Choosing the Right Skills for Your Resume

Choosing the right skills for your resume is not that easy but it is really necessary. With thousands of websites having a list of hundreds of skills, you might feel the urge to just copy and paste them into your resume but resist the urge and analyze yourself to include the skills that you really have or that are required for the job. Not only will it make the recruiter see you perfect for the job but it will also make you stand out among other candidates.

Nailing the skills section in your resume is important if you want to impress the recruiter. Although the skills section is often overlooked by us and we do not pay much attention to it, it can prove to be really beneficial if we learn to use it correctly. We have gathered useful information from the professional resume writing services in Coloradothat will help you ace the skills section in your resume. Just spend 5 minutes reading this article to understand which skills you should use, the differences between the types of skills, and how you should represent these skills in your resume. 

Types of Skills

There are two basic types of skills that we use in our resumes; hard skills and soft skills. Both of them are equally important and you need to include the best of both if you want your resume to shine. Hard skills are skills that you acquire by going through various experiences or from receiving education or training. They are transferrable skills or technical skills that are required for performing a task. They differ majorly from job to job, for example, a Computer Engineer will have hard skills like Programming or Coding whereas, an Accountant will require hard skills like Financial Analysis or Cash Management.

Soft Skills are more natural skills related to our personality or personal characteristics. These soft skills show you manage work, what is your working style and how you would act in a workplace. You might think that soft skills are not that much preferred over hard skills by a recruiter, but that is not the case as they actively dig soft skills. Here are some examples of hard and soft skills that you can use in your resume (but only after you have read the entire article):

Hard Skills

  • Data Analysis
  • Computer Skills
  • Writing
  • Accounting
  • Project Management

Soft Skills

  • Time Management
  • Collaboration
  • Team Work
  • Communication
  • Adaptability

How to Select Skills for Your Resume

The skills section can help also help the recruiter pick put the perfect candidate through ATS scanning. The first thing that you need to do to choose the best skills for your resume is to look at the job description you are applying to, you can also search for similar jobs and read their descriptions to get an idea of what skills the employer is looking for this position. Note down the skills that are repeated in almost all the jobs. It can help your resume match the job description to the T but before putting the skills in your resume make sure that you actually have them. Match the skills that you noted down from the skills that you have acquired over time and then list down the ones that match in your resume.

Do Not Lie About Your Skills

Lying in your resume is a big no and this is why you should not lie in the skills section as well. Be honest about which skills you have and which ones you do not, even if they are required for the job. Writing down all the skills that a job requires might be tempting but it can cost you greatly afterward. If you are a beginner, do not use skills that an expert or an intermediate might have. The recruiter will easily spot this lie by going through the rest of your resume. An experienced individual will have more advanced concepts and understanding of the position and their skillset will be accordingly. Stick to what you know and do not try to over-exaggerate your skills.

How to Add Skills to Your Resume

Once you have decided which skills you are going to put on your resume, now it is time to learn where you need to put those skills and how. Firstly, you need to have at least 10 to 15 skills (including hard and soft skills both). Keep the skills that you think are most relevant. After the profile summary section, make a section titled “Skills and Expertise” or “Skills and Abilities”, although it is not a set rule, you can name the section whatever you want and you can place the section anywhere in the resume. Although putting it at the top will make the recruiter see it instantly.  

You can either include the skills in columns by separating them with “,” or “|”. This will make the section look clean and concise. You can also make a separate section for specific skills like the technical skills and if you are going through a career change, you can make a section for transferrable skills.

Provide Quantifiable Results for Your Skills

Let’s face it, a person can write down any skills they want even if they do not have any experience regarding them. So, if you really need to impress the recruiter then provide some examples that show your experience related to those skills. Backup up your skills with quantifiable data will make them more verifiable and make the recruiter see that you know how to implement them in your professional work. This will instantly make your resume stand out among the others and this is why it is highly recommended by professional resume writers.

You should also tailor your skills according to the job each time you apply so that your resume impresses the recruiter as well as successfully passes through the ATS scan. Include all the skills you are best at and leave out the ones you just have a basic knowledge of as it will make your resume more valuable.