A couple days ago we made a post on Facebook: “If anyone asks, we give ourselves 5 stars and/or 100% on all skill levels,” and how we thought this was a silly thing to do on resumes. One of our readers, rightfully so, wanted us to explain ourselves. So, let me break it down…

  1. My biggest beef with the skill graph, or skill dots, is that it’s an imaginary scale. There’s no basis for comparison; there aren’t any metrics to compare your skills against. If comparing financials from year to year, graphs make sense. But when there’s no baseline for comparison, your “master” skill set doesn’t really mean anything.
  2. By breaking yourself down into a set of graphs, you’ve whittled your true value into easily-attainable skill sets (and yes, anyone can attain the technical skills that you have). Your true value likes in your ability to develop great ideas and successfully execute them. If you’re not great at something, you can always learn.
  3. Similarly, show what you’re capable of, not how you do it. Think about a great painting. You probably care less about how it was painted, and more about the ideas and aesthetics being promoted. Think about your body of work and your value in the same way.
  4. Remember, you’re valuable—uniquely valuable. Figure out a way to showcase your body of work and strengths. If done properly, you’ll be invaluable to right employer.