A resume’s abilities section is an excellent place to highlight your value to employers while also incorporating pertinent keywords.
There is one major error, though, that I’ve observed numerous job applicants do with the area of their talent on a resume. and it might cost them the job.
In this post, we’ll examine actual examples of skills sections on resumes, writing tips, options for including skills, and the biggest error to avoid if you want to land an interview.
Let’s get going….
Resume Skills Section Guide With Examples
Let’s examine some strong illustrations of resume Skills sections, often known as “Core Competencies,” “Professional Skills,” etc.
In this portion of your resume, you should concentrate on emphasizing your most important qualifications for the position.
The list should therefore be simple to read. One or two columns, in my opinion.
You also don’t want to simply list a bunch of skills. Additionally, you shouldn’t include the same talents for each position! You should thoroughly research the position and business (beginning with the job description) and include the abilities and keywords that THEY include.
The number of interviews you get will increase right away as a result of “tailoring” your CV. The simplest method to achieve this is described in a guide I prepared HERE. (It is much simpler than people realize.)
As a result, you should carefully hunt for keywords in the exact job description.
When you’ve finished, you’re prepared to create your Skills section. To give you an idea of what it might look like, here are some examples of Skills sections:
Resume Skills Section Example #1:
For a salesperson, use this sample of a skills section on a resume. As you can see, it emphasizes this person’s strengths while containing a lot of keywords. You should strive to accomplish that.
Remember, don’t just assume what knowledge and terms the employer is looking for. Read the job description carefully.
Resume Skills Section Example #2:
Another straightforward arrangement for this area of your resume is seen here, this time using two columns.
Pick a straightforward, unobtrusive format.
You want the employer’s focus to be on your talents and credentials, not on the layout of your resume.
Resume Skills Section Example #3:
If you only remember one thing from these examples of skill sections on resumes, it should be that the section should be short and to the point, highlighting only your most important qualifications for the positions you are now seeking.
It shouldn’t contain as much information as other, more significant areas of your resume, such as your work experience, and it’s not the place to describe every skill you’ve ever utilized.
What Skills to Put on a Resume
Examine the job descriptions for the roles you’re looking for to get some ideas for abilities to include. Check out the requirements for this position from your target employers. You should first and foremost display that to them!
Consider what you’ve accomplished that is most comparable after you have a notion of the top abilities they want to see.
- Technical expertise (like Microsoft Excel, Web Development, Facebook Ad Management, Inbound Customer Service, Social Media, etc.)
- Team management, hiring, performance reviews, project management, meeting leadership/management, etc. are examples of leadership qualities.
- Soft talents and interpersonal abilities (You ought to limit this as much as possible. In your interview, employers will evaluate this much more. They search for hard skills first on your resume.)
- Any additional crucial abilities you notice are specified in the job description. This could be anything from time management to multitasking to coaching new team members.
How Many Resume Skills Should You Put?
Depending on the position you’re going for, your sector, and your level of experience, you should list a variety of abilities on your resume. An experienced software developer might list 20 abilities, for instance. 8–10 abilities, however, are plenty for entry-level job seekers, and any more will be unlikely to be seen by a hiring manager or recruiter.
Additionally, even if they have a few years of experience, a person in a less technical area (like sales or customer service) might only require 8-10 talents listed on their resume.
In general, I advise candidates as a recruiter that their resumes should list between 8 and 20 abilities. Both hard and soft skills should be listed, although the emphasis should be on the former. On your resume, hiring managers will focus on these skills first; soft skills will come in second.
More Ideas of Skills to Include
I don’t have enough relevant essential abilities to list on my CV, you might be wondering after reading the preceding advice. Here are some suggestions to help you…
You can review job descriptions for positions you’ve held in addition to the one for which you’re applying. What abilities did you use the most?
Examine your most recent or current work as well. What was the pattern of your regular week? Think about the abilities you used the most throughout a typical week when you sit down. Do not forget to consider both hard and soft skills.
When it comes time to mention abilities on your resume, this should give you extra ideas.
You can also check out LinkedIn’s list of available skills for your profile. (When you try to edit this section of your profile, LinkedIn proposes skills.)
On LinkedIn, you can also view the talents that your friends and coworkers have chosen. Consider a couple of your present coworkers, for instance. What abilities are they referring to? Those are beneficial abilities to list on both your CV and LinkedIn. In general, the LinkedIn skills area is a terrific source of resume inspiration.
You can also learn something new that will make you more attractive to employers…
I advise doing this by enrolling in a course through LinkedIn Learning and then including it in the Skills section of your resume. This is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for work after being out of work because it demonstrates to employers that you’re keeping your skills up to date and active.
You can study hard skills like front-end web development, social media management, and more. You can also acquire soft skills like body language, which may be useful if you work in sales or customer service.
Warning: Employers Want to See Where You Used Each Skill, Too
Employers often want to know how and when you used each talent (especially for hard skills). Therefore, don’t solely rely on the Skills section.
Both the work experience section and the resume bullets should be written in the same amount of time (or more).
Additionally, work on the summary section of your CV.
As a recruiter, I usually read those areas first. I can identify the essential talents you’ve used most frequently in your work there.
Even if you place your abilities section near the top of a resume, I still tend to skip over it and return to read it only after looking at your bullet points and most recent work experience.
The main line is that initially at least, hiring managers and recruiters do not want to see a long list of skills without any indication of the context in which each ability was applied. Additionally, they do not want to see a big list of soft skills in particular. When they first glance at your resume, they’re mostly searching for hard talents and important skills from the job posting.
Therefore, bear this in mind while you create your talents list. It’s possible that the hiring manager will skip it and go straight to your experience area.
This area of your resume is still valuable as a secondary showcase for your skills and core competencies and as a location to stuff your resume with strong keywords to get passed the applicant tracking system (ATS) (applicant tracking system). The largest error I see job candidates making, though, is relying excessively on the skills area to secure interviews or catch the employer’s eye.
Be Prepared to Answer Interview Questions About the Skills You’ve Listed
If you claim to be an authority in telephone sales, online marketing, social media marketing, customer service, or any other hard talent… In an interview, you must be prepared to defend this.
Be ready to provide instances if you claim to have used effective time management. Be prepared to provide a success story to support your claim that fixing problems is one of your skills.
They’ll want to know exactly how you applied that expertise, where you did so, and the outcomes you achieved in your most recent work. They may also inquire as to what qualifies you as an “expert” if you claim to be one.
Don’t claim to be an expert or extremely adept if you aren’t. You can still list the skill, but avoid overstating it by calling yourself an “expert.”
Early in my career, I made this error, and it cost me my job. When they questioned me about it in an interview after I used the word “expert” to describe my proficiency with Microsoft Excel, I completely lost it. Since I lacked expertise, I wasn’t prepared to explain why I had listed that as one of my skills.
Don’t include any skills you’ve never utilized. If they find out you lied about your skills in your interview, they might fire you right away even if they do decide to hire you. Generally speaking, lying throughout your job search is a bad strategy.
So that you won’t be caught off guard by the interview questions, be honest when listing your skills on your CV and examine it as you get ready for the interview.
You should be prepared to respond to inquiries about any or all of the soft and hard skills included in your resume’s skills section.
Recap: Putting the Right Skills in a Resume
- Depending on your sector and level of experience, choose 8 to 20 skills.
- Put primarily technical talents and abilities that are relevant to the employer’s position.
- Keep your soft skills to a minimum; employers will evaluate these more during interviews than they will throughout resume reviews.
- Make sure to include a hard talent whenever you put one on your work experience; employers want to know how you used each expertise, so this is how to demonstrate it to them.
- Determine the critical competencies for this role using the job description.
- To increase your chances of getting through automated job application processes, use exact phrases from the job description.
- If you need more suggestions for abilities to include, look back at previous employment or check out your colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles to see the skills they’ve picked.
- Make your Skills section simple to read by using one or two columns and a simple layout.
- Never place your skills section on your resume before your employment history section.
- Never place your Skills section before your Education part if you are an entry-level job applicant.
- Be prepared to discuss all of the talents you stated on your resume when answering interview questions.
After reading the aforementioned advice, you now understand how to create a strong skills section for a resume, including examples of how it ought to appear.
You are also aware of the additional elements that should be highlighted, such as your prior employment. You’ll land more interviews and attract the attention of better employers if you adhere to the advice I provided.