By Shun McGhee
Contributor, Career Services
Part of my job as a career coach is to review student and alumni resumes. At this point, there isn’t a lot I haven’t seen on a resume. One thing that usually makes me do a double take is when I see WPM, or words per minute, listed as a skill on a resume.
I grew up with typewriters; in fact, I even took one with me to college my first year. Typing was a big deal when I was in high school and it was mandatory to take a typing class as part of my academic program. Being a quick typist was a badge of honor and garnered bragging rights among classmates.
Typing Fast Now a Commonplace Skill
As more people moved to personal computers, the number of those who could type reasonably fast increased. Now, it’s so uncommon to find someone without decent typing skills that I do not think it is necessary to list typing speed as a skill on your resume.
If you are applying for a position where typing fast is a key component, then you should list your WPM. But if typing speed is not a key factor and is not requested by your potential employer, you do not need to list it on your resume.
Your Resume Should Include Fashionable Job Skills Relevant to Employers’ Needs
Instead, the resume should be filled with other, more relevant experience and skills. You may want to include the programs you can expertly navigate within the Microsoft Office suite or the industry-related machinery that you are certified to use.
While I respect people who type 88 words per minute, I encourage you to include more fashionable job skills on your resume. You want to portray yourself as a qualified candidate to potential employers.
Research Job Announcements to Find the Skills Employers Seek
The best way to include fashionable skills on your resume is to research job announcements in your field of interest and look at the skills requested in that announcement. Then, include similar skills on your resume.
If you have questions about the kind of content you should include in the skills section of your resume, contact an APUS career coach or industry expert to engage in a fuller discussion and enhance your knowledge base.