Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
At which point do you “know” a technology enough to list it on a resume

I'm having trouble selecting exactly what to put in the computer skills section of my resume. I feel the need to list a lot of languages and the IDEs I work with, and perhaps mention that I use Mercurial too. But this seems, well, kinda fake; after all, where do I draw the line in the list of languages? Sure, I learned a little C in a class, I can conquer some simple printf and getchar projects, but I don't really think that counts as being able to list it on my resume.

I seem to recall Joel or Jeff addressing this but I can't find it now. But I'm pretty sure they said something along the lines of don't put it on your resume if you don't want to be drilled on it.

Well, I sure wouldn't want to be drilled on C... But is there no justification in my listing languages like C# that I don't work with daily but could pick back up after a short refresher? I mean, I wouldn't want to be drilled on the internals of .NET either, but I think I am justified in listing it in a list of languages I have used...

How do you decide? What do you have in your 'Computer Skills' section of your resume? (and can you please find the Joel/Jeff posts I'm thinking of, if they exist?)

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Anna Lear Oct 25 '11 at 3:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2  
I'm not a secretary. So I don't have a "Computer Skills" section on my resume. –  JohnFx Sep 13 '10 at 4:09

8 Answers 8

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As little as possible, and only those relevant to the position I'm applying for.

As someone who reads resumes on occasion, nothing is more annoying than going through a list of every single computer related piece of equipment, software, and skill the applicant has ever touched, read about, or has actual experience with.

You applying for a job writing code? Why the $*@( are you telling me you have experience with Outlook? Seriously?

Only include the skills relevant to the position you are applying for on your resume.

You are retooling your resume for each position you are applying for, aren't you?

Aren't you?

share|improve this answer

As a technical person, I don't feel that you should have such a section that just enumerates skills, except in rare cases. Any technologies, languages, frameworks, and tools that you are familiar with should be listed as part of your education, work experience, or in a personal projects section. The only time you should have a section that uses keywords to describe skills is when applying for government (state or federal) jobs, and maybe jobs with government contractors.

I think the idea is that if you haven't worked with a technology on a project, you probably don't know it. If you have worked with a technology on a previous or ongoing project, you either know it or can relearn it. I would be more interested in what you have done rather than what you say you know - I can get at what you know by asking about your projects and solutions to problems.

share|improve this answer

The best place for technical skills would be at the end of project descriptions. This gives honest context to the project and the type of skills you gained/exercised, as well as how stale the knowledge may be. They are useful after real work experience descriptions as well as school projects.

Note that the technical skills section of a resume seems to be a requirement for recruiters more than hiring managers. It is an easy way for someone to see if you tick all the boxes for a job spec. If you feel that you need one, you can take it from the list of skills on each project.

share|improve this answer

If my neighbour can safely assume that I can remove a virus from his computer because I am a programmer I think it's safe to assume that an employer or HR monkey will be able to tell that I can work a computer.

share|improve this answer

TAG CLOUD your technical skills

share|improve this answer
6  
I'd probably throw it out. –  Incognito Sep 13 '10 at 15:08
    
No, think this is a bad idea. What is a large word supposed to mean: how long you've worked with it, how recently you've worked with it, how proficient you are with something, etc –  adolf garlic Sep 13 '10 at 15:22
2  
ha. I feel this would be interesting. Sometimes it's a good idea to make your resume stand out somehow. –  WalterJ89 Sep 20 '10 at 13:19

I've spent a lot of time reading resumes over the last year. A list of specific skills is a useful summary, but should be backed up through descriptions of how those skills were used in development projects. It is nice to be able to easily answer Does candidate X know Y? when creating a short-list. When evaluating this short list, y I want to dig deeper: Candidate X used Y for this project.

On my own resume, I have a list of what I feel are my strongest, most marketable skills, my expertise in those skills (expert, strong, etc.) and a brief statement supporting my claimed knowledge (C++, expert, used templates in anger).

share|improve this answer

You cannot be good at everything you've ever used. So just list the core things you are interested in and more importantly the things that you want to continue working in and also things you are good at.

Remove technologies in which you have no interest.

If someone showed me a list with 30 things on it, I'd know they were bending the truth.

Plus, imagine you have 2 CVs/resumes in front of you, and you need someone with skill X. CV one has 29 other technologies and skill X on it. CV two has X and 2 other technologies on it.

I know who I'd sooner hire for the role.

By doing this you will exclude yourself from some roles but will be a front runner for others, especially if you back up your 'reduced but more focused' skillset with examples in your employment history.

share|improve this answer
    
Spot on. All too often I get 'shopping list' CVs where candidates list skills that they can't even answer basic questions on. By all means add peripheral skills/interests to the bottom of your CV as a sort of 'extra information' section, but don't let them crowd out the skills you feel are the most important. 30 skills with equal prominence means you will be, at best, poor at 30 things. –  FinnNk Oct 24 '10 at 18:58

What many people seem to be missing is the myriad, and ubiquity, of automated resume filterers/scanners/databases.

Any technology that you're proficient in, or want to work more with, should be on there. If it's not, then it just may happen that no-one will ever see your resume at all. So as much as it may be noise, it's necessary these days.

Some recruiters will even suggest placing it at the end of your resume, and calling it a 'buzzwords' section, or 'detailed skills list'. A good book that goes into more detail especially about this is: Land the Tech Job You Love.

share|improve this answer
    
If you tell me you have a skill of something you want to work in but have no experience in, I guarantee you won't get past the intervview when I ask you what you did using that technology and you will never be considered for any other position at my company again as that is called lying! A resume is a description of what you have done and if you put anything in it that is suspect, you will be eliminated. –  HLGEM Sep 13 '10 at 19:40
    
@HLGEM: Maybe I should have bolded "... work MORE" with. I did not, and would never, propose putting anything on a resume that is not true. Your work history will show what you're most proficient in, but any amount of experience with a technology I'd suggest putting it in your list of skills... unless of course you want to work in the same tech stack for the rest of your life. –  Steve Evers Sep 15 '10 at 6:21
    
please make some little edit because it won't let me remove my down vote now that you have clarified because it's been more than 24 hours since I made it (wierd rule). –  HLGEM Sep 15 '10 at 17:27
2  
I do agree that somethings that you are less familiar with can go on the resume as long as you have actually used them and can talk reasonably knowldgeably about them in an interview. I usually break my list into Expert and Familiar With. And you should eliminate anything from the list you no longer want to work with either - Access is no longer on my resume! –  HLGEM Sep 15 '10 at 17:29
    
@HLGEM: +1 Amen to that. –  Steve Evers Sep 16 '10 at 19:44

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