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Good Skills for CV That Will Get You Hired in 2020

In: How To

So, you have written a detailed employment history, crafted a quite catchy summary and recollected a few accomplishments that sound pretty impressive. Thinking that the hardest part of your resume writing is done? Not exactly: now, you have to list the job-related skills that employers are looking for.

Basically, when hiring managers evaluate your experience and achievements, they try to identify the skills and competencies that you’ve put into use to achieve those results. They look for particular competencies which their organization can benefit from. And your goal as a job-seeker is to display that you’ve got the needed skills. This eases the hiring manager’s work and opens your doors for an interview.

In today’s guide on resume skills, our online resume services will show you:

  • The list of in-demand skills that are valued by employers across all industries
  • How to understand what skills to include on a resume, and
  • The best place for this section in the document.

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Two main reasons to include skills on a CV

Although Skills or Core Competencies section isn’t mandatory, the resume experts recommend that you add it, and here’s why:

✓ It’s helpful for ATS optimization. The skill names listed in a job posting usually serve as keywords for selecting qualified applicants. By listing relevant skills, you appear as a matching candidate for resume robots.

✓ It catches the hiring manager’s eye. Hiring managers review your resume to find the matching qualifications, skills, and relevant experience. The list of relevant skills collected in one place will grab their attention and encourage to spend more time on your resume.

How to list your professional skills effectively?

The skills section is a perfect place to put your best talent forward. Ideally, it should contain the competencies which you are best at and which the employer looks for in a perfect candidate. To make this section work rather than just take the resume space, follow these principles:

✓ Review the job posting to identify the needed skills. The most important qualifications are usually listed in the requirements section or are repeated multiple times throughout the job posting. Your task is to find those skills and emphasize them in a resume.

✓ Include all types of skills. Hard skills are the job-specific competencies that are learned through training, such as accounting, financial planning, copywriting, etc. Soft skills have more to do with your personality and determine your work style. They include verbal and written communication, teamwork, creativity, time management, and more.

✓ Keep the list of skills between 8 and 15 points. Less won’t give the hiring person sufficient information about your capabilities. More will blur the focus and make the reader question if you are really that good at so many skills. All in all, you can list all the skills you’ve got on the LinkedIn page, and include the most relevant ones in a resume.

✓ Format the skills in columns. One of the best ways to list your skills is to use two or three columns – it makes your skills easy to read. You might want to present them in a different way, though.

✓ Group skills by sections. If your extensive list of skills can be organized by fields (such as technology, language, or marketing skills), you might want to use this approach as well.

✓ Put the Skills above the work experience. The best place for your skills to get noticed is between a summary and a professional experience (or education if you’re a student). This is especially important if your job is skill-based or you’re changing careers, as it ensures that a recruiter notices your competencies.

Top 7 skills for CV that employers value

The exact skills you’ll include depend on your target industry, job requirements and your professional background. Social workers need to emphasize empathy, social skills and problem solving, software developers – the knowledge of programming languages, frameworks and ability to work in the Agile environment. Yet, there are certain skills which are sought after in employees across all industries:

  1. Communication (verbal and written)
    Communication is highly valued as, in most roles, you’ll work closely with the team and also deal with upper management, clients, and employees from other departments. In all cases, you’ll need a strong ability to deliver your message clearly and cohesively and tailor it depending on the audience. Clear and smooth communication also means better productivity.
  2. Problem solving
    Resolving an argument with a difficult client, promptly fixing a software bug prior to release and improving the website’s position in search engines are all about resolving certain problems. Companies want employees who stay resilient in case of challenges and seek innovative solutions to the problems that arise.
  3. Teamwork
    In general, this skill means that you can positively and productively collaborate with others in your team, as well as with professionals across other departments. It assumes working on the project together, delegating tasks, avoiding destructive criticism and taking responsibility for the common results of work.
  4. Organization
    Organized employees manage their tasks, schedules and never miss deadlines. They know how to prioritize their commitments and keep everything in order, both on their desks and in their mind. Advanced organization skill also means that you’re capable of organizing projects or schedules for your boss or the entire office.
  5. Creativity
    Despite the common misconception, creative thinking is important not only for designers, copywriters or actors. Creativity means looking at conventional skills under different angles, which can bring value even in more traditional industries. For example, creativity might be used to think of new ways of cost reduction or launch a viral marketing campaign.
  6. Leadership
    This skill is largely overused in resumes, but in fact, employers value leadership abilities. They mean that you’re ready to take initiative on a new project, can replace an absent manager, teach others and set an example. You can highlight the leadership experience using powerful resume words for maximum impact.
  7. Analysis
    Indispensable for accountants, data analysts and statisticians, analytical skills are valuable even in non-analytical jobs. And this happens for a reason: this skill means that you can analyze the versatile information, identify the trends and draw meaningful conclusions, which is helpful in a wide range of jobs.

The best types of skills to add on your CV

The above-mentioned soft skills are trending among employers. However, there are much more skills that your resume can benefit from:

Computer skills for CV

In addition to job-related technical skills necessary in your industry (such as Java and Python for web developers and QuickBooks and Aero Workflow for accountants), there are also general computer skills that show your digital literacy. The examples of important computer proficiencies include Google Suite, Skype, social media, data visualization, operation systems (Microsoft or MacOS), etc.

Communication skills CV

If your job doesn’t imply heavy interaction with others, you can simply put ‘communication’ and call it a day. Otherwise, it’s important to give your communication ability a deeper level of detail. In particular, you can mention active listening, conflict management and resolution, building relationships, patience, and presentation skills.

Leadership and management skills list

Managers at all levels, especially C-level executives, need to specifically highlight their ability to direct and lead others. Recruiters consider hiring you for a role which assumes high level of responsibility, so you need to prove that you’ve got what it takes to successfully run a department or a company. Consider including the following skills: decision-making, delegation, team leadership, strategic thinking, negotiation, entrepreneurial approach, etc.

Sales job-related skills CV examples

If you’re in sales position or directly interact with customers, your resume can’t go without relevant skills. Your sales skills should highlight product knowledge, ability to effectively communicate, anticipate customer needs and increase company’s profits. Here are the examples of skills that can help communicate it: rapport building, presentation skills, customer needs analysis, active listening, contract negotiation, and closing sales.

Writing a resume on the go? Take a look at the list of mobile apps for writers that can ease your work.

Bonus: 4 skills to never include on a resume

Above, we’ve listed the examples of skills that employers are eager to see on your resume. However, there are skills which are useless or might even turn off the recruiter. Here are examples of skills you should remove from your CV right now:

  1. A foreign language you barely know. If you can remember a few words in German or Italian, it’s not the reason to include it on a resume. Don’t list a language if you cannot keep a basic conversation on it.
  2. Social media. Only list social media management as a skill if you’ve used it as a part of your job or to promote your small business. Posting pictures on Instagram doesn’t count as a professional skill.
  3. Basics of computer literacy. Listing Microsoft Word or email as skills make you look like you’re stuck in 1990s. Back then, these skills could really set you apart, and now they are expected from every job-seeker.
  4. Joke skills or certifications. In an attempt to stand out or break the ice, some candidates include funny skills or say they hold a ‘beer pong certificate’. This strategy is risky, though. Most hiring managers won’t appreciate this joke.

Make your resume 100% job-search ready

Now that you know which skills can set you apart, it’s time to give your resume a quality update. If you want to be sure that your resume is written up to the standard and can impress even the pickiest recruiters, consider asking for a pro resume review. Our American CV consultants can evaluate your resume from the employer’s perspective and give you quality feedback.

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