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I have just finished my 3-year training in Germany as a certified IT specialist for application development.

I am working on my resume right now, but the hardest part is to provide realistic information on my domain knowledge, e.g. JavaScript, Python, Frameworks, etc.

I did read quite a few guidelines and best practices for applications, especially when it comes to how to state your skill levels in various fields of work. However, all of them seemed to be very general, especially when it comes to IT-knowledge. For instance "being able to install and set up operation systems" was recommended as "expert knowledge level" in some guides. However, I am sure, that IT-companies would expect MUCH more from someone who would claim to have "expert level knowledge" on Windows for instance.

So I wonder:

  • what would be a good (fair and realistic) way to grade your own domain knowledge?

  • what level of knowledge can be reasonably expected from someone applying as a Junior Developer after his three-year training?

  • what would a fair grade be for e.g. my JavaScrip knowledge when I have used JavaScript for only half a year during my training in one out of many departments I ran through?

  • This seems to just be a question of at what point one can justify or expect a specific level of knowledge. This seems highly opinion-based. Although referring to oneself as an "expert", even with much more experience, may leave a bad taste in some mouths. – Dukeling Jul 6 at 19:55
  • Are you applying for jobs in Germany or in another location? – Niko1978 Jul 9 at 7:32
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On a resume and in person, strongly resist temptations or requests to describe your skill "on a scale of 1-10" or "beginner/intermediate/expert". Instead, describe what you can do, and what you do at the moment. So if you set up systems, say so. If you build web sites using this and that framework, say so. If you wrote a few scripts as part of some larger job, when you describe what you did in that job, include ". . . , wrote scripts (in JavaScript) to xyz, . . ." and carry on.

If the person reading your resume thinks "we need an expert who can set up systems" and your resume says you can set up systems, you're all set. If they think "I'm not interested in one of those so called experts who are expensive and bossy, I just need someone who can set up a system and occasionally write a little script" -- you're once again all set. By simply avoiding any level descriptions and instead focusing on what you can do for them, you make it easy for them to choose you.

In an interview, if asked for a number from 1-10, always explain the reasoning before saying the number. "I can a, b, and c, I need a little help sometimes with x and y, and I'm learning z right now, so... I guess 7?" and let them perhaps say 6 or 8 would be better. But if you just blurt out a number, who has learned anything? It's a chance to sell yourself, and it's up to you to take it. Sometimes you might not even say a number, just list some things and then see how they react to that.

  • I think you have very valid points, but I wonder how/where do include all those details on your CV? On a typical CV(at least in Germany) your domain skills/knowledge is typically very brief, only mentioned by giving a technologies name and a rating. – MrTony Jul 6 at 21:01
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    but you describe your jobs, no? That's where you put this. Under technologies just list them. – Kate Gregory Jul 6 at 22:29

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