- Tips for creating a technical skills section
- Details question
- Always maximize, but never embellish
- Prove it
- Be smart with spelling and capitalization
- Diversify and acquire more skills
- More than software packages: more technical skills to record
Tips for creating a technical skills section
Since technology skills are among the highest among employers, it can literally be worth putting into words the skills you have acquired through education or experience.
If you are looking for an administrative or office job in management, administration or other popular fields, there are a few guidelines you can follow, such as being very precise with your skills and making sure your grammar and spelling are excellent.
Check out these free resume templates for MS Word if you don’t already have one.
Always write down any program you understand. You don’t want people reading your resume guessing what you’re talking about; they may assume you know more than you do or underestimate how experienced you are.
For example, if you want to list on your resume that you know a lot about LibreOffice, instead of just saying “LibreOffice,” advertise your skills more specifically by writing something like “LibreOffice Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Draw, and math.
Always maximize, but never embellish
While you should never mention any office programs you’ve just heard of or worked with, don’t be discouraged by those you know. Find ways to bridge the gap and put it on your resume.
The rule of thumb for whether or not to include office software in a program is to imagine that you are either answering interview questions about it or using it yourself on your first day of work. You don’t want to go to all that trouble to disappoint your new boss.
Open the program. If you see tools you haven’t used yet, take action to learn them, or don’t mention the program.
For example, maybe you’ve been using Microsoft Word for years, but you’ve never done a mail merge before. While you don’t necessarily need professional experience to use it, you should take online tutorials, take a local community course, or find some other practical way. Real learn an important resource like this before claiming you know Microsoft Word.
Also, when creating your resume, keep in mind that if the job you’re looking for requires someone who is, for example, good at making charts and diagrams in a spreadsheet program, then that same wording should be incorporated into your resume to show that you not only do you know how to do it, but you know what the job entails.
To use the chart example, you can write “Microsoft Excel Charts and Graphs” instead of just “Excel” or “Graphics Experience.”
To really prove to yourself and others that you know certain programs, make them official with the Office Software Certification. Anyone can write “Microsoft Excel” on a resume, and most likely they will, but most resumes on the stack probably don’t mention “Certified Microsoft Office Professional in Excel”.
Usually you take these courses locally, followed by testing, but some even allow you to participate and test online.
Be smart with spelling and capitalization
Even excellent spellers and grammarians stumble when it comes to software names, such as listing Microsoft PowerPoint as “Power Point” or “Powerpoint”. Sometimes we see words misspelled, so much so that we think we know the spelling when we don’t.
For this reason, when listing office software on your resume, you should check the software publisher’s main website for spelling, correct spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, and spaces in the program. The absence of these small details can sabotage all the other great details on your resume.
Diversify and acquire more skills
Microsoft Office is still the most widely used office program in the world, but more and more employers are using alternative office software packages. If you can list more than one set, you have a big advantage.
Diversification not only increases your chances of matching what the company uses, but even if it doesn’t, it shows that you can learn a new product because you have experience outside of MS Office.
More than software packages: more technical skills to record
Office software suites are used in a broader productivity context, so show employers that you know that. Consider the following additions to your Technical Skills section:
- Operating systems † † List desktop and mobile operating systems you have experience with. Examples include Android, Windows, BlackBerry, iOS, macOS, and Linux.
- Cloud Computing † List all the online storage environments and solutions you’ve used, including OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
- Social Media Skills † Again, only list those for which you can demonstrate work experience. Social networks include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest, as well as aggregators such as HootSuite or TweetDeck.
- Additional software † Add financial software, animation software, desktop video software, collaboration and meeting software, graphics software, content management systems, and others as needed.
- Choose speed † Usually the number of words per minute is indicated (eg 60 WPM). Do a typing speed test if you’re not sure.