RE: Technical Skills on Resume

Subject: RE: Technical Skills on Resume
From: "John Locke" <mail -at- freelock -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 11:05:41 -0700

Jennifer asks:

> Is there a current trend NOT to list software skills (Word, Frame, Power
> Point, etc.) on your resume because so many writers know these
> tools? It
> seems from the literature I have been reading that these skills are
> becoming so commonplace that it would be better to save the space for
> talking about your accomplishments on the job, rather than placing a
> grocery list of tools on your resume.
> Would they automatically turn you down if you didn't list these software
> skills being that the entire universe (not just our field) is pushing
> technical skills? Or would they be trend-savy enough to know
> that this is
> the way things are going, if there indeed is a trend?
> I would hope I wouldn't be turned down at least for an interview, if I
> didn't slap "FrameMaker" somewhere in the resume. What are your thoughts?

Given that many recruiters search the web for resumes, if you don't put
FrameMaker in there somewhere, they may never see your resume.

I think the cover letter is far more important than the resume for getting
an interview, but you gotta put the software down to get found at all, in
many cases.

I've recently heard a suggestion to rate yourself on each of the
tools/technologies you list in your resume, on a scale of 1-5, or 1-10, or
somehow. Obviously, the authoring tools you use regularly, you would list at
the top of the scale. Other technologies, such as programming languages, web
production, graphics tools, you rank accordingly. For example, I give myself
a 3 out of 10 for C++, using the following rough key: 1: I've heard of it.
2: I understand the basic concepts. 3: I can read it and document it. 4: I
can write "Hello World" programs. 10: I can write an operating system.

You don't need to be an expert at a technology to be able to document it
effectively. But putting this sort of information down can give recruiters
an instant snapshot of your knowledge, and as long as you don't list every
skill a 10, give you some credibility, too. Plus, your resume pops up all
over the place.

John Locke

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