Are You Ignoring the Skills Section of Your Resume?

John Krautzel
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When crafting a winning resume, it is crucial to highlight how and why you are a good fit for the position. However, many job seekers do not realize the importance of a skills section when crafting their application materials. Highlight your qualifications in a specific manner to show hiring managers and potential employers that you have the skills to succeed.

Inventory Your Top Skills

Take an honest inventory of your qualifications, and create a list of your hard and soft skills. Hard skills revolve around specific abilities, such as the ability to operate certain equipment or navigate software programs. Make a list of soft skills, such as your eagerness to learn, reliability and ability to work well with teams. Brainstorm specific examples of how you excelled at displaying these abilities to better prepare you to write a skills section when crafting a winning resume.

List Relevant Skills

Customize your resume for each position you are applying for, and list all relevant skills. Comb through the job description or advertisement, and pinpoint the skills desired. Compare the skills you possess to the skills the company requires, and include the terms and keywords from the job description in your resume's skills section. If the employer seeks an applicant who has expert-level proficiency in a specific sales software or types a particular speed, detail how you possess these skills on your resume while also adding additional qualifications you have that are relevant to the industry and position.

Learn From Your Network

Ensure that you are not selling yourself short by neglecting to include skills you possess. Connect with professionals in your network, and ask about the skills that are desirable within your industry. Scour through online portfolios and LinkedIn profiles to identify skills you can include on your resume in a skills section. Example resumes on job boards and professional networking sites can also help you to find additional skills to list you may have forgotten to include. Only include the skills you are capable of fulfilling on your resume. Never exaggerate your abilities to appeal to hiring managers, as it will become evident if you are unable to fulfill the job requirements.

Provide Examples

Go beyond just listing the skills you have in a skills section on your resume and cover letter. Provide examples of how you utilized these skills in past positions. For instance, if you list that you are proficient in a sales lead software program, explain how you used this software to gain more clients and secure deals.

Hiring managers seek candidates who can accurately and concisely detail their qualifications. A skills section on your resume provides the information required to determine if you are the best candidate for the job.

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Zale thanks for your comment. Sorry that you are not getting the job notifications that you need. Many times a job seeker will not request specific career alerts in which case our system will go through your resume and pick out keywords so that we can send you new postings. For instance, an excavation equipment operator. If you didn't ask for specific career alerts, our system would look for any job posting with excavation; any job posting with equipment; any job posting for operator. If you set up an alert for an EXACT phrase match, that should eliminate at least some of the alerts you are receiving. Hope this helps.

  • Zale Cowell
    Zale Cowell

    Why do you people keep sending me postings that are not related to my career? I keep getting numerous postings for Truck drivers, and medical services, or store managers! I am an Excavation Equipment Operator! I don't understand why you people can't discern the difference between a bulldozer and a big rig truck going down the highway, or a grocery store manager.

  • Saddam S.
    Saddam S.


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