I’m working in the engineering field and recently attended a hackathon. Should I add this experience to my resume?
I’m an engineering student with no work experience. Should I join a hackathon to increase my employability?
Do employers care about hackathon experience?
Absolutely! Listing hackathons on your resume is a great way to stand out! It can definitely increase your chance of getting interviews. Many technology giants are looking for unique portfolios and projects from candidates (Google specifically mentions hackathons). If you are a frequent winner, fantastic! If not, adding it to your resume still shows employers that you are passionate about engineering and technology, not just winning.
Even if you aren’t a software engineer, you can still take part in a hackathon! There are so many roles in the software development industry. You can be a product manager, an user experience designer or a communication manager. Be open-minded, you don’t need to be a coder! You just need to mention the contributions you made at hackathons. This helps potential employers learn more about your technical skills and career interests. In this article, we’ll teach you how to put a hackathon on your resume.
What Is A Hackathon?
So to begin with, maybe we should make it clear what a hackathon is! A hackathon is a speed design event, the goal being to create functioning technology products in a time limit. Participants are required to solve a specific problem or create innovative solutions, usually around some type of theme.
There are many roles that need to be filled for a successful hackathon. Of course, we need to have engineers- they have to build prototypes for the event. But, there are so many roles in software development. User interface designers, product managers and marketing managers are just a few. People from different specialties need to collaborate with each other. By the end of the event, they need to deliver a solution for the problem.
Whether you’re in high school, college, or the professional world, hackathons can be a great asset to your resume. Even if your career path isn’t computer science or engineering, potential employers will love seeing your dedication, problem solving, and teamwork abilities. To do hackathons on a resume right, follow these tips:
Describe The Project
The perfect place to add your hackathon experience is under the projects section. If you joined many hackathons, list three of the most impressive ones. Give a summary of each hackathon you joined, making the summary short and clear. State the problem or objective of the hackathon project. Highlight the requirements and the scope. Was it an Artificial Intelligence project? Or was it related to cloud applications? What problems were you trying to solve? These are very important. They give recruiters a good understanding of your project, and the skills you might have used for it.
Describe Your Product
After a brief introduction of your project, you should focus on what you’ve built. Describe the commercial value of your product and its uses. Explain how you came up with the idea and solution. Include what you have built, its functionality and its selling points. This is for you to demonstrate your creativity and business knowledge. Also, mention the technology used for the project. Is it technically feasible? How did you address technical challenges? This is a very good way for you to demonstrate problem-solving skills too. By adding these details, it will definitely boost your employability!
Show Your Contribution To The Team
You should also focus on your accomplishments in the hackathon. First, you need to mention your role. Were you a front-end developer? Or were you a product manager? State your role clearly to ensure recruiters understand your skills. Then list your accomplishments in bullet points. If you built the prototype, then mention what technologies and frameworks you used. If you joined as a product manager, explain how you worked with your team and came up with features and ideas. Also, mention the size of the team that you worked with for the project.
Talk About Your Achievement
Highlight any awards or recognition you received. If you really didn’t win anything, should you still include the hackathon in your resume? Absolutely! Companies are looking for creative and innovative talents. When you participate in hackathons, this shows you already have those qualities! Also, be creative- you don’t need to win something to call it an achievement. If you made it to the top 5 of the final teams, this can also be an achievement! You can also include your product outcomes as your achievement. For example, by adopting your products, companies can cut 20% of cost. Remember, try to use numbers here to quantify your accomplishments.
Beyond The Skills
Including your hackathon experience is definitely a good way to beef up your resume, and it will help you to stand out from the rest of the crowd. When you’re a fresh graduate, hackathon experience can be valuable- it gives you some exposure to a real-word project. It tells recruiters you are able to build and create something. At the end of the day, companies are looking for talented and passionate individuals. Joining a hackathon can definitely increase your chance of getting interviews.
Don’t have any hackathon experience? You may need to consider joining one! There are so many reasons to join a hackathon. You can use the opportunity to improve your skills and challenge yourself. Besides honing your skills, you can get exposed to other talented people in the field, and share knowledge, ideas, and experience that you won’t get access too anywhere else.
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