When it comes to creating an effective resume, one often-overlooked element is writing a resume skills section. The skills section is optional, but including one can still be an important way to make yourself stand out. While you’ll typically mention your skills in your education or employment section, everybody has some skills that don’t fit neatly with their past experience. Putting these in a skills section helps hiring managers quickly decide if you’re a qualified candidate for the job.
Should You Include a Skills Section in Your Software Testing Resume
Whether you include a skills section in your resume depends largely on how well your education and job experience match the job you’re applying for. If you have a degree in the field and job experience as well, you probably don’t need to describe your skills because they will be obvious. However, if you are trying to switch fields, don’t have a lot of work experience, or really want to show you’re a good fit for the job, consider writing a resume skills section to pack the resume with the keywords that hiring managers look for in software testers.
What to Include in a Software Testing Resume Skills Section
When writing a resume skills section, it’s generally best to use a table format. This lets you easily show off relevant skills without taking up too much space and making your resume too long. It’s also worth remembering that you should only include relevant skills. While it’s nice if you have a budding career as a novelist or can play golf well, you won’t use either of those skills in a software tester position, so they don’t belong on the resume.
For software testing in particular, there are lots of skills that won’t show up in your job history or education, so writing a resume skills section is a great way to make it clear that you’re the best person for the job. Here are a few characteristics to consider:
- Clear communication: important for noting bugs you find and other problems.
- The ability to think from the end user’s perspective: it’s one thing to test the software, but if you’re not doing things the end user will do, you’ll miss a lot.
- Out-of-the-box thinking: this seems like a buzzword, but in software testing, the ability to manufacture unusual situations is critical for making sure the software won’t break.
Example of a Great Software Testing Resume Skills Section
While writing any resume is going to take some time, there are some formatting tips that make writing a resume skills section easier. With the table format, you want to include enough skills to make the section substantive but not so many that it’s crowded. Aim for between three and five skills per row. To make your software testing skills easier to read, don’t include periods or write in full sentences. Just list out the skills, one after the other.
Here’s an example:
Clear written and oral communication
C++ and Java
Strict adherence to deadlines
While the tips in this article should be enough to get you started writing a resume skills section, there are many more things to look out for. Of course, you’ll want to make your resume stand out by fitting it to the job you’re applying for, your job experience and education, and other strong points. The tutorials and articles on LiveCareer provide all sorts of guidance that can be invaluable to novice and experienced job seekers alike.