How do you stand out from competitors in a highly competitive job market to land the job you applied for? The first step to achieving this is to know what skills you need to put on a resume to get the attention of employers.
Additionally, you need knowledge of how to properly articulate those skills on the resume. Furthermore, you need to highlight only relevant skills to the job you’re applying for.
In essence, you need a proper understanding of what skills employers look out for in applicants’ resumes to be considered for the next hiring process.
This article highlights those skills to put on a resume and how to articulate them in your resume.
What skills should you put on a resume?
What you should know is that when deciding who to hire, employers always look out for candidates with a blend of hard and soft skills that match the job.
Hard skills are the technical skills that you need to perform a job function. They are skills that you acquire through training and education. Furthermore, they are measurable.
In addition, hard skills are the first thing organization consider on their resume.
On the other hand, soft skills are character traits acquired through our interactions with the environment over time. Also, they define our personality and approach toward work.
Moreover, they are not specific to a job. Instead, they spread across different job types. For example, how we communicate and our time management abilities, among other things, are transferable skills to any job.
Although soft skills are not taught in schools as a course of study, they may become the focus of training.
However, it is not imparted once and for all, but a person can cultivate it gradually through intentional practice.
Now that we have discovered what skills to put on a resume, let us look into the examples of each skill.
Soft skills examples
As aforementioned, soft skills are not specific to the job. They are broad and can apply to most job types. They include:
The ability to speak, write, and present excellently is a well-sought-after skill across many job types in job applications.
Organizations need prolific communicators to make convincing presentations to prospects and clients.
Furthermore, your ability to write impeccably will serve the organization in terms of proposals and emails.
Lastly, you interact daily with colleagues, superiors, and customers as an employee. As such, you must be able to deliver your thoughts.
Therefore, highlight relevant certifications, positions, or activities that display your use of speaking, writing, and presentation skills.
Firstly, the ability of employees to work together as a team is crucial to the organization’s success.
Because of this, every employer wants to employ those who can demonstrate that they are excellent team players.
In addition, working with others in a team involves motivating others, initiating, communicating effectively, and being empathetic.
Lastly, you can highlight group projects you undertook as a student, your contributions to the group, or your team’s achievements in your previous employment.
Leadership is not a position instead, it is a mindset. It is the ability to influence others from wherever you are. Not only that, but leadership entails the quality of being a good follower also.
Hence, regardless of the position advertised, employers want to hire someone who can inspire others to achieve a goal.
Furthermore, your achievements in your past jobs speak a lot about your leadership skills.
Therefore, it is pertinent that you showcase certifications, training or seminar, positions, and your achievements with leadership skills.
Empathy is a display of emotional intelligence. It involves tolerating and trying to understand others by putting yourself in their shoes.
Furthermore, it is necessary for dealing with everyone in an organization as it depicts respect for others. So, it is a skill prioritized by employees regardless of the job.
5. Creativity and problem-solving
Creativity is the ability to come up with new ways of doing things. Employers prefer to employ those whose resume demonstrates that they can proffer solutions to problems through creative thinking.
This is because constant creativity and innovation within the organization are critical for growth and competitiveness in the marketplace.
No employer enjoys pushing or forcing employees to do the job they are being paid for. As such, they always lookout for individuals who can work passionately with little or no supervision.
In addition, self-driven individuals always deliver on their job functions, and employers can rest assured that the organization is in good hands even in their absence.
More so, the organization’s productivity depends on the employees’ productivity. Therefore, you should demonstrate your achievements in your past job to articulate your passion and drive for work.
7. Time management
Proper management of time is a skill every employer cannot bargain with. Organizations have goals within a time frame.
As such, you must show that you can meet deadlines and manage time effectively in your resume.
Also, punctuality is a crucial factor in time management. Therefore, you should demonstrate how consistently you’ve met deadlines in your past jobs.
You can highlight your punctuality ratings during your internship if you’re a fresh graduate.
8. Attention to detail
Employers do not want to employ persons who will cost them time, effort, and money by making silly mistakes. They want to be resourceful, conscientious, and diligent with work.
Therefore, you should carefully proofread your resume, cover letter, and documents to ensure they are free of errors.
This is because organizations note errors in your application as laxity on your part, which may disqualify you, especially when the job demands an individual with attention to detail.
A slight adjustment in job functions, getting a new job or promotion, and introducing new technologies in the workplace would require that they adapt quickly.
Furthermore, the ability to do your job efficiently under pressure depicts adaptability.
As such, employers want those who are flexible and quick enough to adapt to changes in the workplace.
Examples of hard skills
1. Human resources
Human resources are responsible for recruiting, staffing, and setting plans for training employees.
They also help to foster a healthy working environment that improves employee retention and productivity.
2. Data analysis
Organizations need data analysts for crucial decision-making. As such, your ability to show your competence in data gathering, interpretation, and reporting in the resume gives you an edge when applying for jobs.
3. Computer skills
Computer skills range from basic to expert skills. This includes basic typing skills, spreadsheets, coding and programming, graphic design, etc.
4. Accounting and bookkeeping
This involves recording a company’s financial transactions, reconciling and maintaining accounts, reporting periods, and auditing. It also includes using accounting software like Wave, Quickbook, and Xero.
As much as writing is part of communication skills, it is also fundamental for jobs like content writing, copywriting, CV and cover letter writing, journalism, editors, etc.
Furthermore, it is a cherished skill for organizations with proposals, emails, and newsletters.
This is because they want to ensure that their contents are excellently written and error-free.
6. Language skills
Multilingual applications are top-rated for employment for organizations that deal with foreign clients.
Not only that, it is a unique skill that sets you apart from competitors regardless of whatever organization you apply to.
Furthermore, being multilingual is an advantage for those who wish to work as tour guides, customer service, diplomats, or travel agents.
Therefore, you should highlight those foreign languages you can speak in your resume to raise your chances of landing a job.
7. Engineering skills
Engineering skills include mechanical engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, IT, etc.
Furthermore, hard skills in this area range from knowledge of math, project management, troubleshooting, prototyping, workflow development, and knowledge of manufacturing processes.
It also involves using software like Mathcad, CAD, Python, Microsoft Excel, and Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
8. Marketing skills
It involves knowledge of negotiation, sales and closing, and customer psychology.
Furthermore, hard skills include expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), digital marketing, Google analytics, social media marketing, content marketing, etc.
9. Project management
This is the process of planning toward achieving a task or project. As a project manager, you must demonstrate your proficient use of project management software such as Trello, Microsoft Project, Spreadsheets, etc.
10. Design skills
Whether it is a skill in product design, graphic design, video design, or whatever you have, you must articulate what software you can use and your achievements with these skills.
How to highlight your skills in your resume
Employers barely have time to scan resumes for important information. Therefore, your resume must be clear, concise, and articulate.
There are several ways to maximize your resume and communicate your skills excellently:
1. Use bullets to list your skills in a separate section
This part of the resume highlights your various skills relevant to the job you’re applying for. You do not need to explain or discuss them.
What this does is that it immediately gives employees ideas of what skills they possess and help them know if they are relevant to the job.
To identify relevant skills, check for the demanded critical skills highlighted in the job advert. Through this, you will be able to note those skills that the job demands.
Let’s take some examples of different jobs and the relevant skills you may highlight:
A. Project manager
As a project manager, you lead a team, make plans, and supervise the completion of a project. Those skills to be included are:
- Quality management
- Time management, etc.
B. Accounting and Bookkeeping
Some of the basic skills relevant to accounting include:
- Attention to detail
- Mathematical and deductive reasoning
- Critical thinking
- Strong written and oral communication
- Analytical and problem-solving skills, etc.
2. Talk about your achievements in the work experience or other parts of the resume
This is where you discuss your impact with the skills you highlighted. You should weave it into your work history, voluntary activities, internship experiences, or positions.
It is also important to use numbers where possible, as this makes the achievements more profound and measurable.
- Scaled sales by 40% within two months of being the sales manager
- Led a team of 10 persons to achieve a 20% decrease in the company’s expenses
What should you avoid in your resume?
Avoid lying about possessing a skill in your resume by all means. Also, avoid ambiguous words and errors.
What must be contained in your resume?
Ensure to use keywords relevant to the job, as most organizations use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to filter resumes that do not match the skill set needed for the job.
Also, clearly articulate your skills as bullet points and in your work experience or other parts, as the case may be.
What is a resume?
A resume is a formal document that applicants use to highlight their skills and apply for jobs.
Your resume is key in qualifying you for a job. Therefore, you need to get adequate knowledge in preparing it.
Furthermore, you should note the job description and the organization’s culture and mission before highlighting your skills on the resume.
However, your resume is not a hundred percent guarantee for getting jobs. You should take time to prepare for interviews and assessments too.
Lastly, you can check out the article on important training for employees to get insight into what training to expect.
I hope this article helps you build a perfect resume.
Thanks for reading.