Maximizing Computer Skills with Specifics
All too often data in resumes is presented quite vaguely, leaving the hiring manager to wonder what the candidate really knows, and what skills s/he actually has. This is especially true in regards to Computer Skills, whether the applicant is an office worker or an IT professional.
For example, an office worker may feel it’s enough to list skills in this manner: Technically proficient in Microsoft Office and other software.
After reading the above, the hiring manager may very well wonder what other software? What part of Microsoft Office – all or only Word & Excel? And what version?
Don’t Leave the Hiring Manager or Recruiter Guessing
When your data raises more questions than it answers, it’s no longer effective. To maximize your information, include specifics. For example, the previous statement should read like this:
Technically proficient in Microsoft Office (Premium 2000), including Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, Access, PowerPoint, Front Page, and Photo Draw. Additional expertise in Word Perfect, Quicken, Peachtree Accounting, Lexis-Nexus, and Westlaw.
At a glance, the above provides instant and specific data to a hiring manager.
However, a candidate – especially in the IT field – should go one step further and provide years or months of experience.
In today’s competitive job market, hiring managers demand that information on resumes be well-prioritized and specific. It’s not enough to state that you have proficiency in Microsoft Word. You must state how many months or years of experience you have or your level of expertise, whether it’s beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Hiring managers will not call you in for an interview, nor will they test your skills unless they are first provided this essential data.
Information Technology Does Not Stand Still
The nature of IT is ever-evolving. Therefore, an IT professional should showcase relevant skills as specifically and completely as possible.
This includes organizing technical data into subheadings, which include:
- Operating Systems
- Programming Languages
- Software Packages
- Any other technical proficiencies
One way to present this data would be a simple listing. For example:
- LAN Administration: Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT 3.51/4.0, Novell 3.12/4.1.
- Operating Systems: Windows 2000/NT/XP, Windows 98/95, Macintosh OS.
- Software: Microsoft SQL, SNA, SMS , Site Server & IIS, CA XCOM, SAS, Microsoft Visual Studio, Source Safe, Cognos Enterprise Server, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, AS/400-Windows Connectivity Applications, cc:Mail , Multiple Windows Communications Applications.
- Productivity Software: Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Project.
- Hardware: PCs, Compaq Servers, HP NetServers, IBM NetFinity Servers, AS400 20, SCO Unix OpenServer, Macintosh.
- Certifications: Candidate for MCDBA, Candidate for CCNA/CCDA, Candidate for MCSE, Microsoft Certified System Administrator, Novell Certified Administrator, Novell Certified Engineer.
An even more effective way to maximize technical data is to provide specific information in an easy-to-read format. For example:
Oracle 8/8i/9i, 4 years
SQL Server 6.5/7.0/2000, 6 years
Microsoft Access, 6 years
MySQL, 6 months
UNIX , 4 years
LINUX, 4 years
Windows Operating Systems, 12 years
DOS, 12 years
Macintosh, 4 years
ShellScript, 3 years
PL/SQL, 4 years
ASP, 5 years
JAVA/JSP, 1 year
DHTML, 3 years
SQL Navigator, 4 years
TOAD, 2 years
Oracle *Net, 4 years
Import/Export, 3 years
SQL *Loader, 3 years
Enterprise Manager, 3 years
Performance Manager, 2 years
The above example has easily obtainable and understood data that is specific and enhances an applicant’s candidacy.