Spend enough time hunting for a job, and chances are good you’ll pick up all sorts of actionable advice about résumé-writing: use action verbs, show results, don’t fudge your education and experience, and so on. For tech professionals who have worked on highly technical, insanely complicated projects, there’s another point to add to that list: watch your jargon, and write toward an audience that might not understand the intricacies of everything you do. Although your résumé and application may eventually land in front of a hiring manager or executive with the technical background necessary to instantly see the scope of your project accomplishments, most of the people on the front lines of the hiring process—HR staffers and recruiters—may not have a background in technology. They might understand the difference between an iOS and an Android app, for example, but they could just as easily know nothing about Hadoop or database management. With that in mind, it’s helpful to write your résumé with a minimum of technical jargon, with a heavy emphasis on how your actions helped the overall business (or even just your division) succeed. For example, here’s an example of an overly jargon-filled job description; it’s accurate, but it’s a mouthful:
- "Installed and configured MapReduce, HIVE and the HDFS; implemented CDH3 Hadoop cluster on CentOS."
And here’s another version, rewritten with a broader focus:
- "Installed and managed Big Data platforms such as MapReduce and Hadoop that sped up the company’s data-analytics capabilities."
You can always list things like HIVE as part of your Skills; but when it comes to detailing your accomplishments, aim for a broad audience.