Choosing skills for your resume may seem like a daunting task in the era of rapid technological change and globalization.
Is it still relevant if I know how to use a typewriter? Does anyone really care if I speak Spanish?
I know how to use a computer...right?
How do you even know what skills recruiters find valuable and desirable? And once you know what skills recruiters want all you have to do is slap them together into a list labeled “SKILLS”...right?
Here’s How to Find Skills That Recruiters Will Want
There are two places to go hunting for relevant skills. Here’s the less obvious one:
Start your skill hunt by making a trip to LinkedIn. If you don’t already have a profile, it’s a good idea to make one. When skill hunting, think of LinkedIn as a database of people who already have the job you want. If you type that job into the search bar, you will be shown a list of those people.
You now have a list of skills that are valued in your profession. Scan through the skills and experience sections of various professionals and make a note of skills that are repeated across several profiles. Save your list for later.
2. The Job Offer
The second place you should go hunting for skills is the actual job offer.
That’s where the hiring manager has listed all the skills and experience they want.
Yes, they tell you exactly what they want!
Go through the job offer and highlight or underline all of the skills you can find. Okay, now go back to the list of skills you found on LinkedIn.
Do any of the skills match? You’ve just found skills that the hiring manager is definitely going to look for on your resume.
Here’s How to Put Skills on Your Resume
Here’s the thing. You can’t just jam all of the skills you’ve found into a list at the bottom of your resume. You need to tailor your resume to match the job description, and you need to put your skills in prominent places throughout your resume.
What does it mean to “tailor your resume to match the job description?” It means that most of the skills that show up in the job offer also show up in your resume.
In some cases, you will want to repeat phrases word for word. One of the easiest ways to get skills into a prominent place on your resume is to put them in your experience section.
Next, you will want to draw attention to them by adding numbers and achievements.
Skill - Customer Service
Experience Bullet Point - Delivered satisfactory customer service resulting in a 5% increase in the sale of loyalty cards over a six month period.
In that sea of text, that “5%” will stand out, and the recruiter will then see that you have customer service skills.
Furthermore, they will imagine that your use of customer service skills will give them the same results. It’s a win-win situation.
Here’s How to Make Sure You Didn’t Miss Anything
There are a couple of ways to find extra skills that will add extra value to your resume.
First, there are skills known as transferable skills. They are skills that translate from one job to another. A good example is the ability to speak Spanish. Yes, that’s always relevant. Think about all of the work-related skills you have. Do you have any that might be handy in just about any job?
If you answer yes and you haven’t already put them on your resume, add them. Second, there are skills that most hiring managers find desirable no matter what the job is.
Skills like writing and communication are desired in professions as different from one another as engineering and childcare.
Here are five universal skills that you can add to your resume if you’ve got them:
- Communication (Written and Verbal)
- Planning and Strategic Thinking
- Analytical Thinking and Research
- Teamwork or Collaborative Work
Skills are what recruiters look for when they scan resumes. All you need to do is spend time looking for skills from your profession and matching your resume to the skills listed in the job offer.
Once you’ve done that, a recruiter will be able to look at your resume and know that it is relevant in less than six seconds.
Natalie is a writer at Uptowork. Her love for creating successful resumes for others has led her to a career in sharing that knowledge with her readers. She spends her free time eating tacos, reading complicated novels, and binge-watching TV series.