Don't Include These Skills On Your Resume

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It's always a good idea to fill out your resume with any specific skills or specialties you might possess. Doing so is a good strategy to give you that extra little edge to stand out from a similarly qualified candidate.

And for years, a good way to do that was to include a list of the software, hardware and other various tech-ware you were competent in, or, at least, familiar with.

Not so much anymore.

I thought of this when reading the following article in the airport this weekend: 5 IT Skills That Won't Boost Your Salary (InfoWorld)

The article is directed toward IT folk and programmer types, but the lesson in the article is applicable to all of us.

Basically, there are skill sets that are passé. Including them can only make you look like you're padding out your resume at best, and "completely out of it" at worst.

6 "Skills" To Leave Off Your Resume

A professional resume service can help you figure out what skills are important to include in your resume.

I offer this list with one caveat: if the skill set in question is a job requirement, then you'd darn well better include it. For example, if the job description says you'll be working exclusively in a WordPerfect environment, then it behooves you to list something like, "Extensive experience and familiarity with WordPerfect," on your resume.

Otherwise, it's ok to leave these things off:

  1. Your word-per-minute typing prowess; typing skills.
    You can type? Congratulations on making it to the 20th century. In the 21st century workforce, it's assumed you can type well and at a reasonable pace. This is a bare minimum job requirement.
  2. Ability to work with PCs.
    Again, the fact that you are familiar with a work-tool that 97% of the world's business is done on is not going to make you stand out. You might as well also list the fact that you breathe oxygen as a "skill."
  3. Experience with Word, Excel, Outlook or any other Microsoft Office programs.
    I wish it were otherwise, but the western business world is tied to the Microsoft Office behemoth. If you don't yet know how to create formulas in Excel or presentations with graphics in PowerPoint, then it might be time for some crash courses.
  4. Experience with non-Office programs.
    Similar to the point made above. No matter how superior the alternative programs might be, chances are you'll be working in an MS Office environment, so your skills with WordPerfect are probably superfluous.
  5. HTML.
    I'm stealing this point directly from the article. If you want to give people the impression you have some coding skill, choose something a little more practical (PHP?) or cutting edge (FLEX?). My mom can do rudimentary HTML with her personal web page and photo albums. That would mean a lot if you knew my mother.
  6. Faxing/Copying skills.
    Again, gee, I hope you know how to do this... along with sending email, managing voicemail, texting on your cell phone, etc.