Did you know that recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether to invite a candidate for an interview? To make your resume stand out from the crowd, you need to have a strong skills section that showcases your abilities and qualifications. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to write a skills section that will grab the recruiter’s attention and get you one step closer to your dream job.
1. Identify Relevant Skills
The first step in writing a strong skills section is to identify the skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Review the job description carefully and make a list of the skills that are required or preferred. These may include technical skills, soft skills, or industry-specific skills.
If you are applying for a marketing position, some of the relevant skills may include:
2. Choose the Right Format
There are two main formats for presenting your skills section: a bulleted list or a table. Both formats can be effective, but the choice depends on the type of information you want to convey and the overall design of your resume.
A bulleted list is a simple and easy-to-read format that highlights your skills in a clear and concise manner. Use short phrases or keywords to describe each skill.
A table format allows you to provide more detailed information about each skill, such as proficiency level or years of experience. Use columns to organize the information and make it easy to scan.
|Skill||Proficiency Level||Years of Experience|
|Search engine optimization (SEO)||Expert||5+|
|Social media management||Advanced||5+|
3. Prioritize Your Skills
Once you have identified your relevant skills and chosen the format, it’s time to prioritize your skills based on their importance to the job. Start with the most important skills and work your way down the list.
If the job description emphasizes the importance of SEO and content marketing, you may want to prioritize those skills at the top of your list or table.
4. Use Action Verbs
To make your skills section more impactful, use action verbs to describe your skills. Action verbs are strong and dynamic words that convey a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
Instead of saying “Good at SEO,” use “Optimized website for higher search engine rankings.”
5. Be Honest and Specific
When describing your skills, be honest and specific. Don’t exaggerate your abilities or claim to have skills you don’t actually possess. Also, provide specific examples or accomplishments that demonstrate your proficiency in each skill.
Instead of saying “Proficient in Photoshop,” use “Designed and edited graphics for social media posts using Photoshop.”
6. Include Soft Skills
Soft skills are just as important as technical skills, especially in today’s workplace. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively with others and include things like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.
If you have strong communication skills, you may want to include that in your skills section. For example, “Effective communicator with experience presenting to large audiences.”
7. Tailor Your Skills Section to Each Job
Finally, remember to tailor your skills section to each job you apply for. Use the job description as a guide and emphasize the skills that are most relevant to the position.
If the job requires experience with a specific software program, make sure to include that in your skills section. For example, “Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.”
A strong skills section is essential for any resume. By following these seven steps, you can create a skills section that highlights your abilities and qualifications and helps you stand out from the crowd.
What should I include in my skills section?
You should include skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for, including technical skills, soft skills, and industry-specific skills.
What format should I use for my skills section?
You can use either a bulleted list or a table format for your skills section. The choice depends on the type of information you want to convey and the overall design of your resume.
How do I prioritize my skills?
Start with the most important skills and work your way down the list based on their importance to the job.
Should I include soft skills in my skills section?
Yes, soft skills are just as important as technical skills and should be included in your skills section.
Should I tailor my skills section to each job?
Yes, you should tailor your skills section to each job you apply for and emphasize the skills that are most relevant to the position.