The skills section of a resume plays a very important role for two reasons. First, you show a good work ethic by having a skill that your future employer needs. Plus, you show the hiring team which skills you had 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 higher and better paid the job is, the better the competition. The pressure is on to make sure you build your resume to attract recruiters or hiring managers.
What to think about for the resume skills section
When you start writing your skills list, you should also think of the questions you will receive during the interview. You should be prepared to explain how you learned those skills, how these skills contributed to your previous position, and if you can give clear examples to prove your proficiency.
Which are the most popular skills to include in 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 which you usually learn in school and you developed them in your previous jobs.
On the other hand, soft skills (aka “people skills”) show your ability to be part of a team and collaborate with other departments and divisions.
Below you can find the top 5 most popular hard and soft skills that recruiters look at:
Top 5 Hard skills:
- Graphic design
- Data Analysis
- Programming languages
5 Ways to Write a Resume Skills Section
When you start completing your CV, even though you have a rich experience, it may become hard to synthesize everything and make it interesting for your recruiters.
Therefore, if you feel that you are blocked when you reach the skills section, you should pause for a second and start brainstorming.
- How can you find the skills that best describe you?
- Did you participate in any competition and won a notable award?
For example, you can think of your college years. Think of the areas you excelled 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 will help you identify the top skills that will surely impress your future employers.
2. Take a look at the job description
Before you apply to 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 your recruiters’ attention, you tailor your CV for each job. Include in your skills section only those skills which are also required in the job description.
If the description doesn’t offer you too many details, take a look at the company’s values and mission. There you will find plenty of information which will help you create an appealing skills list.
3. Include your skills in other sections as well
Your previous work experience is also a good section where you can showcase your best skills. However, while you talk about them in your skills section, you can give clear examples.
For example, if you want to show recruiters that you can communicate very well, try submitting a sample of your cover letters that converted to job interviews. Furthermore, you can convince your employers that you can be a leader by talking about the team of people you are leading in your current job and the achievements you obtained together.
Based on the skills you discover in the job description, you can also build your experience section. Write first the most relevant skills which match the job requirements. Then, based on the list you created, you can 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 be selected for that job, this doesn’t mean that you should exaggerate or lie about the skills you actually don’t have. Your CV may look impressive, but you should think that any lie will be discovered at one moment in time. Remember that your recruiters will ask you details about the skills you mention there.
Therefore, in case you don’t have clear arguments to support your explanations, it will become very easy for your employers to understand that you lied in your CV. On the other hand, if you pass the interviews and you get hired based on your lies, you should also take into consideration that you might make mistakes in your future job.
Thus, your managers will be disappointed, and you risk jeopardizing your career because of these lies.
5. Stay away from clichés
When you apply for a job, you should be aware of the fact that recruiters read tens of CVs every day. They read the same phrases again and again and they are very difficult to impress. Thus, when reading your CV and they see just another boring application which 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, but you put a bit of effort into staying away from clichés, then your chances will increase.
When all is said and done
Ultimately, when you create your CV you should take your time and target your skills section for each job you want to apply to.
Keep a fair proportion between both soft and hard skills. What is more, support your skills with relevant examples from your previous work experience and show your employers that you can be a valuable team member.