Monday, August 13, 2012

Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and using the Internet

Is this line necessary, or even useful in the additional section of your resume?  The short answer, in virtually all cases, is no.  While all of these may be desirable skills, they are not differentiated or unique ones, and so they have no place in the modern resume.

What's more, the line is so vague that it loses all meaning entirely.  "Proficient in using the internet".  What exactly does that mean?  Typing a phrase into Google, or designing elaborate web sites?

The same goes for Word and Excel - can you type, or do you have experience in programming elaborate macros that allow your worksheets to do things out of the ordinary?  If the latter, the detail will probably be present in accomplishments or projects elsewhere in the resume.  If the former - then just cut the line entirely.

John Couke

(This post is cross-posted in my Next Step Resumes blog, that is focused on providing resume advice for people aiming for the next step (job or school) in their life.)