QA (“quality assurance”) testing is a key step that software companies use to ensure their products will perform as designed in the “real world.” QA testers find bugs, make sure UI/UX is optimized, and call out any larger problems with the software before consumers get their hands on it. It’s a complex job, which can make writing a good QA tester resume a vexing challenge at times.
Ideally, your resume show that you have a history of discovering crucial bugs and errors and helping solve them quickly. That requires you to not only highlight technical skills, but also “soft skills” such as communication and teamwork (especially since QA testers must often collaborate closely with their engineering colleagues).
Hiring managers and recruiters know that software is a high-stakes game and that customers are a demanding (and often fickle) bunch. They want QA testers they can boast about to customers and clients. In light of that, you can boost your chances of landing the job if your resume focuses on your meticulousness. We spoke to a few experts for additional tips.
QA Tester Resume Template
Building a QA tester resume? Take a look at this template:
Get Great at – Automation?
It may seem counterintuitive to be great at automating processes for QA testing, but don’t worry. While many folks like to frame automation as a job-stealing technology, it’s also used to enhance productivity and allow for a more well-rounded and varied approach to work. Yang Zhang, CEO and co-founder at Plasmic, says: “I like to see cross-platform experience and experience with automation tools. The specific tools aren't as important as having a deep hands-on background in working with two or three.”
Daniel Castro, Principal QA Engineer at StuDocu, tells Dice: “Most of the QA professionals are constantly looking for development in the trending topics like test automation, which is definitely important.”
Know the Whole Business
While automating tests can be critical to a QA tester’s day-to-day work, Castro advises testers to expose themselves to how the company and software development processes work so they can better understand the “why” of what they do:
“Sometimes [QA professionals] forget that the tests to be automated need to cover and validate properly the business requirements of the features being developed and with the best technical solution for that. A good understanding about the Business Development process and the System Architecture should provide enough awareness respectively about the priorities to create a good QA Strategy and Test Plan, and good insights about the best technology to be adopted for that.”
Zhang reminds us: “Reporting on issues requires hard communication skills, such as writing summaries and assessments.” If those assessments are relevant to the software development process and can speak to things like return on investment, your reporting will be noticed well above your pay grade. (Soft skills always pay off!)
The more you understand why processes matter to the company and that you grasp the wants and needs of various stakeholders, the easier it is for decision-makers at your company to feel confident in hiring you. Make sure your resume highlights your deep understanding of process—you may want to use the “Experience” section to highlight how you’ve interacted with many parts of your previous companies’ review and QA processes.
QA Tester Certifications: Are They Worth Getting?
Certifications are good résumé flair, but Zhang tells Dice: “if you can't prove your skills in an interview, then the certification isn't worth mentioning.”
It’s sound advice. Many technologists trudge through certification courses online thinking it will make a difference on their resume—and to be fair, certifications often do make a difference, especially in a crowded applicant field. Claiming proficiency with a tool or platform you’ve rarely used, simply because you passed some tests online, will quickly catch up with you, though.
Castro adds that certifications “should not be taken as the single source of truth when it comes to validation of knowledge. Real experiences or results in real assignments or challenges should prevail in a recruiting process.”
Both agree certifications in specific disciplines (Castro offers up “Agile” as a good certification a QA tester may want to pursue) might help. Of course, this is highly dependent on how a company operates or the platforms/software they utilize.
Zhang reminds us generalized certifications can still be valuable so long as they’re focused on QA testing: “The ISTQB stands out on any resume. It won't get you the job but it conveys a certain level of commitment to your career path, and can be a boon if you don't have a tech background.”
QA Testing: Critical Skills Your Résumé Should Highlight
Castro and Zhang agree any good QA Tester candidate should have these skills, and a resume that adequately showcases them:
- Critical thinking
- Communication skills
- Problem Solving skills
- Business Development
- Product and Project Management
- Fundamental Software Testing Concepts
- Test Management and Execution
- Test Automation and DevOps
Zhang adds: “What really helps a QA tester stand out is their articulation. Being able to succinctly describe a problem and convey what needs to happen next to the product team makes everyone's lives easier. Testers who have enough technical experience to recommend solutions are particularly sought after.”
Indeed, having a well-rounded skillset, the ability to discuss how you work, and a collaborative spirit will not only land you an interview… these skills will likely land you the job, as well.