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