I was on LinkedIn the other day; I’m not sure why, other than it’s a thing I’m supposed to use to connect to people, most of whom I hope never to need to contact and never need to contact me, and some of whom I have already forgotten completely. Networking!
(Not you; I remember you well and would gladly recommend you for content strategy or budgeting or cheese-mongering or underwater basket-weaving, or whatever the hell you do.)
Anyway, this isn’t about LinkedIn; it’s about Microsoft Word.
I remember a time back in the day, when I had little experience or education, few marketable skills, and computers were less ubiquitous than they are today, when I would non-ironally list things like “Proficient at Microsoft Office” or “Skilled at Internet Research” as actual qualifications on my sparse, 19-year-old’s résumé.
(I’m old, so this was when unpaid internships were still partially understood by the masses as being exploitative unpaid labor; my father would have goggled if I’d announced that I needed to be bankrolled for a summer or intended to spend my own savings to live somewhere, work, and not be paid.
Anyway, this isn’t about unpaid internships either.)
I no longer list those things on my résumé, and I’d assumed that the vast majority of non-19-year-olds also avoid taking up precious résumé real estate touting their word processing facilities.
(Don’t get me started on 19-year-olds with multi-page résumés. This is also not about them.)
While I was browsing LinkedIn, I noticed that several people had listed “Microsoft Word” as a discrete skill, some also seeking endorsement of their word processing prowess. It causes me to ask: Are these people misguided, has LinkedIn simply freed people from the need to pare down and focus their experience, or has the idea of knowing how to use Microsoft Word become so retro that claiming expertise is now quaint in a vintage, crafty way, the way foodies are curing their own meats and pickling anything that stops moving for five minutes?
I mean, you have a master’s degree and five years of work experience. If your prospective employer’s offer hinges on how quickly you can change text from left-aligned to justified, I might suggest moving on.
Has Word come full circle as résumé fodder? If so, should I be seeking recommendations for other outdated skills, like playing the harpsichord, daguerrotype processing, or accessorizing ability with slap bracelets and/or charm necklaces?
Just wondering. I like to be up-to-date and hep.