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Getting your resume apprenticeship-ready

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Written by Apprenticeship Recruiting Team

Your resume is a company’s first impression of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. It’s a daunting task to summarize all of your professional accomplishments into a single document, even more so when you’re trying to transition into a new career or industry! 

Some questions you may encounter: What if my previous jobs aren’t relevant to what I’m applying for? What are recruiters looking for when they look at my resume? How can I best summarize my skills and experience? 

There are so many different questions that arise when you begin to refresh your resume in hopes of landing a new job. In today’s blog post, we’re going to walk you through resume tips on how to best present your experience as you kick off your job search!

This blog post is intended for folks who are specifically looking to transition into Software Engineering and apply for an early career Software Engineering position like the Pinterest Apprenticeship Program. Although, a few of the tips we share can be applicable to all job searches, so we encourage all to continue reading. At the end, you’ll get some bonus tips from our engineering hiring managers and recruiters! 

Content tips

Tip 1: Think about all the transferable skills you have gained from previous roles and how they relate to being a Software Engineer 

Every job you’ve had, no matter how different it may be from software engineering, has taught you something that can be useful as a software engineer. Take some time to brainstorm what that could be. 

Tip 2: Every project counts, so don’t be afraid to list them 

Recruiters know that this may be your first software engineering role, especially for early career programs like Apprenticeships. With that in mind, they aren’t just looking for software engineering experience in a professional workplace. They’re looking for ways that you’ve practiced or honed your skillset.

That being said, list all relevant or notable projects that you’ve worked on during your training or even on the side as a passion project. Personal projects are a great way to show insight into your personality as well. 

Formatting Tips: 

Tip 3: Have a section dedicated to listing all of the languages you’re comfortable coding in

Make sure your headings are useful in highlighting your key skills and accomplishments so that if a recruiter is glancing at your resume, then you can make a strong impression quickly. 

Tip 4: Try to get your resume to one page

Since recruiters are reviewing hundreds of resumes at a time (for roughly 7.4 seconds each), you’ll want to make your resume as simple and easy to read as possible. It’s highly recommended that you keep your resume consolidated to one page and prioritize only the most useful and relevant information. It’s usually only recommended to have more than one page of content when you have 10+ years of relevant experience or professional achievements. 

Tip 5: Make sure your links are all up-to-date and correct

This may be a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many resumes have broken links or outdated content! It’s recommended that you do a thorough review of all of the links on your resume prior to clicking submit. 

Tip 6: Save as a PDF

Last, but not least, make sure you save your document as PDF. This often goes overlooked, but saving your resume as a PDF will allow it to be easily readable (especially in an Applicant Tracking System) and will keep all of your formatting in place. You won’t have to worry about botched links, content spilling over where it’s not supposed to be or information completely in the wrong place.

Those are just a few tips to get you started. All of your personal and professional experience has given you valuable and transferable skills that will contribute to your software engineering career, so don’t be afraid to highlight everything that makes you unique. 

Tips from the Pinterest team

As a bonus section, we’ve asked some Pinployees (Pinterest employees) to share their best resume tip with you all! 

Abby Uzamere, Recruiter & Program Manager, Apprenticeships 

“My best resume tip for Apprentice Engineers is to show your journey. I love seeing resumes of candidates who started in a different skill/trade, or candidates who took time off to grow a family, or candidates who were doing something completely different and decided on a career change. Tell me your story, don’t leave anything out!”

David Chang, Senior Software Engineer & Vets@ Pinclusion Group member

“Keep your resume at a one page max - all of the important bits should be on there and nothing more. In addition to that, it's not the end of the world if you fail an interview. It happens to everyone. Cast your net wide!

Also, imposter syndrome is real! It affects just about everyone I know, and it's going to be even more prevalent with apprentices. Find a group of people you can be vulnerable with to talk about it.”

Karina Sobhani, Director of Engineering for Search and Shopping & former Engineering Apprentice Manager

“For each of the points on your resume, focus on impact and outcomes! Use real-life examples and quantitative data to support your impact - this shows that you can deliver results. Metrics are an incredibly powerful way of sharing your value, so use them to your advantage. 

As an example, let’s say one of the lines on your resume reads, ‘Created a new release process for the full engineering team, by introducing more structure and an end-to-end testing process.’ Here is an improved version: ‘Spearheaded and developed a new structured software release process, reducing bugs released into production by 50% for a 40 person engineering organization.’

This reframing shows the scope and impact of your work. Not every project will have quantifiable impact, but this will also help you seek opportunities to gain experience that does bring measurable results.”

Next steps

At Pinterest, we look for more than strong engineers. Our team is made up of people who are excited about the product, technical challenges and the values important for living well-rounded lives. Applications for our Engineering Apprenticeship Program will be opening soon! To receive updates and notifications for the apprenticeship program, fill out this form. For updates on the latest roles available at Pinterest, check out our open opportunities

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