Dear JobsBlog: How do I list my technical skills on a resume?


Dear JobsBlog:
Can someone PLEASE give me advice on how to best list technical skills on a resume for a core tech role at Microsoft? I am confused as to how much detail or how little detail I should use at this stage of the job application process.

-List of Skills

Dear List:
As recruiters, we review a lot of resumes and appreciate it when you include the arsenal of technical skills you have with regards to specific programming languages, database experience and other tools/technologies.

What we don’t want to see are technologies listed with which you barely have experience. If you’ve used XML once and aren’t well versed in it, it is better to leave it off your resume. Anything you list is fair game to call out during a technical interview/screen. You don’t want to get asked about something that you can’t back up in a live interview.

Your goal should be to clarify for us what you have done and what are your technical areas of strength. For example, by your skills list alone we can tell if you’re a hard core Microsoft technologies engineer, fully immersed in the mobile world, a UI Developer, or focused on the LAMP stack.

Beyond strict technical skills, if you have a strong ability or domain expertise in an area, please call that out.  This will help us identify which jobs might best suited for you.

Also, if you have special skills such as experience with machine learning, data mining, Hadoop, or MapReduce (to name a few), we would love to be able to see these skills listed.
Writing a resume is not an easy or quick task. Your safest bet is to: err on the side of simplicity, get straight to the point about your contribution(s) for each job, and clearly cite your strong ability in certain technical areas.

Good luck!

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