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Identifying the best resume format for tech support professionals can feel as complicated as trying to explain cloud storage to a customer who just figured out email stands for electronic mail. As our society continues to dive deeper into the digital realm, the role of compassionate, patient and superior technical support is greater than ever before. No wonder companies spend countless hours searching for qualified tech support personnel. Without a properly formatted resume, it’s almost impossible to demonstrate your expertise in this complex profession.

Hacking the Applicant Tracking System Algorithm

Is the only thing standing between you and your dream job your resume? It’s a frustrating experience shared by millions of job seekers. You’ve undergone training, satisfied previous employers and refined your skills, but you’re still sitting in silence as recruiters fail to reach out. It’s enough to drive even the most stable person bonkers. Instead of driving yourself crazy wondering why your job hunt is unsuccessful, maybe the culprit is your resume format. Did you know the biggest hurdle in landing a job interview may be a computer algorithm?

While many of us are familiar with traditional resume formats, such as functional and reverse-chronological, few understand how your chosen format may be responsible for a lack of recruiter interest. This is because the majority of hiring managers employ the use of a digital screening algorithm. Known as applicant tracking systems, or ATS, this software scans applicant resumes for specific keywords and phrases designated by recruiters.

Designed to enhance applicant screening, ATS optimizes the entire hiring process by eliminating unqualified resumes from the start. Leveraging algorithms to prescreen applicants may seem like a beneficial approach to the grueling challenge of reviewing resumes, it’s not perfect. CIO magazine reports that as much as 62 percent of businesses who employ ATS admit this advanced software disqualified otherwise qualified candidates.

Optimize Tech Support Resume Format for ATS

With over half of all companies who leverage ATS as part of their hiring process admitting that this program eliminated qualified candidates, it seems beating the competition isn’t the only challenge you must overcome. Applicant tracking systems may help save hiring managers time, but they pose a unique hurdle for job seekers. In our current digital age, the best resume format isn’t just about layout and font, but ensuring your resume is properly scanned by ATS programs.

Avoid using serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, as ATS programs have difficulty reading it, which may result in your application being rejected. The best format for tech support resumes is one that focuses on experience and skill in a layout that’s easy for ATS programs to scan and evaluate your qualifications. The first step is making sure your resume format clearly labels each section. Tech support resumes should consist of standard headers, such as work experience, summary and skills.

Pepperdine University covers a variety of ATS tips, which include a job-specific qualifications summary with relevant skills, achievements and work experience. Regardless of your experience or specializations, be sure to include keywords pulled directly from the job posting. Remember, the ATS program determines your eligibility based on how closely a resume matches keywords and phrases found in the job description.

Tech Support Resume Layout Guidelines

While employers have unique requirements for their tech support workers, the ability to handle support tickets and satisfy customer inquiries is paramount. To satisfy both ATS and human readers, resume format should be clean and free from excessive designs, such as graphics, text boxes and tables. Instead, format your resume so vital information is under appropriate headings and delivered in concise bulleted lists.

The challenge for tech support resumes is showcasing your technical abilities alongside your customer service talents. Reverse-chronological resume formatting is the most common layout for tech support professionals. Essentially, this format begins with your most recent, or current, employer and then lists additional experience from most to least recent. This format is also easiest for ATS programs to understand. Avoid dramatic stylistic choices, which often result in your resume being rejected by ATS programs.

Attract Attention With Quantifiable Data

The biggest mistake made in tech support resumes is filling each section with generalized claims and technical jargon. Avoid this rookie move by replacing overarching claims with quantifiable information. Instead of reporting you exceeded expectations, explicitly detail how these expectations were exceeded. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers offers a solution for quantifying your accomplishments by asking yourself if what would have happened if you didn’t do a specific task. On average, you have less than 25 seconds to impress a hiring manager with your resume.

Choosing the best tech support resume format is more about understanding how your resume is handled once submitted. Whether scanned by an ATS program or read by a human, the most successful tech support resumes are those that use a simplified layout filled with relevant and quantifiable information. While the job hunt is not something many look forward to undertaking, adjusting your approach based upon how resumes are used in the hiring process will push you closer to the job of your dreams.

Related Resources:

What is Technical Support?

Is There a Difference Between Tech Support and Customer Support?

Do Many Companies Allow Their Programmers to Work Remotely?

Is it Better To Specialize in One Area or Being Competent in Multiple Areas? 

What is the Best Format For My Resume as a Programmer?

What is a Typical Starting Salary for a Programmer?

What is the Hardest Thing about Being a Computer Programmer?

What’s the Difference Between Coding and Programming?