Familiarity with certain fields helps you to stand out from the field when applying for a job. If you are familiar with topics a new role asks for, you’re more likely to get the job.
But is “familiar with” the best way to show that you know how something works?
This article will look into some alternatives to help you.
Is It Professional to Say “Familiar With” on a Resume?
It is professional to say “familiar with” on a resume. You should say it because it works well to explain what you know. It also shows employers what you’ve learned over the years.
Generally, “familiar with” refers to a skill. In itself, it is not a skill, but you can talk about something that you’ve gained familiarity with, which results in a skill.
“Familiar with” means you have experience with certain things. It does not mean you know everything (it is not synonymous with “proficiency” or “expertise”). However, you know the basics.
This example should help you understand it:
I am familiar with Microsoft Excel.
- It’s a simple way to let employers know of your experience.
- It works well in professional formats.
- It’s quite generic.
- It’s overused.
“Familiar with” is certainly one of the better choices for a phrase to include on a resume. However, it’s not the only one. It’s worth having a few alternatives ready to go.
Keep reading to learn how to say you’re familiar with something. You can also review the examples provided.
What to Say Instead of “Familiar With” on a Resume
- Acquainted with
- Trained in
- Experienced in
- No stranger to
- Conscious of
- Informed about
- Well-versed in
- Have knowledge of
- Have used
1. Acquainted With
To spice up your CV, you can use “acquainted with.” It’s quite similar to “familiar with,” but it keeps things interesting and is a much less common variation of the phrase.
You should include it to explain your experience. It shows what you’ve learned over the years, even if you only have minor knowledge of topics.
Usually, “acquainted” implies basic knowledge over expertise. Therefore, you should only include it before a list talking about your basic familiarity with certain subjects.
You may also review these resume examples:
I am acquainted with Microsoft Excel. I’m more than happy to help train anyone who doesn’t already know how it works.
I’m very well acquainted with all the software in the job description. I hope you find my qualifications useful.
2. Trained In
“Trained in” is another way to say “familiar with” on your resume. It’s highly effective and keeps things simple when filling out an application.
You should use it to describe your basic experience of certain subjects. It lets employers know what you’re already capable of and whether they’ll need to train you in anything specific.
Unlike “familiar with,” “trained in” isn’t limited to basic knowledge. You can also include it for more experienced situations (like things you’d consider yourself an expert in).
Here are some samples to help you as well:
Being trained in multiple programming languages (like Python and C++) has helped me to climb the ladder and be where I am today.
I am trained in multiple different modalities. I’m happy to share my knowledge with my peers if needed.
3. Experienced In
Getting experience in things takes time. However, you can talk about your experiences in your cover letters and resumes to explain what you’ve picked up over the years.
So, using “experienced in” lets employers know what to expect from you. It shows that you’ve learned things from your previous roles and are ready to bring them to your newest one.
The more experience you have (even if it’s only minor knowledge), the more hireable you’ll become.
Also, you can review these resume samples:
It helps to be experienced in several foreign languages. I believe I’m conversational in three of them.
I’m experienced in Microsoft Office and all the software that comes with it. Therefore, I need no training in this regard.
4. No Stranger To
If you want another word for “familiar with,” try “no stranger to.” It’s an incredibly interesting choice that keeps things fun in a resume.
Of course, you need to be more careful with this option.
While it is an excellent choice, it’s often seen as more informal. Therefore, you should only use it when applying to more casual roles.
There’s nothing wrong with more casual writing in certain job roles. If anything, it allows you to demonstrate your personality more in a resume.
So, as long as you know the conversational tone is acceptable, you should include this. It demonstrates your knowledge about certain subjects and shows you’ve got experience in specific fields.
Check out the following examples to see how to use it:
I am no stranger to programming in Java. I’m more than happy to share some of my portfolio if necessary.
I’m no stranger to completing these tasks with this system. It’s one of the more common systems I’ve used.
5. Conscious Of
It might not be the most popular choice, but you can also use “conscious of” to mix things up a bit. It’s incredibly effective as a more formal alternative to “familiar with.”
Using “conscious” here shows that you have basic experience or knowledge about something.
It’s a great way to show that you’ve read the job description and understand what the position requires. We recommend it to impress your new boss before the interview stage.
Perhaps these resume examples will also help you:
I’m very conscious of my abilities using Microsoft Office. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned over the years.
Being conscious of how these systems work helps me in my work life. That’s why I’d make a good employee.
6. Informed About
Another great professional alternative to “familiar with” is “informed about.”
Generally, the word “informed” is used in business settings when providing information to someone. For instance:
- I am writing to inform you
- I’m informing you
- This is to inform you
- Can you inform me?
As you can see, “inform” is basically a more formal way of saying “tell” or “teach.”
We recommend using it when referring to your knowledge base. It shows you’re already familiar with certain ideas. It’s especially effective if those ideas relate to the job you are applying for.
Also, review these examples to see how it works:
Since I’m informed about this coding language, I believe I’m the best fit for a role such as this one.
I’m informed about many of the systems in the job description. I hope you consider me for an interview.
7. Well-Versed In
A common choice in resumes is “well-versed in.” It helps you to explain your skills and experience, regardless of how well you know something.
The only thing you should be cautious of is that “well-versed” typically means you are highly trained in something.
“Familiar with” can refer to basic knowledge or a full understanding of something. However, “well-versed” is much closer to meaning you are an expert in a certain field.
We only recommend using it if you can back up your qualifications and claims. After all, your boss is likely going to ask you to prove that you are as well-versed as you say.
Check out the following examples if you’re still unsure:
I am well-versed in multiple languages. However, I do not claim to know everything about any of them.
I’m quite well-versed in a variety of marketing strategies. Please feel free to ask me more about them.
8. Have Knowledge Of
For a simpler alternative, try “have knowledge of.” It works really well as another way to say “familiar with.”
We recommend it to be unspecific about how much you know. As long as you claim you have knowledge in an area, it is usually suitable for an employer.
You should use it to demonstrate a basic understanding of something. It typically shows that you have a rough idea about something. However, you might not want someone to test what you know.
Why not review these examples to see how to use it:
I have knowledge of most of the data protection laws. I’m willing to share what I know to help educate my new coworkers too.
I have knowledge of many different systems. Thanks to my experience, I believe I’m a good fit for this role.
9. Have Used
Most of the time, we learn and gain experience by using things. For instance, you might “use” software to learn how it works rather than reading the instructions that come with it.
Therefore, “have used” is a solid synonym for “familiar with.” It shows you’ve come across something before, even if you don’t have that much experience with it.
This phrase is great for demonstrating basic knowledge. It lets an employer know you’re happy with something without claiming you know everything.
You can also review the following examples:
I have used Excel and Word before for many different reasons. Feel free to look through my portfolio to learn more.
I have used multiple different pieces of software for graphic design. Therefore, I am already familiar with the one you use.