If I say that I know something, what exactly do you think I know? Part II: Answers

A week ago I wrote about what people expect when you put things in your résumé. Let’s look at some more examples.

Case I: MS Excel

Do I know MS Excel?

  • I know how the icon looks like
  • I know that you enter “=” before a formula
  • I know how to make shopping l…

…hold it there! This guy made an entire game in Excel using macros. And these guys screwed the world by making a typo in an Excel calculation. (this link is worth a visit just because of the image at the top of the post). (1)

Case II: Blender

This weekend I decided to start playing around with Blender, an open source program to make 3D-animations (as in: real movies). So I made an animation of my 2D-IR setup. Gold mirrors? Check. Fancy beam splitters that are partially transparent? Check. Laser pulses that cast a subtle red light glow on their environment? Check. Just like that. In one weekend. Boom.

It is so incredibly cool that we can nowadays download this kind of software for free, read some online tutorials and just make things. We’re living in the future.

Case III: paint brush

Can I handle a paint brush? Yep. Can I make something that I’m proud of? Nope. Do I put it on my résumé? Of course not.

That should be the threshold for what I put in my résumé: can I be proud of it? Is it a skill that I’m proud of? Did I make something that I’m proud of? MS Word and Excel: can I work with it? Sure. Does it make me proud? No. Do I include it in my résumé? No. But do I include Blender? I’m proud of my animation, however crude. Do I include it in my résumé? You bet!

(1) UPDATE: I realized that I made a large Excel spreadsheet to calculate the results for a large sporting tournament. In previous years it was done by hand and the spotters had to wait for hours until the organization was done. With my spreadsheet the results were immediately known and we had to wait for the people to finish showering after sporting :) Good times!