It is said that it takes 3 seconds to make a first impression so that the other person can form their opinion about you. The same 3-second rule can be applied to your resume when it lands in the hands of a person who decides whether you are the right candidate for their company. So, it goes without saying that you have got to make it appealing since we all judge books by their covers. We’ll teach you which skills to put on your resume, and maybe the ones you didn’t even know you had?
What Is a Resume?
A resume is a document which summarizes your education, experience, credentials, and skills. It is required when you apply for a job. You need to make it short and concise (about one page long) but include all relevant information, usually in a bulleted list. The most important advice when it comes to writing a resume is to match it to the position you are applying to.
It should be stressed that there is a difference between a resume and a CV (curriculum vitae). A CV is quite a bit longer and generally more related to your academic background (research, teaching, grants, awards, etc.) so it is mostly requested when applying for jobs in academia and medicine.
Types of Skills to Put on Your Resume
If there is one thing that can be crowned as the most important factor in your resume it’s the skills. It’s not only about what skill you have, it’s about how to choose which ones to put in your resume and how to present them. In order to understand the whole principle behind the value of skills on your resume, we need to start from the beginning and introduce you to the basic types of skills.
Hard Skills For Your Resume
Hard skills are ‘measurable’ skills that can be obtained through some sort of learning like school, work, apprenticeship, foreign languages, computer skills, design, writing, accounting, etc.
Soft Skills For Your Resume
Soft skills are what we can also call- ‘people skills’ such as patience, leadership, teamwork, creativity, communication, etc. They are connected to a person, their behavior, and personality but they are harder to show.
Are Hard Skills or Soft Skills More Valuable?
Some resume experts claim that hard skills are slightly more valuable than the soft ones as the employers are always on the lookout for the workers that require fewer resources (e.g. training). However, soft skills are highly valuable as they practically cannot be taught. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the most valuable skills in your resume are leadership and ability to work as a part of a team, which are both soft skills. Ideally, you should put both hard and soft skills in your resume.
They are talents and abilities obtained in one job (or training, a hobby, etc.) that can be transferred to others. They are usually soft skills which are highly valuable as they are universal and we all have them even if we are not always aware of it. The transferable skills include computer skills, commercial skills, written communication, website design, planning, etc.
Job-related or job-specific skills are the ones obtained at one specific job and critical for a particular job. They are more often hard skills and they are usually necessary for you to get the job.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the required job-related skills. You can still apply for the job but don’t forget to mention that you are a fast learner.
Adaptive skills include personal characteristics that define your work style. To be able to work as a part of a team is one of the most wanted skills among employers belongs to this category of skills. The others are the ability to handle difficult clients, problem-solving, ability to meet deadlines, and leadership.
The Best Skills To Put On Your Resume
1. Technical Skills
They are always desirable because they can always be learned. They include abilities needed to perform some tasks and are most often of scientific, mathematical or mechanical type. Some examples are data analytics, coding, design, programming, SEO, etc.
It is almost certain that most employers will require you to have good verbal and written communication skills. Make your resume stand out by emphasizing these skills.
Multitasking or managing several tasks at the same time is a plus in most jobs (not all, though). When stating multitasking as one of your skills make sure you also include the type of tasks you have done.
Build up your resume by including good organizing skills as it is considered one of the most desirable skills in a resume. Good organization is always wanted whether it is organizing your files or connections with clients.
5. Interpersonal Skills
One of the most wanted soft skills includes making and keeping good relationships with your fellow co-workers as well as with your customers, clients, etc.
Showing initiative to solve problems and take on new tasks is desirable in a resume and a good indicator of how precious employee you might be
How to Decide What Skills to Put on Your Resume
Even if you do have 50 (or more) skills it would not be a good idea to put them all in your resume. Choose about 10 and be sure your potential employer will probably read them all. Opt for your strongest skills related to the job you are applying for. Find the key job-related skills in the job description and put them on your resume first (you can also put them in bold so that your future employer can see them right away).
It would be a good idea to put your adaptive and transferable skills next and then all the other skills you think are related to the job you are after. Remember it is important to modify your resume to the job.
Where Do I Place Skills on a Resume
Rule number one is: make your skills visible! So don’t just put them anywhere in your resume but give it some thought and place the skills section carefully in the most visible part of your resume because that is probably the part your employer will be most interested in. Of course put them thoughtfully all through your resume, not just in one section. Don’t forget to mention few of the most important ones in your cover letter, too.
What Skills Not to Put on Your Resume
- First of all- don’t lie on your resume! A lot of people want to bend the truth a bit and they put skills they don’t really have which can lead to embarrassment. Even if you do get the job, by stating you have some skills you really don’t have will bring you much stress in the long run.
- Don’t mention skills that are not required in the job description (thus not relevant for the job).
- Don’t put skills in your resume that you are expected to have (Internet, email, etc.)
How to Be Smarter Than ‘Resume Robots’
In a modern job-offering world it is common practice for robots to scan your resume before humans. The main purpose of this is to check if your skills match the job-description skills (and how many of them). So, it’s up to you here to match as many keywords as you can. Make sure you put some of the skills from the job description on your resume but don’t overdo it.