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list of skills on resume

I'm trying to get my resume up to date.  In the past, under skills, I usually have a bullet list of the technologies I've worked with.  I've always hated how this looks, but I'm not sure what the alternatives are.

Any suggestions?  How do you handle conveying your technical skills on a resume without having it look like a grocery list?

Part of my concern is that there's a lot of things I do a little bit of: a little VBScript, a little HTML, some C#, some XSLT, some SQL, etc...  I want to get across that I'm conversant in these areas, but I'm not an expert (I don't spend 40 hours a week cranking out C#, but I can write a C# component)

Saturday, February 21, 2004

I've heard that you should list your competencies in decereasing order of expertise.

I've also heard that you should use modifiers like "fluent in", "familiar with", and "some experiecne with".

I've also heard that you should list your skills in no particular order at the top of the resume, then pepper your history below with the applicable technologies so the person reading your resume will know not only what you know, but what you have done with it.


Who's to say what's right?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

I was going to describe the way I approach this, but it's easier to just post a link:

Sam Livingston-Gray
Saturday, February 21, 2004

A naive question: doesn't "fluent in [...]" sound like "Read first 20 pages of '[...] for Dummies' "?
Saturday, February 21, 2004

List them all in bullet form, grouping them by language, systems, applications, operating systems, etc. The goal here is to make it past the HR and/or computer filters. Do not label your relative expertise in these. If a manager sees you only know some SQL and they think any developer worth their salt needs to know SQL, they may get rid of you... oh and the position requires no SQL, but oh well.

Use the interview to make clarifications and set expectations for the resume reader.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

You might consider making your resume active, have links to a minisite where a link like "Linux" expands out to what you mean exactly.. whre you get to elaborate on the technology you really know (be it sendmail, apache, java+j2ee, oracle, etc etc on the linux platform)..

That way for the normal folks they see one page, when they forward your resume to a technical hiring staff, they can click to learn more.

Like so: Linux <A HREF="sd824590we0ify0wer80qre78t025.html">skill listing</A>

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Mini sites are great because they don't fall into a 5000+ active website you see every blogger building. It's limited, it's 5 pages.. it does its job and impresses. Do not use the opportunity to expand your resume into 5 pages, use it to clarify, not confuse.

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, February 21, 2004

If someone lists on their resume a particular technology as a "skill" that they possess, I think it's reasonable to expect a degree of competence beyond just light familiarity.

If you think it's a good idea to put skills down on your resume that you don't really possess, in order to get yourself in the door, you're in for a rude awakening in the interview. It's very close to being dishonest, which in many cases is going to result in an automatic no-hire.

To give an example, if you happen to know how to call into COM objects from a scripting or RAD language, and you put "COM" as one of the skills on your resume, you are probably going to make a poor impression when the interviewer decides to drill into your COM experience and expertise.

Mike Treit
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Mike, I think it goes without saying. The other major sin ofcourse is trying to ballon up the number of years you have spent using a technology. I don't know if recruiting companies now days still ask for unrealistic number of years of experiences (like 20 years of Java) but they use to do that so much it made all the young college grads nervous.

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, February 21, 2004

My uncle, who is an IT headhunter in NYC, helped me with my resume. He had me put all my computer skills (languages and software) at the top, with the corresponding number of years I've worked with them.


- VBScript (3 years)
- JavaScript (4 years)
- C#(1 year)

Chi Lambda
Sunday, February 22, 2004

I was told to put my skills on the front page also, it allows people to see your skills without having to go through the verbal descriptions of the jobs themselves later. I think its particularly good for HR people and agencies who don't actually know what these skills are, they are just words to them. It does make their job easier, "Has he got SQL ? Yes, has he got C++, yes".

Mine is in the format of grouping languages, operating systems, databases and miscellaneous. Against each skill is how many years used and which year it was last used. The ordering I use is based on a mixture of expertise and which ones I want to use, from time to time I prune the list if a skill is too old. Some skills have never appeared on the list, for example COBOL, it is in my verbal part, but I never want to work with it again.

Monday, February 23, 2004

A good rule is: have I used this in a project? Yes, then list it on the resume.

Monday, February 23, 2004

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