The skills section of your resume is the perfect place to list the specific skills that make you a prime candidate for the jobs you want. But this section is often underused by job-seekers. If used properly, it can be an important weapon in your job search. Here are some tips to making your skills section an asset that can help you get hired sooner.
Your resume should be a brief and concise assessment of your skill set and experience. Most reviewers will be scanning your resume quickly in order to screen for top candidates. Keep your skills list concise and orderly. This allows the reader to focus directly on the skills themselves. Should you meet the skills criteria required, you will get the opportunity to explain in detail how you applied those skills during the interview.
Use Bullet Points
Bullet points are a great way to generate lists that are easy to read. Using bullet points lets you present your skills quickly, in less space, while still providing critical information. The white space also allows reviewers to assess which of your skills will be most beneficial to the company.
With many people applying for the same jobs as you, employers need easy ways to filter candidates. More and more, many human resource departments use a scanning method that takes a count of a number of key words. These key words are often presented in the job description and qualification requirements. Take not of these elements when applying for a job and place those key words within the skills section of your resume. This will allow your resume to pass through the filtering system and allow the process to move forward.
Include Both Hard and Soft Skills
Hard skills are those skills in which can be taught and executed. Using action words with hard skills is a huge plus. Soft skills are those interpersonal skills that are part of your overall attitude towards work. These skills are the type that can’t be executed through the job itself but how you approach the job. If you have natural leadership skills, this would be a soft skill. If you have attained a technical mastery of something, this would be considered a hard skill.
There’s no reason to embellish or exaggerate your background. If you don’t have the particular skills requested, don’t add them to your skills list. At some point during the interviewing process, you will be asked to demonstrate those skills. Falsifying your application is grounds for termination and deeply frowned upon. Stay honest with your skills and if you are in the process of learning those skills, simply state this.
Where many equate experience to skill sets, these are actually two completely different components of a resume. For many hiring managers, skills are what can separate the candidates who land the interview from those who don’t. For more resume help, check out LiveCareer’s Resume Builder, which can help you create a job-winning resume, fast.