a killer resume that addresses the precise qualities they’re after. The process of doing so is called targeting your resume for each application. All you need to do to target your resume is to incorporate the same qualities a recruiter mentions in a job ad into your resume.
That way, when they read your resume, they will clearly see the strong connection between what they’re looking for and what you’re offering. It’s for this reason that you should never be satisfied with submitting a generic resume. If you do so, you can pretty much wave goodbye to your chances of being hired.
If you want to get hired for your dream job, you’ll need to make sure to step up to the challenge of customizing your resume each and every time. As we explore in the following section, doing so is not only vital to address recruiters’ needs, but also those of the ATS. Keep reading to learn more.
Targeting your resume for each application is a no-brainer if you want to get recruiters knocking on your door. But there’s another reason you need to ensure your resume needs to incorporate the very same qualities a recruiter mentions in a job ad: ATS.
ATS, which is the abbreviation of Applicant Tracking System, is a special type of recruitment software which supports recruiters to work their way through the countless applications they receive for every job. Many recruiters rely on ATS to vet candidates’ resumes before they look at them themselves. In fact, in many cases, your resume may not even get seen by a recruiter unless it makes it past the ATS!
If this sounds unbelievable, consider what Josh Bersin, the principal at HR consulting firm Bersin by Deloitte, has to say on the matter. He revealed in an article by CIO that, “Most companies have thousands of resumes sitting in a database that they’ve never looked at.”
Before you take this as a sign that making a resume is useless, keep in mind that your resume is still the most important resource in your job application. What this actually means is that in order to guarantee your resume will be read by a human, you’ll need to ensure it’s 100% ATS friendly.
How do you achieve this feat? Look carefully at the job ad of the role you want and search for words (called keywords) that express the qualities a recruiter is after in an ideal candidate. For example, specific skills, experiences, attributes, and so on. Then, incorporate any keywords that are applicable to you into your resume.
This will help you get past the ATS because it primarily determines which resumes it will pass based on whether keywords have been included. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to include them as naturally as possible, because otherwise your resume will be flagged either by the ATS or the recruiter.
For example, let’s say you want to target the keyword ‘Buffer.’ Don’t try to over-optimize it by repeating it arbitrarily like this candidate did in their “Employment History” section:
- Scheduled posts using Buffer because based on a comparison of using Buffer and Hootsuite, Buffer proved to be more efficient.
Instead, try to incorporate keywords as naturally as possible so that they don’t stick out from the rest of what you’ve written. To show you what a difference this will make to your resume, we rewrote the above achievement with this in mind:
- Scheduled posts using Buffer to ensure social media posts were always posted during times when reader engagement was proven to be optimal.
What are the technical and interpersonal skills a social media manager needs?
Not just anyone can excel at being a social media manager. Contrary to what some people may assume, this role doesn’t just entail casually scrolling through social media sites and posting something on them every so often.
You need to be able to draw on your social media expertise to pinpoint not only what content to post, but also how, where, and when to do so. Additionally, you are responsible for strategizing the best ways to engage with and grow your followers on a variety of different channels. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the technical skills you’ll need to employ!
You will simultaneously need to draw on a range of interpersonal skills to ensure that you complete all tasks in a productive and positive manner. Your interpersonal skills will also be crucial to effectively engage with everyone you interact with, from your team and other staff members, to clients and followers/customers.
Considering all of this, you may think that you’ll be doing yourself a favor by cramming in as many skills as possible into your resume. To the contrary, the opposite is true.
To impress recruiters, you must be ultra selective and strategic about which skills you feature in your resume. Specifically, you should strongly emphasize the skills you possess that align with those that the recruiter is after.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a mind reader to discover which skills a recruiter is giving preference to. All you need to do is search for skills-related keywords in the job ad of the position you wish to apply for. In case you’re wondering – yes, these are the very same keywords we mentioned in the section above! If you skipped that section, we suggest going back and giving it a good read.
Once you know which skills to target, you should start working them into your resume. Basically, you should feature them in a total of 3 sections. Each of these sections will require a slightly different approach, so pay careful attention to our advice below:
- List around 6 to 8 in a dedicated “Skills” section. Separate each skill using either commas or bullet points.
- Mention a few stand out ones in your “Resume Objective” or “Resume Summary” section. Remember, this is the section many recruiters read first.
- Add all of the skills you wish to target naturally throughout your “Employment History” section. Doing so will allow you to explain how you put each skill into practice.
With all of this talk about your skills, we’re sure that you’re curious about which ones recruiters may be on the hunt for. While it’s important to keep in mind that each recruiter will be after a unique set of skills, there are some general ones that are likely to keep popping up on your job search.
To this end, we compiled lists of both the technical and interpersonal skills we found in real-life social media manager job ads. You can take a look at them to gain an insight into which skills are in high demand right now:
- Daily social management of all key channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and Pinterest
- Sourcing and delivering images for all social that is on brand
- Building project timelines and updating marketing calendars across digital and bespoke events and campaigns
- Organizing key campaign launch dates and ensuring tasks are being create in timely manner
- Deep understanding of the company's voice, tone, style, and creative approach
- Ability to develop tactics and campaigns that drive the business goals
- Managing a team of social media coordinator
- Gathering analytics (social captures, pageviews, campaign highlights)
- Creating monthly reports on all running campaigns
- Seeking out strategic partnership opportunities with social media platforms to deliver business goals
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Providing clear directions
- Ability to delegate
- Decision-making abilities
- Managing multiple projects under strict deadlines
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
Pro tip: Don’t forget to include any well-known social media tools that you’ve used to organize and implement your work as a social media manager! Needless to say, you should give preference to highlighting those mentioned in a job ad. But to really impress, include some additional ones that are bound to catch the recruiter’s eye. Check out this list of 50 social media tools to get your brain ticking.
How do you list your education?
Umming and ahhing about whether to include details about your educational background in your resume? The short answer is that it’s always a good idea to do so. Recruiters expect to see certain sections in your resume, and an “Education” section is definitely one of them.
It’s ideal if you graduated from a relevant college degree such as marketing, media management, or business. But even if your degree isn’t directly relevant, it’s still worth adding it to your resume. Do the same if your high school diploma is your highest educational attainment.
The reason it’s important to list your education is because it sheds a light on some of the knowledge and skills you bring to the table. Plus, given that this section takes up such little space but provides high value, it can only enhance rather than hinder your application.
To list your education, provide the following information about each relevant degree or diploma:
- The name of the degree or diploma
- The name of your specialization (if relevant)
- The name of the college or institution you obtained it from
- The state the college or institution is located in
- The years you studied it
- B.S.B.A. in Marketing (Comprehensive Marketing Specialization), University of West Florida, 2016 - 2020
How to list any additional details, like training and certifications?
Including additional details in your resume, like your training and certifications, can really push you ahead of the pack. As any recruiter will tell you, a well-trained social media manager is far more likely to be a fantastic hire than one with little or no training. So if a recruiter spots that you have undertaken a number of relevant and eye-catching training sessions and certifications, you’re sure to be considered a top candidate for the job.
So which ones are worth adding to your resume? You should feature any relevant training and certifications that you undertook as part of your current and/or past social media jobs. You should also feature any that you completed on your own accord. Some examples of relevant courses include:
- Social media training courses and certifications
- Digital marketing training courses and certifications
- Training or certifications focused on how to use a specific social media tool
Other types of training courses and certifications that aren’t directly related to social media that would be highly beneficial to feature include:
- Business management training courses and certifications
- Any training courses and certifications related to how to be an effective manager
To include your training and certifications, create a separate “Training and Certifications” section. Provide the following information about each one you have to your name:
- The name of the training or certification
- The name of the institution that provided it
- The state the training or certification is valid in
- The year you obtained it
- Social Media Marketing Training, Certstaffix Training, LA, 2020
Pro tip: If your “Training and Certifications” is in desperate need of a boost, consider completing an online course. There are plenty to choose from that are specifically designed for social media professionals. If you’re after some ideas, check out this guide from Hootsuite, which features both paid and free options.
How to write a resume objective and examples of this
If you’re gunning for your first social media manager job, including a resume objective is an absolute must. It’s akin to a written elevator pitch that tells the recruiter in 2 to 4 sentences why you’re the perfect hire for the job. As you won’t have any direct experience to highlight, you can instead focus on your professional experiences in social media.
When you’re writing out your resume objective, you’ll need to be mindful of the mistakes entry-level candidates tend to make. We’ve featured the most significant ones in the following resume objective example:
- If there’s one thing that’s clear it’s that I absolutely love social media! I have proven myself to be a skilled social media coordinator who knows how to achieve great social media media results with her eyes closed. While I have never been in a managerial position, I believe that I have the appropriate skills and attributes to really knock your socks off!
Can you work out what this candidate did wrong? We’ve summarized the main sore points below. The candidate:
- Failed to provide any evidence that they can actually achieve the “great social media media results” they promise.
- Opted for an overly casual tone over a professional one.
- Directly referenced the fact that they’re inexperienced as a social media manager.
- Didn’t highlight any relevant skills, experiences, or attributes that they bring to the table.
- Was overly vague in describing themselves as a professional.
What, then, should you aim to do instead? Check out the following example of a well-written resume objective:
- Social media strategist with 3+ years of experience and a Bachelor in Digital Marketing who has a proven track record for growing website traffic via social media marketing by 10x. Highly-experienced with planning and implementing award-winning omni-channel campaigns. I demonstrated my leadership and teamwork abilities by assisting my manager to train a total of 5 junior social media coordinators.
In just about the same number of words as the previous candidate, this candidate wrote an eye-catching overview of themselves that would go a long way in convincing a recruiter to take their application seriously. We’ve listed precisely what they did right below so you keep them in mind when you’re writing your own resume objective. The candidate:
- Provided evidence that they are already a skilled social media professional by highlighting an example of the impressive results they have achieved.
- Provided evidence that they have the potential to be a great manager by offering an eye-catching example of their burgeoning managerial skills.
- Maintained a consistent professional tone throughout their objective.
- Didn’t directly reference the fact that they’re inexperienced as a social media manager and instead focused on what they are experienced in.
- Highlighted a number of relevant skills, experiences, and attributes that they bring to the table.
- Quantified their achievements using numbers.
- Was specific when describing themselves as a professional.
How to write a resume summary and examples of this
If you already have experience as a social media manager, it’s vital to include a resume summary. Similar to a resume objective, it allows you to provide an overview of yourself in 2 to 4 sentences. The glaring difference between them is that in a resume summary, you shouldn’t hold back from highlighting how experienced you are. After all, you’ve earned it!
Just be sure not to fall into the usual traps candidates make, like the following resume summary exemplifies:
- Having worked as social media manager for a number of years, I have what it takes to be an incredible Social Media Manager at Day & Night Digital Marketing Agency. I am well-versed in all forms of social media and have a number of impressive achievements to my name. I am certain I will produce amazing results for your company if I get the chance to take charge of your social media campaigns.
If you’re wondering what faux pas this candidate made, refer to our overview of them below. The candidate:
- Didn’t specify precisely how long they’ve been working as a social media manager.
- Providing general rather than specific statements about themselves.
- Attempted to reassure the recruiter that they’ll be an “incredible” social media manager, but didn’t back this up in any way.
- Claimed that they’re “well-versed in all forms of social media” instead of offering a richer insight into their skills and experiences.
- Asserted that they will produce “amazing results” but didn’t specify what this actually means and how they plan to achieve them.
- Failed to mention anything about managing a team, which is also a crucial part of being a social media manager.
Interested to see how a well-written resume summary looks like? See the example below:
- A creative and strategic media manager with over 4 years of experience in social media (2 of which as a manager), I am eager to bring my experience with working with clients such as Nike as well as my highly-organized approach to managing a team to Day & Night Digital Marketing Agency. I have spearheaded 15+ multi-million dollar campaigns and have increased social media profile followers at my current company by 10x in under a year. Facebook Blueprint Certified.
Needless to say, this is a million times more enticing than the previous resume summary example. You can follow suit by noting all of the qualities that make it so strong. The candidate:
- Specified precisely how long they’ve been working as a social media manager.
- Providing specific rather than general statements about themselves.
- Reassured the recruiter why they’ll be an asset to the company by highlighting an example of a well-known client that they’ve worked with.
- Quantified their achievements by using numbers to bring some of their key achievements to life.
- Mentioned what their approach is to managing a team.
- Highlighted their relevant certification.
How to make your resume stand out
The fact of the matter is that there’s no shortage of social media managers – many of whom will be job hunting just like you. That means that you need to be as prepared as possible to blow the competition out of the water.
Applying each of the tips we shared above will definitely give you a solid head start. But it will still be necessary to take some further steps to guarantee that your resume truly stands out. Here’s what we suggest you do:
- Provide a link to your online portfolio: If you want your resume to scream “pick me!” be sure to provide a link to your online portfolio that includes your most prized social media achievements to date. You can include it in your “Contact” section or “Resume Summary” or “Resume Objective.”
It makes for a fantastic resume addition because instead of just reading that you’re a “talented social media manager who creates killer social media campaigns,” a recruiter will be able to see it for themselves. If you’re unsure of how to begin, we suggest taking a read of these 5 useful tips .
- Show that you live and breathe social media: Any social media manager worth their bread and butter will live and breathe social media – both on and off the job. For the most part, your resume should focus solely on your professional accomplishments. But given the nature of your job, it may be worthwhile sharing links to one or more of your personal social media accounts in your “Contact” section.
Needless to say, your accounts should be appropriate and relevant enough to share in the first place! For example, it’s a waste of space to include your Twitter handle if you haven’t posted since 2014, but if you regularly post on LinkedIn or have thousands of fans on Pinterest include those profiles instead.
- Clean up your social media presence: Speaking of your social media accounts, it may be wise to tidy them up. While it’s well-known that recruiters often scan candidates’ social media profiles, they’re much more likely to do so for social media managers. As such, if there’s any content that you don’t want potentially scrutinized by recruiters and your potential future boss, either make it private or delete it.
- Keep in mind that while more modern companies generally don’t mind what employees post, more conservative companies likely will. Even if there’s nothing on your accounts that could raise some eyebrows, it’s still a good idea to conduct a social media clean up so that you can be sure that you’re presenting your best self online. After all, you certainly don’t want your resume to be rejected because of your SM or online presence!
3. How Resumebuild.com’s Resume Builder Tool Can Empower You to Make an Unforgettable Social Media Manager Resume
Making post after post go viral on Twitter and Facebook? Check.
Running a multi-million dollar, omni-channel social media campaign? Check.
Putting together a resume that convinces recruiters to hire you? Well, that’s a bit harder!
While you could do your job with your eyes closed, you’ll face the prospect of drawn-out job search unless your resume makes this clear. We know that it’s not exactly fair, but submitting an impressive social media manager resume really is that vital to finally succeeding in your job search.
If you want to get hired quickly for a job you love, your resume needs to be nothing short of perfect. As you may have concluded from reading our guide above, this is far easier said than done if you intend to use the standard method of making a resume.
Fortunately, you also have the option of using an innovative resume making method that will empower you to make an unforgettable social media manager resume in a matter of minutes. We’re talking about none other than our handy resume builder tool, which you’ll find available on Resumebuild.com.
Think of our resume builder tool as your secret sidekick in your job search. It will point you in the right direction so that you can create a resume that ticks all of the boxes a recruiter is seeking from a social media manager. You’ll start off by choosing an HR-friendly template from our extensive template library. Then, you’ll work on piecing together each major section of your resume. Don’t worry, we’ll provide you with plenty of pre-written examples to ensure your resume sounds just right! Finally, you’ll get the chance to review your completed resume before downloading it.
Yes, using these three main steps sound almost unbelievably simple to complete, but it really is that straightforward to make your resume using our resume builder tool. If you have a couple of minutes to spare, why not start creating a memorable resume today?
video production manager
video production manager
talent development manager
talent development manager
Technical writers, often called technical communicators, are considered to be a fundamental part of many workplaces due to the unique role they play in supporting key stakeholders to comprehend complex technical information. According to the Society for Technical Communication, the value that technical writers deliver is two-fold:
- They make information more useable and accessible to those who need that information.
- They advance the goals of the companies or organizations that employ them by doing so.
Many people mistakenly believe that technical writers only write instructional manuals for the tech industry. However, they may need to engage in any number of tasks that serve to communicate information more clearly to customers and/or clients. For example, technical writers may need to create relevant diagrams, compile how-to guides, and write journal articles for applications, services, procedures, and/or regulations. What’s more, tech writing jobs are not limited to the tech industry – the science and medical industries also hire tech writers in droves.
Considering all of this, it’s not surprising that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of these professionals will grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028. This is double the projected growth of media and communications workers and 3 percentage points higher than the average of all occupations. The BLS notes that this demand for technical writers is primarily driven by, “The continuing expansion of scientific and technical products and growth in Web-based product support.”
If you’re a technical writer who wants to ride the wave of job growth in the sector, don’t make the mistake of applying for jobs with a mediocre resume. In order to get hired for your dream job, it’s critical to apply with a technical writer resume that recruiters pay attention to.
For those of you who are unsure of where to begin, just consult our easy-to-read technical writer resume writing guide below. You’ll discover:
- The correct way to format and layout your resume
- Which types of skills you should emphasize
- Insider tips for drawing attention to your achievements
- Best practices for writing your resume objective or summary
- A quick and easy method of creating a stunning resume
1. Multiple Template Examples
2. How Do You Create a Technical Writer Resume That Will Land the Job?
How should you format your resume?
The very first step you’ll need to take on your resume writing journey is to decide on which resume format to use. There are a couple of go-to formats to choose from that have been designed to suit different circumstances.
We strongly recommend that experienced technical writers use a reverse-chronological format. This format isn’t only our top pick; it’s also the preference of most recruiters. It’s therefore no wonder that it’s become the most popular resume format around! The good news is that implementing it only requires you to do two main things:
- Position your “Employment History” front and center in your resume.
- Arrange your work experiences in reverse-chronological order i.e. from most recent to least recent.
Easy, right? Now that we’ve dealt with the matter of formatting your resume, let’s move on to its layout. There are a handful of unwritten rules you’ll need to follow in order to align your resume with recruiters’ expectations. We’ve included the most pertinent ones below for your convenience:
- Number of Pages: 1 page at most.
- Fonts to Use: A font that reflects your expertise and professionalism, such as Garamond and Cambria.
- Fonts to Avoid: Any fonts that you wouldn’t dream of using to write a technical manual, such as Acme Secret Agent and Geek a Byte.
- Margins: 1 inch on all sides.
- Line Spacing: 1 or 1.15.
- Header size: 14-16 point size.
- Text size: 11-12 point size.
Just like your resume formatting, these aren’t difficult to follow. The only challenge you may encounter is in ensuring that you apply these rules consistently throughout your resume.
Pro tip: If you’d rather put all your effort into actually writing your resume and not waste time on perfecting its format and layout, consider using a premade resume template. Resume templates come complete with all of these considerations worked out for you. And just in case you’re wondering, it isn’t considered taboo to use a resume template – in fact, they’re used by countless job seekers!
How do you list your education on the resume?
Most technical writer positions require candidates to hold a college degree. Ideally, the degree should have direct relevance to the field of technical writing. For example, most recruiters would look favorably on candidates with the following degrees:
- Technical communications
Even if your college degree is unrelated in any way to technical writing, it’s important to feature it in your resume. Recruiters tend to prefer technical writers with college degrees, regardless of what that degree is.
So what should you do if you didn’t go to college? Simply include your high school diploma instead.
In order to feature your degree or diploma in your resume, you’ll need to first create a separate “Education” section. Before you start fleshing it out, keep in mind that lengthy descriptions about your educational background are frowned upon. To see what we mean, take a look at the following example:
- In an effort to graduate from college with a degree that would benefit me as a future technical writer, I studied electrical engineering at the University of Virginia. In my 4 years at college, I developed my knowledge of physical and mathematics as well as my understanding of electrical systems. I proudly graduated in 2019.
While you may assume a recruiter is expecting this level of detail, you couldn’t be further from the truth. When recruiters look at your “Education” section, they only want to see hard and fast details about your educational background. That’s why you should only list key details about each degree or diploma, as follows:
- The name of the degree or diploma
- The name of the college or school
- The state the institution is located in
- The years you studied it
Putting this into action, the candidate above should rewrite their “Education” section so it looks like this:
Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia, VA, 2015 - 2019
What are the differences between hard and soft skills?
In order to perform your job well as a technical writer, you need to constantly draw on the range of useful skills you have at your disposal. These skills can be respectively categorized into two types: hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills encompass any teachable abilities that are easily measurable. Hard skills are often referred to as technical skills as they require a certain level of expertise to perform. They are often specific to a given job and usually need to be developed through training and/or on-the-job experience.
In contrast, soft skills are interpersonal abilities that are often innate to each individual. They are difficult to measure in a quantifiable way given their intangible nature. Soft skills will present themselves in both how you interact with others as well as how you perform a given task.
To give you a taste of which hard and soft skills recruiters may be looking for from candidates for technical writer jobs, we looked through several real-life job ads to identify the most commonly-requested skills. Take a look at our lists below to see which ones you may be expected to include in your own resume:
- Designing, writing, and editing technical and process documentation
- Improving existing documentation, both technically and aesthetically
- Thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of writing, grammar, syntax, style, and punctuation
- Ability to write in adherence to appropriate editorial styles and publication guidelines
- Thorough research and fact verification skills
- Writing clear, lively, engaging and compelling copy in a variety of styles appropriate to target audiences
- Performing quality reviews of documents created/updated by colleagues
- Reviewing and managing externally 3rd party produced documents
- Ability to work with internal and external customers and suppliers to obtain information
- Contributing and editing technical parts of customer communications
- Attention to detail
- Active listening
- Collaboration skills
- Team player
- Prioritization abilities
- Ability to multitask
- Time management
- Positive attitude
- Ability to remain calm under pressure
Which skills should you put on a technical writer resume?
Now that you’re clearer about the differences between hard and soft skills, you may be wondering which specific ones you should put in your technical writer resume. We hate to break it to you, but there isn’t a golden list of hard and soft skills that you can simply copy and paste each time you apply for a new job.
This is because while many of the skills recruiters desire from candidates will be similar in nature, they will nevertheless differ from job to job. By implication, in order to show that you possess the specific skill set needed for a specific job, you’ll need to feature a distinct set of skills in each and every resume you hand in.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that you should feature a hodgepodge of skills in your resume. You must select relevant skills that a recruiter is specifically looking for. To figure out what these skills are, scan the job ad of the role you wish to apply for and create a list of the hard and soft skills which you find in it.
Once you have your list, go through it and ask yourself, “Which of these skills can I genuinely offer?” Needless to say, the more you can offer, the better. However, keep in mind that you don’t need to offer every single skill you find in order to impress a recruiter.
After all, it also matters how you include these skills in your resume. Essentially, you should list 6 to 8 of your top ones in a dedicated “Skills” section. You should also highlight a few in your “Resume Objective” or “Resume Summary.” Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should demonstrate how you’ve put these skills into practice by incorporating them throughout your “Employment History” section. We’ll teach you how to do this in the following section.
Pro tip: Even if a job ad doesn’t mention any soft skills, be sure to include the ones you feel confident with offering throughout your resume. Recruiters want candidates who are balanced and offer both useful technical and people skills. Plus, there isn’t a recruiter out there who wouldn’t be impressed by a candidate who shows their initiative like this!
How to highlight your achievements
Your “Employment History” section is one of the most critical sections in your entire resume. It’s your opportunity to make it known to the recruiter not only where you previously worked and what roles you held, but also what you achieved during each of them.
Note how we just wrote ‘achieved’ rather than ‘did’. Simply listing the duties you performed in each role is a rookie mistake. You need to put a spotlight on your key achievements so that a recruiter can see the immense value you’ll bring as an employee.
So which achievements should you highlight? Any that are directly relevant to the role you’re applying for. To pinpoint the most relevant ones to include, take a careful look at the job ad of the role. As we explained in the previous section, you’ll be able to identify a range of hard and soft skills a recruiter is after from their ideal candidate. You should also take note of any other words that indicate the qualities a recruiter values in an ideal candidate. These can all form the basis of the achievements you include.
Wondering how this looks in action? Let’s run through an example together. Say that you’re analyzing a job ad and pick up on the fact that a recruiter is after a technical writer who is able to ‘collaborate’ well. Now that you know one of the many skills and qualities a recruiter is actively looking for, you can set out to target it in your “Employment History” section.
To do so, reflect on your professional experiences thus far and pinpoint an example of when you demonstrated your ability to collaborate at work. Then, formulate an achievement that eloquently shows this in action. In the end, it may look something like this:
- Collaborated with a team of 5 other technical writers to produce a 100+ page manual for a multi-million dollar product.
How impressive does that sound? Not only would you show the recruiter that you hold the very quality they’re after, but you would also be able to highlight your achievement of producing an extensive manual for a critical product. Not too shabby, right?
How do you write a resume objective or summary? When should you write which?
As a technical writer, you’ll know that it’s best practice to first provide an overview of what a given product is before providing an explanation of how to use it. You should ensure you apply this same rule of thumb when writing your resume.
That is, you should first provide a recruiter with a general overview of who you are as a professional before launching into specific details about your employment history, skills, and so on. The reason we recommend doing so is because recruiters usually want to first see if it’s worth their while to read through your resume more extensively.
For this reason, it’s crucial to include a resume objective or resume summary section right underneath your contact details. Including one gives you the opportunity to immediately capture a recruiter’s attention in 3 to 4 sentences. You can learn more about each one below, including when you should use which.
Anyone who’s starting out as a technical writer should ensure they include a resume objective in their resume. It’s the perfect excuse to subtly address the fact that while you’re inexperienced, you nevertheless have a lot to offer.
When you’re writing yours, there are certain pitfalls you’ll need to be conscious to avoid. We’ve represented the most critical ones in the following example of a technical writer resume objective:
- Aspiring technical writer looking to get a break in the industry. Very talented writer with some technical background. While I haven’t worked in the industry yet, I know that once I have received professional training and guidance from TEK Electronics, I will be well on my way to being a star technical writer.
As you may have noticed yourself, this candidate hasn’t said very much at all. While they’ve managed to write over 50 words, they don’t provide any substantial insight into what they believe they offer as an aspiring technical writer. The candidate has spent their entire resume objective stating that: a) they’re unqualified b) they’re keen to enter the industry, and c) they’re looking forward to receiving training and guidance from the company.
A recruiter wouldn’t be impressed by this at all. It’s absolutely fine to show your eagerness for a role, but keep in mind that your resume objective should primarily focus on what you plan to bring to the company (and not what the company can give you). Moreover, you should try to de-emphasize the fact that you’re inexperienced by showcasing the most relevant attributes you have to offer that make up for this inexperience.
So how should a resume objective look like? The following example represents a neat and well-written one:
- Aspiring technical writer who graduated in the top 5% of a Mass Communications program at Glendale Community College. In an effort to further my technical writing skills and knowledge, I recently completed a Communicaid Technical Writing Course. While I am currently volunteering as a technical writer on an open source project, I ultimately wish to apply my ability to write detailed technical how-to guides and my time management skills to the role at TEK Electronics.
We think you’ll agree that this resume objective is considerably more enticing than the previous one. This candidate has focused all of their efforts on putting their best foot forward. They’ve exclusively featured relevant tidbits about themselves that a recruiter would be genuinely interested to learn more about.
It’s worth noting that similar to the previous candidate, this candidate is inexperienced. However, this candidate focuses on what they have to offer – and not on what they don’t! For example, they shared their impressive educational background, the writing course they undertook, their current volunteer work, as well as their hard and soft skills...all without explicitly mentioning the fact that they’re inexperienced.
As all of these eye-catching offerings are directly relevant to the job they’re applying for, you can bet that a recruiter would greatly anticipate reading the rest of their resume. If you want to ensure your resume objective also ticks all the right boxes, be sure to keep these dos and don’ts in mind.
You should swap from a resume objective to a resume summary once you have at least a few years of experience under your belt. The main difference between a resume objective and a resume summary is that you should draw strong attention to your professional experiences in your resume summary.
You should also make sure to highlight any other information that’s relevant to the role, such as the skills and attributes you offer. To do this correctly, make sure to avoid writing in an ambiguous way, like this candidate did:
- Technical writer with 6 years of experience. Worked for a range of companies completing various technical writing tasks. With an impressive skill set and great attitude, I am fully confident that I will be an asset to your team of technical writers at XY Solutions.
The problem with the ambiguousness of this candidate’s resume summary is that it keeps the recruiter at an arm’s length. For example, this candidate says they have “4 years of experience” at “a range of companies.” This doesn’t provide the recruiter with any indication about what the candidate’s experiences entailed or the nature of the companies they worked at.
The candidate goes on to say they completed “various technical writing tasks” and have an “impressive skill set” and a “great attitude.” Again, this doesn’t shed any light on who the candidate is as a professional. Remember, the whole point of a resume summary is to showcase your best assets, but you can’t do so if you don’t provide any specific details about your professional experiences, skills, and attributes.
The following candidate shows how a resume summary should be written:
- In my 6 years of working as a CPTC Expert Certified technical writer in both a tech startup and Fortune 500 company, I have leveraged my superior grammar skills and meticulous attention to detail to create 500+ technical documents and improve a further 200+ for clarity and comprehension. My key achievement was creating the technical manual for a product that won a CES Innovation Award in 2019.
What a breath of fresh air this resume summary is! It’s filled with specific details that paint the candidate as a highly competent professional. While both candidates offer the same level of experience, only this candidate gives the recruiter a multitude of reasons to take their application seriously. They achieve this by not being shy to justify why they’re worth paying attention to. They not only share the types of workplaces they’ve worked in and the fact that they’re a certified technical writer, but also their notable hard and soft skills.
Did you notice that the candidate also quantified their achievements by highlighting eye-catching metrics about the number of technical documents they created and revised? As if this wasn’t enough, the candidate even ends with a specific key achievement to ensure their resume stays on the recruiter’s mind long after they’ve finished reading it.
These are all things you can do in your own resume summary – you just need to make the effort to do so!
How do you write a technical writer resume when you have little or no experience?
Many entry-level job seekers have been stumped by the age-old conundrum of how to get a job if you have minimal or zero experience. With many jobs listing experience as a prerequisite, it can seem futile to score a job as an entry-level candidate.
If this is the case for you, remember that it all comes down to how you write your resume. Need some expert advice for doing so? Follow our top tips below:
- Highlight your most relevant attributes: A common mistake entry-level candidates make is that they end up including just about every detail possible about themselves in their resume. This often happens because they’re so self-conscious about their lack of skills and experience that they try to overcompensate by providing too much information.
The key to writing an eye-catching entry-level resume is to keep it tight and focused. You should primarily hone in on the most relevant attributes you offer. If you find that these are lacking, try your best to make those that you have as relevant to as possible to the given job. For example, you can highlight the strong organizational skills you demonstrated as a waitress, or the communication skills required at your call center job.
- Search for jobs suitable to your experience level: Are you finding it all but impossible to make any tangible links between your attributes and those required by the jobs you’re applying for? The problem could be that you’re applying for jobs that exceed your experience level.
Instead, you should actively apply for jobs that match your experience level i.e. entry-level jobs. Once you start doing so, you’ll find it far easier to create a resume that ticks the boxes a recruiter is after. To track down entry-level jobs, use relevant search terms such as “Junior” and “Entry-level.”
- Pinpoint and address what you’re lacking: Most recruiters are willing to take a chance on hiring an entry-level candidate if they can clearly see their potential. This is why you can’t simply proclaim that you’ve always dreamed of being a technical writer and hope this gets you hired; you need to offer a range of solid reasons why you’re worth hiring.
To do so, you’ll need to determine if you’re able to provide the qualities a recruiter is after. If you discover that you’re lacking something, figure out a practical way to gain it. For example, if you’re lacking certain skills, consider taking up a relevant course or certification to hone them. If you’re struggling to gain experience, consider applying for a technical writing internship.
How to make your resume stand out
You may have already been cautioned about the importance of making your resume stand out, but just how important is it really? Well, consider the fact that for every job you go for, there could be several hundreds of other candidates who also submit their resume.
On one hand, many of these resumes will be uninspiring, but on the other, many will be precisely what the recruiter is after. That means that in order for your resume to be counted among the latter group, it will need to be better than just ‘ok.’ What’s more, to come out on top, it needs to truly stand out even among the best of the best. If you’re ready to do so, take on board the following tips:
- Highlight your relevant training and certifications: If there’s one surefire way to impress recruiters, it’s by providing evidence that you’ve gone above and beyond to progress your skills and knowledge as a technical writer. You can do this by including a strong “Training and Certifications” section that showcases relevant technical writing training and certifications that you’ve completed.
For each one, include its name, the institution you completed it at, the state in which the institution is located, and the year you completed it. If you don’t have any, consider undertaking some to ensure that this section truly shines. If you can’t attend any in-person, there are plenty of online options available that you can complete at home.
- Be aware of the ATS: We’ve already armed yourself with the knowledge of how to get on the good side of recruiters. However, recruiters are just one part of the story. You’ll also need to ensure your resume is ATS-friendly. ATS, which stands for ‘Applicant Tracking System,’ is a computer program that recruiters use to efficiently vet candidates’ resumes. It methodically scans each resume to identify whether or not it includes specific words found in a given job ad.
These words are called ‘keywords.’ They represent the attributes a recruiter is seeking from an ideal candidate such as specific skills, qualities, job titles, and professional experiences. Getting your resume past the ATS will require you to incorporate any keywords that apply to you naturally throughout your entire resume. If you need a reminder how to do this, re-read the sections about “Skills” and “Achievements” above.
- Create an online portfolio: Your resume can only convey so much about your skills and techniques as a technical writer. So why not show a recruiter that you have what it takes by including a link to your online portfolio in your resume? While there’s no guarantee they’ll click on it, it’s highly likely that a good proportion will!
If you don’t already have an online portfolio, you can put a basic one together in just a couple of hours. To begin, you’ll need to register a domain name. We recommend selecting a logical one like yourname.com. You may also wish to buy a website template to expedite the entire process. To compile your portfolio, add any links you have to your work and/or screenshots. It’s also worth adding a professional bio and your contact information. Who knows, you may even score a few jobs directly from it!
3. How You Can Create a Stunning Technical Writer Resume Using Resumebuild.com’s Resume Builder
Most writers can attest to the fact that writing about yourself in an eloquent manner is an incredibly challenging task. Even the most prized writers may struggle to string together the right combination of words to properly convey who they are as a person and professional.
So if you’re a technical writer who’s struggling to piece together your resume, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. While many would assume that writers of all people would excel in resume writing, this simply isn’t always the case – especially for technical writers. After all, out of the various types of writing professions out there, technical writing is literally on the opposite end of the spectrum than resume writing!
Does this mean that you’re doomed to hand in a half-baked resume if you’re struggling to write yours? Definitely not! It just means that you’re in a similar boat to countless other job seekers. You simply need a bit of expert guidance by way of our DIY resume maker at Resumebuild.com.
Thousands of job seekers have already used it to get their resume looking sharp and ready to impress even the most nit-picky of recruiters. The reason our resume maker beats alternative resume making approaches is because it provides a quick, easy, and cost-effective means of doing so.
It is designed to remove the confusion out of the resume making process by breaking it down into easy-to-manage steps. Each step gives you the guidance you need to expertly piece together each fundamental section of your resume. You’ll even find a generous number of pre-written examples as well as an assortment of well-formatted resume templates to choose from.
Once you’ve completed all of the steps, you’ll have yourself a technical writer resume that blows the competition out of the water. Did we mention that you can get through all of these steps in just minutes if you’re really in a rush? If you’re ready to take our resume builder for a spin, what are you waiting for? Start building your resume now!
editor in chief
editor in chief
digital media specialist
digital media specialist