Resume help for non-automation testers

Software testing has always been difficult to be understood. It’s even more out of fashion nowadays (for the wrong reasons?). Software testers often don’t do a good job of describing what they did and how they contributed. Resumes are usually a dry list such as, ‘created test plans’, ‘reported defects’, ‘was part of scrum team’. These usually reflect the list in recruitment advertisements or how testers are perceived in their organizations.

In this post I have included two examples of how to describe what you did as a tester who wasn’t focused on automation.

Profile 1 — Software Tester

This engineer worked on a web based client server product. He was the only tester in a distributed team. He didn’t have strong technical skills to start with. However, he did a good job of understanding the application and worked well with developers to understand changes that they made. Unfortunately, testing in his organization was making sure the software worked as expected. When it didn’t work, the team would get a earful of ‘C’mon….’ or ‘Really……’.

This is how he described his role:

Coordinated the testing activities within the team.
Preparation of Daily Status Report and Weekly Status Report.
Coordinated with Onsite team on resolving issues & meeting client deliverables on time.
Attending sprint planning and scrum meetings (agile).
Hands on experience in the area of Black Box testing.
Reviewing functional specifications, different documents and test plans.
Active participation in Retrospective meetings.
Smoke testing on daily builds.
Build deployment on ********
Retesting of bugs fixed and Regression testing.
Involved in reviewing project release notes.
Co-ordination with other team to execute dependent job.
Co -ordinate with developer on various stages.

This is how I rewrote his contribution:

  • Very strong understanding of **** application.

Profile 2 — Test Lead

This engineer worked with a enterprise client server software product. He was very knowledgeable in this complex product. He worked well with internal teams such as support and pre-sales. He also solved many critical customer problems.

This is how he described his role:


As Module Lead my role included the following tasks:

Estimation for the efforts on the owned component.

Writing the Test Plan for the owned component.

Tracking for execution of the Test cases.

Leading efforts in customer related escalation in owned component.

Rewritten role description

This is how I rewrote his contribution:

  • Very knowledgeable in Enterprise single sign-on. Tested a product that works with a wide variety of applications. This includes desktop applications, mainframe, enterprise applications like SAP, Oracle, web applications. Implemented SSO for various security applications like ISIM, QRadar.

In this case, the tester was ready for a senior technical role in testing or related roles such as support. He had a good understanding of the overall software portfolio, customer needs, the shortcomings of the product and the market.

Rather than focus of the mechanics of what you did, it’s better to focus on how you contributed and the outcomes. How were you creative during testing? What did you do other than follow the process? Did you acquire knowledge in a particular domain, such as financial applications? A good way to get started is to create a list of what you do during your job. You can also brainstorm a list with a colleague. This exercise may also lead you to a better understanding of testing.

Written by

Software testing, project management, managing testers

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