The Skills Section On A Resume
How to write it and which skills to include
The skills section on your resume is vital for showing employers your knowledge quickly. Knowing how to write one also helps incorporate vital keywords into your resume naturally and organically.
There are a few types of skill sets out there, all of which should find a home somewhere in your resume. Whether job-related, transferable, or adaptive skills there are ways to include all of your best attributes to sell your profile to the employer if you are a good fit for the position on offer.
The following guide explains the difference between hard and soft skills, tips for how to write a skills section, and examples of meaningful skills to include on a resume that will help you optimize your documents and land your dream job.
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
How To Write A Skills Section For Your Resume
Although, at a first glance the skills resume section might seem straightforward. Once you start getting into the nitty-gritty of it, you will soon realize that you have a pile of practical questions that will require some research both about you and the job at hand.
A good way to start preparing for writing the skill section of your resume is by researching the job listing, the company and its work culture and asking yourself these 4 questions:
- What are the skills needed for this job?
- Do my skills align with the job?
- Am I proficient in such skills?
- Is it essential to add these skills on my resume?
Once youve answered these questions, you can begin adding the skills that meet your requirements.
How to format skills on a resume?
Formatting your skills on your resume will depend on a few factors such as, your choice of resume template and resume style. With the style of resume bearing the most weight will it be a chronological, functional, or a combined resume?
As for your resume template, you have more freedom and can pick from a variety of templates that meet your needs. However, not all resume templates are created equal and some are more suitable than others depending on the occupation.
If youre having a hard time deciding what kind of resume template to use, go through resume examples to gauge what kind of templates are typically used for certain jobs.
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What Can I Include In A Skills Section
Your resume skills section should mainly be reserved for your hard skills. Think programming languages, business or design software, analytics programs, subject-matter expertise, or even carpentry skillsanything that can be taught, defined, and measured.
Keywords are important, but that doesnt mean you should cram every last thing in here. Pay particular attention to skills that are relevant, but havent necessarily been part of your daily job. Perhaps you took an online course on how to use InDesign or independently studied web design and HTML for your personal website. These skills will be absent from your experience section, which means the skills section is the only chance you get to highlight them.
Just a word of warning: Listing skills on a resume implies youre confident in your abilities. So leave off anything that youre still working on or dont feel comfortable training someone else in .
Tailor Your Skills To The Company/position
As you may have read in our other blog articles, it is always very important to tailor your job interview to the company and position you are interviewing with/for (for a more in depth look at our Tailoring Method article. This includes your resume and the skills you include on your resume as well!
As we mentioned before, the company will have a specific set of skills that they will require the successful candidate to have in order to do the job to their standard.
So as you might have guessed, it is absolutely essential that these skills make an appearance on your resume.
You need to spend some more time researching the company, and this means going through all of their various web properties including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Because they will leave clues about the types of people they hire, which will give you a better idea of the skills that you need to include in your resume. This especially applies to soft skills.
Ask yourself this. Do I have a similar skill-set to the types of employees they hire?
If the answer is yes, great!
If the answer is no read on!
And as we said before, REALLY dig into the job description to make sure you have a strong understanding of the skills that are required for the job, and make darn sure you put those skills in the skill section of your resume.
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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.
+ Essential Skills To Put On A Resume
Listing skills on your resume is fairly easy.
Are you mentioning the right skills for the job, or are you boring the HR manager with irrelevant information?
Heres a hint: the hiring manager for the Software Development team couldnt care less about your expertise in Marketing.
What theyre dying to know, though, is your skill level in Python.
In this guide, were going to walk you through the process of putting skills on your resume. Well explain how to identify the right skills, and how, exactly, to list them.
Among others, you will learn:
- How and why should you list your skills on a resume?
- What are hard skills, soft skills, and what is the difference?
- How can you list skills on your resume to help you stand out?
- What are the top 120+ skills to put on a resume? For 10+ fields!
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Soft Skills And Hard Skills
Skill types can be broken down into two categories: soft skills and hard skills.
Soft skills are personal attributes and qualities that affect how you do the job. They are the people skills that help us read our colleagues, manage situations and perform well in a workplace environment. Soft skills are obviously important, and in some industries, such as sales, they are essential to success. These types of proficiences are hard to teach, but the good news is that we develop the skills every day in both domestic and professional settings.
Some examples of soft skills to add to your CV include:
|Attention to detail||Communication|
Hard skills, on the other hand, are part of the essential skill set needed to do a job successfully, and as a result, are job-specific. Sometimes called technical skills, they are quantifiable and are often learnt through formal courses and training. Hard skills are important because they prove to an HR manager that you have the abilities required to execute the job. For example, if a role calls for a proficiency with Google Analytics, that specific knowledge base is a hard skill that determines whether or not you can perform the necessary tasks of the job.
Some examples of hard skills include:
Click here for more advice on soft and hard skills for your CV.
Recap: Putting The Right Skills In A Resume
If you read the tips above, you now know how to write a great skills section of a resume, including examples of what it should look like.
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The Best Things To List On Your Resume If You Have No Experience
No professional experience on your resume? No problem as long as you read this guide on how to write a resume when you have no work experience.
There are plenty of reasons why you may not have any previous work experience to list on your resume. There are many other things you can add to your resume to show employers that you are the perfect candidate for their open job post.
When you dont have work experience, its important to highlight past activities, skills and other experiences youve had to show you have unique skills, professionalism and competency. When managers are hiring entry-level employees, the top two characteristics they are looking for in your resume are attitude and aptitude.
Keep these two traits in mind while writing your resume and add any relevant experiences that show that you have the attitude and aptitude for the job.
Computer Programming Web Or Software Development
On top of the practical need for developers at nearly every business, programming skills demonstrate advanced problem-solving skills that can contribute to a well-rounded professional. Even if the position you’re applying for doesnât specifically require programming skills, it can benefit you greatly to include it on your resume if you have developed these skills.
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What Are The Best Skills To Add On My Cv And Where Do They Belong
Skills are a vital part of your CV. They are key to showing an employer that you are qualified to do the job, and they’re also a ticket to passing through the feared applicant tracking system. However, incorporating skills into your CV is not as simple as it sounds. There are different categories of skills to understand, for instance. Plus, it’s essential to select the right skills and to include them in your CV in a way that is both organic and recognisable.
Here, we break down what you need to know about CV skills and offer master lists of the skills that could land you your next role.
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.
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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.
What To Include In A Resume Key Skills Section
Your skills section includes your abilities related to the job you’re applying for. You should include both “hard skills“specific, quantifiable attributions such as proficiency in a foreign language, typing speed, or computer software knowledgeand “soft skills” like flexibility, patience, and time management.
Make sure the work experience listed on your resume reflects your skills. Then, when it comes time for an interview, be prepared to provide anecdotes, examples, or additional details supporting these skills.
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How To Include Initiative Taking Skills In Your Resume
Heres how you can use specific points to highlight your quality of taking the initiative:
1. Volunteering For Roles.
- Mention that you go above and beyond your stipulated work and volunteer for roles.
- Emphasize you want to make a difference in your workplace.
2. Resolve Conflicts.
- You can highlight instances where you stepped in to resolve issues in your previous workplaces.
3. Share The Credit.
- Mention how you understand that every team member is important.
- Explain how you realize the need to share credit for a job well done and highlight instances where you did the same.
4. Being Decisive.
- Highlight how you can be decisive and mention instances where you have been decisive in the workplace.
- Explain how you can brainstorm ideas and helped your previous organizations.
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 resume skills section is a quick and easy way to do just that.
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Tips To Match Your Skills To Job Requirements
When adding resume skills, it helps to know your audience. As you apply to jobs, consider three sources to understand how your audience might react to the resume skills: the job description, the company, and the industry.
Read the job description to understand the important keywords and tone of voice. How does the job description talk about skills? Are there any required skills? Be sure to list and talk about skills on your resume in a similar way the job description uses.
Research the company to figure out the company culture. Does the company put an emphasis on innovation and learning? Does the company seem like it would have an appreciation for creative skills or like they might put a stronger emphasis on soft skills? Know what type of skills the company values overall and be sure to include those skills on your resume.
Understand the industry to align the skills on your resume with the expectations of your industry. Demonstrate your experience and industry knowledge by talking about the skills on your resume exactly the way an industry insider would expect.