Friday, January 19, 2007

The unlicensed CV Doctor

Dear academic job applicants,

There are circumstances in which it's important to be able to specify the software packages which you can operate. Entry-level stats scholars, for example, often do specify whether they work in SAS, SPSS, etc.

Under no circumstances is "Microsoft Word" a skill worth listing on your C.V. Neither is Power Point or Excel.

Unless you're a certified sys admin, under no circumstances is any version of Windows or a Mac operating system a skill worth listing on your C.V.; it means "I know how to turn my computer on."

And-- really, truly-- under no circumstances is your ability to e-mail or to operate a web browser a skill worth listing on your C.V.

These things aren't just weighted at zero. They make you look ridiculous.

Some things end up weighted at zero-- if the OS you list is Unix or Linux, I don't actually care, but it shows enough tech cred that I understand why you want to list it. Similarly for LaTeX; at the end of the day it's your word processing software and I think it's silly to list, but it's not actively embarrassing. But why bother? Someone with higher tech standards than I might well view it as the equivalent of listing Word, and you'll do yourself damage.


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