Thou shalt not rate

A few weeks ago, the office was in a heated debate. The topic – should you rate your skills on your resume? 

For the affirmative… McKeeley. Her own resume has a scale under each of her listed skills, to indicate whether a skill is really developed or… a work in progress. 

For the negative… Lisa… and most people in the comments of our LinkedIn post. Which has made McKeeley rethink her stance.

So here are our top 3 reasons for NOT rating skills on a resume. 


1>> There is no way of accurately grading skills

Unless your skill is recognised as an olympic sport, and you’ve got a gold medal to show off, there isn’t actually a way of rating skills like communication, website design or even using the Adobe Creative Suite. 

Let’s say your experience with Photoshop is minimal, but enough to do some basic image resizing, editing and exporting. You might give yourself 1 star. When applying for a designer role, that 1 star is realistically  half a star (if that!). But if you’re applying for a marketing position in which Adobe is a non-essential bonus, those simple skills might just be deserving of 3+ stars! 

Moral of the story – skills and experience are relative to both the role and the candidate pool. So no matter what you rate yourself, you might just be under or overselling yourself. 


2>> Industry standards are ever changing

Let’s all keep in mind that, once upon a time, typing was genuinely a special skill… And now primary school students do courses in coding. 

When we consider how fast technology is developing, and that roles are created and become redundant every day, it becomes a mindfield trying to figure out whether to include a skill on your resume or not, let alone what rating it should receive. 


3>> It gives you more room to list more skills!

When McKeeley removed the rating bars, she suddenly had double the space for listing her skills. So instead of having Email Marketing as a skill, she could list the numerous softwares she’s used which, from the perspective of an employer, provides much more useful information. 

The bottom line – a skill is a skill, whether you’re still figuring it out or an absolute pro. So thou shalt not rate. Instead, be proud of each and every thing you’ve learnt along your professional journey so far.