When a potential employer is going over hundreds of resumes, usually the easiest thing for them to look over at a glance is your skill set. For this reason, the skills part of any resume is the most crucial as it’s the place where you get to sum up your many years of experience and efforts and put them in one succinct spot.
Try to imagine your skills as the icing on the cake, and the bit that will make your resume stand out from the rest. Every job application you create should have a specific and new set of skills that identify with the job listing but doesn’t make any bogus claims about who you are and what you’re capable of.
However, choosing the right skills is an art form and it’s a process that needs to be taken very seriously. You need to consider what the job application asks for, your own strong points, and the most in-demand skills in the current job market you’re interested in.
Once you have all of this, you can craft the perfect resume with your skills being the bait that hooks the employer on.
It’s all well and good to write any old skills on your resume and hope that they’ll interest your employer, but it’s all about choosing the best ones. The right skills to put on a resume should correspond with the job listing as closely as possible, without blatantly copying it, and so you’ll need to spend some time decoding the ad to see what they want.
There’s always room to be cautious when listing your skills, though, as it can sometimes be hard for us to put down skills that are true about ourselves. We might think that we’re a great communicator or a fast typer, but it’s best to have evidence to back this up.
A great way to find skills for your resume is to speak to your personal references, look over past evaluation reports, and look for any notes you can find from previous employers about your strengths and weaknesses.
Take the initiative to do some online typing tests or word processor quizzes to see if you’re really as adept as you think, and this will help you to brainstorm some skills for your resume.
In the world of skills for resume writing, there are two main categories they can fall under hard skills and soft skills. There should be a mix of each of these on your resume to show a broad range of understanding and experience, and they should always relate to the job description.
Hard skills are those that are quantifiable and have been learned through formal teachings. For example, you might have learned how to speed type or perform computer programming through a course, and if this is relevant to the job you’re applying for then you should list it as one of your key skills.
Soft skills are those that can’t be taught in a classroom and are harder to quantify, but they’re still equally important. These are more like skills relating to your personality, such as things relating to communication, patience, and problem-solving.
Depending on what you think that specific position might call for, this is where you should show off your strong points.
Although every job is different and what each industry looks for as its most in-demand skills can change constantly, there are some skills that are considered the most in demand from employers. These are hard skills that can be learned over time, and according to the job search engine Monster, they rank as the most important for jobs now and in the near future.
These might be the most popular skills currently, however, if the position you are applying for is completely unrelated then they won’t be necessary. Take the time to go through the position description to see what’s required, and try to match this to your experience to come up with a mix of soft and hard skills that might be in demand for that job.
Each and every section of your resume is important, but as the one summary that shows everything you’re capable of as an employee, your resume skills are crucial.
There may be a temptation to spin the truth a little and say you’re capable of a certain software program or language, but if you lie on your resume and then aren’t able to perform the job’s duties this will only reflect poorly on you personally.
Every job advertisement will be looking for something unique, so you need to take the time to adjust your resume to suit each application you do. It’s likely that no two jobs will require the same set of skills, so always be prepared to work your way through the description and alter your skills as required.
With a delicate balance of soft and hard skills that match the role exactly, you can almost guarantee you’ll have a foot in the door for the interview stage.