Skills are a crucial component of any resume. What can you do to show them off more effectively on your own resume?
Showcase Your Skills in Your Resume With These Tips
Showcasing Skills on Your Resume
Having a list of skills for your resume is key to having a great resume. However, there is a very particular way to present them in a way that will help you stand out from the competition and improve your likelihood of getting hired.
How to List Skills in Your Resume
It may be tempting to list every skill that you know, but this is not what hiring managers are looking for. Recruiters want to know if you are capable of performing the responsibilities of the job, rather than whether you have long lists of skills. There are five specific ways to list job skills in your resume:
Figure out all the skills you can list on your resume
Recruiters are looking for relevant skills for a specific job. It is a good idea to take a close look at the job description. This will help you determine what skills are good to list on your resume. Create a list of all the skills that will make you a stronger candidate in performing the duties for that type of job.
Narrow down your list to the skills you’re best at
Now that you have a comprehensive list of relevant skills, narrow them down to the ones at which you excel. Make sure that you emphasize important skills that will match what the potential job needs. Remember, relevancy is key! Skills are typically listed in a bullet point format.
We repeat: don’t get verbose with your skills section. The best resumes are able to specify their skills in a concise manner.
Check that your list includes both hard and soft skills
It is important to list both hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to practical skills that will help a person perform their job effectively, while soft skills are personal characteristics that will benefit the work environment. Oftentimes, soft skills include people skills. A good example of a soft vs. a hard skill is exhibiting teamwork vs. collecting blood samples.
Look into learning new skills
It is never too late to look into learning new skills especially if the job you are interested in requires skills you have not quite mastered yet. Hiring managers do not always expect you to be the perfect applicant. Be honest about your abilities and work experience.
If you are working on building your skill set via training, mention this in the experience section of your resume, as well as in your cover letter. Recruiters like to have proactive and flexible job candidates.
Organize your skills and show them off
The way in which you organize the types of skills you have are just as important as what skills you list. Organize your skill list so key skills show up at the top of your list. Recruiters often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter through many job applications based on experiences and skill sets. This is why it is so important to list your most relevant skills prominently.
Skills That Can Benefit Your Resume
The following are lists of both soft and hard skills. It is important to list both in your resume skills section because it demonstrates that you have a good combination of different types of skills.
Some common soft skills are:
- Communication skills
- Time management
- Project management skills
- Critical thinking
- Data analysis
- Interpersonal skills
- Active listening
- Customer service skills
- Leadership skills
Hard skills that many recruiters and hiring managers seek are:
- Microsoft Office suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Technical skills (e.g. data analysis, logistics management, UX research)
- Computer skills
- Web development
- Programming languages (HTML, CSS, Java, Python)
- SEO and SEM
- Foreign languages
- Graphic design
- Writing skills
Where to List Skills on Your Resume
Where you list your skills on your resume depends on what kind of resume you have. ResumeNerd has excellent resume templates for you to choose from to help you get started. There are three main resume types: functional, chronological and combination.
Functional resumes emphasize your skills by grouping your abilities under skill categories. In functional resumes, skills are listed near the top.
Chronological resumes are your standard resume format, which include what position(s) you had in chronological order, with their respective duties performed underneath. Skills are typically listed closer to the bottom.
Combination resumes are balanced and provide equal information about your skills and work experience. This resume format offers a broad view of your skills and qualifications, but presents a limited ability to provide in-depth information.
FAQ: Skills for Your Resume
The key word for the right skills to include on your resume is relevancy. The top skills to include are those that are specific to the job description.
Take a close look at the job posting. Assess what they are requiring you to do and think about what skills will help you excel at the job. Consider job keywords related to the industry you are applying for, which you can find from resume examples for the specific job. Special certifications can also be beneficial and help you stand out from other job seekers.
A good way to determine what technical skills you should learn is to check out existing resumes and other job descriptions in related job searches. You will start to notice trends in what technical skills are highest in demand. If you have those skills, be sure to list them first in your resume skills section! Check out ResumeNerd’s list of bad vs. improved resume examples for additional ideas.
You can certainly add accreditations that you have in your skill section. Accreditations provide your hiring managers with stronger proof of your competencies. If you have enough of them, it may be more beneficial to include them in their own section.