6 Unknown Tips on How to Put Skills on a Resume

By Natalie Severt

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Meet Greg.

Greg woke up one morning and decided that he was going to quit his boring job and become a fortune cookie writer.

Yes, that’s a real job.

Greg was fed up with fortune cookies telling him things like, “If you have something worth fighting for, fight for it.”

He knew he had what it takes to write better fortunes. But, how did Greg convince the hiring manager at Bite Sized Fortunes that he was the man for the job?

Skills.

Greg’s resume proved that he has the skills required to write beautiful, deep fortune cookie messages.

But, how did Greg know what skills were needed? And how did he put them on his resume so that the hiring manager could find them?

Have a look at the infographic below to find out what skills to put on a resume. If you need more information on how to make a resume, check out our full guide.

 

what skills to put on a resume

 

1. Make Your Skills Relevant to the Job Offer

How do you know what skills recruiters want?

Well, they tell you.

That’s what a job offer is - a laundry list of skills and experience that a recruiter wants their new employee to have.

Greg started his search by reading the job offer provided by Bite Sized Fortunes.

So, take a look at your job offer. Highlight all of the required skills and experience you can find. Then, take a look at other similar job offers.

Our Greg looked at three other job offers for fortune cookie writers.

Make a note of any duplicated skills. There is a good chance that if a skill appears across multiple job offers, it’s important.

You’ll want to tailor your resume to refer to any of the skills that apply to you. And you’ll want to make sure that your strongest skills appear in the top third of your resume so that the recruiter will see them right away.

2. Beat the Bots By Adding Keyword Skills

The skills you found in the job offer are your “keyword” skills. You will want to make sure that they appear throughout your resume.

Think about it. Recruiters receive an average of 250+ resumes every time they advertise a job opening. To get through the avalanche of resumes, they either spend a few seconds scanning the resume, or they outsource the scanning to R2D2.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are automated systems used to sort through resumes. Resumes are then ranked based on how well they match keywords from the job description.

The systems are sophisticated enough to tell if you’ve packed your resume full of keywords or if you’ve used keywords within an appropriate context.

Whether it’s an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or a human recruiter scanning your resume, they are looking for one thing - keywords.

That’s why it is important to be like Greg and tailor your resume to match the skills you find  in the job offer.

3. Research People Who Already Have the Job You Want

Are the skills from the job description the only skills you need to include? No.

You’re not quite out of the woods yet, Dorothy.

Make a list of the skills you have that didn’t appear in the job offer. Now, head on over to LinkedIn for some profile stalking.

Do a quick search for professionals in your field.

If you’re like Greg, it might be difficult to find other professional fortune cookie writers. But if you’re going into a field like marketing or finance,  you should have no problem finding professionals with your job title.

Have a peek at a few profiles and focus on the skills and experience sections. If you notice any skills that show up across multiple profiles, they are probably valued in your field.

If they match any of the skills on your list, work them into your resume for added value.

4. Add Extra Skills for Extra Value

Transferable skills are skills that translate from one job to another.

They are typically basic skills like the ability to use Microsoft Office or implement customer service.

Transferable skills add extra value to your resume by showing that you can do basic things that might be necessary for you to perform your work smoothly without extra training.

That’s why putting relevant transferable skills on your resume is a good way to flesh out your skills section.

5. Here's How to Add the Skills That All Employers Want

Adding universal skills can also give your resume extra value. Universal skills are “universal” because it benefits almost all workers to have them in their skill set.

Logic follows, then, that almost all recruiters desire universal skills. Because it doesn’t matter if you are applying to be a fortune cookie writer or an engineer, skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership will be necessary.

Here is a list of some of the most desirable skills:

If you have any of these skills, put them on your resume too.

6. Make Your Skills Stand Out With Numbers

Once you’ve got all of your skills on your resume, it’s time to dress them up so that they draw the recruiter’s attention.

How do you do that?

Add numbers and achievements that illustrate how well you can implement each skill.

For example:

Instead of writing, “Management.”

Write, “Managed teams of 20+ people and achieved cost savings of 10% annually.”

Giving the hiring manager a tangible sense of what you’re capable of will also allow them to imagine you achieving the same results for them.

Key Takeaway

Skills are how you show a hiring manager that you are the right person for the job.

And taking the time to tailor your skills to a job offer is the easiest way to show off your skill set.

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