Ways To Write A Resume Skills Section
Whether youre trying to catch a recruiters eye or rise to the top of an applicant tracking systems rankings, seeding your resume with relevant resume keywords should be a top priority. One simple way to do this is through a resume skills section.
A designated skills list is an optional resume section and not part of a traditional resume format. Find a good hybrid/combination or functional resume template if you want a skills section on your resume.
Here are four ways to show off what you can do with a resume skills section:
1. Create a simple bullet list resume skills section
The most straight-forward way is to make a list immediately following your contact information and summary statement. For example, a Customer Success Managers bullet points might look like this:
- Account Management
- Customer Engagement
Hitting all the top job requirements with your skills list will make a recruiters ears perk up. It will also help you rank highly for a keyword search within an applicant tracking system. Its an attention-getter, but dont stop there. Just because you list these job skills on your resume doesnt mean a corporate recruiter will believe you.
If you use this type of resume skills section, be sure to add context for every skill elsewhere in your work experience. If a recruiter is excited by Product Adoption in your skills section, the first thing theyll do is skim your work experience to figure out when, how, and how much you used that skill.
Where And How To Include Computer Skills On Your Resume
Your computer skills must be incorporated throughout your entire resume, rather than being stuck in one area. When hiring managers review a resume, they scan over each section, from top to bottom, which is why it is important to include your computer skills in these 3 main areas: The professional summary, the key skills, and the experience sections.
If writing your resume from scratch, we suggest using this free and easy-to-use resume builder. When using a resume template, all sections and formatting is done for you, all you need to do is fill in rich, engaging content. ;
Knowledge Of Specific Computer Applications
Hard skills include technical skills such as computer applications, software, and overall digital literacy. Even if youâre not applying for a job in IT, you should include the computer programs youâre familiar with in your resume skills section if they are relevant to the position.
Listing your exposure to virtual tools like Slack, Hootsuite, or Asana shows that youâre tech-savvy.
Being tech-savvy has all kinds of good connotations like being smart, adaptable, and up to date. Plus, if the company uses any of these tools, it wonât have to spend as much time training you and that means it has saved money.
Choose your computer-related strengths and place them in a resume skills section. If youâre short on program and software knowledge, consider adding other computer skills like your words per minute rate.
In general, you shouldnât include Microsoft Office on a resume. At this point, itâs expected that office workers know how to use word processors. However, if youâre heavily experienced in Microsoft Excel, you can mention your skills in the relevant experience section by explaining how you used it. Better yet, include some numbers to illustrate your point.
Example of using numbers to showcase skills in your experience section:
Implemented inventory management system using Microsoft Excel to track shipments and deliveries, saving an estimated 3 hours and $250 per week previously spent on redundant orders.
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How To Customize A Resume Template With Ms Word
Many of the resume templates on Envato Elements and GraphicRiver come with an editable PDF or MS Word File, so you don’t need to use specialized graphic editing software to customize a resume template with your information.;
Here’s a quick rundown of how to list skills on a resume using MS Word.;
Note: For this example, we’ve used a professionally-designed resume template from Envato Elements.
How To Describe Your Skills
Tip: If you are looking for a job in which technical skills are extremely important , you should place the lists of skills in the resume above the main work experience section. This ensures that the hiring manager can quickly and easily find the most important information about your capacities.;
Its preferable to list technical and professional skills separately, rather than just having a list of «hard skills». Not all jobs will require technical skills, but if the one youre applying for does, it will be more clear for the hiring manager to see defined lists.
How To Make Your Skills Jump Out In The Ats Scan
âYour skills section should be front and center, easy for both the hiring manager and the ATS program to scan quickly,â says Jennifer.
To find the exact words theyâre looking for, refer to the job description. The better the skills in your resume match the keywords, the better your chances are to pass the ATS scan and reach the hiring managerâs hands.
How Should I Format A Skills Section
Hopefully, at this point youve been convinced to keep your skills section intact and perhaps even to add a couple things you hadnt thought of before. But how do you best present all this important information in a way that isnt just a jumble of keywords? That might be okay for an ATS, but no human being wants to read that.
If you have a long list of skills, think of subheadings as beautiful things that make even the most unruly mess of words look sleek and organized. Group your skills into reasonable categories, then name each group of skills something appropriate. For example, if you happen to be multilingual, a good subheading for all the languages you speak would be, unsurprisingly, Languages. Or if youre a designer who also codes, label your sections Design and Technical. Start each category on a new line with the subheading in bold at the beginning of the list. Thats it!
If your skills only fill one to two lines, you can change the section to Skills and Interests or Skills and Certifications and add the appropriate additional subheadings for interests, certifications, awards, and the like.
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Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills
Employers are looking to hire employees who have the right mix of two different types of skills: soft skills and hard skills.
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
Hard Skills11. Storage systems and management12. Programming languages
Hard skills are technical knowledge or training that you have gained through any life experience, including in your career or education.
Soft Skills11. Willingness to learn12. Empathy
Soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work, on your own and with others.
Hard skills are abilities specific to the job and/or industry. Generally, these are more technical skills that you learn in school, certification programs, training materials or experience on the job. Hard skills might include proficiency in things like:
- Foreign languages
- Operating certain equipment or machinery
Soft skills, on the other hand, are abilities that can be applied in any job. Often, soft skills may be referred to as people skills or social skills and include proficiency in things like:
- Time management
Hard skills are usually teachable while soft skills are much harder to develop because they are typically personality traits and, therefore, extremely valuable to employers. In most cases, your soft skills can enhance your hard skills. For example, if youre a detail-oriented software developer skilled in a computer programming language, youll likely be able to catch errors and correct issues in the code you and your team create.
Examples Of Skills To Put On A Resume
While you can often easily determine hard skills to list based on details in the job description, selecting relevant soft skills is not always as clear. To help narrow down which soft skills to put on a resume, review the various duties of the position and determine which of your personal strengths will help you successfully complete those tasks.
Here are several examples of popular soft and hard skills employers may be seeking:
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Place Your Skills Depending On Job Requirements
Iftechnical skills are required for the position, I list them after theprofessional summary then include soft skills in a separate section labeled Areasof Strength below it, says Dr.Heather Rothbauer-Wanish of Feather Communications.
So the Order Is
For professional jobs where the hard skills are standard and oftentransferable to a lot of positions, Dr. Rothbauer-Wanish lists them at thebottom of the resume. Some of these hard skills examples include sales and onlineresearch.
Not sure how to structure your resume? Check out this guide.
- natural language processing
How Social Are You
Being social-media savvy is increasingly being considered a definite plus in your job skills armoury. But the keyword here is relevant.
Recruiters are not interested in your personal Facebook posts or Twitter timeline per se, but they will be if you follow and share posts, articles, news-bytes and alerts that relate to your career track.
It suggests that you are up to speed in your domain. It could also suggest that you are a thought leader, a highly valued skill, if you, say, write a blog with relevant content.
If you do qualify on any of these counts, include the URLs to your social media sites in your resume or a QR Code that links to it!
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What Is Considered A Skill
In broad terms, a skill is an ability to perform certain tasks well. Some skills can be measured and you acquire them through deliberate effort, others are related to your personality traits.
In other words, not all skills are created equal. Thats why we call some of them hard and others soft.
- Hard skills. These are the skills that youve acquired through deliberate effort. They can be learned, taught, and measured. Examples of hard skills include: English, Spanish, HTML, Python, copywriting, data analysis, SEO, SEM, and others.
- Soft skills, on the other hand, are closely tied to ones personality traits. They arise from your previous experiences and the environment you grew up in. These could be your leadership, communication, or other interpersonal skills. As opposed to hard skills, soft skills cannot be easily taught. Examples of soft skills include: problem-solving, negotiating, multitasking, time management, presenting, and others.
Both types of skills are highly valued by employers and have an important role to play in your job search.
You can think of your hard skills as a foundation upon which your entire application is built. They give you a fighting chance to score the job you want.
Your soft skills, on the other hand, are that something extra that can make your application stand out. They give you an edge over other equally capable candidates.
Top 15 Interpersonal Skills To Add To Your Resume
In this section, we will cover some of the best interpersonal skills and why to consider including them.
When choosing the skills to add to your resume, keep relevancy in mind.
It is important to ask yourself how the skill relates to the job you are applying to.
You want to enable the employer to immediately understand why you chose to include a specific skill.
Without further ado, here are our top 15 interpersonal skills to include on a resume:
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Where To Place Skills On Your Resume
Have you noticed how some resume skills sections;have the skills listed asa separate column on the right-hand side, while others list it below theirprofessional summary?
Theres no such thing as right and wrong placement, it justdepends on your goal. That said, the recruiters and resume experts I talked tohave varying but equally logical opinions on this subject.
Lets Start With Why Resume Skills Are Important
Recruiters and hiring managers can see hundreds or even thousands of resumes each day. In their search to find the best candidates, they look first and foremost at skills and ask: Does this candidates skill set match the job requirements?;;
Additionally, many companies, including 99% of Fortune 500 companies, employ an applicant tracking system to streamline the hiring process. An ATS sorts and ranks resumes based on important keywords, primarily hard skills.;
Thats why highlighting the right job skills on your resume is vital to getting the job. If its not immediately apparent that you have the right skills for the position, your resume could beand likely will bepassed over.;
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What Are The Best Skills To Put On A Resume
Its no secret that many hiring managers spend only a short amount of time looking at a resume before deciding whether to pass on a job candidate or add them to the shortlist. What you may not know is, employers today are looking for both hard and soft skills on your resume. Read any job posting, for example, and you might see the following requests:
- Computer skills
- Collaboration talent
- Problem-solving abilities
These skills and attributes, and others we discuss in this post, are essential for todays workplace. Hard skills are the technical skills required to accomplish the tasks and responsibilities associated with the job. Theyre acquired through practice, education and training. Theyre measurable and easy to advertise: You either have the desired technical skills and experience, or you dont. Your work history and certifications will speak to them.
Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, reflect ones personality and personal attributes. They can relate to an ability to fit into a companys work culture, handle stress, communicate clearly or play well with others, for example. They may be soft, but theyre important skills for a resume: When job candidates possess comparable experience levels and technical skills, soft skills can tip the balance.
See later sections for tips on how to showcase soft and hard skills on your resume. But lets talk first about which skills employers are looking for.
Top Resume Skills By Job
Our team parsed over 8 million recent job descriptions to find the most commonly requested skills for each job type listed below. To find out more about this projectand which skills to include on your resumecheck out our skills reports.
Below youll find the most commonly required skills for:
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Presenting Or Public Speaking
Did you give a presentation or speak publicly at an event? If so, this is a great way to show communication skills! Turn your skill into an accomplishment in your work experience section.
Here’s an example from our Communication Specialist resume example:
Supplied superior customer service training and presentations to external and internal stakeholders, efficiently coordinating relations efforts.
In this example, the applicant has described the nature of the presentations as well as the results: effectively coordinating relations efforts. This is a great example of describing presentation or public speaking skills.
If public speaking is a big part of the job you want to apply for, you can supplement your talents by listing your specific public speaking engagements under a professional development section. You can also mention your presentation-related hard skills, such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Prezi.
+ Example Skills To Add To Your Resume
It is important to include a range of abilities into your resume that encompass general skills as well job-specific skills or sector-specific skills.
The following is a list of skills that are general and transferable; skills common across many sectors and positions. Use this list as inspiration for how to write your own skills section, but be sure to tailor your list according to your career goals and your professional experience.
IT skills or computer-based program knowledge are highly favorable among employers today and they should be listed prominently in your resume. Examples of technical skills to include on your resume are:
- Microsoft Office
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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.