How To Match Your Resume Skills To The Job Description
Many companies use an applicant tracking system , which acts as an electronic filter, to collect, scan, sort and rank resumes to narrow applicant pools to the most qualified candidates. Thats why you need to customize your resume and cover letter using keywords and phrases that match the job listing .
If an employer is looking for a graphic designer with mastery in Adobe Creative Suite, for example, you wouldnt just claim experience with software for creative professionals. List the software by name, give your expertise level, and if you have it highlight your Adobe Certified Expert certification. Likewise, if an employer is searching for an accountant with experience processing daily invoices and credit, then use similar language in your resume. Simply listing gathering receipts as a duty wont likely score well with an ATS.
Repeat common words and phrases from other postings of the same role, too. But remember, every job description is different. Tailor the keywords and skills on your resume and in your cover letter for each position.
What Should I Do If My Skills Dont Match The Job Description
During your job search, youâre probably going to come across a job that looks perfect for your goals. Unfortunately, the employer asks for skills that you donât have. What should you do?
First, determine whether the skills are hard skills or soft skills. If a job requires specific technical skills to be successful and you donât have them, you likely shouldnât apply. You wouldnât do well in this position, and this is exactly the type of qualification that ATS scans are designed to filter out. You should spend your time on other job applications or learning those skills instead.
When youâre lacking soft skills, you can try to leverage similar experiences or transferable skills. You might not have experience managing a department, but you may have managed a project. Include that on your resume instead. If youâre not experienced at public speaking, mention your experience leading a meeting or being interviewed for a podcast instead. Do your best to relate the soft skills you have to the work experience you lack.
Keep in mind that some jobs have requirements that an employer wonât budge on. It is important to include every single one of these requirements in your resumeâs skills section. Identify these skills in the job description with the markers ârequirementsâ or âbasic qualifications.â In shorter job descriptions, you may have to infer which desired skills are the core requirements of the job.
List Your Skills On A Functional Resume
If you are changing careers or industries and do not have extensive professional experience, you might decide to feature them at the top of your resume. This type of resume is called a functional resume.
3. Skills grouped by theme4. Any relevant professional experience5. Education
To include skills on a functional resume, create a separate skill section that lists your successes with key skills relevant to the position for which youre applying. Any professional experience you do have should go below your skills section.
Heres an example of how to list skills on a functional resume:
Complaint ResolutionAnswered an average 50+ calls per day from unsatisfied customers related to delays in shipment, order mistakes and lost orders. Achieved 97% average customer satisfaction rating, surpassing team goal by 12%.
Service-Based SellingConsistently exceeded application targets by 10% with innovative upselling techniques. Pioneered development of improved system for following up with unsatisfied customers, reducing customer churn by 6%.
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How To Find The Best Skills To List On Your Resume
Before you begin writing your resume, familiarize yourself with the hard and soft skills associated with the job you want.
The best way to identify these important job skills is to analyze job openings in your industry. Take this job ad, for instance. For your convenience, weve highlighted soft skills in green and hard skills in yellow:
In this ad, you can quickly pick out several good skills to put on your resume. This includes a range of technical skills needed for the position, as well as many soft skills that help define the best candidate for the role.
Once youve looked at several such job ads, youll have a clearer idea of what job skills hiring managers are looking for.
How To Effectively List Professional Skills On Your Resume
Bar tending, Writing, Python, Bookkeeping, Crocheting, whatdo these things have in common?
These are a list of skills, not all of which are worth listing inyour resume.
Employers call applicants for an interview only when their resume matches the specific professional skill set they need. Padding your resume with a list of skills, as impressive as it looks, wont help your application if those skills arent related to the job.
In this article, I explain the different types of professional skills that are relevant, and how to select which of those skills to include in your resume skills section. I also cover how to list skills on a resume so it stands out and fits the job your applying to best.
Listing the right professional skills on your resume is important, let’s begin by looking at why that is:
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How To Include Social Media Expertise In Your Resume
To make your proficiency in this area stand out, use some of these keywords:
1. Customer Engagement Expertise.
- Mention your expertise in handling multiple accounts and engaging customers.
- Highlight instances where your customer engagement benefitted previous organizations.
- Provide examples of a mode of customer engagement.
2. Data Analytics Proficiency.
- Mention your knowledge of data analytics.
- Highlight how youve used it in past organizations.
- Explain how you tracked metrics and helped improve performance.
3. Improved Visibility.
- Explain how you improved the visibility of the social accounts youve worked with.
- If possible, demonstrate with numbers.
4. Customer Service.
- Mention if you ever reached out to customers via social at your previous organizations.
- If you have, what sort of problems youve solved.
5. Social Media Marketing.
- Mention if you ever connected with customers to build your brand, drive website traffic, or increase sales.
Statistical Analysis And Data Mining
According to statistics, by the end of 2017, there were 2.7 zettabytes of data in the digital universe. And by the end of 2020, 1.7 megabytes of data will be created per second per person on the planet.
Just to put things in perspective, there are 31,536,000 seconds in a year, and more than 7.5 billion people on the Earth.
The amount of data is gigantic, and there arent enough skilled people on the planet to take advantage of it.
Modern techniques like data mining, text mining, sentiment analysis, and statistical analysis are becoming popular to make use of the enormous amount of data available.
You can use data mining and statistics for so many essential things, including:
- Analyze data and current trends
- Study customer mindset
- Take the right decisions for the business
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How To Format A Resume References Section
Its just as important to know how to format a reference section as it is to know how to format other sections of your resume or cover letter. Your employer will lose interest if your reference page is sloppy and poorly formatted.
So, how can you create one that is both attractive and professional?
To begin, make a separate document for your references. As the last page of your resume, provide an exclusive reference page.
Use the same font, margins, and color scheme for your reference sheet that you did for your resume and cover letter.
You might also put Personal References as a subtitle if youve supplied personal references.
Why Do I Need A Skills Section
The whole point of keeping your resume concise is to allow for a recruiter or hiring manager to figure out the value you could create for the company after just a quick skim. With that in mind, having a section that basically spells out your hard skills makes a lot of sense,
Your skills section should actually be rather redundant. Ideally, a close read of your experience section should get across all your soft and hard skills. But the reason the skills section exists is because a resume so rarely gets a close read on a first pass. Considering the limited amount of time recruiters typically spend on a resumeabout six secondsa bit of repetition might actually be good. So cover your bases and put your skills in your bullet points and in a skills section. You never know what kind of reader youre going to get.
Another reality of the job application process that this section addresses is the ubiquity of applicant tracking systems . Keyword scanning is one way an ATS flags resumes for closer review, and a skills section, conveniently, can serve as an extra block of relevant keywords.
Overall, your resume skills section gives your application a nice optimization bump for both the human and digital review process.
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So What Does This All Actually Look Like
Heres an example of a good skills section for someone who is looking for work as a designer:
Visual Design:InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, XD, Animate, Lightroom3D Modeling & 2D Drafting:Rhino, VRay, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Autodesk Fusion 360Programming:Grasshopper, Processing, HTML, CSSInterests:Sailing, running, cooperative board games
And here is one that is less good:
InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, Quark, Rhino, Grasshopper, VRay, AutoCAD, After Effects, Premiere, XD, Vectorworks, Processing, Animate, Autodesk Fusion 360, HTML, CSS, Microsoft Office, typography, teamwork, creativity, multitasking, sailing, running, cooperative board games
The difference, as you can see, is all about pulling out relevant hard skills and breaking them up into relevant subheadings. Even though this section is short, it still needs to be easy to skim . Bullets and subheadings prompt the reader to start reading again. And as a bonus, they cue the reader on what broad skills the candidate has.
Basic Computer Skills Like Email And Microsoft Word
At this point, listing email or Microsoft Word as skills is almost equivalent to listing reading or basic math. Theyre not differentiators theyre expected.
By adding as a skill, candidates may appear to be trying to add fluff to their resume, i.e., that they are grasping for anything to include because they dont have enough relevant skills to list out, says Peter Riccio, Founding Partner of recruiting firm Atlas Search.
One exception to this would be if youve honed a very specific practice using these programs, such as an access database from scratch and data from Excel and other databases, says career coach . Now that is worth mentioning in your skills section.
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Finally Combine Any Early Experience When Applicable
If you worked for the same company in several roles early on in your career, consider combining this experience under one company umbrella. Template for listing multiple roles under one company:
- Position 1, start date end date
- Position 2, start date end date
- Position 3, start date end date
This helps organize your resume while briefly mentioning the experience you had early on in your career.
Ultimately, its up to you to determine which and how many jobs to list on your resume. Bear in mind that regardless of the fact, you should stick to the roles that are relevant to the position youre currently applying for.
If you need help writing a resume, use our data-backed resume builder.
How To Include Creativity And Innovation In Your Resume
Heres an example of how you can highlight the term Innovation in your resume:
Here are some ideas on brainstorming terms to use in your resume:
1. Mind Maps.
- Highlight instances of using mind mapping tools like Miro.
2. Perform Reframing.
- Explain how you can use reframing to visualize problems, situations, relationships from a different angle.
- Mention how youre not afraid of experimenting to get answers.
- Highlight how youve solved problems by experimenting.
4. Divergent Thinking.
- Explain briefly how divergent thinking can create points-of-view other than convergent thinking.
Boost Your Skills In The Work Experience Section
The work experience section of your resume should be achievement-oriented to showcase how you have used your skills to produce satisfactory results at your previous jobs. This section reinforces your experience and proves that you can use your skills in a real-life work situation.
To create a great achievement-oriented work experience section, you can use the Problem, Action, Result method:
- Problem: Identify an issue at your previous job.
- Action: Show how you used a skill to resolve the problem.
- Result: Highlight the positive result of your action.
Once you have this drafted, you can then create a single achievement-oriented bullet point to highlight your chosen skill. You can also add numbers, percentages, or other bits of data to quantify your skills. For example, you could say that you implemented a new project management software that increased the efficiency of your team by 15%. This highlights your project management skills.
Take The Time To Decode The Job Ad
How can you tell what the employer wants in a perfect applicant for the job? You can pick up a lot from the job posting, and it would help to also invest some time researching the job and the company to learn more details.
Heres what to look for when youre reviewing the job ad, including how to evaluate the job title, qualifications, requirements, responsibilities, and required experience.
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Best Hard Skills To Put On A Resume In 2021
LIke we said earlier on, the job landscape is evolving and we dont mean your typical slow pace, Darwin type of evolution. Nope. This is a fast computer age evolution and youre going to have to put in some effort and come up with some great resume ideas for skills if you dont want to be left in the dust.
This is especially true for careers that depend heavily on hard-skills, such as those in the tech, industrial and construction industry. So, just like bringing the right tool for the job, its important to bring the right set of hard-skills.
With that said, these 10 hard-skills are in huge demand in 2021:
How Many Skills To List On Your Resume
For the most part, youll want to have anywhere between 5 and 10 skills in the skills section of your resume. Depending on what kind of job youre applying to, youll want to pick the skills that are most relevant to the job description and add them. Its also a good idea to include the skills you have mastered or have more experience with, rather than just using everything that applies to the job description.
It might seem like a small number, but you should be able to get the most important skills on your resume in most cases. While you might think that the more skills you list the better, its actually good to cut down on what you include. You dont want to make your reader go through every skill you have, no matter how much experience you have, and potentially get lost. It also shows your reader what skills you think are most important or that youre best at if you cut it down to 5-10 skills in the section.
Dont forget that your skills can also speak for themselves in other sections of your resume. If you include that you have a certificate in a specific skill or area, then people reading your resume will be able to infer that you have certain skills. The same goes for the experience section of your resume. If you include in your job responsibilities that you managed a team of 15, then theyll know that you have great leadership, managerial, and teamwork skills.
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Why Are Skills So Important On My Resume
Three words: Applicant Tracking Systems.
Nearly all companies use Applicant Tracking Systems to filter through resumes. These systems scan through resumes to look for specific keywords, such as certain skills necessary for the job.
The ATS scan summarizes your skills based on the keywords you chose. If the skills section of your resume doesnât exactly match the job description, your resume may be rejected before it ever reaches a human.
Best Skills To Include On A Resume
The skills section of your resume shows employers you have the abilities required to succeed in the role. Often, employers pay special attention to the skills section of your resume to determine if you should move on to the next step of the hiring process. In this article, we examine 10 important skills to include on a resume, as well as tips on how to best craft the skills section of your resume.
If you aren’t sure how to show your best skills on your resume, you can get professional help with our resume feedback questionnaire.
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