What Skills Should You Include
You should include a mix of hard and soft skills list the hard or technical skills first.
You can approach the skill selection process in one of two ways. The first is to start by thinking about the skills that you possess. What are your most marketable or desirable skills? List them first and then customize them according to the specific job youre applying for.
The second and arguably quicker way is to start with the job itself. Look at the job description and think about what skills you have that are a match. You can find relevant skills by searching for the most popular skills for each job, looking through similar job descriptions, and checking existing employees LinkedIn profiles to see what skills they list.
Remember to list hard skills and back up your claims with examples. If you want to demonstrate your work ethic and initiative, mention times you helped out other teams or developed a new initiative that saved your company time and money. If the job youre applying for emphasizes the importance of good communication skills, list your public speaking engagements or published work youve written.
What If I Dont Have The Required Skill
We brought up the earlier scenario in which you didnt necessarily have the skills required to do the job.
Heres where you have to be honest with yourself. ;If the skills required are part of the core competencies of doing the job, you may want to reconsider your application.
For example, if a golf course posts a job posting for a golf pro, you probably shouldnt apply if youve never swung a golf club.
Use your common sense to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the job.
Quite often though you will come across a situation where it is closewhere you kind of have the skill.
This is where you need to get creative .
You need to be able to demonstrate, using examples from your past, that you are capable of doing the required skill. ;So go over your work history with a fine-tooth comb and try to come up with a few examples of you doing the skill.
They are going to ask about it in your interview, so dont think you can just wing it and everything will be fine.
What Hobbies And Interests Should I Include
Include the hobbies or interests that help show the employer or hiring manager why youâre a good fit for the job and have some level of professional relevance. For example, letâs say youâre a hiring manager looking to hire a web developer.
Which candidate comes off as a better pick for the position?
A) Hobbies & Interests â Fishing, Playing guitar and Travel
B) Activities & Interests â Blogging on web development, solving complex coding issues, and volunteer work to help develop and maintain a website for a non-profit group.
You can clearly see what that candidate B has the more relevant and effective hobbies and interests! When deciding on what hobbies and interests you could include on your resume, look at it from an employerâs perspective.
So, what are some good hobbies and interests to include on a resume?
Weâve put together a list of hobbies and interests to put on your resume.
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Keep It Relevant But Stay Flexible
It goes without saying that if you have specific skills an employer desires, include them. If you have other skills that don’t match 100% with an employer’s desires but are key to your professional success, include them, and expand on them in your resume’s experiences and achievements section.
If you’re switching fields or reentering the work force after a lengthy absence, look to your other experiences to find transferrable skills. Don’t discount yourself from consideration because your skills don’t match the job description exactly.
If you stayed home to raise your children for seven years, you coordinated schedules, planned meals, got everyone to the doctor and other appointments or activities, and assisted with homework, right? That’s a legitimate example of project and personnel management. Your project and personnel may be your family, but unless you’re organized, the kids might not have had lunch for school, a clean uniform, or maybe someone would have been left without a ride to a weekend soccer game.
You worked in sales while finishing grad school and helped your elderly parents, and now you’re ready for an entry-level management position in the finance field. Repurpose your skills in budgeting your parents’ living expenses into planning and overseeing a larger budget for a company.
How To Create A Resume Skills Section
When you write a resume, its important to organize the content so its succinct and easy to read. A three-column, three-row highlights section near the top of your resume, just above your professional experience, is a helpful way to list the nine soft and technical skills that speak directly to the postings required qualifications. Its also a good place to add keywords youve identified.
You dont need more than a couple words here to show what you bring to the table. This should be a bulleted list a reader can quickly scan. Complete sentences will come in your work history.
Here are some examples of what professionals from different industries could list in this section:
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Where To Put The Skills Section
There is no specific or fixed rule on where to place the Skills section in the resume. Most resume templates put the Skills section at the bottom, after the Work Experience section. However, there may be some instances where placing the section at the top of the resume may be more advantageous.
This is a practice usually seen in the IT industry, where the relevant technical skills of the IT professional is placed at the first part of the resume, so it is the first thing that the hiring manager sees when scanning the resume.
Where To Put Skills On Your Resume
Weve covered the standalone skills section your resume should have, but thats not the only place your skills should appear. Thats just where you summarize your skills and quickly tell the recruiter what qualifies you for job. Alone, though, they dont count for much.
You should try to include 2-3 key skills in your resume summary, profile, or objective. This is your quick pitch, and likely one of the only things the hiring manager will read. Use those keywords that came up multiple times in the job description if you can.
Additionally, try to incorporate the same sorts of action verbs used in the job posting to give your skills greater relevant context.
Your work history section is another place to emphasize your skills. A recruiter whos impressed with your skills section will turn to your professional history next to see when you actually leveraged these skills.
Thats why you need to make sure that every skill listed in your skills section comes up somewhere in your work history, even if you dont use the exact wording. Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments.
Depending on the role youre applying for and your relevant experience, you may also include some skills in the volunteering or education sections of your resume. This is especially helpful for recent graduates wtihout much more experience who still want to demonstrate their skills in action.
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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.
Tips For Writing A Skills
Here are some helpful tips to follow when writing your own skills-based resume:
- Put the most relevant skills and abilities at the top of your resume
- Include accomplishments you can quantify
- Look at job postings you want to apply for and include words that come up frequently
- Use a template like the one below to guide you in choosing key information and formatting
- Create a cover letter to catch a hiring manager’s eye and explain why you’re a good fit for the position
- Limit your skills-based resume to one page
- Avoid providing too much detail
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Why You Need A Skills Section On Your Resume
When it comes to writing a resume, you dont have time for subtlety. If you have the skills a job opening is looking for, you need to explicitly say so, and the skills section lets you do just that. Adding a separate section means you dont have to try to stuff a bunch of keywords into your achievements and allows both hiring managers and Applicant Tracking Systems to easily screen your resume for key skills.
A skills section is also one of the easiest parts of your resume to customize. Youve heard how important it is to target your resume to fit the job youre applying to simply switching out the content of your skills section is a quick and easy way to do just that.
Share Your Professional Experience
If you’re using a resume that combines the functional and chronological format, your professional experience likely supports your skills section. For example, if you’re currently working in an entry-level position in sales, your skills section might include soft skills like collaboration and communication, along with hard skills like your knowledge of data analytics tools. Your professional experience can elaborate on how you’ve learned and applied these skills, so employers understand more about your work habits and strengths.
In this section, include the business name, date of employment, your job title, and the responsibilities you had in bulleted format. If you currently work at the company, use present-tense verbs when you’re describing your present responsibilities. If you’re currently between jobs, use past-tense language when writing about your prior work tasks. You can also include any specific accomplishments or accolades in this section.
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Be Prepared To Answer Interview Questions About The Skills Youve Listed
If you say youre an expert in Phone Sales, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Customer Service, or any other hard skill you need to be ready to defend this in an interview.
If you say youve done a lot of time management, be prepared with examples. If you say problem solving is one of your strengths, be ready to back it up with a success story!
Theyre going to want to know where you used that skill and details about how you used it and what results you got in recent jobs. And if you say youre an expert at something, they might ask what makes you an expert.
So if youre not expert or not highly-proficient, dont say you are. You can still list the skill, but dont exaggerate and go overboard by saying expert.
I made this mistake early in my career and it cost me the job! I said the word expert when describing my Microsoft Excel skills, and they asked me about it in an interview and I completely crumbled. I wasnt an expert and I wasnt ready to defend why I had said that on my skills list.
Also, dont list skills youve never used. Even if they do hire you, you could immediately be fired if they discover you lied about your skills in your interview. Lying in your job search is usually not a good tactic.
What Are The Best Skills For 2021
The best skills for resumes in 2021 are skills that make you look qualified for the specific job youre applying for. However, it also helps to take into account recent changes to how companies operate.
Showcasing your knowledge of remote working software and emphasizing that youre self-sufficient is a great way to prove to employers that youre ready for the modern workplace.
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Start With Your Name And Contact Information
Regardless of your resume format, beginning with your full name and contact information can make it easier for employers to communicate with you. Ensure that you’re using recent and accurate information, including your current phone number and email address. You may even consider including a link to your online portfolio, especially if it’s common practice in your industry, so a hiring manager can view your work as they review your application documents.
Mine The Job Descriptions For Must
The next step is;take a look at the job description for the position you are applying for and make a list of the required skills that are listed. ;Are any of the skills on both of the lists you just created? ;If so, these are must-haves for your resume.
Now notice if there are any skills on the job description that you dont have. ;If there arent any, great!
But if there aredont panic. ;You just need to dig a little deeper into your past in order to demonstrate that you have the skill more on that in a minute.
Here is a link to a ton of job descriptions that can give you an idea of the skills needed take a look and find the position you are interviewing for!
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Should You Include Hobbies And Interests On A Resume
Ask yourself these questions:
Would someone looking at your resume be impressed by what your hobbies or personal interests are?
Are they relevant in any way to the job posting youâre applying for?
Are your hobbies or interests going to help you succeed if you land this position?
If the answer is no, then you are better leaving this section off.
Sorry to break it to you, but no recruiter is going to hire you over someone else because you like travel or fishing. This isnât a Facebook profile . Your resume is a document that tells employers and hiring managers why youâre a good match for the job.
Donât worry, later in this article weâll show you when itâs a good idea to list hobbies, interests, and activities on your resume.
Why Do I Need A Skills Section On My Resume
A well-put-together skills section can help a recruiter figure out whether you have what it takes for the job and do it quickly. Speed is of the essence here.
Why? Because most recruiters only have about six seconds to decide whether a resume is worth reading in full. That means you only have a very limited time to get the most important, most impressive points across. Otherwise your resume ends up in the bin.
With that in mind, having an entire section designated to your skills makes a lot of sense. After all, its through your skills that you can be useful to a company. By devoting an entire section to them you help the employer quickly assess if you can bring something to the table.
Get through the applicant tracking system
Whats more, your resume isnt for human eyes only. Every larger company nowadays uses an applicant tracking system to weed out weak candidates. Because of that, most resumes never get to a human reader.
Fortunately, your resumes skills section can help you punch through the ATS wall.
How? One way an ATS flags a resume for closer review is by scanning it for relevant keywords. Luckily, by definition, any good skills section contains a relatively large number of these keywords and can help you get invited for a job interview.
As you can see there are also resume qualifications and a well constructed skills section will help you make your resume more attractive both to human and computer eyes.
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Add Your Professional Skills In The Experience Section
The next step is to blend your professional skills into your resume experience section.
Use the resume keywords you found in the job ad and include it the job description. Try to not paraphrase them too muchATSs are smart, but not smart enough .;
Your goal is not just to get through the ATS scan, but to wow the recruiter with your achievements. Thats why you must justify your skills with numbers.
Learn this simple equation by heart:
Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean:
- Delivered exceptional customer experience by displaying a customer first attitude. Consistently scored 90% and above in customer satisfaction surveys.
- Made personal connections with 50+ customers to help them with specialized financial needs and partnered with the branch team to better identify cross-sale opportunities. Over 80% of referred prospects converted into clients.
- Gained expert knowledge of 20+ banking products and solutions in the first 3 months.
- Educated 50+ customers about the banks technological solutions, e.g. online banking apps for stock exchange tracking and trading, and VIOP transactions. 70% became regular users