What’s a Resume Skills Section?
This is the section of your resume where you list your most relevant qualifications. It’s your opportunity to showcase that you possess the employer’s desired skill set as well as transferable skills that may be useful in the role.
LiveCareer provides a wide variety of industry-specific resume examples and samples from real job seekers to show you what to include in your own document. Or, for more thorough guidance on how to write a resume, try our professional Resume Builder to write a perfect skills section in minutes.
How to Write a Resume Skills Section in
5 Simple Steps
Review the job ad.
Job descriptions list the qualifications the employers are seeking. Notice which ones the company listed first or otherwise emphasized. Check for any industry keywords such as “network management” or “developmental assessment” and include them in your resume where appropriate.
Study LiveCareer’s library of resume examples and samples.
Search by job title to see the qualifications other job seekers have chosen to include in their skills section and use them as inspiration for your own resume throughout your job search.
Brainstorm your transferable skills.
It’s essential to indicate that you have skills that the job requires. After studying the job post and listing the skills and qualifications you meet, write down any transferable skills that apply to the role. So, if you learned Excel for a college project, for example, you can add it to your resume as a transferable skill. Or, if you learned stellar time-management skills in a volunteer role, you could add that as well.Also, don’t forget soft skills, like excellent communication. These can be acquired in a variety of settings and are highly valued by employers.
Mine your non-work experiences.
If you have no direct work experience for the job to which you are applying, you may need to rely on transferable skills and qualifications you gained in school, sports, or volunteer work. These experiences are valuable to emphasize since they can give recruiters an idea of what kind of employee you’d be if hired.
Use bullet points.
Once you’ve determined which qualifications to include in your resume, list them in bullet points to make it easy for recruiters to skim.Some resume formats, like the functional format, emphasize skills over work experience, which will result in a longer list of qualifications. Consider using two columns so that your resume doesn’t get too long.
4 Builder-generated Resume Skills Section Examples
The content of your skills section and the format in which you present them will depend upon your job title and career level. To demonstrate how your qualifications might look for different job titles and career levels, we have four examples of skills sections generated by our Resume Builder, which provides pre-written, industry-specific text suggestions to help you quickly create a custom resume.
Entry-level Skills Section Example
- Updating and maintaining databases
- Scheduling appointments
- Preparing reports and invoices
- Efficient communicator
- G Suite knowledgeable
- Excellent planner and coordinator
Mid-career Skills Section Example
- Ability to work well under pressure and prioritize deadlines
- Proficient in TypeScript, MobX, and Jest
- Web programming and architecture skills
- Effective collaboration with other team members
- Ability to take software through development, testing, and implementation
- Software development lifecycle expert Advanced problem solving skills
Blue Collar Skills Section Example
- Knowledge of audio-visual set-ups and strikes
- Complete understanding of LC D, LED, projectors, screens, and monitors
- Fluency with PC and Mac software
- Ability to troubleshoot and work well with customers to solve their problems
- Equipment configuration
- Cable-running expertise
Executive Skills Section Example
- Successful implementation of software development projects
- Strong interpersonal skills, including collaborating, team building, and mentoring
- Creative problem-solving and the ability to think outside the box
- Ability to give and receive critical feedback in a professional manner
- Understanding of software development
- Ability to leverage organizational resources
7 Dos & Don’ts for Building This Section
- Do study the job ad to determine the top qualifications the employer seeks. Place these front and center in your skills section. Use keywords that indicate your understanding of the industry.
- Do choose the right resume format. The three resume formats — chronological, functional, and combination — place different emphasis on your skills and qualifications.
- Do use a variety of hard and soft skills. Even in highly technical roles, employers value employees who bring excellent soft skills to the table. Listing traits such as solid communication, customer service experience, and conflict resolution are appealing to hiring managers.
- Do quantify your work. Instead of writing, “Responsible for answering phones,” it’s more impactful to write that you have the “ability to handle an average of 150 calls daily.” Metrics such as this are quickly absorbed and understood by hiring managers.
- Don’t neglect transferable skills. Organizational ability, communication skills, leadership initiative, and critical thinking are important for any job, even if you acquired these skills in an unrelated role or through a non-work experience. If you have limited work experience, look to your volunteer work, education, or sports leadership roles for ways to pump up your skill set.
- Don’t change the wording of the requested skills. Most applicant tracking systems are looking for an exact set of keywords that are programmed into the ATS by the hiring manager. To pass an ATS, list each qualification on your resume using the same language as the job listing.
- Don’t fudge the facts. If you have only taken an entry-level class in C++, don’t claim to be proficient. Make the most of what you have without resorting to hyperbole.