RE: How much knowledge to advertise and how to advertise it?

Subject: RE: How much knowledge to advertise and how to advertise it?
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 09:05:24 -0400

Mitchell wrote...

> I'm learning, on my own, SQL and R (a statistical package).
> Specifically, I'm going through various tutorials I've found online
> and using the GPL packages (MySQL and PostgreSQL) on my Linux box at
> home.
> And I know just enough Linux to maintain that Linux box, though I'm
> willing to learn more.
> I am wondering how much knolwedge (novice? intermediate user?) is
> necessary before I can claim I know enough about it for technical
> documentation purposes.
> And how do I phrase it? Just add the software package names to my
> resume, or do I put in qualifiers?
> I don't want to claim I'm something I'm not, but I do want to make my
> resume as shiny as possible.
> Your thoughts?
> Thanks in advance.

I haven't read any replies to this thread yet, but let me give you a
personal example.

A few years ago when I was teaching software courses I wanted to get
certified as quickly as possible in certain products (the Microsoft
Office Suite, to be precise). The certification was not a requirement
for the job but it was one of the good ways to earn a bonus. I went to
the local Borders and purchased the MS-published MOUS Certification prep
books, pored over them from cover to cover doing all the exercises, and
then went to a testing center and paid the $50 or so for each exam to
"prove" I was an expert.

Total cost for each certification was about $35 - $50 for each book and
$50 for each exam. Since the exams were standardized and industry
recognized, I could legitimately claim "expert" certification.

Now I don't know what the exams for SQL certification cost or if there
is an exam prep book, but depending on your current level of knowledge,
you might be able to shave $500 - $1000 off the cost of full blown
training & certification course/exam schedules if you follow the same

Even if you don't ever take the exams, once you go through an
expert-level (or whatever certification level you desire) exam prep book
and can successfully replicate all the tasks unaided you are pretty much
a (title of certification level here). If you take the exam (or can get
an employer to spring for the cost) then you can legitimately claim
expert knowledge without wondering if it's okay to do so.


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