The job market is becoming so competitive that even getting through the first step of a recruitment process – CV screening – is quite difficult. Because of this, including the right skills on your resume is essential to ensure recruiters take a closer look at your CV, especially if the company uses applicant tracking systems.
Top 5 Skills to Mention on Your Resume
While the skills you should mention on your resume depend on the job you’re applying for, there are some skills that most recruiters value:
Miscommunication is a big problem for various companies. So, the ability to focus entirely on the speaker, understand their message, and respond appropriately is highly valued.
Nowadays everything is computerized. So, it’s not surprising that knowing your way around computers is absolutely essential.
Since companies are organic ecosystems where people need to communicate with each other, recruiters are always looking for candidates who know how to interact well with others.
Regardless of the position you’re applying for, one thing is certain – you’ll have to solve problems. Therefore, knowing how to identify a problem and find a solution in the most efficient way is vital.
Meeting deadlines is important, and the only way for you to accomplish that is by knowing how to prioritize tasks, set goals, and be organized.
Hard Skills vs Soft Skills
Your resume should include both hard and soft skills, and it's essential that there is a good balance between them. To accomplish this, it’s imperative you understand their main differences.
Hard skills are technical abilities that you learn through education or on the job. Since these are highly connected to what you've studied and worked on so far, they're easy to quantify. Some examples of hard skills are proficiency in a foreign language, knowledge of a specific piece of software, database management, SEO/SEM marketing, etc.
On the other hand, soft skills (also called ‘people skills') relate to how you communicate with others and personal traits that influence the way you work. These are a bit more subjective, as nobody can really tell off the bat how good (or bad) you are at a specific soft skill. Some examples are teamwork, active listening, time management, etc. An excellent way to showcase these skills on your resume is by providing examples of when you used such abilities under your experience section.
How to List Your Skills on a Resume
We're sure you have dozens of skills and want to showcase them all. However, this would make your resume too lengthy and hard to read.
The best way to understand what skills a company is looking for is by carefully reading the job description, as recruiters usually include a section with the required hard skills. Some recruiters also describe the essential soft skills, but that doesn't always happen. This means you'll have to discover what the company is looking for by first understanding its workplace culture and the tasks you're going to perform. For example, if you're going to be working on collaborative projects, it's crucial that you're a team player.
You should only include skills relevant to the job you're applying for. Nobody will care that you're great at Java programming if you're applying for a sales position. Moreover, because learning hard skills is easier than soft skills, some companies prefer to hire someone with the desirable personality traits than one that checks all the hard skill boxes. So, if your list of expertise looks too long, take out the more trivial hard skills to include soft skills.
Since your skillset is one of the first things recruiters will look at, it's important they're displayed in an eye-catching way. A good rule of thumb is to have a sidebar list of your skills. You should also include your proficiency level by creating a rating system. One of the most frequent examples is using a five-star rating system and grading yourself based on your aptitude level. For instance, if you are average at one specific skill you might be three out of five stars, and if you’re an expert don’t be afraid to award yourself the top score. You can even change from stars to a different image that matches up with your skill, like using small flags for the language you’ve learned.
Of course, you should never lie on your resume. Include only the skills you really have, as it's easy for recruiters to check if you're telling the truth. If you do have all the required skills and display them correctly, you can be sure that you'll be called for an interview. Good luck with your job hunt!
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