Looking to boost your career opportunities as a QA tester? Learn how to create a resume that showcases your skills and stands out to hiring managers
Quality assurance testers work closely with product development teams to ensure that products meet standards before market release. As a QA tester, you’ll be trusted to determine if a product is ready to be distributed. Hiring managers need to be confident you have the necessary skills to complete the job responsibilities.
If you have the background to enter a QA tester role and believe this is the right position for you, the next step is to develop a resume showcasing your skills. Learn tips on tailoring your resume to QA tester positions, choosing the proper layout, and enhancing your credentials to stand out amongst the competition.
Hiring managers typically look at resumes for between six and seven seconds . When you build your resume, you’ll want to highlight your skills in a way that grabs the reader’s attention quickly. While relevant skills and experience are important, how you design your resume and describe your strengths will greatly impact whether you move forward to an interview. Here are some tips to help you land a position.
When building your resume, you want the hiring manager to feel that you’re an amazing candidate. Show the employer you have the technical and workplace skills to be a QA tester. Tailoring your resume to the job description and industry shows you have spent time considering whether this is the right area for you and that you’re willing to put effort into the position.
Keywords are relevant to the job description and help show that you’re qualified for the position. For example, if a job posting mentions a software you’re familiar with, including the name of the software in your resume will help you get noticed. The same goes for skills and attributes. If the job requires high-level communication skills, mentioning communication in your resume can benefit you.
If you notice that jobs repeatedly ask for a skill or qualification you don’t have, completing a course or certification can be worthwhile to build your resume and prepare you for QA tester positions. Many companies also use applicant tracking software (ATS) software to scan resumes before hiring managers to see them. Including relevant keywords matching the job description and your skills and experience will help your resume reach the next stage. Only include skill and experience keywords that you can back up once you're in the interview.
Using action verbs emphasizes your contributions to previous roles. Instead of saying, “I was involved in a quality assurance project,” try using action verbs to elaborate on your specific tasks. Using phrases such as “improved the user satisfaction rating by 10% on the product by implementing [...]” or “collaborated with a team of 15 engineers to improve [...]” will leave a more favorable impression and help hiring managers to have a clearer idea of your previous experiences.
A cramped resume with tiny margins can be overwhelming, while a resume with too large margins can make it look like you have less experience than you do. A standard 1-inch margin will help your resume look clean and professional.
Similar to setting the proper margins, picking a professional-looking font will help make a favorable impression on employers. Fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, and Calabria in 12-point are good choices if you’re unsure what font to pick.
Hiring managers typically read large volumes of resumes, so having a header that stands out can help grab their attention. When you create a header, include your name, contact information, and job title.
After choosing your layout and format, the next step will be deciding how to organize your experiences. Generally, there are two main styles for QA tester resumes: skills-based ordering or reverse chronological order.
For reverse chronological order, you’ll list your most recent professional experience first, the second-most recent, and so on. This may be a good layout option for you if you have relevant professional experience that shows a progression towards a QA tester role.
If you want to highlight your QA skills or don’t have relevant recent professional experience, a skills-based resume layout (also known as a functional resume) could be a better fit. This type of layout focuses on your relevant skills. For this, you will have a section labeled “Relevant Skills,” "Summary of Skills," or something similar. In this section, you’ll list achievements or work experiences that demonstrate how you used your skills.
For a QA tester position, make sure to read the job description. Note what the company is looking for, such as skills, qualifications, and values. Consider your experiences and how it exemplify the values and skills the employer is looking for. Describe your experiences that highlight what the hiring manager is seeking.
QA tester positions often require related coursework or certification, so including an education section can demonstrate that you’ve put time and effort into building your quality assurance skills. For this section, you may want to list any:
Institutions attended and degrees earned
Strong GPAs (typically over 3.5)
Certifications or online courses
List the material that represents you the best. If you notice gaps, such as coursework related to quality assurance, earning a professional certificate or taking additional coursework may be beneficial.
Read more: How to List Education on a Resume
If you don’t have any relevant professional experience, including volunteer work, informal work experience, community engagement, and internships can help demonstrate your relevant job skills.
QA testers are responsible for using various technical and workplace skills. While many of these skills will be mentioned in the descriptions of your previous experience, having a dedicated skills section can provide a glimpse of your strengths. Scanning the job posting and its required qualities and skills may help you decide which skills to include.
If you’re still developing a skill, you can put your experience level alongside it. For example, you could put “beginner-level C++ programming” or “intermediate-level Excel.” If you don’t have many technical skills, emphasize your workplace skills. Employers want to hire someone pleasant to work with and able to represent the company well. Showcasing that you’re adaptable, collaborative, organized, and have strong communication skills may also grab the attention of employers.
Read more: What Are Job Skills and Why Do They Matter?
To describe your skills and work experience, use bullet points to break up the sections, making it easier to read and scan. This will leave a more favorable impression on hiring managers.
Quality assurance testers must be detail-oriented and meticulous to avoid releasing a product that doesn’t meet the required standards. Hiring managers will often look for evidence of these skills, and a resume with grammar and spelling mistakes will show them otherwise. You want to convince employers that you produce high-quality work and will be an asset to the team. Proofread and show that you put time into your resume can make you more likely to land an interview.
While your contact information may be included in the application, you want to make it as easy as possible for hiring managers to reach out to you. On your resume, include your full name, phone number, and email address. If you have a website or professional page, you can also include the URL of that.
Hiring managers want to see that you have the right educational background, skills, and experience for the job. Consider the following QA-specific skills and qualifications for your resume.
While experience can sometimes make up for formal education, having relevant schooling can assure employers that you have the training needed to produce high-quality work.
Typically, employers will look for a bachelor’s degree in a technical field, such as software engineering, information systems, or computer science. An associate degree may suffice for some positions. In some cases, coursework in business or an MBA may be preferred to ensure you understand how your quality assurance work is part of the larger business plan.
If you don’t have educational experience in this area, but you believe QA testing would be an excellent role for you, taking a QA engineering boot camp or earning a professional certification in a related field can help you build the skills you need.
Earning a certification is also a great way to make your resume stand out. Not only this, but it sets you up for promotions and growth within your current position. Certifications recommended for QA tester positions include:
Certified Test Engineer (CSTE)
Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA)
Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST)
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) certifications
Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ)
The job description should give you a good idea of what to include. Employers hiring for QA tester positions will look for the following skills.
In general, you want to show a strong basis in coding skills and knowledge of commonly used quality assurance software and programs. On your resume, you might highlight:
Automation software skills
Mobile and web technologies
Software development lifecycle
Software testing tools (Selenium, WinSCP, Firebug, OpenSTA, etc.)
You’ll likely collaborate with other employees and partner organizations as a QA tester. You want your resume to show hiring managers that you can work with teams effectively, clearly communicate ideas, handle difficult situations, and take charge of your job responsibilities. To showcase this, the following skills you possess can help you stand out.
Written and verbal communication
Now that you know how to build a resume, you can start thinking about what strengths and qualifications set you apart. One way to expand your opportunities is to complete a Professional Certificate or course, such as the ones offered on Coursera. Beginner course options such as Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety by The George Washington University and Agile with Atlassian Jira by Atlassian University can help you build your skills and grow your professional opportunities in the QA tester field.
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1. Indeed. "How Long Do Hiring Managers Look at a Resume?, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/how-long-do-employers-look-at-resumes#:~:text=On%20average%2C%20employers%20look%20at,for%20only%20a%20few%20seconds." Accessed July 19, 2022.
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