How do you list your software skills in your resume?


Currently updating my resume and wondering how everyone else does it. I've seen some comments harping on the trend of rating it X out of 5 stars, which graphically look nice but have no meaning to one's abilities. (does 3/5 mean you're learning? incompetent?) Same could possibly be said for keywords "proficient" or "advanced", since BIM software nowadays are so multi-faceted. The best solution I feel would be describing all the ways you're proficient in, say, Revit, i.e. "proficient in modeling, value tabulations, dynamo" but that could take up half the resume. How are you all doing it?

Apr 2, 23 3:53 am

I don't rate my software skills, but only list which software I know for the reasons you mentioned above. I personally never had an issue with getting interviews at good quality firms, since I have good credentials. Then at the interview, if I am asked about my proficiency in a particular skill (e.g. rendering, Revit) I refer to a sample of work from my portfolio that was done using this software.

Nevertheless, I have encountered offices that pay a lot of attention to proficiency in a particular programme due to their workflow (e.g. UNstudio wanted to ensure that I am proficient in Rhino & GH). If that's the case with the firm you are interviewing, it's safe to say that you will be spending your time in the office being a software guru rather than an architect and I don't think this would be the goal of anyone moderately experienced in architectural practice.

To sum up, I wouldn't personally worry too much about this but instead focus on developing and demonstrating quality of skill in the portfolio.

Apr 2, 23 7:09 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

self graded charts are a big turn off.   Everyone rates themselves 9/10 but few are even 5/10… especially students with no practical experience. Just list the software you know well enough and can use in an office setting and let your project example do the talking. 

Apr 2, 23 8:14 am  · 
6  · 

As Non said, rating your own skills isn't great. I'd actually say it's a lose-lose...

If you were to rate your skills on your resume as like... a 4 or 5 out of 10, then I'd have to wonder what the point is of doing that. Is it to be humble? It comes off as you not knowing how to sell yourself.

On the other hand, if you rate yourself really highly, I immediately start to doubt that. I'm going to scrutinize the renders in your portfolio even more if I see that you've rated your "Photoshop" skill as 9/10. Most people rate themselves much higher than their actual ability.

I will say that I think it's more than acceptable for seasoned professionals to list the number of years they've used various skills. If I'm interviewing an Architect III position, I'm interested to know exactly how much experience they have in various programs. Even if they won't personally be touching Revit, I'd like to know that they have a fairly extensive knowledge in it, so that they can reasonably budget and evaluate the time and workload of their team members.

Apr 2, 23 9:59 am  · 
1  · 

I agree. Self ranking your skills on a resume looks stupid in my personal opinion. It isn't something you do even for getting a job in software field. No one is really going to be taken all that seriously because it's just as likely people are going to b.s. a little (embellish), anyway. A vast majority of resumes submitted are going to contain some b.s. or embellishments. Even the act of promoting and selling yourself is inherently going to involve some level of b.s. given because anyone evaluating and interviewing prospective/aspiring employes is going to know that anyone they hire is likely to fall short of the pitch early on... but by how much. How they grow and improve from there is for on-going assessment.

Apr 11, 23 2:42 pm  · 

Rankings make you look like a student with no work experience. Even if you are a student with no work experience, you don't want to accentuate it. If you have extensive software skills and want to highlight them, the usual move is to use subheaders. i.e. "Modeling," "Environmental Simulation," "Computational Design." This isn't usually necessary unless you're applying for a specific type of position or to a firm like Foster, Zaha, BIG, etc.

Apr 2, 23 2:30 pm  · 

As others have said don't rate your program skills.  At most provide an adjective to describe your working knowledge of the programs.  Better yet say you have proficient working knowledge of ______ programs.  

Apr 3, 23 1:45 pm  · 

Consider incorporating the software you used in and what you made with it into your descriptions of previous jobs. 

Like this :  "In my role as a Designer Level 1 at X Architecture Firm, I produced design development and construction document drawing sets using Revit."

 " While employed as an intern at Floof & Fluff, I produced conceptual design images with SketchUp and Enscape"

Apr 3, 23 2:18 pm  · 
2  · 

You do something like that even for a job in software development / video game development jobs. Wording would be obviously modified but similar point and prose.

Apr 11, 23 2:47 pm  · 

As much as I agree with everyone on uselessness of self-rating software skills, I've had 13 interviews in a span of little over a year (2021-2022) and 4-5 offices from what I remember asked me to rate myself in Revit, Cad, etc. It seems like candidates do it because that's what it's expected from them, at least to some extent

Apr 6, 23 10:13 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

There is a difference between a fresh grad and someone with real-word experience rating their software skills. I'm a mother-fucking sorcerer in revit, but I'd rate myself a 6/10 and I have 10y+ experience in BIM but I'll lap 28 times the fresh grad self-grading themselves 9/10. I'd still leave it out and let the folio speak for itself.

Apr 6, 23 11:42 pm  · 
2  · 

It looks to me like some of the schools are telling the kids to do it. I only see the little rating graphs or speedometers on resumes from students and recent grads for entry level jobs. The older applicants aren't doing it.

Apr 7, 23 12:34 pm  · 

I'm the same a Non. I agree that real world experience can be much different than academic understanding. I've see grads that could figure out how to model curved, poly-mesh forms with ease but couldn't figure out how to create schedules, quickly isolate/ sort families, or create working project families.

Apr 7, 23 12:36 pm  · 
1  · 

Even in the software field / video game development field (all jobs from coding to any other role).... rating is non-sense and any serious emloyer hiring an entry level position is going to look at portfolio of work (even if its just academia) and not assume employment history in the field but would consider non-employment experiences related to the job and portfolio. For other positions assuming a higher experience requirement, it is your portfolio of work that does the real speaking and a good honest explanation of your role. Do not outright b.s. but communicate your role and experience in an upbeat tone. Honest but upbeat. Succinct is going to help.

Apr 11, 23 2:56 pm  · 

I just have "software experience" on mine and wrote what I did with the various softwares (construction docs, rendering, etc).

Level of skill in any software can be pretty subjective but there are really only 2 thresholds that anyone cares about.

1(fail)-can't produce the thing needed in a timely manner using said software

2(pass)-can produce the thing needed in a timely manner using said software

If it's on your resume, it's going to be assumed 2, or else why list it?

If the company REALLY needs to know specifically how well you can use the software, they'll have a prompt or something for you to complete in the interview. I've actually had this done to me by surprise, thankfully I told the truth on my resume and passed it.

Apr 11, 23 1:29 am  · 
1  · 

We give people we want to hire a 30 minute Revit 'test'. It has no bearing on our decision to hire you though. It's only to see if we need to send you to Revit training when you first start. We pay for the training, travel expenses, hotel, and food.

Apr 11, 23 12:58 pm  · 
3  · 

I don't list my software skills anymore because I'm too old for it to matter, but when I did, I had the software and tools used for each project listed on the project page in my portfolio or work samples. Simple, elegant solution that makes more contextual sense than just a list of software on your resume.

Apr 11, 23 2:16 am  · 
3  · 

Yes, A clear idea of what you did and what you used to produce it is what employers want to get from application materials.

Apr 11, 23 12:46 pm  · 
1  · 

When it is communicated in the portfolio, it is not necessary to go into detail entirely. In some jobs, you might highlight some of the tools to point out you have practical skills using the software especially if you are going to deal with pre-screening processes where the pre-screening looks for key words. This is a practice (sometimes with computer tools) that is done by some employers to reduce the list down during first round of pre-screening before even getting to the interview point.

Most employers will just want to know if you can use the software tools they use or setting up to use (or both) to perform the duties of the position but there's other factors they are looking at, too.

Apr 11, 23 3:03 pm  · 

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