A bot-beating resume that can help you land an interview heavily relies on key skills listed on it. Today, it’s a common practice to add a skills section on a resume as well as use key areas of expertise as keywords across the entire document.
We bet you can list up to 20 skills you are proud of. However, not all of them should be placed on your resume. So, how should one choose those skills to get more interviews?
When crafting a winning resume, you have to master the art of using the information that is the most relevant to a job posting. It should characterize you as a professional and a person as well as strengthen your personal brand. Thus, in some cases, having too many diverse skills on your document will actually undersell you.
Why Having Skills on the Resume Is So Important
Firstly, skills help your resume get through ATS. When a resume is being scanned, the skills trigger the algorithms to place your document higher in the system. If you don’t have matching skills, your resume risks never making it to the human HR’s table.
Secondly, skills are short answers to recruiters’ questions of what you can do. They can skip the details of your job description and immediately proceed with your skills. Why? Because quite often, recruiters know very little about the job. They search for a candidate who fits the profile the employer deems suitable.
Now as you understand the importance of skills for your job application, let’s proceed. The next step is to help you figure out how to determine relevant skills and create a killing resume. If this sounds interesting, check our resume examples and tips to get the idea.
Take Notes of All Your Professional Skills
Write down all skills you believe are an asset to your profession. If you prefer typing or creating a spreadsheet, do it. What matters is that you group them.
Of course, you should mind their relevance and think twice before adding skills like sewing and knitting to the list. Only those abilities that are the most related to your profession should make it to your list.
Think of hard skills, soft skills, computer skills, and anything that makes you great at what you do. It is not forbidden to list ‘obvious’ skills like active listening and communication if they really make you a great specialist for the position you’d like to apply for.
Read and Analyze Every Job Posting
If your goal is to craft a general winning resume, you might need to find a few similar job advertisements to analyze. When reading all of them, make sure to highlight those skills that you find critical for every job description.
The same should be done if you intend to draft a resume for a specific position. Then, you should carefully analyze a particular job announcement and highlight skills that you find similar to the ones you have.
Make a new list with skills required in the position announcement. This is the most relevant skill set you can have. However, it’s okay if you don’t have all of them. The goal is to prove that you have at least 80% of the required competencies and are willing to grow professionally.
Add Skills That You Find Relevant
If your initial list includes certain skills that you believe should be on your resume, do not hesitate to add them. Job openings are created by recruiters and hiring managers who may not be so immersed in the field as you are.
For example, if you intend to land a job as a sales assistant, your knowledge of English and Spanish is very much relevant. However, languages may be skipped in the announcement.
Format Skills Sections
To highlight the importance of your skills on the resume, try splitting your skills into sections. For example, write job-specific skills separately from soft skills and computer programs. Check if they correspond with the ones listed in the job description.
Read the job announcement carefully to find out what skills are repeated. As a job seeker, you need them to be present on your resume to pass ATS successfully.
Here is the prompt of the skills section for the position of Accountant:
Professional Skills: Accounting, Month-End Closure, Balance Reconciliation, Invoicing, Payroll Processing, Account Management, Tax Returns Filing, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Financial Statements, Reporting.
Soft Skills: Communication, Teamwork, Numerical Skills, Analytical Thinking, Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, Time Management, Prioritizing, Attention to Detail, Public Speaking, Presentation.
Computer Skills: Office 365, Zoom, Skype, QuickBooks.
Insert Skills in Other Sections
Skills relevant to your profession should not be added to one section only. You should position them in different sections across the file. For example, a great job description is the one where you can find proof of any skill you’ve placed in the skills section.
Also, your volunteer service, community involvement, and other sections should serve as a source of information about your career resources and potential. These sections may not name specific skills but should definitely imply certain traits that strengthen your professional profile. Yet, don’t forget about their relevance to your resume.
Check Keywords Using Professional Software
Your skills are the main keywords on your resume. They help ATS systems locate your document in terms of relevance to the position in question.
To make sure you’ve chosen the best keywords, you can check your options using keyword generation software. Such tools help optimize your resume using AI technologies and algorithms.
This final step is great but not obligatory. Most often, you can find all the information you need in a job ad.
A resume is no longer a mere form of communication between a candidate and an employer. Moreover, the times when resumes of any formats and styles were accepted by recruiting firms are gone, too. Nowadays, this is something an applicant should work on and dedicate enough time and effort to.
Therefore, we encourage you to find as much information as possible on resume writing to craft a killing resume or, if necessary, get professional help. If you are thinking of the best ways to invest in your career, definitely start with the resume.