The Skills Section of Your Resume

Most resumes follow the same basic formula. In some order, you list your education, your professional experiences and your contact information. You probably tweak it for the different types of jobs that you’re applying to, but the overall structure stays the same.

One section that we advise all job seekers to include on their resume is a skills section. Many job seekers already have this on their resume, but if you don’t, you should add one immediately. A lot of people think that since they don’t have easily summarized skills like a professional certification, then they don’t have skills worth mentioning. This is not true – there is an infinite number of skills that candidates can present to make themselves more attractive to hiring managers. We know how talented our job seekers are, and we want you to show employers just how awesome you are!

Types of skills

There are two types of skills that can be useful on your resume – hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills tend to be the most obvious examples. These are the actual skills that are required for performing a job. For example, hard skills for construction workers might include knowledge of zoning laws, trade licenses or computer skills. These are skills that are necessary to perform a given job.

Soft skills are personality traits that help determine your professional approach. Knowing your soft skills helps hiring managers to figure out what type of roles is best for you. These skills can include how you communicate, whether you work best independently or in groups, how creatively you solve a problem or that you’re a superior time manager. You may not think of them as skills, but these traits are vital to performing a job well.

What are your skills?

Job seekers should spend time thinking of the hard and soft skills that they bring to the table, as both types should be on a resume. It may also prove helpful to talk to friends, colleagues, and family about what they think of your skills. Are you a creative problem-solver, but don’t think of yourself that way? A close friend would be able to help you realize what makes you unique and attractive to hiring managers.

What should the skills section on my resume look like?

Attractive formatting of a resume is important to keep in mind. Hiring managers want clarity, readability and thorough information. For example, you may want to select an even number of skills and display them in two symmetrical columns of equal length.

Additionally, be selective with the skills you choose to list. A long list will make a recruiter’s eyes glaze over and will make your actual strengths stand out less. Aim to list 10 to 12 skills. This will show enough experience to make you a desirable candidate.

The job market is always competitive. You need to find ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Adding skills to your resume is a great way to do so. You can convey to hiring managers how you are more than meets the eye, and that you are the right fit for their job opening.

Are you looking for the perfect job of applying your skills? Browse our job opportunities to discover the best way to use your skills.

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