The Wrong Format for Your IT Resume

slider621The best resume format for technology professionals is the chronological format. Stay away from the functional format. IT hiring managers want to know what you did, for whom, and during what time frame, and they’re typically focused on the last 6-7 years of employment. They want to understand the technical environment in which you worked, including the size and complexity of the IT department.

This means that functional resume formats are not a good choice for technical positions. Everyone knows that these formats are designed to hide things, for example an employment gap. Also, they are often used to bring something from the past and put it front and center on a resume.

The reasoning behind this is that there are few industries that have changed as radically as technology, so describing an achievement in 2021 has a completely different technical and business context than something that was achieved years earlier. We are way past just storing data; nowadays, its common to talk about the the real-time analysis of big data with the velocity and volume of unstructured data in the gigabits.

If you have an imperfect employment history, like most of us, think about using a hybrid approach. Start with the chronological format and then mention your earlier achievement(s) in your summary. For example,

  • Learned to leverage experience in delivering business continuity and backup solutions to current role as an IT Project Manager.
  • Able to quickly come up to speed on new technologies based on 5 years of experience at XYZ company, working in an extremely fast-paced and rapidly evolving environment.

One last recommendation.  I see resumes where the first page is a long list of generic statements full of technology references. Let me get directly to the point – no one reads this so its a wasted effort. Take all that technology and create a technical skills section with the technology organized by categories. Make it easy for the reader to scan your resume.