Tailor Your Skills To The Job
Relevance is key. Only list skills that are appropriate for the job you are applying for. You can figure out which ones are relevant by scanning a job listing.
Job ads usually list a set of requirements or skills they expect a good candidate to have. Make sure you dont leave any of those out on your resume.
For example, imagine you are applying for a line cook position in a restaurant:
Heres the job description. We have underlined your main responsibilities:
Here at ABCD we are committed to creating a one-of-a-kind experience for our guests. Our French restaurant is looking for a professional line cook for the summer season to work directly under the supervision of our chef. Responsibilities include prepping and cleaning food, creating and cooking meals and cleaning up the working area. Impeccable attention to detail in food cooking and presentation is needed.
So from this, you understand that ABCD is looking for someone that:
- Is committed to excellence and is highly professional
- Works well under supervision, and with others
- Can prep, clean, and cook food
- Has great attention to detail in cooking and presentation
So, what you should mention in your skill section are:
Skills: food prepping, cooking skills, food presentation, attention to detail, heavy lifting, team-work.
What If You Don’t Have The Required Skills
If the core competencies of doing a job require a particular set of skills that you do not have, be honest with yourself as well as the recruiter. This is the moment to really consider if you are capable of doing the job. However, if your skillset might match those of the job description, you can get creative with your resume.
Use examples from your past work experiences to demonstrate your capability to do the job but ensure that any growth you need to achieve can be done alongside performing the core components of the job.
This does not mean you should lie and say you have the skills when you don’t. If you are asked to an interview, the interviewer will ask you about your skills.
For more guidelines on how to write your skills section, have a look at our guide to writing a resume.
How To Include Communication Skills On A Resume
You should include your communication skills indirectly, meaning you need to “show, don’t tell.” This is best done through explaining your achievements.
For each job application, you need to identify the key skills the employer wants. If communication skills pop up on the job description, that’s a great sign that you should pepper your skills with communicating throughout your resume. The next section of this blog post will give you several examples of how to include common communication skills on your resume.
Here are the most popular communication skills to use on your resume:
Presenting or public speaking
Managing groups and people management
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Why Do You Need An Executive Summary
The major benefit of an executive summary is that it makes your resume unique. A well-written resume shows your hiring manager your skills and qualifications at a glance. This can help you stand out, especially when the hiring manager has many resumes to go through when hiring a candidate. Most hiring managers spend just a few seconds on each resume. Using an executive summary ensures they get all the information they need in that time and can even encourage them to read further. The executive summary helps align your resume better with the job description.
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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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Add Your Professional Resume Summary Statement
A resume summary statement is a short paragraph or section of bullet points at the beginning of a resume that highlights your professional skills and experience. Your summary should expand on your headline and communicate to recruiters and hiring managers why you are a good fit for the job.
Summary statements are not ideal for all job seekers. If you dont have much job experience or are changing careers, you might use the space to expand on your work history section, skills section, or write a strong resume objective statement instead.
Note: Career experts rarely recommend including a resume objective statement, but these summary alternatives can work in special circumstances such as in the case of career changes.
Work Experience: Professional Experience
If youve chosen the Reverse Chronological format , then this section is the backbone of your effective resume.
This is not only the place where you list your most impressive past employment, but you may also elaborate on each position by giving important facts, achievements and figures that describe you as a great professional. Its not necessary to include your entire employment history. Tailor your job mentions so that you impress your future employer with the most relevant work experiences for this specific job ad. This also keeps your resume short, clean and concise.
If you can name percentages, numbers or specific projects that prove your productivity in past jobs – do so. Did you help save your company money? Did you participate in a company-wide initiative? Did you lead a design team? Maybe you increased the score of user reviews for an online service. Recruiters appreciate specific data.
Each position should be outlined in the following approximate format:
- Job title, company name, location of employment
- Month and year started and left the position
- Between three and six bullet points briefly outlining your results and role at the company
Its a great idea to keep a separate file or list with you can consider to be your milestones, achievements, projects and numbers. That way, you always have an arsenal of illustrative facts ready to go. Take a deeper dive and learn more about this important section in our dedicated Work Experience guide.
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Tips For Choosing Interests For Your Resume
Including interests isn’t always necessary. Often it is enough to have just your resume to explain who you are to a hiring manager. However, here are some tips about how to include interests in your resume.
- Use resume space wisely: Put interests on your resume if you are new to the workforce or don’t have enough work experience to fill one page. Write first about your professional skills and your accomplishments from past jobs.
- Be relevant: Look for keywords in the job posting that match your interests. Use interests that are relevant to the advertised job position in your resume.
- Do research**:** Research the company and the company culture to see if the company values individuality and work-life balance. Include interests that are relevant to the job if the company encourages creativity and individuality.
What Is A Skills
A skills-based resume, which also may be referred to as a functional resume, is a resume in which a person’s skills are highlighted first and foremost as opposed to the more traditional chronological resume.
This type of resume most often lists accomplishments and skills as bold headings with an explanation as to how that skill was acquired and used in a person’s previous job history. A skills-based resume is ideal for individuals with little job history such as individuals who have recently graduated from high school or college. This resume type may also be a good idea for people changing careers and who have little to no work experience in the new career field they are pursuing.
In a skills-based resume, the primary focus is on the resume summary or introduction and the skills section. In these two sections, the individual will emphasize their skills and achievements as they relate to the position they are applying for. The work experience section of a skills-based article is typically much smaller than a chronological resume and often does not include the timeframes in which the individual worked in each position. The person’s contact information, education and other relevant resume sections should be included as well. The goal of a skills-based resume is to emphasize your strongest skills as they relate to the job you are applying for to increase your chances of getting an interview.
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What Is An Executive Summary In A Resume
An executive summary in a resume is a brief paragraph or list at the beginning of your resume that summarizes your qualifications, skills, and achievements. It’s also called a resume profile or a resume summary. It gives the hiring manager an understanding of your qualifications at a glance, describes why you’re the right candidate for the role, and summarizes the rest of your resume.
Show Off What You Can Dobut Not Everything
Conserve space on your resume and write only the skills related to the jobopening you’re applying to. Remember, every skill you include in your resume skills section comes with an opportunity-cost forthat spaceand attention span of the hiring manager. Use an organized resume template that’ll showcase your skills without making your resume look cluttered.
Now that you know how to list skills on a resume for best results, and what technical and soft skills are important to include, you’re ready to take action. Why not download a professional resume template to show off your professional skills today?
Editorial Note: This post was originally published in 2017. It has been comprehensively revised to make it up to date by our staffwith special assistance from Charley Mendoza.
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Use Both Types Of Skills On Your Resume
Both are important to include in the skills section of a professional resume. These types of professional skills can be categorized as transferable orjob-specific.
As the name implies, job-specific skills are required for aparticular job, while transferable skills are relevant in different industriesand roles. For example, an animator has 3D modeling, time management, andcommunication skills. 3D modeling wont be useful after changing careers, butthe remaining skills might be useful despite switching to a programming orsales job.
What Are Hiring Managers Looking For In My Resume Skills
For certain roles, it can be a nonstarter for a candidate to not have specific skills. You cant be a ballerina if you dont know how to dance, obviously, just like you wont get a front-end developer role if you dont know HTML. By and large, though, the hiring managers Ive spoken to are looking at the big picture. Theyre trying to connect the dots, and skills help fill in the gaps a bit.
Hiring managers are trying to pull together a story about you, so list skills that match the experience youve written about in your resume. One hiring manager I know in tech finds it interesting and noteworthy to see skills that are kind of esoteric, but still relevant. Functional programming languages in particular always catch his eye. To him, it indicates that the candidate has a keen interest in programming and possibly went out of their way to learn it on their own. Thats a pretty efficient way to show your enthusiasmlisting a juicy, related, but kind of obscure skill.
Monica Orta, a hiring manager at the MIT Media Lab, says the skills section gives her a sense of the suite of skills a person hasits another way to look at their experience and helps paint a fuller picture.
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Should You Include Resume References
While every resume should include summary, work experience, education and skills sections, whether you should include references from previous employers is far less clear cut. Lets explore in more detail.
If the job description requests references on a resume, then follow it to the letter, but if references are not requested it doesnt mean that they may not contribute to your application when you write it.
As you should seek to use your resume space to create the optimal impact, here are a few tips about when including references might be appropriate:
- If you are new to the field or your references are not relevant.
- If you havent managed to ask permission from your referees.
- If you have already listed your references in an online form.
- If you are more comfortable writing references on request.
Remove Unnecessary Jargon From Your Resume
“The hard skills you write should be recognizable to thecompany or audience who will review your resume”, says Kristen McAlister of Cerius Executives.
For example, a specific program you used at your old jobmight be unheard of to your new boss, so you should replace it with a genericname to describe what the application does instead.
Customer service and phonesales agents, for example, use software specific to the company they work for.Instead of naming the sales software, its better to write lead managementapplication or customer database application in your resume business skills.
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Review The Job Description And Research The Company
Though you may have several different areas of strength, include only those that are relevant to the job. Recruiters often have limited time when reviewing resumes, so its best to keep your skills section specific and concise. Once you move on to the interview phase, youll have the opportunity to elaborate on additional skills not mentioned on your resume.
Start by reviewing the job description and making note of any required skills or abilities that match your own. In addition to job requirements, consider the description of the company and its culture.
For example, a job description for a medical assistant may require proficiency in electronic medical records software and scheduling programs. It may also share that the company values teamwork and patient satisfaction. In this case, the best skills to put on a resume might include the following:
- Electronic medical records systems
- Interpersonal communication
- Customer service
If you dont see any clues about company culture listed in the job description, check out Indeed Company Pages or review the employers website for additional information.
Create Your Master Resum
A master resumé gathers all your work experience, skills, accomplishments, and education/training in one document. Having these facts at your fingertips will make your work search activities easier. You can quickly copy the most relevant details you need from your master resumé to build a custom resumé for each specific job. You can also use your master resumé at an interview to remember details quickly.
Your master resumé should include:
- Your contact information
- Your education and training
- Your work history and experience in reverse order . Include your duties and responsibilities at each job.
- Your skills:
- Your employability skills
- Technical skills
Your master resumé is a living document so remember to update it regularly so you can keep track of your work related activities.
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Detail Your Work Experience
The work experience section is the heart of your resume. Employers look at this section closely to determine whether your job history and prior accomplishments make you a promising candidate.
Thats why its important to detail not only your job responsibilities but also your competence in prior roles. The work experience section is your chance to show recruiters and hiring managers how you have added unique value to other companies.
The first things a recruiter looks for on your resume are the job titles youve held and the caliber of companies youve worked with. Make this information easy to find by sticking to a familiar format.
List each job in reverse-chronological order. Each job should have its own subheading that includes the following information:
Avoid Excessive Resume Skill Repetition
When you have multiple places to share your skills, it is easy to think that repetition is a powerful way of getting your message across. Believe me, it isnt. Even if you use different words to describe the same resume skill, you need to realize that your resume real estate is far too valuable to be doing this.
In order to come across as a rounded professional, you should seek to highlight as many different skills as possible in the skills section, employment history and summary. By all means, repeat a couple of the really core resume skills, but variety is definitely your friend.
The more skills that a hiring manager can read on a resume, the more interesting the potential interview with you might prove.
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