A resume skills section, although not a requirement for a resume, can be advantageous in many instances. Writing a resume skills section as an entry-level worker is common; however, seasoned individuals who are switching career tracks or starting over in a new industry can also benefit from this practice. This segment of your resume tells hiring managers what job-related, transferable and adaptive skills you possess, and above all, if you possess the skills they are looking for in future employees.
Should You Include a Skills Section in Your Entry Level Resume
If you are considered an entry-level worker because you have no previous job experience, have shifted your career focus and are starting over, or have re-entered the labor force after a hiatus, writing a resume skills section is a must.
Including this information in your resume allows you to highlight skills you possess that correlate to the position for which you’re applying. Before a potential employer schedules a job interview, every hiring manager has a mandate to find a specific skill. By including a skills section in your resume, you create a snapshot of the assets you bring to the table. You are succinctly highlighting your proficiencies, so when the hiring manager scans this section, he or she can easily determine if you are a good fit by comparing your competencies with the list they have in mind. Although some of your skills are featured in other parts of your resume, listing your qualifications at the top is a great way to draw attention away from an experience or education section that is particularly sparse.
What to Include in an Entry Level Resume Skills Section
When writing a resume skills section, include the job-related, transferable and adaptive skills you possess. Hiring managers are most interested in your job-related and transferable prowess, so focus on those and place them within the top third of your resume for maximum visibility. The goal is to catch the attention of your potential employer, so select a substantial amount of relevant keywords to place in this portion of the document.
Writing a resume skills section for an entry-level position will allow you to add skills from a variety of sources like volunteering in your community or babysitting for your neighbors, which may prove to be valuable attributes for the position to which you’re applying. No matter how you acquired your competence, you have participated in activities that fostered skills related to teamwork, decision making and accountability, and your potential employer is interested in these experiences.
A table format is a great way to organize the skills you plan to highlight. Selecting a mix of hard and soft skills is typically recommended; however, be sure to make the skills that are most relevant to the position a priority.
Example of a Great Entry Level Resume Skills Section
Be concise and succinct when writing a resume skills section. Remember, the goal is to capture the attention of the person reading your resume with the use of keywords that apply to the position. If you’re searching for an entry-level position in a management training program, for example, this section should include keywords such as these:
- Self Confidence
- Problem Solving
- Work Ethic
- Public Speaking
If you’re interested in more resume skills section tips, you may find the advice on LiveCareer helpful.