Since the COVID-19 pandemic brought countless challenges to our lives, job search also became more competitive. With more companies, businesses, and organizations adapting to the new normal as we enter 2021, job seekers like you must keep up with the trends to rise above the tough job market. With that, start with how you craft your job search tools and highlight your skills and abilities for resume.
However, it’s true that writing an effective resume skills section requires skills. To start, mind the basics. Prepare what to write by assessing your strengths and fields of expertise; and know how to present them to help you snag your target job. Having that said, read on for the top tips and tricks we’ve listed down for you.
How to Identify Your Best Skills and Abilities
Before anything else, you must be able to position yourself as a qualified job seeker when you present your credentials through your resume. To do that, assess your career standing and figure out areas where you excel. Hence, heed these points as you identify your skills and abilities for resume.
Consider your experiences and achievements.
For you to figure out which skills you should put on your resume, look back on your past roles. Ask these questions to yourself:
- What were my notable experiences and things I’ve achieved which helped me nurture certain skills and excel in my field of expertise?
- Which work achievements can help me quantify my skills and abilities for resume?
Ask your former colleagues and mentors.
Think of it as listing your character references. Which names should you consider putting on your list? Most likely, you believe these people can help you identify the areas in which you excel. Some sample scenarios are:
- Those who have worked with you first-hand can attest to your time management skills, since they know how hard and smart you work on your day-to-day tasks.
- Your previous boss-turned-life-mentor can vouch for your problem-solving skills, having you as part of their team, being the most creative and practical employee on handling work challenges.
Consult an expert in your target job or field.
Another way to assess your skills and see if they’re aligned with your desired role is to seek advice. While you’re at it, ask those who specialize in your desired field or role.
This is also best if you’re targeting a completely different field or role. Reach out to your network who are experts on the new path you plan to take. They can help you set your expectations, prepare for your job search, and other things you need to be aware of.
Listing Your Skills and Abilities for Resume Effectively
Now, how should you write your list of skills on your resume to make it more impactful? Take note of these tips on how to do it.
Keep your resume skills targeted to the job you’re applying for.
As much as you can, ensure that your skills section matches the requirements listed on the job description. Doing this also gives your resume higher chances of passing the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that employers use in screening hundreds or even thousands of resumes submitted daily. These systems are programmed to scan for job-specific keywords, so it’s best for you to use this feature to your advantage.
Further, you must not put all of your skills in your resume. Aside from not listing those skills you don’t have, you must also leave off obsolete skills such as word processing and fax or phone skills, among others. Make use of this space for more impactful ones, relevant to the role you’re vying for.
List key skills in a separate section.
You may also group your skills and abilities for resume in categories. This can help hiring managers to easily spot your strengths and fields of expertise, and then assess if you’re the best fit for the job. Take note, they only spend 7 seconds to scan resumes whether you’ll be shortlisted or invited for an interview or not. So, make it count by ensuring your skills section is interesting and properly geared toward your target post.
Add your relevant skills in the work experience section.
Mention your work experience history and achievements which can support your skill sets. One best way to prove you’re the one for the job is to connect your skills and abilities to quantifiable results and experiences from your previous roles. This helps recruiters gauge how you perform using numbers and data.
For a more in-depth guide on the difference of hard skills and soft skills, read our blog on resume skills examples.
Be sure to add in-demand job skills and abilities for resume.
Research what top skills are in demand in your target role and field. Be sure to list them down if you believe you have them.
As per a 2020 LinkedIn report, the top soft skills employers look for include creativity, collaboration, persuasion, and emotional intelligence—which all pertain to how one works with others, presents ideas, and deals with work situations. It’s also important to note these top 4 skills continue to keep their spots over the years.
Also, check out this article about the job-winning skills you can include in your resume for more impact.
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