How To List Skills In Your Resume
When mentioning skills in your resume, there are 3 essential steps to follow:
Step #1 – List Hard Skills with Experience Levels. For each hard skill you list, you want to mention your proficiency level:
As a rule of thumb, you can divide them by:
Beginner – You have some experience with the skill, whether its from some entry-level practice or classroom education.
Intermediate – Youve used the skill in a work environment with a good level of understanding.
Advanced – Youre the go-to person for the skill in your office. You can coach other employees, and understand the skill on a high level.
Expert – Youve applied this skill in more than a handful of different projects & organizations. Youre the go-to person for advice about the skill, not just in your office, but even amongst some of the best professionals in your field.
Make sure to NEVER lie about your skill levels. Otherwise, its going to be pretty awkward both for you and your employer.
Imagine your first task at work as an Illustrator – to create a graphic vector to go nicely with an article. If you end up delivering a hastily drawn stick figure colored with a paint bucket tool in Microsoft Paint, youll be out of the job before your probation period ends.
Step #2 – Tailor Your Skills to the Job. You might have some super rare, awesome skills, but theyre not always going to be useful. For example, its awesome that you know accounting, but would you really need it at your new job as a line cook? Exactly!
The Unorthodox Route: A Functional Or Skills
Rather than listing out your experience in reverse chronological order, a functional or skills-based resume has bullet points that reflect how each of your skills is demonstrated by the work youve done over the course of your career. At the bottom, youll include everything else, such as your education, job history, professional achievements, community involvement, and other technical skills. This is a good option if you have a somewhat all-over-the-place work history and want to tie everything together neatly.
Who its good for: Career changers whose work experiences may not appear to be relevant and people with an abundance of temporary jobs or gaps in their work histories.
Turning Cvs Into Resumes
A common mistake students make in writing resumes is being too descriptive, says Morgan. “Rather than long, flowing sentences, be concise and pack a lot of information into a couple words.”
Also, be sure to tailor your experience so it’s pertinent to the employer. “If the topics you’ve researched aren’t relevant to the job, describe the research in terms of what you did,” says Brooks. “Focus on the behaviors instead of the research itself.”
For example, Brooks spoke with writing center tutors who described the skills they needed to be good tutors. “No one mentioned the obvious being a good writer. Instead, they focused on skills such as being patient, a good listener and able to calm people’s nerves,” says Brooks. “When applying for positions outside the writing field, these additional skills could be ultimately more relevant than their writing skills.”
Avoid too much professional jargon, says Morgan. “People in human resources and future supervisors likely won’t be impressed by terms that are only relevant to highly specialized fields,” she says.
In addition, the titles of your thesis and dissertation might be too long and academic-sounding, says Brown. “Translate these titles into something for nonacademic audiences.”
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What Are Employers Looking For In A Resume
Hiring managers look for three things on your resume, What did you do? Why did you do it? And what was the result? says Muse career coach , owner of Career Therapy. If you can answer all three of these questions in…your resume bullet points, youre going to be on the right track.
Clear, easy-to-understand language is key. The truth is that most resumes make no sense. They are stuffed with jargon, they are too technical, and they are filled with redundancies. Try to read a resume that isnt yours and you will quickly realize that it feels like an alien wrote it, McGovern adds. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter who has no idea how your role workshow can you make your resume accessible to them?
The hiring manager also cares about more than just you and you alonethey care about you in relation to them. Hiring managers want to see if a candidate matches the requirements of the role theyre hiring for, Yurovsky explains. Your resume should paint this picture so the hiring manager not only knows what day-to-day responsibilities you can handle, but why you, above other, bring value to their organization.
What Not To Include On A Resume: Mistakes To Avoid
Now weve looked at what should be included in a resume and how to write those sections to grab attention.
Were not done yet though there are a few things that you should leave off of your resume if you want to get interviews and you may not have been warned about these. So lets cover that next
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Include Dates Hours Level Of Experience And Examples For Each Work Experience
For each work experience you list, make sure you include:
- Start and end dates .
- The number of hours you worked per week.
- The level and amount of experiencefor instance, whether you served as a project manager or a team member helps to illustrate your level of experience.
- Examples of relevant experiences and accomplishments that prove you can perform the tasks at the level required for the job as stated in the job announcement. Your experience needs to address every required qualification.
Important Facts About The Federal Hiring Process
- The Federal Government does have a standard job application. Your resume is your application.
- Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and list the required qualifications and responsibilities.
- After applying, the hiring agency uses the information in your resume to verify if you have the required qualifications stated in the job announcement.
- Once the hiring agency has determined who is qualified, they may use other assessments such as interviews or testing to determine the best qualified applications.
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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.
Skills To Include On A Resume
Not sure which skills to include on your resumeand which to leave off? Including relevant skills helps to strengthen your candidacy. However, some skills don’t belong on your resume, and including them could actually hurt your chances of getting chosen for an interview. Be selective and specific when choosing which skills to highlight.
The person who screens your resume cares about the value you can offer the company, and that means being a good fit for the job requirements the company lists in its help-wanted ad.
Here are some tips to help you decide what to include on your resume .
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Make Your Resume Stand Out From The Crowd
There are lots of ways you could get your resume wronglike, really wrong. Are you confident in your ability to make a resume that avoids all possible pitfalls? Dont risk it. Let Monsters Resume Writing Service take the proverbial wheel. Our certified resume writing experts know what to put on your resume and how it should look in order to get a hiring managers attention. Show off the value you bring to the job with a powerful, professional resume.
Include Them In Your Resume Skills Section
Your resumes skills section is the main place to list your skills and the easiest place because you only need to list the relevant skill and dont need to provide any context.
Depending on your skill-set, you should add an additional skills section or a technical skills section.
When to use an additional skills section
If you have several job-relevant hard and soft skills but dont have a highly developed technical skillset, then an additional skills section is the ideal way to highlight skills on your resume.
Just make sure the skills you choose to include in your additional skills section are related to the specific job youre applying for.
Heres what an additional skills section looks like:
When to use a technical skills section
You should use a technical skills section when you have a wide range of hard skills that are highly important to the job youre applying for. This format is especially useful in tech, where candidates are judged on their mastery of job-specific technical skills.
If you think this is the case for you, a dedicated technical skills section is the best way to feature your skills and abilities prominently on your resume.
Heres an example of a technical skills section on a resume:
Because software development work demands a special skillset, this Java developer resume begins with a technical skills section.
Some industries where a technical skills section works well are:
- Information technology
- Executive level positions, like CEO
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Job Positions Older Than 10 To 15 Years
Unless you’re a recent graduate or a senior executive with decades of experience, you should include no more than four or five positions that span no more than 10 to 15 years.
The older the position , the less hiring managers will care about it.
Rather than dive into outdated work experience, use that precious resume space to flesh out the details of your most recent jobs and accomplishments.
Peter Yang is a career expert and the CEO of Resume Writing Services, the parent company of ResumeGo. Before that, he worked as a hiring manager and recruiter. Follow him on Twitter .
+ Effective Resume Examples
Knowing how to write a resume is one thing, actually creating a resume that stands out is something else entirely. Without inspiration, even top career experts might stumble on a roadblock or two.
Check out the following effective resume examples to get a better sense of what a good resume looks like…
Want to see more examples? Check out our compilation of 20+ resume examples for different fields.
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Use Similar Terms And Address Every Required Qualification
Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make sure you have the experience theyre seeking.
For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with MS Project you need to use the words MS Project in your resume.
Including Additional Dates On Your Resume
If you’ve taken professional development courses or other educational classes, it’s not necessary to list dates. If you have certifications, you should list the dates because employers will want to know that your accreditations are current.
When leaving experience and dates off a resume, do it strategically.
A resume, for example, with only a few jobs when you’re an experienced candidate or a resume with no dates at all, can be a red flag for hiring managers. Be sure your resume provides a clear synopsis of your work history to employers.
If the positions you held earlier in your career are relevant to your current objectives, consider shortening the descriptions of your jobs to reduce the length of your resume rather than deleting the positions from your resume.
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What To Include In Your Profile
Your resume profile is often the first section the hiring manager notices when reviewing resumes. Since they may view several resume profiles in a short period, hiring managers may glance at a resume before quickly moving to the next one. This is why your resume profile should grab their attention and convince them to continue reading.
A resume profile should highlight certain elements of your qualifications for the role in a way that stands out to hiring managers. To accomplish this, your profile should detail:
- How many years of experience you have
- Your specialty or area you have the most experience in
- Your soft or hard skills that are relevant to the position
- Any achievements you’ve accomplished that brought in results
- Professional career goals
- Keywords used in the job posting
Should My Resume Have An Objective
Are you relatively new to the job search market or lack work experience? Are you changing industries? Are you targeting a specific job or position? If the answer is yes then its a good idea to have a resume objective. If the answer is no to these questions, then you may want to use a resume summary statement instead.
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Graphic Designer Resume Objective
Innovative and creative graphic designer seeking a position in an agency setting to apply unique ideas when creating and developing visually appealing productions that align with client goals and resonate with viewers and potential customers.
Creative and knowledgeable graphic designer looking for a position in a positive and team-based work atmosphere to develop and refine graphics, documents and digital renderings that meet client expectations while achieving goals related to customer interaction.
Whats A Resume Objective & When To Use It
A resume objective is, in a nutshell, the goal of your resume. It communicates your motivation for getting into a new field. As with a resume summary, a resume objective should be around 2-3 sentences.
As weve mentioned before, a resume objective is the go-to for anyone that either has no work experience or is going through a career change.
Formula to Create Your Resume Objective:
Looking to apply my at
to help .
Examples of Resume Objectives
1) So, heres how that would look like if youre a student:
- Hard-working recent graduate with a B.A. in Graphic Design from New York State University seeking new opportunities. 3+ years of practical experience working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, creating illustrations & designing UX / UI. Looking to grow as a designer, as well as perfect my art, at the XYZ Design Studio.
2) Or, on the other hand, if youre going through a career change:
- IT project manager with 5+ years of experience in software development. Managed a team of developers to create products for several industries, such as FinTech and HR tech. Looking to leverage my experience in managing outsourced products as a Product Owner at XYZ.
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Here Is A Good Sample For Someone Who Is In The Middle Of A Career Change:
This is a good example because it hits on everything we discussed above. Its specific. We know exactly who this person is , what company theyre applying to , both how they benefit the company and what value they bring and best of all, its short and to the point.
In just a few words this individual has taken what might seem like a totally unrelated field and shown how the skills and experiences they have directly translate to the job theyre applying for. Brilliant!
How To Make Your Summary Statement Stand Out
SHOWCASE YOUR STRENGTHS: Use your resume summary statement to highlight the strengths that set you apart from your competition, demonstrating how you would bring value to an employers organization by listing specific contributions.
PROVIDE QUANTIFIABLE ACHIEVEMENTS: Increase the persuasive force of your resume summary statement by using percentages, impressive sales figures, or numbers to quantify specific professional achievements.
USE A RESUME SUMMARY STATEMENT INSTEAD OF AN OBJECTIVE STATEMENT: Resume summary statements are more effective than objective statements because they focus on an employers needs rather than upon what you, as a job candidate, want for yourself.
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How To Make A Resume
Before you even start working on your resume, you need to decide how youre going to build it.
And no – you shouldnt use a basic text editor. While this IS the most popular method for creating a resume, its very far from the best.
With a basic text editor resume, youll need to spend hours playing with the formatting. You make a minor change and BAM! Your entire resume layout gets messed up.
Instead of using a text editor, we recommend choosing a resume builder, such as Novorésumé. Our resume builder is fast, easy, and to put the icing on the cake, a Novorésumé looks much better and can fit more information than your average, cookie-cutter resume…
To get the most out of this guide, you can head over to the resume builder and start building your resume on-the-go as you read this guide.
Write A Resume Summary Statement
You may have heard of a resume summary statement. Theyre not super common, but they can be useful to include near the top of your resume if youre looking to add clarity or context to your resume. If youre a career changer, you might find a summary statement helpful in explaining your leap and tying your experience to your new path. Or if youre a more experienced professional, you can use a summary statement to highlight a theme that brings your career trajectory together.
Overall, you probably wont need a summary statement if your career is pretty linear and your bullet points do a great job of emphasizing what you have to offer in terms of skills and experience. But if you think it makes sense to include one, Take the time to think about what the person reading your summary wants to know before you write it, says McGovern. Good summaries explain why you do what you do and how it can help. For instance: Merging a background in ABC, I help companies improve XYZ through 123. Summaries shouldnt be any more complicated than that.
So, taking McGoverns example, you might say:
Merging a background in social media marketing and PR with seven years in the consumer tech space, I help companies improve their internal and external communication and brand awareness through data-driven, quality content and strategies that align with the modern trends of the space.
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