Your resume needs a concise skills section so a hiring manager can determine the value you may create for an employer. With the limited time they have to see whether you might be a good fit for a position, you need to clearly show why you’re most qualified and should be called in for an interview. Plus, you want to include keywords in your skills section so the applicant tracking system flags your resume for a closer review. Here are six tips to determine whether your resume does your professional skills justice.
Identify Your Top Skills
Think about which skills are most relevant to the position you want. For instance, consider your previous experience, areas you excel in and what your coworkers say you’re excellent at doing. Think about your awards and achievements, which areas you were recognized for and which talents helped you reach that milestone. Ask former coworkers what they see as your biggest strengths. Or, talk with professionals in your field to find out which skills are most in-demand and align with your own.
Review the Job Description
Include the skills relevant to the job you want. Because hiring managers have limited time to review your resume, keep your skills section specific and concise. Review the job description and take notes on the required skills and abilities that match yours.
Research Company Culture
Consider the culture of the organization. The job posting and/or company website should provide insight into what the mission, vision and values are. List your skills that match what you learn. For instance, if company values include teamwork, interpersonal communication, and they’re important to you, put those skills on your resume.
Decide on a Skills Section Format
Figure out where you want to put your skills section. For instance, use a functional resume if you’re changing careers or have little experience. Or, list your skills in a separate section if you have extensive experience but want to highlight specific skills or qualifications that set you apart. Otherwise, weave your skills into your professional experience section. In all cases, include keywords from the job description when listing your previous experience.
Include Hard, Soft and Transferrable Skills
Be sure you list hard, soft and transferable skills on your resume. Examples of hard skills include computer skills, customer service and carpentry skills. Examples of soft skills include active listening, leadership and communication. Transferrable skills are those you learned in a different field and apply to the role you want.
Leave Out Certain Skills
There are specific skills you want to leave off your resume. For instance, if you’re changing careers, leave out the skills you won’t be using anymore. This is especially important if they’re irrelevant to the role. Obvious skills like Microsoft Word need to be avoided unless the job description calls for them.