Avoid Boring Job Descriptions in Your IT Resume


By Jennifer L. Hay

I often see technical resumes that look like job descriptions.  It is easily enough to do. You go online and find jobs that interest you, and then copy and paste the position requirements into your resume. Voila! You have a really boring resume, but you are ready to start looking for your next great technology job.

Well, good luck even getting an interview! And what happens if you actually get an interview, and you are asked to describe your achievements? If you don’t have a good explanation, every second of that interview will be painfully long. Plan ahead, starting with a good resume that is more than just one liners of generic language.

  • Collaborate with various stakeholders in eliciting and articulating solution requirements
    What processes did you use to elicit the requirements? How do you work with stakeholder?
  • Manage data and data requests to improve the accuracy of our data and decisions made from data analysis
    What quality checking do you use to improve data accuracy? How does this help with decision making?
  • Work on data and problems across departments to drive improved business results through designing, building, and partnering to implement models.
    What kind of analytic models do you create? What is the connection between these models and improved business results?
  • Analyze information to draw insights which can drive organizational action
    What insights have you drawn? What types of organizational action have your insights driven?
  • Make architectural decisions for the data analytics platform and solutions
    What kinds of decisions? policies? guidelines? architectural designs? processes? What do you consider when making decisions? What are these decisions intending to improve?
  • Design scalable data analytics platform and solutions
    What kind of platforms have you designed? What solutions and how were they used in the organization? What were the challenges?

Remember that your resume is not intended to include everything that you’ve ever done. Select those projects that do a good job of describing your strengths and go beyond just simple statements. Start with thinking about:

  • Who funded the project and what did they expect to get from it?
  • How big was the team and what did you do?
  • What went wrong and how was it handled?
  • What went well and why?
  • What was produced and delivered?
  • Who uses it and what is their impression?

Here is an example of language that provides the context for the achievement. It is a good practice to write the bullets first, so you have the full story. Then work to prioritize the importance of each. You may decide to use a more condensed version to streamline the message.


Implemented an enterprise data warehouse and BI solution to enable the company to efficiently manage the logistical distribution of vehicles and replacement parts in global manufacturing plants.

  • Examined current technical architecture, data architecture, database and reporting activity, and user decision processes; completed a gap analysis and evaluated findings against formal requirements.
  • Applied strengths in: Project Management, Data Warehouse Design, Source Data Analysis, Business Rules Analysis, Data Cleansing, Data Integration, and Enterprise Reporting.
  • Conducted interviews cross-functionally with department heads, Senior Leads, an IT specialist, and executives to identify tactical and operational KPIs, and operational reporting requirements.
  • Documented requirements for the enterprise organization, including Transportation, Operations, Planning, and Finance departments. Created a star schema data model with conformed dimensions to support requirements.
  • Gained approval and created the model. Worked within all stages of the data integration/ETL lifecycle to:
    • Understand the data and its quality issues. Informed client of data quality deficiencies that included bad or sparsely populated data.
    • Define the transformation logic to meet requirements for data capture, quality, and loading from source to target data structures, using a mapping exercise.

About Jennifer Hay

I’ve been writing technical resumes and advising on career transitions for almost 15 years.

Throughout that time, I’ve read numerous articles about best practices for IT resume writing. What I found in those articles is a lot of bad information because it’s the same advice they give for non-technical professionals. This is important because IT resumes are different.

I built this website to share what I’ve learned in my career. I think you’ll find information on this website that will help make your IT resume a success.