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I'm writing a curriculum vitae, and got to a certain impasse.

Aside from the obvious Expert in XYZ, How can I say that I'm a "super expert" in a certain skill, but still remain humble in the sentence?

  • 1
    Use your previous title, and specify how many people were on the team that you were responsible for. – Robert Harvey Mar 19 '13 at 2:56
  • Ah, then the word would be "expert." Or the schnizz, depending on how informal you want to be. – Robert Harvey Mar 19 '13 at 3:02
13

It's actually the obvious "expert in <domain>". Why wouldn't you use that? It's rather clear and people from human resources are familiar with this term.

Just don't forget to illustrate how expert you are. Writing:

I'm an expert in C#.

is not enough and not explicit enough, especially since lots of people are defining themselves as experts in a technology after playing with this technology for two years. Writing:

I'm an expert in C#, since I've written this book about C#, participated in 8 large-scale projects and lead 6 other large-scale projects described in the list joined to the CV, led over 20 medium-size projects, worked for the last 10 years with C# at Microsoft and organized lectures about code contracts, LINQ, functional aspects of C# and other subjects for the last two years.

is better.

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  • C# is a terrible example for me, but thanks anyway! – RSFalcon7 Mar 19 '13 at 3:17
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    @RSFalcon7: Perhaps so, but I think C# is a much better example than $1. :^) – J.R. Mar 19 '13 at 10:08
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    I'm an expert in $1 -- that's about the most I've ever had to work with. – Jay Mar 19 '13 at 15:03
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    +1, Giving examples to show your expertise is better than just saying you are an expert. – Trish Rempel Mar 19 '13 at 16:08
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    Putting 'I'm Jon Skeet' on the resume is a shorter way to say all this and more. – Deer Hunter Mar 19 '13 at 21:58
8

Don't summarize your skill level with a poorly defined word such as expert or "super expert". Instead list your skills in a way that will let people correctly conclude that you are an expert, or better than expert. This solves two problems: the ambiguity of the word "expert" - it means different things to different people - and the desire to be humble.

So if you're a chef, you don't say "expert in French cuisine" you say "awarded a total of 4 Michelin stars for my French cuisine restaurants over the years x to y" and "invited to judge the Whatever Competition National Finals", and whatever other achievements make it obvious to everyone that you are beyond expert.

If you're a farmer, you list the awards your farm or animals or produce have won. You list your inclusion on various honour rolls. You list the books you've written and the awards they have won. And all of this leaves the reader knowing you're a super-expert.

A note: if in fact you have won no honours, no awards, no laurels; if you have written no books, judged no competitions, been included on no special lists: consider the possibility that you aren't a super expert after all.

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  • 2
    When I read an applicant's resume, I always ignore any self-assessment of skill level, especially if it's not backed up with specific accomplishments. – DJClayworth Mar 19 '13 at 18:46
5

I would imagine that you are looking for the phrase "highly-skilled." However, the word "expert," accompanied by the number of full-time years you have worked at that skill, is generally preferred.

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  • To me, "expert" is at or above "highly skilled" in terms of knowledge. – a CVn Mar 20 '13 at 12:17
5

Disclaimer: I'm speaking from an American perspective. I can't say what's common on resumes in the UK or wherever. (From the fact that you say "CV" rather than "resume", I gather you're not in the US.) That said:

"Expert" is about as high as it goes in describing job skills. I don't think there's any commonly accepted word for a skill level above "expert".

I think some fairly common terms for lower levels of knowledge, in generally increasing order of level, are "have worked with", "familiar with", "skilled with/in", and "experienced with/in".

As MainMa says, though, rather than looking for more-boastful words to describe your skill, you are better off to give some concrete description or examples of what you've done.

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  • This is the method I use. If you list everything as 'expert in..', they will be extremely skeptical of your skill level. I simply list my skill set as "familiar with Open Office" or "Experienced in: C++ (2 years)" If you want to claim to be an expert, prove it, via certification or awards. – Muz Mar 20 '13 at 4:46
2

To sound humble in resume, use adjectives to describe your skills and not you. For example, don’t say I’m an expert in computer programming. Rather, say I have excellent computer programming skills.

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