If someone is going to employ you, they want to know what you can do. It makes sense that a lot of employers will jump straight to your skills section to get a feel for what exactly you can add to their team.
It’s important you remember...
You are only going to get a callback for a job if you can show the employer that you have the professional skillset for the role they’re recruiting for.
Make sure that you’re talking about all your relevant skills; you don’t want to be boring the HR manager with the swimming certificates you achieved in elementary school.
Have you ever considered what are good resume skills? Struggling for ideas for what to put in your resume skills section?
Don’t stress, we’ve got your back.
We’re going to run through the different professional skill sets that will be relevant for you, as well as how you go about choosing which ones you need to include in your resume skills section. To make everything fall nicely into place, we’ll even let you know where the skills section fits into your resume and what format to use.
Keep reading to understand the top 5 hard and soft skills that most employers are reading about in 2021…
It can be tough to know exactly what to write in a resume skills section.
Sometimes called “Additional Skills” rather than “Skills Section”, here is where you show off everything that you can do that is useful but not necessarily easy to identify in your Work History / Professional Experience section.
Having a great skills section gives you a chance to show your potential employer exactly what capabilities you can offer to their business.
You need to keep things honest, and also give some concrete examples of when you’ve actually used the skills in the past. It’s important that you:
To give you an example…
If you’re an engineer applying for a management role, you want your future employer to see that you have leadership skills. As well as pointing it out in the skills section, you’d talk about being a project lead on-site or having delegated tasks among your colleagues and designing and implementing process improvements.
Pro-TipYour resume is most effective when you customize your skills section to align with the job description for the role you want. If you can show your skills match up to the job requirements, you’re much more likely to get the call for an interview.
There are many categories of professional skills, but in general, they will all fall into two main types - hard and soft skills. These mean:
Which one gets the top billing on your resume?
When the job market is tight, hard skills are more likely to get you hired because the employer sees you a cheap hire who won’t need a lot, if any, training.
When there’s high demand for labor in a market, people with important soft skills are more likely to get their foot in the door.
Bringing that idea into the real world…
In LinkedIn's 2019 analysis they looked at the 50,000 skills that get listed in people’s profiles. Turns out, the ideal candidate will have a combination of hard and soft skills for the jobs they apply for and the most sought-after skill was creativity.
Pro-TipBoth skill types are important to include in the skills section of a professional resume. These types of professional skills can be categorized as transferable or job-specific.
The skills you include on your resume are going to vary depending on what job you’re going for, your level of seniority in the sector, and the industry you operate in. There are, though, certain skills that will always be valuable to an employer.
We’ve got the list of the top soft and hard skills that were in demand by employers throughout 2021, according to LinkedIn. Need to know what are good resume skills? Here’s your answer.
Here’s your answer.
|Top 5 Soft Skills For Your Resume||Top 5 Hard Skills For Your Resume|
Looking at problems from different perspectives and finding fresh solutions will always be an asset in any job
Everything is heading on to the cloud: companies in every sector and of every size are hunting down cloud experts
It’s all well and good having stand-out products or services, but you need to be able to bring people round to seeing how great it is
AI is ready to take off in the new decade, and if you’ve got machine learning on your resume you’re going to be very much in demand
With employment models changing to be global and remote focused, being able to work well with a range of people is crucial
We live in the age of big data, and if you’re able to analyze it and make strategic decisions then companies want you onboard
No matter your industry, times change fast so being able to cope and thrive as technology and processes change is a vital skill
Management isn’t about “do as I say” anymore, it’s changed to being able to empower and coach skills - much harder to master and much desired by employers
|Managing time well|
It never goes out of fashion; valuing time and understanding the importance of deadlines protects yours and your employer’s reputation
With technology constantly evolving, designing it in a way that everyone can use is increasingly important and needed in the workforce
It depends on the format that you choose for your resume as to where your skills section is going to land. Which format you choose is dictated by your level of experience and skill.
Pro-TipWhen you’re full to the brim with both hard and soft skills, look at your industry and see what it is they need; this is what you include in your resume skills section.
When deciding where to put resume skills, keep this advice in mind…
When choosing your resume format, you’ve got four standard ones to choose from:
There’s a lot more detail about when to use each resume format that we’ve covered for you.
Pro-TipYou should consider including a resume objective or summary; it’ll show the recruiter your background and professional qualifications. Take a look at a walk-through of the differences between an objective and summary and tips on which one to choose for your needs.
As much as you might want to include a skill in your resume because you know it’s what the hiring manager wants to see, you might be asked to prove your claims in the interview or on the job. It’s not mandatory to add your level of competency for your skills, but it can help validate your claims.
Here’s our handy guide to how to word resume skills so you’re being honest and accurate.
|This means you’re a novice, in that you’ve been exposed to the skill and know what it is and understand the basics, but you’ve not got much in the way of solid experience using it. There’s no harm in adding “beginner” next to the skill if you know it’s important to include.||You know more than a beginner and have used the main principles of the skill, but you still have plenty to learn about it to become advanced. You wouldn’t normally need to note your skill level if you’re intermediate.||You’re at the top of the game of a skill you’re an expert in it; you’ve got a lot of experience and probably completed training in it too. If it fits, it’s fine to note that you’re an expert in parentheses next to it, and if you’re an expert in all your skills you can call it “Expertise”.|
When you’ve got a long list of diverse skills, sub-headings are your friend. They will break down everything into neat sections and make everything look organized. Group skills into reasonable categories with a simple and effective name. Use our visual resume builder to make your skills looking clean & perfect.
It’s all well and good padding out your resume with a whole bunch of skills, but no one is going to care if they don’t match up to the job you’re aiming to land.
Although we’re going to list some great examples, they won’t all belong on every resume.
How to describe resume skills in the most effective way?
Not every job description is going to have a lot of details about the position, but there are always going to be clues as to what the hiring manager is looking for in their new recruit. Make sure you look at the job listing carefully, especially the soft skills that they want to find.
You’re going to have some skills which are exact matches to what you see in the job description, and other skills will have a loose link to them - it’s not wrong to stretch the truth a little, but make sure you stay honest.
Don’t worry if you hit more hard skills than soft, or vice versa. Everyone has a different range of skills and background and there’s no completely right answer when applying for a job.
Pro-TipWhen you’re going for a career change, go for a full rebrand and leave off the skills you’re not going to be using anymore. This is particularly important if they’re not inherently useful or transferable. An executive assistant looking to move into diversity and inclusion can leave behind the flight booking skills.
This is an example of well thought through skills section for someone looking applying for roles as a teacher:
And this is what it shouldn’t look like:
It’s clear that you need to pull out the relevant hard and soft skills and make them relevant to specific subheadings. It’s a short section, but it still needs to be easy to skim over to get the idea. Do you think anyone is going to bother getting to the second line in the second example?
Using bullets and subheadings makes the recruiter going through your resume start reading again. Even more, they give the reader an overview of the broad range of skills that you have.
The job that you’re applying for is going to play a big part in deciding the skills that you add on your resume. Other factors like your professional level and education will also be determining factors. Your list of skills is there to show the hiring manager that you’re the perfect fit for the role they’re filling and you can add definite value to the company.
Here’s an overview of the important things you need to bear in mind when you’re putting your skills into your resume:
After reading all about what to say in a resume skills section, are you ready to jump into writing your resume? Why put it off any longer? Here you can use our free resume builder, with a vast range of formats that will help you land the job you’ve always wanted!