Technology Resume Myths

By Jennifer Hay There is a lot of technical resume writing advice that is really awful. Everyone and his dog is offering suggestions on how you can improve your IT resume.  They are proclaiming that they are the leading IT Resume Writing Service or the #1 Service in IT Professional Resume Writing. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know what is good IT resume writing advice and what is just awful.

The large technical job sites have to publish lots of articles about data engineer resumes, data scientist resumes, data analyst resumes, software engineer resumes, developer resumes, etc.  Much of it isn’t original thought, but the same advice from one article to the next. Most often, the person who writes these articles is not an actual resume writer but are someone who is obligated day in and day out to create articles about resume writing.

Here are some examples of resume advice that looks good on the surface, but ultimately fails.


Use a very attractive resume format that draws the reader into your experience. 

I wish that getting resumes noticed was this easy. There are a lot of ‘resume writers’ who will take your resume content and for only $50-$100 put the language into an eye-catching format. Unfortunately, most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These systems parse the data from your resume and put it into a database.

During this process, you will lose all the fancy formatting and only the content will be seen. Does anyone remember the old mantra – CONTENT IS KING!  In technical resume writing, this is absolutely true. You can use an attractive format but if you don’t thoroughly test it, it will end up looking like a bunch of code.


Submit your resume in a PDF format so that it always looks good and can’t be modified.

Those same Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that I mentioned above, typically don’t like PDF versions. As a technology professional, you already know that unintended embedded code can wreak havoc either as technical debt or by screwing up your beautiful user interface.

When I tested a client’s PDF version, this is what I found using a text editor.

<</Filter/FlateDecode/First 96/Length 1214/N 12/Type/ObjStm>>stream hfiƒVYO‰8˛+~çP|€ëFH–=–Ï Õ,£mÒË,DÍK›AZ˛˝|U9:in^VQ…qπ.ªæ*[{)§–^ ïb–”(FÂ0Za=Õù∞ŧºpë¯ADM¸(îS˚T(/ÒCR`·À∆j1IFÉ¡q∂…ßB; W◊_ø&Æߢ∫X‹Ì綢¢, «˝‰”ø+6Â˙qÔh∫º…˜ìÒ√j5ÀÁXÚ:Gõ[ö()]2 «y

TEST, TEST, TEST before you hit the final submit button. You don’t want to take any chances with your job search.


Avoid ‘Responsible for…’ because each bullet item should start with an active verb to show the people in action.

Sometimes, you have a list of tasks that are really important to include in your resume, but you don’t want to take up a lot of valuable space. The following bullet items are good examples of how this can be done effectively.

 Technology Resume Myths Summary

In technical resume writing there really aren’t hard and fast rules to follow. The best advise that I can provide is to make sure your IT  resume is easy to understand and not just a list of technologies and generic statements.