The skills section of a resume plays a very important role for two reasons.
- You show a good work ethic by having a skill the company needs.
- You show the hiring team skills that contributed to previous companies.
This post explains 5 ways to make your resume skills section stand out.
This is important when you decide to start applying for jobs.
You know very well that you will not be the only job applicant.
Usually, the better paying the job is, the higher the competition. The pressure is on you to build your resume to attract recruiters or hiring managers.
What to consider for the resume skills section
When you start writing your skills list, think of the questions you will likely need to answer during the interview.
For example, you should be prepared to explain:
- How you learned those skills
- How these skills contributed to your previous position
If you can, you'll want to give clear examples to prove your proficiency.
The most popular skills for your resume
There are two types of skills that you can include in your resume.
Hard skills are the ones related to the industry you operate in.
Usually, these are the technical skills that you learned in school and developed in your previous jobs.
Soft skills (aka “people skills”) show your ability to be part of a team and collaborate with other departments and divisions.
Below, find the top 5 most popular hard and soft skills that recruiters look at:
Top 5 Hard skills:
- Graphic design
- Data Analysis
- Programming languages
Top 5 Soft skills:
Read more detailed information on hard and soft skills for a resume.
5 Ways to Write a Resume Skills Section
When you start drafting your resume or CV, even if you have rich experience, it may be hard to synthesize everything in a way that is interesting to recruiters.
If you feel blocked when you reach the skills section, pause for a second and start brainstorming.
- How can you find the skills that best describe you?
- Did you participate in any competition and win a notable award?
Think of your college years. Consider the areas you excelled in during your education or previous job to find the right skills to include in your CV.
You can reach out to a former colleague or supervisor and have a straightforward talk with them to discover their opinion of you.
They can help you identify top skills that will impress future employers.
2. Take a look at the job description
Before you apply for a job, you should read the job description carefully.
You may be a professional candidate and have plenty of skills to talk about. However, this doesn’t mean that recruiters will be interested in all your skills.
On the contrary, showing too many skills may raise question marks in their heads as they may interpret that you aren’t proficient in any of them.
If you want to catch a recruiter's attention, tailor your resume for each job.
Only include those skills that are required in the job description.
If the description doesn’t offer many details, look at the company’s values and mission; you will find information to help you create an appealing skills list.
3. Include your skills in other sections as well
Your previous work experience is also a good place to showcase your best skills.
While you mention them in your skills section, you can give clear examples of them in the work experience section of your resume.
For instance, if you want to show recruiters that you communicate well, try submitting a sample of your cover letters that converted to job interviews.
Convince prospective employers of your leadership skills by mentioning the team you lead in your current job and the achievements you obtained together.
You can also tweak your experience section based on the job description.
First, outline the most relevant skills that match the job requirements.
Then, based on the list you created, build your experience section and give relevant examples from your past positions.
4. Don’t exaggerate
Even though a rich CV can increase your chances to land a job, this doesn’t mean you should exaggerate or lie about skills if you don’t actually have them.
Your CV may look impressive, but any lie will be discovered at some point.
Recruiters will ask you details about the skills you mention in your resume.
If you don’t have clear examples or arguments to support your explanations, they will likely realize that you exaggerated (or lied) in your CV.
You likely won't get further than that first interview.
On the other hand, if you pass the interviews and you get hired based on misleading information, you might make serious mistakes in your future job.
Your managers would be disappointed, and you might jeopardize your career.
In short, falsifying information is simply not worth it.
5. Stay away from clichés
When you apply for a job, be aware that recruiters read multiple CVs every day.
They read the same phrases again and again, so they are difficult to impress.
If, when reading your CV, they see just another boring application that includes the same words and phrases, they will just roll their eyes and move on.
But if they read your CV and notice that, even though you have the same skills as many other applicants, you put effort into staying away from clichés, your chances will increase.
When all is said and done
- Take your time and target your skills section for each job you apply to.
- Keep a fair proportion between both soft and hard skills.
- Support your skills with relevant examples from previous work experience.
- Show prospective employers that you can be a valuable team member.
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