I work for an insurance broker that manages several billion in assets. I do a lot of analysis and I have taught myself Python to solve analytical problems.

This is not a part of my official job function; it is just something I have done above and beyond because I am a curious fellow.

Most of the in-house analysis is done using Excel and extracting data from a database (don't ask - the database dev doesn't really know how to build a database...) and I just wanted to up my game. It makes me more effective at work and I run statistical analysis using pandas and numpy. I have started to look into machine learning as well. I make sure that none of this affects my day to day duties.

My question is, is listing these skills that I've developed on a résumé appropriate?

  • If the skill is something like cooking or playing a guitar, it would be highly irrelevant to this insurance brokage position. But since it's a programming skill, and you found specific reasons on how your skills can apply to the things you will be working on, I highly recommend you to do it. On your resume I would advise you to write down something related to additional skills: statistical analysis using pandas and numpy [in python], and in your interview, highly recommend going in-depth with it, and what you've done prior with said skills (school project? personal projects?). Good luck!! Mar 20, 2014 at 16:26
  • I also recommend going even more specific in the things your skills can contribute to in an insurance sense, like machine learning on Excel spreadsheets (I have no idea -- get creative on this one). It's a good idea to tailor your skills on your resume to a particular job, especially one you care about. Mar 20, 2014 at 16:28

5 Answers 5


On their own, the skills are not related to your job, but you made them relate to it through adaptation. This shows that:

  • You are capable of experimenting with new (or original) ways to increase your productivity.

  • You are able to understand, even if at a basic level, some programming concepts. This can easily make an employer realize how you could branch out if the need arises, and provide support in areas that are probably out of others' reach.

And most importantly:

  • You love your job enough to actually devote extra effort to it. That makes you a great choice by default.

So yes, it would be a bad idea not to get them on your resume.


Absolutely. It's also incredibly helpful to mention during an interview that these activities weren't part of your official job functions, but that you wanted to go above and beyond, especially in that it made you more effective in your official job functions.


My question is, is listing these skills that I've developed on a resume appropriate?

If you think these skills will be beneficial in your next job, then yes - list them.

Since you say "It makes me more effective at work", then you clearly believe these skills are beneficial now - presumably they will continue to be beneficial for future employers, and you are ready and willing to discuss how that can benefit them.

Resumes are about showcasing your talent in order to get an interview and later, a job. That talent is sometimes part of your current job description, and sometimes not.

Use whatever you have to your best advantage.


Yes they are, but Use them on your CV when you need to, i.e. Matching a Job Description.

You may get that extra responsibility otherwise.

If you have Python experience and one day your Boss comes around and say's "You know Python don't you? We need you to write some programs" then you think "oh No, I shouldn't have put that on my CV". If you work in a Team, you will be taken out from the loop on Normal work because you are now working on a Project, Your friends in the team will have to cover your Normal Daily work thus creating more work for them and People will start wondering if you ever coming back to the team thus creating tension. And you probably wont get payed any extra cash for doing that and feel angry.

I'm talking from experience, it happened to me once. i work in Computers. Don't get me wrong, i love my work, but sometimes having that extra skill on a CV can backfire for you and your team mates.

People usually Add or Subtract Skills accordingly for each Job they Apply.

If you did a course in Bread Making but your background is Finance then put that down on your CV if you want to get a Job in a Bakery.


I would say that your skills should affect your day-to-day duties...

Assuming your duties consist of using Excel to analyze actuarial risk -- how does your scripting increase the quality of your analysis? My guess is that some combination of validation, speed, accuracy, (metrics, ideally quantifiable in some way) have improved.

What kind of backend system does your company run? Anything involving SQL queries should be listed. If you import pymongo for anything, then Mongo/NoSQL should appear. If it's just HTML forms automation (the requests and lxml.html modules come in handy here)... whatever it is, list it.

In the end, keep in mind that your resume is read first by a bot, so make use of whatever keywords you work with - "game the system" without making it obvious, and expact interviewers to BS-test you.

Most importantly, drive a hard bargain. If you do it right and know your stuff and are patient you might be worth another $30K+.

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