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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Inventory your skills or tell a story?

A Career-Op reader wrote today...

"I work for a software publishing company in San Diego. I'm at the point in my life where I'm seriously considering changing employers to take on a new exciting path. For the last 12 years, working for my current employer, I've been guilty of not inventorying skills, technologies, and software tools that I have learned along the way. For the past few weeks, I've been trying to document these skills, technologies, and software tools in an Excel spreadsheet. Is that overkill? A big part of me thinks not, an employer would want to know what I know.

What is your experience?"

I always recommend that you concentrate on telling stories about your work, rather than what software/hardware/network you might have used. Develop a list of projects that demonstrate the skills you have acquired and build stories around these. Then, as you tell the stories, you can drop in which software and hardware were part of the project.

I think this is a much more effective way of communicating what you know and why you know it than a simple list of products. I would also apply the same idea to resumes and cover letters you might create.


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