28

There are some technologies/skills (programming languages, databases, etc) that I learned and worked with, but that I don't want to work with anymore.

Can listing these technologies on my resume give a good impression to the manager, or should I discard them since I don't want to work with them daily?

In other words, does having a lot of skills on one's resume help to be called into a interview even if the job will use one or two of them?


UPDATE: After reading all the answers, I conclude that is worth keep all the technologies I learned, even I don't want to work with them.

  • 3
    I misspell them (with a note that I'm misspelling them) so the !@#%$ing recruiters can't spam me about sr. level positions for stuff I only have some exposure to and don't ever want to work with again. – Erik Reppen Dec 5 '13 at 8:51
  • 2
    @ErikReppen If you're trying to avoid people keyword-searching your resume, add invisible unicode space characters. – Navin Feb 29 '16 at 5:50
  • Excellent idea. Although it's kind of fun to spell things weird on purpose in a resume. People who contact me about stuff I want to do and actually am qualified for seem to find it amusing. – Erik Reppen Mar 3 '16 at 0:35
18

Most of the times you know the position you are applying for. Irrespective of what is on your resume, the position you are being offered will have a certain set of requirements. If these requirements overlap with your skills and what technologies you want to work on, then you should definitely put that in your resume.

The other scenario is when you apply for a generic job and need to send in your resume and do not know what technologies you will be working on. In this case, you could emphasise the technologies you do want to work on and downplay the one you do not want to. You could probably write about your experiences working on your favourite framework or show off your skill with that favourite script you are crazy about.

If you have worked on technologies before, that you do not want to work on, then there is no harm in putting them in your resume. It shows that you can work well with stuff that you do not personally like and speaks volumes about your perseverance and tenacity. If push comes to shove, you always have the choice to tell your interviewer that you do not wish to work on the particular technology, before taking up the offer, thus saving both sides a lot of time and energy. The person on the other side will either find you a good fit or he won't based on this. But either way you earn points for honesty and your vision for yourself.

  • 3
    +1 for clarifying the difference in how to phrase things on jobs you know about vs don't know. – enderland Oct 8 '12 at 17:06
17

This is completely up to you. If you do not list them then you are not likely to be called for positions that require knowledge in them. That may not be a bad thing. I do not list COBOL, Cold Fusion, or Visual Basic on my resume for that reason. I do not want to be considered for positions where I will be forced to work in those languages any more. And I have turned down positions that would have had me working in them.

The goal of your resume is to get you interviews with companies in skills you want to work in. Then to focus your interview on those topics you want to talk about. I find that not having CF or VB on my resume does not stop companies from asking if they have that need. It gives me a chance to find out if I am willing to take a position where I will be forced to work in those languages at least some of the time.

  • 3
    +1 for the second paragraph. I was going to write an answer about this exact idea. – enderland Oct 8 '12 at 17:04
6

There are some situations where you might want to exclude technologies you have used but are not interested in:

If the technology is not very well thought of such as a database specialist listing Access.

If the technology is old enough that having it on your resume may lead to age discrimination.

If it has been so long since you used a technology that you really can't answer interview questions on the details of it anymore. Remember anything on your resume is fair game for technical questions.

5

It depends on how you are listing the technologies and whether the technologies you are no longer interested in have some relationship to technologies that you are interested in.

Frequently, technologies that you have used in the past have some sort of relationship to technologies that you want to use today that you can use to demonstrate a deeper level of experience. For example, imagine that you spent 5 years doing C++ development before moving on to Java development for the past 3 years and that you are only interested in doing Java development today. It would still be very much in your interest to list your experience with C++ because that lets you position yourself as having 8 years of experience doing object oriented development with the last 3 in the particular language you are interested in. That is going to be much more interesting to an interviewer than someone with just 3 years of Java development.

Older technologies are often also useful to help you check off some of the technologies that companies list as "nice to have" by showing that you've done something similar. If a company is looking for a Java developer and lists Perl as a "nice to have", it can be helpful to be able to point to a bit of Python development that you've done and talk about the similarities between the two languages. Even if you are not interested in writing Python any longer, your experience can be leveraged to discuss your ability to write Perl in the future.

It will also depend on where and how you are listing the technologies. If you have a section on your resume where you list the languages you're familiar with, your years of experience, your level of expertise, etc. it's much more likely that you want to omit technologies that you don't want to be quizzed on. If you are talking about the portion of your resume where you list the jobs you've held, what you did in each position, what technologies you used, etc. it would be very odd to omit the major technologies that you used even if you are no longer interested in those technologies. Unless the position is so old that you remove it entirely, you'll want to talk about the technologies that you used. If you're the hypothetical C++ to Java developer I was discussing earlier, it would make sense to discuss your use of C++ when describing your previous job but it might make sense to omit C++ from the section of your resume that focuses on skills and to just emphasize the technologies you do want to use. Even in the skills section, though, you may want to leverage some of those old technologies by, for example, explicitly listing 8 years of experience with object-oriented development.

  • Note that the specific example is problematic because C++ and OOP are not necessarily related. However, the general point of "I have experience and I can learn new things" is well worth emphasising. – Móż Oct 19 '16 at 3:50
2

You can always turn down/not apply for jobs working with technologies you don't like. However, you may be missing out on a job that is doing a conversion and is moving away from those technologies. In some cases, there may be a small legacy app that needs maintenance. That experience could give you an edge in getting hired.

I can't imagine being on a job for a year or so and a manager decides to move you to the web design team purely based on listing HTML on your resume. Then again if they get desperate enough, they'll move you if you can spell it.

Remove the skills if they are not relevant or your level of expertise has significantly declined.

0

How desperate are you for a job?

Not working with certain technologies becasue you don't like them is considered a luxury.

I would not list anything that you do not want to do. Keep it in the positive. Otherwise you sound like a princess and come off as not willing to work hard to do what is required.

Just focus on your strengths and what you do like and how it will help them. The reality is from time to time you will have to work with things you don't want to any ways.

EDIT based on edit
If it creates a "good impression" then you are hurting your own chances of getting the position. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if doing that technology once in a while is really that much of a pain to you. If yes, then maybe you shouldn't be applying for that job.

You don't have to go into depth if it is not required but at least list it in one or two words.

Just because you don't list it who says you may not be asked to do it at some point?

  • I corrected the title of the question, there was a confusion. Is not listing with "I DON'T LIKE", but discarding them as they never existed, at least in the resume. – Renato Dinhani Oct 8 '12 at 18:15
  • @renato-dinhani-conceicao: see edit – Greg McNulty Oct 8 '12 at 23:37
  • 1
    I've actually gotten interest out of my clear and abiding hatred of all of my Java experiences which I make very clear I would not like to repeat. For years I insisted on not being a code bigot about it but every low point of my career has been working with a Java team. It's not a luxury to know the limits of your personality when it comes to a dev culture often characterized by a hatred of change, learning, explaining, practical configuration schemes, OOP even though it's what they think they're doing by default, sensible UI libraries, questions, people who can like Wars and Trek, etc... – Erik Reppen Mar 3 '16 at 1:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.