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Most jobs today require some form of both technical and computer skills. If you're applying for a job in IT, you must use your top technical skills to sell yourself to the employer. For example, you may include such things as software applications, hardware, programming languages, networking, or client server tools. If you're not seeking an IT position, think outside the box. Maybe you're in accounting, or you're an administrative assistant and need to include such things as Outlook, Word, Excel, Elite, or SAP. But technical skills come in many different forms and are not just limited to computers and applications.
You might need to include such things as specialized machines you have operated or systems you have worked with that require specialized training to operate. For example, you might have experience using a lathing system, work with specialized machinery. You might operate heavy equipment or have industry-specific skills such as working with oil and gas equipment. Be sure to include these on your resumes to match the position you are seeking as employers or recruiters may be using these as keywords when they're performing searches in resume banks in order to find you.
So, how do you showcase this information on your resume? The best way to showcase this information is to focus on the position you're targeting and the work that you want to do. Make sure to place the most pertinent information at the beginning of this section. Target and customize your resume for every job you apply for and then match your skills with the requirements of each. Let's take a look at some common questions people have when adding their Technical Experience section on the resume.
They might ask, should I include the number of years of experience that I have? Or should I rate my technical experience as a beginner, intermediate, or advanced. And the answer to both of these questions is no. You can leave the years and ratings off of your resume. Of course, if you have only used an application once, leave it off all together. Instead of ratings, use the Professional Experience section to add additional detail and to back up how you have used these skills on the job.
Let's say that you included Flash or Dreamweaver in your Technical Skills section. You should describe how you used these apps in the workplace. Showing how you use a software will provide the employer with genuine insight into the depth of your knowledge and how much experience that you have utilizing them. Where should you place this information? Well, if you're in a highly technical position, place it above your Professional Experience section. A technical recruiter shared with me that this will make it easier for the recruiters and employers alike to see if you have the necessary skills that they are looking for without having to search to the bottom of your resume.
As far as formatting goes, let's take a look at three different ways to display the same set of technical skills: the paragraph style, the table style, or using a bulleted list. The first way is to showcase this information using a paragraph style. Look at the Technical Skills section on this resume. It highlight skills such as Microsoft, Adobe, and then shows other technical skills, and it shows all this using a paragraph style. Here is the same information displayed using a table style, and again, the same information using a bulleted list.
Which do you find easiest to read? Which do you think would be easiest on the eyes if you were the employer? Based on the amount of information you have, pick the format that works best for your situation and resume format. For example, if you already have too many bulleted points, pick one of the other ways of displaying this information. Whatever you do, don't lie about your technical skills. I heard of a situation where someone included a software application on the resume because it was in the job description.
In reality, the person didn't even know what the program did and had never even heard of it. He got the job and it was soon discovered by the company that he didn't have a clue how to use the software. I'm sure you're not surprised that it was soon after that he was fired. It's just not worth it. Just leave it off. Or better yet, learn it. Depending on the experience you have, you may be able to learn the application pretty quickly. I know of another situation where the candidate researched the software found on the job description, downloaded a 14-day free trial from the Internet, and created a presentation for the employer using the software for the interview.
The candidate proved one, that they could use their past experience to learn applications quickly, two, that they were interested in the position enough to go to all that trouble, and three, that they had great initiative. At least that's what the employer said. I should know. In this situation, I was that candidate and I got the job. It's important to showcase and highlight your technical skills on your resume, not only for informational purposes, but also for keyword searches as well. Need to brush up? No better time than to take lynda.com courses, print out that certification, and add it to your list of technical skills.
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