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As a student, how should programming language familiarity be described on a CV/Resume

Before I begin, some context: I currently have almost two years of professional experience as a Software Engineer, mainly developing software in Java. At this point, I feel that I have reached the peak in my career growth at the current company I am at and therefore I am looking for a new job, ideally again, as a Software Engineer. I have been interviewing for the past few months casually but have not had luck with companies I have a passion for.

In terms of resume, I feel the most ambivalent here. I want to be able to "embellish" my resume to a certain extent so that it stands out from others', but at the same time I do not want to over-exagerate my abilities. How do you strike a balance here? For example: I say that I am proficient in Java with data structures and algorithms. This is obviously a subjective and relative statement. I've taken the classes in my undergrad, and I've applied it in my work experience. What I feel as "prociency" can be seen as junior-level to others. How do you know what to say? Most of the time, recruiters (with no technical background) will be looking for keywords that stand out.

Just from interviewing for the past few months (and getting plenty of rejections), I've come to realize that I may not be as proficient in data structures and algorithms as I thought I was, however I'm still continuing to practice. Do you think it's a good idea to remove the "proficient in java/data structure and algorithms"? I feel that being too hoenst on the resume will impede me from scoring opportunities to even have an interview with top-notch companies.

  • 4
    blemish = a minor imperfection, embellish = to make more attractive. – Desmond Zhou Jun 20 '12 at 8:12
  • first off learning to use a spell checker and to proof-read will be a important skill! what is "prociency". – user718 Jul 16 '12 at 5:06
  • Voting to reopen: this question is broader, asking how to present technical ability on a resume, rather than just asking how to indicate proficiency in the resume overview. – kevin cline Jul 16 '12 at 18:00

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