Create Memorable Technical Resumes


By Jennifer L. Hay

We have all seen them. The technical resumes where you need to stifle a yawn, or you feel your eyelids getting heavier.  I have been writing resumes for almost 15 years and the following is the kind of technical resume that I often see. It is not memorable so it will quickly go to the reject pile. It is basically the minimum amount of information that is needed to describe the individual’s work.  I have found that many technical people struggle with what information to include so they stay with the basic facts.

  • Troubleshot desktop/laptop computers hardware issues.
  • Installed and configured standard and proprietary software.
  • Upgrade and centrally manage workstation software.
  • On site technician for acquisition integrations.
  • Designed and implemented Token Ring network.

If you have these types of bullet items on your resume, then you are doing yourself a disservice. These items are very generic and could pertain to any number of IT professionals. Think about adding some business or technical context.

Why was the project important to the business?
What did you deliver and how was it used by the business or technical teams?
What challenges came up during the project and how were they resolved?

Here are some examples of how adding additional information to your resume can make a dramatic improvement.

Before Storytelling – a Network Engineer Resume.

Technical Build-out of a New Warehouse: Managed and coordinated IT aspect of project.

  • Researched and ordered equipment needed within budgetary allowance.
  • Coordinated T1 installation with vendors.
  • Configured network switch and FortiGate devices.
  • Installed and cabled network equipment.
  • Configured and installed office wireless connection.
  • Setup NAS device with shares and permissions as office’s file server.
  • Removed and inventoried equipment from old location.

After Storytelling

Technical Build-out of a New Warehouse: In addition to a network engineering role, given project manager responsibilities for a project that was behind schedule and struggling to meet deliverables.

  • Defined a new project plan, reprioritized project scope, reassigned resources, and improved stakeholder communications. Completed project ahead of schedule and under budget by working closely with vendors and removing all obstacles that the team faced.
  • Researched and selected a cable vendor and procured network equipment.
  • Coordinated activities with IT teams for MPLS and VoIP installations for a seamless move.
  • Responsibilities included configuring network switch, FortiGate devices, and wireless Aps, as well as building a server, installing and cabling network equipment, setting up desktops, and configuring and installing an office wireless connection and Radio Frequency (RF) equipment.

Before Storytelling – a Systems Engineer Resume.

  • Imaged and configured all new software and 200 new workstations and integrated systems for a newly acquired company.

After Storytelling

  • Recognized by senior management for outstanding performance as the primary IT contact during integration of an acquired company. Worked long hours to ensure project was completed on time.
    • Standardized Windows OS deployments with a Windows Imaging Server to remotely support sites. Upgraded all regional workstations to Windows 10 on schedule.
    • Imaged and configured all new software and 200 new workstations. Trained business users on network access, software use, IT support requests, etc.

Before Storytelling – an IT Director Resume.

  • Defined the model for a HR data-store to provide a consistent, reliable source of HR data for downstream consumers. Lead a global team to create the HR data-store using Agile methodology.
  • Decommissioned legacy HR data-stores and re-pointed consumers to the new central HR data-store.
  • Using the HR data-store, converted PeopleSoft like data and structures into Workday Tenant.
  • Worked with team to implement a service-oriented architecture for distributing data both synchronous and a-synchronous service calls.
  • Decommissioned legacy HR data-stores and re-pointed consumers to the new central HR Data-store.

After Storytelling – In this case, I bundled several projects together and talk about managing an end-to-end lifecycle.

  • Managed the end-to-end lifecycle for HR data stores, including data distribution, deployments, upgrades, reporting, analytics, and decommissions.
    • Led a global, Agile team in the design and creation of a centralized, HR data store with service-oriented APIs for consistent data consumption. Met the current data needs while streamlining the data infrastructure to eliminate redundancies and provide uniform currency across all dimensions.
    • Designed, executed, and socialized a solution to address security concerns around the storage and access of highly sensitive data used by the HR analytics team.
      • Masked identities to anonymize data that included compensation, promotions, employee relations (harassment cases, etc.), performance reviews, employee rankings, employee survey data, manager effectiveness, etc.
    • Reduced reporting time to access the results of corporate’s People Survey that provides a detailed and comprehensive view of employee satisfaction. Utilized Tableau to visualize and understand data within a single day versus weeks for creating a tabular BO report.

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.