One of the most painful truths about writing a technical resume is that you have to decide when to remove old technologies. If you think that this detail is not important, then you do not understand the ramifications of failing to update your technology profile. To remove nothing is to make a choice that may affect your future career.
But before you decide to age technology off your resume, there are several important questions to ask yourself.
Am I the maintenance person who ensures legacy systems are kept up and running?
If this is your plan for your future career then, by all means, keep the older technology on your resume. Being able to reliably and efficiently support mission-critical, operational systems is an important skill within the IT team. Although it may not mean blazing new horizons, it makes you very employable if you are able to squeeze out more operational years from fragile and often cranky systems.
When a hiring manager sees older tools in your technology section or other such references on your resume, they will make certain assumptions about the jobs for which you are best suited. They may get the impression that you are perfectly willing to work with high legacy systems, when in fact this may be the exact opposite of your dream job.
One important point to consider is how architectures will change as more and more organizations move to the Cloud, with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). If you are the IT professional who is still optimizing batch processes on production systems, then it’s time to update your skills.
Do I bridge the gap between leading and trailing edge technologies?
IT managers love technologists who can manage and support their older systems, while also stepping up to the plate with current applications, processes, and technologies. This is a great place to be in terms of employability, but there is also the potential for this strategy to backfire. Since there are only so many hours in a day, it’s easy for jobs to end up focusing only on the most critical demands, which are often the high legacy systems. For this reason, work to maintain a balance between leading and trailing edge technologies.
Am I intrigued by all the newest stuff? Do I like the challenge of chasing emerging technologies?
The cutting edge is certainly exciting, and it’s a great fit for the person who can hardly wait for the newest tools to hit the market. It can be a challenge, however, to stay current as technologies change so frequently. Your reward is that your personal and professional commitment can mean working on the very coolest projects.
It’s not uncommon for IT professionals to start their careers using the latest tools and then slowly evolve their careers as their personal commitments take precedence. They’ll often find that as technologies quickly age, they have moved to the next stage in their careers — supporting both leading and trailing edge technologies.
Trimming your resume and technology section to fit your current goals is the first step toward your new career.