Make Everything Fit in a Technical Resume

Resumes are not designed as one size fits all. In fact, their purpose is to differentiate you from others and to grab the attention and interest of the reader. Resumes must do this while staying within generally acceptable rules for readability, language, and presentation. For technical resumes it can be a real challenge because they are often densely worded with terms and techniques, acronyms, and best practices, co-mingled with tools and technology. SIGN!  This makes reading difficult and a quick understanding nearly impossible.

Resumes typically get a 15 to 20 second review to determine whether the applicant meets the job requirements. It is a balancing act to include enough information to capture a person’s interest but not so much as to be overwhelming. Each of the techniques that I use is intended to highlight an IT professional’s skills and accomplishments while including enough detail to appeal to both HR and IT.

In a series of articles, I’ll share each of my best practices with you, starting with my favorite—a quick and easy way to get a lot of keyword phrases into a small space. In the example below, you’ll find a list of achievements on the left side and a list of phrases organized by category on the right side.  These categories identify your competency areas in the specific job without directly describing what you actually did. Its purpose is to let the reader know that these are part of your skill set.

Let’s look at the basic rules for using this technique. Trim down the list of phrases as much as possible so that they are relevant for the position that you held. Remember that this technique serves two purposes; to pass the initial resume scan, and to succeed in the interview. If you include a phrase for something you have not done then you won’t be able to answer questions during the interview and you won’t get the job.

METRO HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS                                                                           2007–Present
IT Project Manager

  • Developed root cause analysis process to get beyond symptoms of mission critical service interruptions and identified underlying source of problems.
  • Prepared Request for Proposal (RFP) including Functional and Technical (Non-Functional) Requirements Specifications.
  • Created scoring methodologies and documentation to evaluate vendor responses and live demonstrations; entrusted to select the best-fit vendor for business needs.
  • Guided and assisted staff in preparation of Technology Plan to report budget and resources, satisfying state reporting requirements.
  • Supervised Active Directory deployment team through evaluation, pilot, and implementation for entire Western Washington Region.
  • Ensured team’s conformance with technology policies, security, and extensive government regulations (HIPAA) by establishing and adhering to standard operating procedures.
Functional Requirements:

Access/Call Center; Medi-Cal Eligibility Verification; Managed Care; Practice Management; Electronic Health Record (EHR); Data Management and Reporting; System Interfaces.

Technical Requirements:

Infrastructure; Software and GUI Design; System and Data Security; Data Conversion; Training; Documentation; Testing and Acceptance; Project Management Methodologies; Support and Maintenance Practices.

Contract Preparation:

Products and Services Costs; Additional Product and Service Options; Payment Schedule; Statement of Work Guidelines; Project Management Practices and Principles; Testing and Acceptance Process and Procedures; Maintenance and Support Services

Initiation and Planning Phase Documentation:

Initial Project Charter; Resource Plan and Organization Charts for the Project Team and IT staff; Cost/Financial Plan; Preliminary Statement of Work; Preliminary Test and Acceptance Plan.