How to Describe Your Skills in a Resume

How to Describe Your Skills in a Resume

As a jobseeker, the skills you have can help make the difference in finding a job. To convey these skills effectively, you will need to display them clearly in your resume. In this article, we will take a look at how you can do this and the ways you can describe your skills in your resume.

Why Skills Are Important to Your Job Search

When an employer studies your resume, they will be looking for your experience and skills. This is to determine whether you will be a good fit for their organization. As well as this, they can also see the value that you will add to their team.

Putting your skills on your resume helps strengthen your profile. Prove that you have transferable skills and take the time to match your skills with the job you’re applying for. Doing this effectively will help build your case for why an employer should consider you as a candidate for a job.

Which Types of Skills Should You Include in Your Resume?

When discussing skills, there are two main types: soft skills and technical (hard) skills. Soft skills are transferable skills that can be applied to a variety of situations, such as teamwork, time management, and problem-solving. Technical skills are job-specific skills that are learned during training or through experience such as web development, project management, or welding.

Before you begin building your resume, you will need to take some time to consider which skills you have. A good practice for this is to reflect on your previous experiences and make a list of your strongest skills. If you are struggling, ask an old colleague or a friend for their suggestions to see which skills and qualities they see in you.

Once you have a list, divide the skills into subsections of soft and technical skills. You should now have two clear lists after you divide them. From here, you can decide which ones you will transfer on to your resume.

When you decide which skills to include, you should take into consideration the job that you will be applying for. Look closely at the job description and see which skills would be best suited for the position. Once you have done the research, you can write down both soft and technical skills that reflect the job in question.

Here are some examples of soft and technical skills to get you started:

Soft Skills

  • Teamwork
  • Effective communication skills
  • Timekeeping
  • Creative thinking
  • Work ethic
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving
  • Multitasking
  • Networking
  • Adaptability

Technical Skills

  • Project management
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Bilingual/Multilingual
  • Programming skills
  • Data engineering
  • Editing
  • Auditing
  • User interface design
  • Mobile development
  • Carpentry

How to Describe Your Skills in a Resume

When you include skills in your resume, you can treat them as keywords. Ensuring that you match your skills to the job description can help you get through the filter of the applicant tracking system (ATS). If you don’t meet the keywords required, there’s a chance that your resume may not even make it to the recruiter.

As this is the case, you have the option to include skills in your resume in a variety of ways. You may include a skills summary at the top of the page which will do exactly as the name suggests in summarizing your skills. You can also decide to include a specific skills section where you can expand on the skills you have. Another option is to weave some skills into your experience section to help emphasize your accomplishments in previous roles.

Skills Summary

When you write a skills summary, you will primarily focus just on the skills you have. The summary will be placed near the top of the resume and should be tailored to the position you’re applying for. This section should be less than 50 words and be used to hit keyword targets while catching a recruiter’s eye.

Here is an example of a skills summary:

Product manager – R&D Team leadership, product lifecycle management, agile/scrum methodologies, go-to-market launch plans, product roadmaps, UI design, QA testing, SaaS solutions, requirements gathering & analysis, market & competitor research, test-driven development, troubleshooting & debugging, financial modeling & forecasting.

Skills Section

A skills section will be used to list your strongest skills to a recruiter. These skills should be clearly defined in subsections and backed up with some concrete examples from past roles. Ensure you provide details of when you used the skill and give evidence of it in action.

Here is an example of what a skill in a skills section may look like:

Project management – Used extensive knowledge of management to complete 6 projects according to their budgets and deadlines with a team of 10 people in 2022.

Writing Skills Throughout Your Resume

Some jobseekers may choose to embed their skills throughout their resume rather than having a specific section dedicated to them. This means that you can include skills in your experience, education, or any other area of your resume. Once again, make sure you back up your claims with concrete evidence to ensure that you emphasize the skill you have.

Here is an example of how you can weave your skills into your previous work experience statement:

English Teacher

Communicates with students and parents effectively ensuring that student satisfaction for the 2021-22 school year was at 97%.

Be Consistent and Accurate

When you include skills in your resume, be mindful that they don’t contradict each other. As well as this, you will want to make sure that they are accurate and up to date. Skills can be a powerful tool for your resume, so take the time and effort to convey them effectively.

Written by Career Specialist Feb 28, 2023
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