What should be on a QA tester’s résumé? (2023)

Professional software testers need job-hunting advice, just like anybody else. The key takeaway from recruiters? Customize your résumé — and witch the typos!

Job hunting is no fun, whether you’re a beginner in software quality assurance or you have been doing it for decades. Whatever your experience level, however, the first step in finding a new position is to create a résumé – a prospect that intimidates everyone. What do you say? How do you say it? How can you get it past the gatekeepers?

We stormed the barricades for you to find out directly from IT recruiters what it takes to succeed. Here’s their advice – both general and specific – for getting your résumé into the hands of a QA hiring manager.

The key takeaway: “It’s important to tailor your résumé to the prospective employer,” advises Adam Bennett, a director of permanent placement services for Robert Half Technology. “It doesn’t take as much time as you might think, but can make or break your chances of landing an interview.”

Don’t mass apply with the same résumé. That may go against the advice of well-meaning family and friends, and it certainly takes more time than a copy-and-paste. But think about it: Nobody is qualified for hundreds of professional jobs. You’re not one-size-fits-all. Your work history isn’t one-size-fits-all. You’ve got particular skills and particular experience; they fit very well for certain jobs but don’t sync at all with others.

Create a generic résumé, for starters. But then target your search and customize it for every job you apply for. What’s important, says Michael Fitzgerald of the Arizona office of Vincent Benjamin, isn’t to include everything you’ve done, but to create a narrative that shows a career trajectory. “If you want to be a QA, you shouldn’t be listing your food service industry experience.” Instead of the résumé telling the story of “who you are,” he says, trace how you’ve always been the person you want to be.

Essential items

Let’s start with the basics, before we decorate them with the QA-specific examples. Depending on where you are in your career, some of this advice may be familiar. However, it’s worth reviewing, because résumé styles go in and out of fashion.

Name/address—yes, but

If you’re applying to a company directly, include your phone number and personal email address. However, if you’re entering your résumé into an online database, protect your privacy by deleting your phone number. You may want to consider creating a separate email address for job searches so you don’t risk having your personal address spammed.

Photograph—no

If you’ve applied for work outside the U.S., you may have been taught it’s standard practice to include a photograph with a résumé. In North America, it’s just the opposite: Companies fear discrimination lawsuits. Leave out the photo! So that’s one less item to worry about.

Statement of objectives—no

It was once popular to include a “statement of objectives,” at the top of your résumé, but doing so is increasingly seen as redundant. Of course your objective is to advance in your field!

(Video) How to Write a GREAT Software Tester RESUME? 🔥 | QA Resume for Freshers & Experienced

If you’re trying to branch out or change your career direction, make that case in a strong cover letter. A “statement of objectives” that says so only contradicts the rest of your résumé.

Skills/keywords—yes!

The Skills/keywords section functions as an abstract for your résumé. Included just after your contact information, it may be the single most important part of contemporary résumés. Human recruiters scan quickly, while computer algorithms seek out keywords.

Use an introductory phrase to quickly establish what you are (e.g. Quality Assurance expert with ten years of experience at Fortune 500 companies and successful start-ups), bullet points for details, and just plain keywords. Consider all the alternate terms used for the same things (such as “QA tester” versus “test engineer”) and do your best to weave each of them into the narrative.

Here are some of the most common QA keywords, according to Bennett: test automation, Jira, SQL, Java, scripting, database, user interface. Spell out quality assurance the first time you use it; you can write QA thereafter. Include all the computer languages you know and the tools that you’ve used, but leave off the “duh!” stuff such as Microsoft Office.

For every response, include bullet-point phrases that exactly match the specific requirements in each different ad. Rushed recruiters can miss that “QA manager at Microsoft 2012-2017” translates to “Must have experience leading QA teams at Fortune 100 company.”

Professional Experience—yes! 20 years—no

There are two schools of thought on how to present your experience: chronological and functional.

  • The chronological résumé lists everything you’ve done starting with your current job and going backwards.
  • The functional résumé lists your skills, with various jobs highlighting proof points.

For both types, use the specific job title you held, even if it isn’t quite what you did. The reason, explains Bennett, is when recruiters do background checks they check that title, and nobody wants to encounter a mismatch with the HR department. So if you were called Quality Administrator 3, use it on your résumé with a detailed explanation of what you actually did.

Functional résumés are useful if you’ve done a lot of contract work and want to make a professional narrative out of lots of one-off gigs; they are also good if you’ve alternated QA with other types of work and want to focus solely on QA. Hiring managers are fine with functional résumés if they just want to be reassured that you have the experience they’re seeking.

Chronological résumés are often easier for more traditional employers (and time-pressed recruiters) to understand. These résumés are essential if you’re applying for a job that may require a security clearance, because eventually you have to account for everything you’ve done in the last ten years. If 2010 is a little foggy, you may want to consider applying for a different position.

(Video) How to write QA resume?

Whichever résumé type you choose, make sure to be detailed when discussing your QA accomplishments. “Any résumé that doesn’t give ‘scope or scale’ can be hard for managers to relate to,” says Fitzgerald.

If you’re an older applicant, you know the Catch 22 about the Experience section of a résumé. Everyone says that you should not go back more than ten years, but that can mean vital experience gets chopped off. What to do?

Fitzgerald pulls no punches. “Frankly, most technologies that we used prior to 2000 have been completely deprecated in production environments.” While some protocols and embedded tech might be an exception, those rarely are relevant to QA professionals. The result is that there are few older types of experience that would be relevant for QA testers to list. “If they wanted to put everything in there, or had a great ‘feather in their cap,’ it should go into a ‘skills’ or ‘keywords’ section,” he adds.

Bennett agrees. If you accomplished something major that is relevant to a particular position for which you are applying, he advises, “Consider saving anecdotes about any QA experience beyond the ten-year mark in your professional background for the interview.”

Education/Certifications—yes. Dates—no

All they need to know is if you graduated. Not when. The exception is a certification that’s critical to keep updated.

Only include certifications that are relevant to the position. Hey, it’s great that you’re a certified nutrition coach, but it’s not going to get you a QA job.

Side projects and volunteer work

Include these only if they’re directly relevant to QA or if they sync with the company’s corporate culture. For example, if you know the company truly values sustainability, mention your time helping recycle old computer equipment. Otherwise, just stick to QA projects.

Style and substance

Things have changed – somewhat – since the days when the first step in applying for a job was a trip to Kinko’s.

Formatting and length

“Résumés are far more basic than people give them credit for,” says Fitzgerald. “Often they’re far too stylized when all they need to do is convey information.”

(Video) How To Write A Resume | Freshers & Experienced

Even creative types dial it back when it comes to résumés. No fancy fonts. No crazy colors. Black ink, white background. San serif fonts such as Calibri or Century Gothic, 10-12 point, single-space, 1 to 1.5 inch margins. You can cheat a little to fit text in, but don’t crowd it.

Keep your résumé to no more than two pages. Recruiters judge you on whether you can convey information succinctly. You can stick additional details on LinkedIn.

Language

“Just keep it simple,” says Fitzgerald. Need a checklist?

  • What have you tested?
  • How did you test it?
  • What tools did you use?
  • What programming languages have you worked with? Which testing methods?
  • Can you create automated tests? Can you build ATF?
  • Mention team size and product/project scope.

“If it doesn’t relate to what you tested, who you tested it for, how you tested, why that test was done, or what the impact of that test was, it likely isn’t that important,” Fitzgerald adds.

Use statements that are direct, simple, past tense, and don’t exaggerate. Ever. “Only list things you’ve actually worked with and can speak to,” cautions Fitzgerald. “Expect that a manager may ask you questions specifically about your experience with it – and if you say, ‘Well, I used it once,’ it goes on to discredit the rest of your résumé. You leave them wondering, what else is B.S. on here?”

Companies love ROI, so quantify. If there’s anywhere you can make a strong before/after case, do so. “No matter how impressive or extensive your skill set, employers want to understand how your expertise in QA will affect their bottom line,” says Bennett.

And please, no buzzwords! Assume the employer knows you’re a team-oriented self-starter who can multi-task.

Proofreading

Our minds interpolate missing information, which is why you should never, ever the only proofreader of your résumé. You (we hope) saw that the word “be” was missing from the previous sentence. Have several other people read your résumé before you send it out. Overwhelmed recruiters are looking for any reason to cull the pile, and if your typo gives them a good excuse, they’ll take it.

Bennett lays it on the line: “The best QA engineers are detail-oriented, and that should come through in your résumé.”

(Video) How To Write a Cover Letter for a QA / Software Tester Job with Template?

Best wishes for success to all of you!

Make sure that you have all the relevant skills for getting a QA job! Say, by improving your skill at writing test cases. We have a handy white paper to help you get started.

What should be on a QA tester’s résumé? (1)

by Karen Heyman

Karen Heyman has created content for Fortune 500 corporations, as well as freelanced for publications from Electronic Engineering Times to Science.

FAQs

How do I write a resume for a QA tester? ›

QA Testing: Critical Skills Your Résumé Should Highlight
  1. Critical thinking.
  2. Flexibility.
  3. Communication skills.
  4. Coachability.
  5. Teamwork.
  6. Problem Solving skills.
  7. Business Development.
  8. Product and Project Management.
17 May 2022

What skills do you need to be a QA tester? ›

Five Must-Have Skills to Look for in a QA Tester
  • Critical thinking. A company's product must meet its customers' requirements. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Excellent communication skills. ...
  • Quick to learn. ...
  • Collaboration and social skills.
18 May 2020

Why should we hire you answer for QA tester? ›

I'm a passionate tester, and if you hire me, you will see that I am always motivated to do a great job. I have always enjoyed problem-solving, and with a testing role, I feel I can do that every day. I'm also involved in online tester communities and participate in other testing projects in my spare time.

What we can write skills of QA resume? ›

Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a QA tester resume.
...
QA Skills for a Resume.
QA Hard SkillsQA Soft Skills
Micro Focus LoadRunnerProblem Solving
YourKit Java ProfilerWork Well Under Pressure
JUnitTime Management
SeleniumAnalysis and Research
3 more rows

What are the five QA competencies? ›

Here are some examples of QA skills that professionals use:
  • Decision-making skills. ...
  • Teamwork and collaboration. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Knowledge of quality standards. ...
  • Apply automation testing. ...
  • Take advantage of training and development opportunities.
3 Jul 2022

What makes a great QA tester? ›

A good QA tester should take pride in the quality of work they are responsible for delivering – not for the number of bugs they find. A QA tester should ensure that every single piece of work – no matter how small – is delivered to the highest standard. Don't just focus on finding mistakes in the developer's work.

How do I become a QA tester with no experience? ›

The qualifications that you need to become a quality assurance tester (QA tester) with no experience include a computer-related degree, the ability to undergo training, and computer coding skills.

What qualities should a QA have? ›

We've compiled six traits of a great QA engineer.
  • Inquisitive. Ask, “What if…” to better understand the product or the requirements. ...
  • Thorough. Obsessed with checking work, recreating defects to verify them and testing everything that needs to be tested. ...
  • Diplomatic. Great communicator. ...
  • Creative. ...
  • Perspective. ...
  • Skilled.

How do I pass a QA interview? ›

Read about different testing types and think how you might have used those testing types in your projects. Talked about all the important testing tools that you have used and how you used them. Be updated about the latest technologies. Read a little bit about the Industry 4.0 for example.

What is your weakness best answer? ›

Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

What is the most important strength you would bring to QA team? ›

Curiosity & positive attitude

The team should be encouraged and empowered to ask questions and feel confident to do so. The QA people who don't wonder why something happens will likely become easily bored and will miss many problems by just accepting a problem's behavior as correct without questioning it.

What are the 7 elements of skills resume? ›

A résumé serves many purposes. Obviously, it displays pertinent contact information and an overview of your skills and experience.
...
The 7 Ingredients of a Well-Written Entry-Level Résumé
  • Font and point size. ...
  • Contact information. ...
  • Objective. ...
  • Summary. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Experience. ...
  • Skills.
17 Jul 2014

What are 4 points of quality assurance? ›

The 4 stages in the quality assurance process are: Plan, implement, check, and adjust.

What are the 8 principles of quality assurance? ›

The 8 principles of QMS
  • Principle 1: customer focus. ...
  • Principle 2: leadership. ...
  • Principle 3: people involvement. ...
  • Principle 4: process approach. ...
  • Principle 5: systematic approach to management. ...
  • Principle 6: continual improvement. ...
  • Principle 7: factual approach to decision making. ...
  • Principle 8: mutually beneficial supplier relations.
13 Oct 2018

What are the 7 key principles of quality? ›

The seven principles of quality management are:
  • Engagement of people.
  • Customer focus.
  • Leadership.
  • Process approach.
  • Improvement.
  • Evidence-based decision making.
  • Relationship management.

What are top 3 things most failed testers do? ›

Various contributors
  1. Fail to communicate. ...
  2. Try to fix the bug yourself. ...
  3. Assume you are a multi-tasking expert. ...
  4. Be afraid of asking questions. ...
  5. Give In (quickly) ...
  6. Stop learning. ...
  7. Ignore your intuition. ...
  8. Begin testing before understanding the scope and requirements.

What soft skills are most needed for a tester? ›

Soft Skills for Testers
  1. Communication. This is, by far, the most important soft skill. ...
  2. Organized, Proactive, and Results Driven. ...
  3. Problem Solving. ...
  4. End User Empathy & Understanding of Business Strategy. ...
  5. Adaptability. ...
  6. Ability to Carry a Meeting and Make Deals. ...
  7. Team Player & Great Attitude. ...
  8. Eagerness to Learn.

What is the most important task for a tester? ›

An important task for the software tester is to know the kind of code fixes the developer has applied and how they will affect the software. He should also understand and discuss how the developer fixed the particular bug and its effects on the product.

What is the most challenging being a QA? ›

QA Engineers- How Can They Help? Enhancing the app's performance that one doesn't understand is always challenging. So, a software quality assurance analyst identifies the gap in the process and makes the project more efficient. Finding errors and gaps in the application can be time-consuming.

What is the first step of QA answer? ›

What is the first step of QA? Explanation: Identification of customer need is the first step of QA after which further basic elements of QA are identified. QA depends not only on QC but also on the activities of the entire company.

Is QA tester job easy? ›

QA testing can be a very repetitive process, so it's easy to lose focus after analyzing and reporting for long periods of time. Since so much of the job can seem repetitive, QA testers have to possess a sense of discipline to get through the job.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years as a QA tester? ›

Q-5: Where do you want to see yourself after five years down the line? Ans: I'm an organized professional who plans for the future. But my preference goes to finish the current goals. And at present, I'm preparing for a job change.

What are the core responsibilities of a QA? ›

What does a Quality Assurance Engineer do? A QA engineer creates tests that identify issues with software before a product launch. These tests entail other tasks such as developing and running new tests and reporting their results to stakeholders, who will collaborate to fix program bugs or problems.

What are QA responsibilities? ›

Quality Assurance Duties and Responsibilities

Documenting and reporting product or service quality levels. Developing and implementing standards for inspection. Developing a workflow for product inspection. Developing plans to help a company manage waste. Communicating with other team members to solve problems.

How can I improve my QA skills? ›

14 Best Practices to Improve Your QA Testing Skills
  1. But how do you become a great QA tester?
  2. Promote an environment where QA is a team responsibility.
  3. Test early and often.
  4. Track your work with project or iteration planning tools like Jira and Rally.
  5. Get involved in pull requests testing.
  6. Build trust.
20 May 2022

Do QA testers make good money? ›

As of Nov 24, 2022, the average hourly pay for a QA Tester in the United States is $35.91 an hour. While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $58.17 and as low as $10.58, the majority of QA Tester wages currently range between $25.96 (25th percentile) to $44.95 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Does QA tester need coding? ›

Quality Analysts − Quality analysts (QA) evaluate the functionality and entirety of the test. These analysts test the software product after the development phase has been completed. The role of a QA is not as technical as a developer; thus, QA may not need to learn coding or write code.

Can I become a QA tester without a degree? ›

Most hiring companies prefer candidates with degrees in computer science or engineering, but you can make the cut without these requirements. You must prepare for the upcoming interview and technical test you'll undergo if preselected.

How can a QA stand out? ›

Here's my short list of the most underrated and overlooked skills in the QA profession.
  1. Know how to ask the right questions, and when to ask them. ...
  2. Know how to listen. ...
  3. Know how to focus on what business stakeholders care about ... and forget the rest. ...
  4. Know how to play well with others: Take a developer to lunch.

How long is a QA interview? ›

In general, most QA interviews will take between one and two hours to complete, though there may be multiple interviews over the entire hiring process.

What are 3 examples of weaknesses? ›

Examples of Weaknesses.
  • Self-criticism.
  • Shyness.
  • Lack of knowledge of particular software.
  • Public speaking.
  • Taking criticism.
  • Lack of experience.
  • Inability to delegate.
  • Lack of confidence.

What are 3 good weaknesses in a job interview? ›

Examples of weaknesses on the job
  • Inexperience with specific software or a non-essential skill.
  • Tendency to take on too much responsibility.
  • Nervousness about public speaking.
  • Hesitancy about delegating tasks.
  • Discomfort taking big risks.
  • Impatience with bureaucracies.
13 Dec 2021

Why should I hire you sample answer? ›

“Honestly, I possess all the skills and experience that you're looking for. I'm pretty confident that I am the best candidate for this job role. It's not just my background in the past projects, but also my people skills, which will be applicable in this position.

What is your strength as a QA tester? ›

A tester should be able to think and visualize the product just with the details provided through the requirements and hence they should be quite creative and also be able to rip the product by identifying the gaps in the product and showcase how effectively their product can be used and even prove it by identifying ...

What 3 qualities can you bring to the team? ›

Team player qualities and characteristics
  • You understand your role. As a team member, you understand your role within the team and work to achieve your duties to the best of your ability. ...
  • You welcome collaboration. ...
  • You hold yourself accountable. ...
  • You are flexible. ...
  • You have a positive attitude. ...
  • You commit to the team.

How do you answer the 3 greatest strengths? ›

When answering, mention what your top strengths are, provide examples on how you've used them in the past, and finally, describe the results you've gotten. Be super specific with your answers. Don't just say “I'm good at X” - really dive deep and give the interviewer a comprehensive answer.

How do you write a QA job description? ›

Example QA job description
  1. Develop and adhere to company quality assurance principles.
  2. Create effective testing procedures.
  3. Diagnose, document and correct quality complaints and issues.
  4. Identify and execute training needs for the whole company.
  5. Collaborate with internal teams to analyze system requirements.
29 Sept 2021

How do I become a QA with no experience? ›

The qualifications that you need to become a quality assurance tester (QA tester) with no experience include a computer-related degree, the ability to undergo training, and computer coding skills.

What is QA job description? ›

A Quality Assurance Specialist is a professional who is responsible for monitoring, inspecting and proposing measures to correct or improve an organization's final products in order to meet established quality standards.

What makes a good QA person? ›

A good QA person has the skill of working beyond technology and practices. Intuition is a significant skill to have. Being inquisitive and working to understand and solve issues not only through testing but using intuition is a good thing. Those who can follow their gut gain insight as they gain experience.

What should a QA document include? ›

Test cases are pretty simple – this QA documentation consists of 7 sections: ID, Test Case, Testing Steps, Expected Result, Status, Actual Result, and Comments. ID is a unique number assigned to your test case.

What is a QA summary? ›

A QA test summary report provides details of any important information uncovered during any phase of testing.

What are QA test lead roles and responsibilities? ›

QA Lead's responsibilities include estimating, planning, and coordinating testing activities. The QA Lead will also ensure that quality issues and defects are appropriately identified, documented, tracked, and resolved.

Is QA testing difficult? ›

The work of a QA specialist involves; verifying product requirements, performing risk assessments, improving the quality of the product, testing, planning, and analyzing test results. It's not too demanding or challenging, though. Unlike other office jobs that are often exhausting and can lead to professional burnout.

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