CVs From A Hiring Perspective

In my department at work, every tester is on their own team. I'm in a position where I look at tester resumes before we decide to screen them. Some of the resumes come in from people applying on the company website. We've also got a recruiter searching for people on LinkedIn. She asked me before we posted a new job: if we're not requiring experience with a particular tech stack, what should she search for?

I didn't have a great answer for her at first. It took me some time to think about what we'd value in this role, what would make a candidate's resume stand out.

I don't look for particular buzzwords on resumes, and no particular buzzword can eliminate you from the hiring process. But I do look for some of the same things I look for in a test report: an indicator of the depth and quality of your work, and an ability to connect your work to the value to the development team or the business.

A resume that regurgitates the calendar or job description of the candidate doesn't stand out to me:

  • Attended standup, refinement, sprint planning, sprint review
  • Made test plan, executed tests, reported tests

I want to know what was hard about it. I want to know who else was there and how you interacted with them. I want to know what you do that other people in your position don't do.

  • Facilitated hybrid standup across three time zones
  • Refined ideas into user stories with acceptance criteria that met our definition of ready
  • Spoke to key stakeholders to identify risks and incorporate them into a test plan
  • Shared test results verbally to spark conversation with developers about impact
  • Presented test plan at guild to inspire other testers to shift left

I was on a TestBash Careers panel about having a CV that gets you noticed. (I regret to inform you that my ability to think of an answer and unmute are not always fast enough to chime in!) I'm digging into the unanswered questions on the club thread, and can tell you that my fellow panelists and host are more shrewed about when or when not to reveal a personal detail on a resume. I am privileged enough to lean towards the truth.

Back at work, I told the recruiter there were a couple things should could search for: exploratory testing and integration testing. Our desire to cast as wide and inclusive a net as possible has been an investment of her time, and the time of the team members who speak to the candidates first. It's not cheap. I hope it's worth it.

Join us if you're interested.

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash