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Including technical information

From: Creating an Effective Resume

Video: Including technical information

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.

Including technical information

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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Creating an Effective Resume

49 video lessons · 28758 viewers

Mariann Siegert
Author

 
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  1. 3m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
    3. Filling out the career management worksheet
      1m 34s
  2. 29m 13s
    1. Creating a marketing campaign
      2m 50s
    2. Discovering your dream job
      3m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of keywords
      2m 14s
    4. Finding essential keywords
      6m 34s
    5. Incorporating action verbs
      4m 51s
    6. Getting results using PAR statements
      4m 40s
    7. Researching the employer
      4m 25s
  3. 37m 2s
    1. Targeting your resume
      7m 16s
    2. Sidestepping blunders and the "10-Second Screen-Out"
      5m 44s
    3. Deciding on resume length
      6m 29s
    4. Keeping your resume concise
      5m 23s
    5. Refreshing your resume
      4m 52s
    6. Critiquing your resume
      3m 31s
    7. Avoiding identity theft
      3m 47s
  4. 21m 14s
    1. Entering the workforce
      7m 48s
    2. Filling in employment gaps
      5m 21s
    3. Dealing with long-term employment
      3m 9s
    4. Switching career paths
      4m 56s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding resume jargon
      1m 27s
    2. Reverse chronological
      2m 25s
    3. Functional
      6m 11s
    4. Combined chrono-functional
      2m 35s
  6. 7m 1s
    1. Understanding the curriculum vitae (CV)
      3m 29s
    2. Working with online resumes and portfolios
      3m 32s
  7. 41m 23s
    1. Formatting fundamentals for your resume
      6m 39s
    2. Including (or not including) an objective
      4m 10s
    3. Creating a headline
      5m 1s
    4. Writing a qualifications summary
      4m 47s
    5. Showcasing achievements vs. listing job duties
      5m 31s
    6. Including technical information
      5m 22s
    7. Putting your education to work
      4m 41s
    8. Including awards, honors, and other information
      5m 12s
  8. 19m 1s
    1. Knowing which file format is best
      2m 10s
    2. Saving to earlier versions of Word
      2m 48s
    3. Saving as a PDF
      5m 27s
    4. Creating a RTF version
      3m 54s
    5. Saving to HTML format
      4m 42s
  9. 15m 9s
    1. Evaluating online resume banks
      5m 32s
    2. Writing effective names for resume banks
      3m 43s
    3. Double-checking formatting after uploading
      2m 45s
    4. Becoming too visible
      3m 9s
  10. 21m 45s
    1. Creating a cover letter
      7m 47s
    2. Compiling your references
      4m 35s
    3. Writing thank-you notes
      5m 38s
    4. Printing, copying, and the importance of paper
      3m 45s
  11. 52s
    1. Goodbye
      52s

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