When you think about the different sections of your resume, which one is the most important? Which gets the attention of the employer first?
Your experience? Your education? Maybe your awards and achievements… or your college experience?
It is none of those! In fact, the section of your resume most likely to impress a recruiter is your ‘Summary of Skills’ at the very top of your resume. And if you haven’t given your “skills” section much thought, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to secure more job interviews.
If you’re unsure what to include in the “skills” section of your resume, here are some tips to get you started:
Tailor Your “Skills” Section to Every Position
The most important step of writing your resume is making sure your skills relate to the qualifications of the position. By customizing your skills section, your resume is more likely to be noticed by applicant tracking systems (ATS) and employers.
When you write your skills section, only include skills you can support with experience or pieces of work from your portfolio. Employers wants to ensure they’re hiring candidates who are skilled professionals and have the confidence needed in order to perform the job.
Find Out What Other Professionals are Saying
To find inspiration for your resume, a good place to start is researching other professionals in your field.
Perform searches on LinkedIn for professionals in your industry that hold similar positions to jobs you’re applying for. Next, find out what they’re listing as skills on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. By doing this research, you might discover some new skills to include on your resume that you didn’t realize you already had.
Don’t Forget to Include Soft Skills
According to a CareerBuilder survey, 77 percent of employers believe soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Soft skills are intangible skills that are associated with your personality such as communication skills, the ability to work in a team, or having a flexible attitude.
When thinking about your soft skills, these skills will most likely stem from your previous work experiences and involvement with organizations. For example, soft skills such as leadership and loyalty would be illustrated through a previous position or the length of time you spend with a company. By focusing on your past experience and your personality, you’ll figure out which soft skills are appropriate for your resume.
Back Up Your Skills with Experience
If you really want to “wow” hiring managers, be sure to include work experience that uses the skills you listed in your resume.
Let’s say Photoshop and InDesign are some of your skills. Think of a job or internship where you had the opportunity to use these tools. For example, you may have designed a brochure for a client in a previous position. Use this work experience as a way to tout your design skills.
While experience is important, skills are critical to the success of your job search. As you write your resume, don’t forget to include what you can do for employers. This will help your resume stand out from other resumes during your job search!
For this post, Youtern thanks our friends at Come Recommended!
About the Author: Olivia Adams is the Brand Manager at Come Recommended. She is a graduate of Ferris State University with a B.S. in public relations. Olivia has experience in content marketing, writing, social media, branding, and public relations.