Climate Hiring Playbook!

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Writing Your Resume Experience Section

You’ve brushed up on the resume writing basics and feel good, but you still want to dive deeper. This is your one shot to ensure that you get an interview. Optimizing your experience section will guarantee that you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants.

Writing Your Resume Experience Section

You know that your resume is of utmost importance at this point in your job journey.

You’ve brushed up on the resume writing basics and feel good, but you still want to dive deeper. This is your one shot to ensure that you get an interview. Optimizing your experience section will guarantee that you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants.

Your experience section allows you to sell your hard skills and set yourself apart. Applying all the same ATS optimization logic to this section of your resume is critical. Not sure what this means? Check out this blog first. Essentially, you want to ensure that your resume has relevant keywords so that it gets the stamp of approval from a resume screen.

At Climate People, we get A LOT of resumes, and I mean a lot. We’ve seen the good, the really good, the bad, and the really bad. Here are my top five tips for leveling up your resume’s experiences section and ensuring that it lands in that “outstanding” category:

1. Keep it highly technical

This section is all business. We’re all for keeping to fun, but your experience section isn’t the place. Remember, you’re trying to sell your hard skills here, so focus on your technical projects and outcomes.

Don’t include the insignificant things here. This is not the place to emphasize everyday tasks.The obvious things don’t belong on your resume: please don’t include that you conducted performance reviews, managed inboxes, or conducted interviews. Instead, focus on how your interview process advanced the team, a technical problem you escalated and solved, a framework you developed and its impact, etc.

You should only include the experiences where you went above and beyond and didn’t do the bare minimum of what was expected of you.

2. Remain short and sweet

Don’t ramble. Use action verbs and numbers that efficiently and effectively convey your points. We recommend using bullet points to make it easier for your hiring manager to skim. You should have 4-5 bullet points for each experience listed on your resume.

We recommend using this framework for each of your bullet points:- What did you do, what technology did you do it with, and how did it impact the project (with concrete #s)? You will get bonus points if you find a way to wrap up the impact it has made on the organization.

3. Don’t stretch your strengths

My number one piece of advice for job seekers is to focus on what you’re good at and not dwell on what you don’t bring to the table. This same logic applies to your resume. If you entirely focus on selling your strengths, you won’t feel the need to overcompensate for your weaknesses.

Only include what you’re proficient at and can speak to. The interviewers will ask for specifics about the technologies in your tech stack. If you haven’t used it in 10 years, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Prioritize your strengths and only include the projects you are incredibly proud of!

4. Focus on YOU

You are interviewing for the job. They would like to know about your unique impact. Be very specific about the project, focusing intensely on your contribution. Ensure that you focus on the technology, the timeline, and the outcome.

Your experience section will serve as the talking points during your interview. Lay the foundation for this by focusing on what you want to discuss in more depth later in the process.

This is your opportunity to sell yourself; how are you different from the other applicants? Which of your experiences are most impressive? What about your tech stack sells your skillset? Focus on these things and leave everything else out.

5. Numbers, numbers, numbers

Don’t talk in hypotheticals. Quantify your work. It’s wasted space if you aren’t showing the impact of your actions. The hiring manager cares about the problem, the solution, and how this impacts the project and the greater organization. Don’t just say that you did something, show precisely how you did it.

If you were applying for this Senior Software Engineer position, an experience section of a qualified application might look like this:

  • Designed, tested, and built a new product that improved application flow efficiency by 57%
  • Automated QA using Python and CSS, which improved CTR by 18%
  • Supervised a team of 5 while leading a robust software upgrade which increased our team’s efficiency tenfold
  • Wrote and executed modular code in Python, React, and Go that is currently being used by over 150k users worldwide.

Of course, your experience section will look starkly different at various points in your career. If you’re having a hard time producing concrete numbers, focus on trends that you’re seeing and qualify your work with strong action verbs.

I want to emphasize the importance of keywords one last time. As I mentioned, your resume will be filtered through an ATS, and our research shows that an actual human never views 72% of resumes.

Your experiences must be clear, quantifiable, concise, and, most importantly — keyword optimized.

We know that the job search can be a demoralizing process, especially with the current state of the economy. We’re here to support you on this journey. Please reach out if you need assistance.

As always, good luck out there!

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