Advice » Resumes & Letters» Resume Writing Tips » Tips to Show Your IT Skills ...
Tips to Show Your IT Skills on Your Technology Resume

Tips to Show Your IT Skills on Your Technology Resume

Employers often screen candidates based on their technical skills, so technology job seekers naturally want to make sure they present their skills properly. As a result, creating the skills section of a technology resume section can be a challenge.

Typical resume issues technology professionals wrestle with include:

  • Whether to list skills alphabetically or in order of importance.
  • Whether to include every skill and how much detail to provide.
  • How to differentiate between expert knowledge of a technology with passing familiarity.

Don't Exaggerate

One recruiter's advice is simple: Don't obsess over the skills section to the point of embellishment. "In adding a skills section to their resume, a lot of people have a tendency to exaggerate their level of expertise in various technologies," says Scott Hajer, senior corporate recruiter for Software Architects. "They figure the more keywords, the more exposure."

Such tactics are likely to backfire, especially during a technology job interview. "We had a candidate who had a big grid on his resume, listing all the skills he had and rating himself on a scale of 1 to 5 in them," says Hajer. One of the skills was J2EE, with a "3" (for average ability) tagged to it. "When asked to talk about J2EE, he could not even define the term, much less talk about his experience in it," he says.

Some employers provide questionnaires asking candidates to rate themselves on particular technology skills, but they don't expect such ratings in a resume's skills section. Keep things simple. Denote each technology skill with the number of years' experience or, if you're intent on including a rating, with words like novice, intermediate and expert.

Skills and Their Uses

The skills section should be buttressed with job descriptions detailing how those skills have been used in the workplace. For example, a resume listing Java, Oracle and UML in the skills section should describe how each technology was employed on a particular project. Those details provide employers with genuine insight into the depth of a person's knowledge and experience with those technologies.

Stay Relevant

Consider these tips:

  • Delete outdated skills or those with no relevance to your resume objective.
  • Separate technology skills into familiar categories such as operating systems, networks and programming tools.
  • List skills in the order of their relevance to your objective, rather than alphabetically.
  • If you've only read about it in Computerworld or on, don't include it.

Resume Organization

Technology job candidates may want to place the skills section after the job objective and before the experience section. But there are exceptions. If you're just starting out, you may want to place a greater emphasis on education and internships. If you're seeking management or sales positions, you may want to avoid crowding the resume with a list of technical skills. Instead, consider placing the list below the experience section or adding other elements, such as communication abilities and foreign languages, to the skills section.

Here are examples of one job seeker's technical skills section:

Paragraph Format -- the Most Common

    Technical Skills

    Languages: Java, XML, C, C++, JavaScript, SQL, HTML, UML.

    Tools: Borland JBuilder, Sun ONE Studio (Forte), Macromedia Dreamweaver MX, Rational Rose, UltraEdit-32, Borland CBuilder, Oracle SQL Plus.

    Operating Systems: Windows (XP, 2000, NT), IBM OS/2 2.0, HP-UX 9.0, DEC VMS 4.1, Unix (Linux and Sun Solaris).

List Format -- Gives Employers a Quick Overview

    Technical Skills

    Languages Tools Operating Systems
    Borland JBuilder
    Sun ONE Studio (Forte)
    Macromedia Dreamweaver MX
    Rational Rose
    Borland CBuilder
    Oracle SQL Plus
    Windows (XP, 2000, NT)
    IBM OS/2 2.0
    HP-UX 9.0
    DEC VMS 4.1
    Unix (Linux and Sun Solaris)

List Format with Years of Experience -- Shows Depth

    Technical Skills

    Web Technologies Dreamweaver, JavaScript, HTML 4-7 years
    Languages Java, C, C++, UML 5-8 years

List Format with Years of Experience and Skill Level -- More Detail

An alternative is to denote only the years of experience.

    Technical Skills

    Languages Years' Experience Skill Level

Learn more about technology careers.

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/22/2015
Indianapolis, IN, 46219
Tarpon Point Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Posted: 05/22/2015
Sarasota, FL, 34235
Shambaugh & Son L.P.
Posted: 05/22/2015
Fort Wayne, IN
Posted: 05/22/2015
Private Company
Posted: 05/22/2015
Katy, TX, 77494

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-210