On my job applications I use two sections for technologies as I'd expect most do; first there is the general skills section and then the listing of specific experience in specific projects. Of course, while applying I list in both sections mostly those items that are relevant to the job in question.
I feel that listing a technology in the general area is a strong statement and for a technology to reside in there I need to
- be able to communicate with it
- manage to work reasonably
productively with it
- have some knowledge of the possible
boobytraps that lay within it.
My very vague criteria for listing technologies in the general skills goes along these lines:
- The proficiency of an average programmer who has used the technology to write programs consisting of about 10K SLOC.
- The ability of an average programmer who has had to maintain the complexity of a program the size of approximately 30 objects.
- The theoretical knowledge equivalent of an average book.
Basically that's at least some breadth in the area, handling of reasonable complexity, and some knowledge about the horrors that await.
Proficient, PHP: Writing web applications with PHP has been my day job for several years, with the maintenance of several projects, reading of many books and a big portion of the manual behind me. This would go in both sections, were it relevant for the job.
Beginner, Scala: I'm in the middle of reading a Scala book with about 200 pages behind me and a few hundred lines of code written. I'd probably use it as a side note somewhere if I saw it in the job ad, like this: "The job you're offering also mentioned Scala which I'm studying right now and I'm more than willing to learn more about it."
Border case, Python: I've written a small shoot'em up game and several scripts in Python with the experience of a couple of thousand lines, reading a dozen of articles and tutorials on the web, and some parts of the manual. If the ad mentioned Python (and I'd be well qualified otherwise) I'd write about it in my resume in the experience section, perhaps something akin to this: "I have created a shoot'em up game in Python with Pygame using object-oriented programming with bitmap graphics".
Naturally, a fine way of showing your real skill level is providing links for screenshots, diagrams, plans, data schemas, project history, blog postings and code in the application for the job.