Skills to Craft a Resume Employers Read With Examples!

About The Author

Tracy-GardnerTracy Gardner Global Chief Marketing Officer
LinkedIn|22 May 2024

In today's dynamic job market, where Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) sift through many applications, a stellar resume is more than just a static list of your experiences. It needs to be a strategic document specifically designed to catch the eye of employers. According to NACE's Job Outlook 2024 report, recent graduates shouldn't just boast about a high GPA. Instead, they should focus on showcasing the skills and attributes they've honed through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. This could include internships, volunteer work, or even projects undertaken during class. By highlighting these valuable experiences, you demonstrate your academic prowess and ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings.

screen candidates by GPA

The good news? Employers are increasingly looking beyond grades. According to the NACE report, nearly 90% of employers value a candidate's problem-solving abilities, and almost 80% seek strong teamwork skills. These are precisely the capabilities you can develop through hands-on learning experiences. The emphasis on GPA as a hiring metric is fading fast. The report shows a 35% drop in employers using GPA as a screening tool compared to just five years ago. Only 38.3% of respondents plan to prioritize GPA in their college recruitment process this year. This shift signifies a growing appreciation for well-rounded individuals who can learn and apply their knowledge creatively and collaboratively. So, focus on building a strong portfolio that showcases your transferable skills, and watch your resume rise above the competition! 

This comprehensive blog empowers you to craft a resume that gets noticed and positions you as the ideal candidate employers can't wait to meet. We'll delve into the what, why, and how of resume skills, providing actionable strategies to craft a compelling document highlighting your value proposition. By incorporating these tips, you'll transform your resume from a simple list of experiences into a dynamic marketing tool that showcases your unique abilities and propels you toward your dream job. 

What are the best job skills to put on a resume?

What are the best job skills to put on a resume

There's no one-size-fits-all answer, as the most desired skills will vary depending on the specific job you're targeting. However, there are some core competencies that consistently top employers' lists:

  • Communication: Both written and verbal communication skills are paramount. Can you clearly and concisely convey your ideas, actively listen, and adapt your communication style to different audiences?
  • Problem-solving: Employers value candidates who can analyze situations, identify issues, and develop effective solutions.
  • Teamwork: Collaborating effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds is essential for success in most workplaces.
  • Time Management: Can you prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage your workload efficiently?
  • Adaptability: The ability to learn new things, adjust to changing priorities, and embrace new technologies is crucial in today's dynamic work environment.

Note:- Remember soft skills like interpersonal skills, critical thinking, creativity, and a strong work ethic. These qualities demonstrate well-roundedness and potential for long-term success within the company.

Beyond these core skills, consider the technical skills specific to your field. For example, a graphic designer would highlight software proficiency in programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, while a marketer might showcase social media marketing and analytics expertise.

How to match your resume skills to the job description

A critical step in crafting a powerful resume is tailoring your skills section to the job you're applying for. Here's how:

  • Closely read the job description: Identify the key skills and qualifications listed by the employer. This is your roadmap!
  • Match your skills to their needs: Don't list every skill you possess. Focus on the ones that directly align with the job requirements.
  • Use action verbs: Instead of simply stating your skills, use strong action verbs to showcase how you've applied those skills in previous roles.
  • Quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, quantify the impact of your skillset. Did you increase sales by X% using your marketing expertise? Highlighting measurable results adds weight to your skills.

For example:

  • Job description: "Strong communication skills with a proven ability to deliver clear and concise presentations."
  • Your resume: "Delivered engaging presentations to a team of 20, resulting in a 30% increase in project efficiency."

By following these steps, you'll create a skills section that speaks directly to the employer's needs and highlights your value proposition. Now, let’s explore the world of soft skills and how to showcase them effectively on your resume!

What are examples of soft skills for a resume?

soft skills for a resume

Soft skills are the personal qualities that enable you to interact effectively with others and navigate the complexities of the workplace. While technical skills are crucial for performing specific tasks, soft skills demonstrate your ability to fit within the company culture and contribute positively to the team. Here are some key soft skills employers value: 

  •  Leadership: This doesn't necessarily mean holding a formal leadership position. It can encompass taking initiative, motivating others, and inspiring them to achieve shared goals.
  • Interpersonal Skills: The ability to build rapport, communicate effectively, and foster positive relationships with colleagues and clients is essential.
  • Problem-solving: Beyond technical problem-solving, soft skills encompass critical thinking, creative approaches, and the ability to find solutions collaboratively.
  • Time Management: Effective time management skills demonstrate your ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage your workload efficiently.
  • Organization: Being organized shows your ability to manage information effectively, prioritize tasks, and maintain a productive work environment.
  • Work Ethic: Employers value dedicated, reliable candidates who want to learn and grow.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing one's own emotions while also being sensitive to the feelings of others fosters positive working relationships and effective communication.

Here's how to showcase your soft skills on your resume:

  • Focus on achievements:

Don't just list skills; demonstrate them through accomplishments. Did you spearhead a project that required excellent teamwork? Highlight your role in coordinating efforts and achieving success.

  • Quantify your impact:

When possible, quantify the results of your soft skills. Did your interpersonal skills help resolve a client conflict, leading to increased customer satisfaction?

  • Action verbs are key:

Use strong action verbs to describe how you utilized your soft skills in previous roles. For instance, instead of stating that you have "leadership skills," mention how you "motivated a team to exceed sales targets by 15%."

Note:- Remember, soft skills are often best demonstrated through specific examples in your work experience section. Feel free to get creative and showcase how your soft skills have contributed to your success!

What are the technical or hard skills on your resume?

technical or hard skills on your resume

Technical or hard skills are the specific competencies and knowledge required to perform a particular job function. These skills are often quantifiable and learned through education, training, or experience using particular tools or technologies. Here are some examples of technical skills across various industries: 

  • Computer Skills: Proficiency in software applications like Microsoft Office Suite, project management tools, or industry-specific programs like graphic design software or data analysis tools.
  • Programming Languages: Expertise in languages like Python, Java, or C++ is highly sought after in IT and software development roles.
  • Data Analysis: Skills in data manipulation, statistical analysis, and data visualization tools are increasingly valuable across various industries.
  • Accounting: Strong understanding of accounting principles, financial software, and bookkeeping practices.
  • Marketing: Expertise in SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, or email marketing.
  • Writing and Editing: Excellent written and verbal communication skills are crucial for many professions, including content creation, journalism, and technical writing.
  • Foreign Languages: Fluency in a second language can be a significant asset, depending on the industry and company.

When highlighting hard skills on your resume, consider the following:

  • Relevance: Only list hard skills that are directly relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • Proficiency Level: Be honest about your proficiency level. If you're a beginner in a specific software, consider mentioning it as a skill you're actively developing.
  • Certifications: Do you have relevant certifications demonstrating your expertise in a particular hard skill? Include them in your resume to add credibility.

Here's an example:

  • Job description: "Must have experience with Adobe Photoshop and a strong understanding of design principles." 
  • Your resume: "Proficient in Adobe Photoshop with 3+ years of experience creating high-quality graphics for marketing materials." 

By effectively showcasing your relevant hard skills, you demonstrate your ability to perform the essential tasks associated with the job. Up next, we'll explore how to uncover the skills the company values!

Technical vs. Soft Skills: Finding the Right Balance

  • Now, let’s Imagine two developer candidates with similar technical skill sets. Candidate A has exceptional coding abilities but needs help communicating effectively with team members. 
  • Candidate B, conversely, demonstrates strong communication skills and excels at collaborating with others, even if their technical expertise could be more advanced. In most cases, Candidate B will likely be the more attractive candidate due to their well-rounded skillset.

Finding the right balance between technical and soft skills is crucial. While technical skills are a foundation, soft skills demonstrate your ability to thrive in a work environment and contribute meaningfully to a team. Here's a deeper dive into how to achieve the right balance:

Technical Skills:

  • Breadth vs. Depth: While possessing a broad range of technical skills is valuable, it's equally important to demonstrate depth in specific areas relevant to your target job. Focus on highlighting your mastery of core languages, frameworks, and technologies mentioned in the job description.
  • Staying Up to Date: The tech industry is ever-changing, so continuous learning is essential. Showcase your eagerness to learn new technologies and stay current with industry trends. This demonstrates your adaptability and commitment to professional growth.

Soft Skills:

  • Behavioral Interviewing: Be prepared to discuss your soft skills during interviews. Employers might ask behavioral questions to assess how you've applied your soft skills in past situations. Think about specific examples where you've demonstrated strong communication, teamwork, or problem-solving skills.
  • Quantify Whenever Possible: Even soft skills can be quantified. For instance, you could mention how your communication skills helped you resolve a complex issue with a client or how your time management skills enabled you to deliver a project ahead of schedule.

The Ideal Blend:

The ideal balance between technical and soft skills depends on the specific job you're applying for. For entry-level positions, a strong foundation in technical skills might be prioritized. As you gain experience, soft skills become increasingly important, particularly for leadership or senior developer roles. Focus on honing technical and soft skills to become a well-rounded developer who can excel in any development environment.

How to discover the skills the company values

Understanding the specific skills a company prioritizes goes beyond simply reading the job description. Here are some effective strategies to uncover the company's valued skills:

  • Company Website: 

Many companies highlight their core values and mission statement on their "About Us" page. This can provide valuable insights into the skills and qualities they seek in their employees.

  • Careers Page:

The careers page often lists specific skills and experience sought after for various positions. Companies might even showcase employee profiles, highlighting the skills and expertise they value within their team.

  • Social Media:

Company social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, can be a treasure trove of information. Follow the company and its employees to gain insights into their work culture, the types of projects they undertake, and the skills they emphasize.

  • Industry Research:

Research industry trends and publications to understand the skills in demand for your specific field. This can help you tailor your resume to align with the broader industry expectations.

  • Networking:

Connect with professionals working at the company you're interested in. Through informational interviews or casual conversations, you can gain valuable insights into the company's culture and the skills it values in its employees.

Here are some bonus tips

  • Company Awards & Recognition: Has the company received any awards or recognition for specific areas of expertise? This can indicate the skills they prioritize and excel in.
  • Company Blog: If the company has a blog, explore its content. The topics it covers and its language can reveal its values and the skills it values in its team.

By utilizing these strategies, you can gain a deeper understanding of the skills the company values and tailor your resume to showcase your alignment with their priorities. Next, we'll tackle crafting a compelling skills section and effectively integrating your skills throughout your resume!

How to create a resume skills section

How to create a resume skills section

Now that you understand the importance of aligning your skills with the employer's needs let's delve into crafting a compelling skills section:

  • Formatting: Dedicate a dedicated section titled "Skills" or "Core Competencies" towards the top of your resume, ideally after your summary statement.
  • Keywords: Integrate relevant keywords from the job description throughout your skills list. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) often scan for these keywords, so strategic use can increase your chances of getting noticed.
  • Prioritization: List the most relevant skills based on the job requirements.
  • Conciseness: Aim for 4-6 bullet points, focusing on the most impactful skills for the specific position.
  • Action Verbs: Avoid simply listing skills. Use strong action verbs to showcase how you've applied those skills in previous roles.
  • Quantify Whenever Possible: Did your communication skills help secure a significant client deal? Quantify the impact of your skills to add weight and credibility.
  • Tailoring is Key: Don't create a generic skills section. Tailor it to each job you apply for, highlighting the most relevant skills from your repertoire.

Here's an example:

Generic Skills Section: Communication, Teamwork, Problem-Solving, Time Management, Adaptability

Tailored Skills Section (Ex:-Marketing Manager Job): 

  • Content Marketing: Proven ability to develop and execute content strategies that increase website traffic by X%. 
  • Social Media Marketing: Managed company social media channels, resulting in a Y% increase in follower engagement. 
  • SEO Optimization: Skilled in SEO best practices and keyword research to improve website ranking. 
  • Communication: Excellent written and verbal communication skills, adept at crafting compelling marketing materials and delivering presentations. 
  • Data Analysis: Utilized data analysis tools to track campaign performance and make data-driven marketing decisions.

Remember, your skills section is a snapshot of your capabilities. Make it impactful and relevant to grab the employer's attention! 

skills-to-craft-a-resume-employers-read-cta1

Weaving Your Skills Magic: Integrating Skills Throughout Your Resume

A well-crafted resume goes beyond just listing skills. It's about showcasing how you've applied those skills to achieve success in your previous roles. Here are some strategies to effectively weave your skills throughout your resume:

1. Leverage Your Work Experience Section:

  • Action Verbs & Achievements: Don't simply list your responsibilities. Use strong action verbs to describe how you utilized your skills to achieve specific results. Quantify your achievements whenever possible to demonstrate the impact of your skillset.
  • STAR Method: Structure your achievements using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). This provides a clear framework for showcasing how you used your skills to overcome a challenge and achieve a positive outcome.

For example:

  • Generic: Responsible for managing social media accounts.
  • STAR Method: Leveraged social media marketing skills (Skill) to manage company Facebook and Instagram accounts (Situation). Developed and implemented a targeted social media campaign (Action), resulting in a 20% increase in follower engagement and a 15% boost in website traffic (Result).

2. Highlight Skills in Your Summary Statement:

In your summary statement, briefly discuss 2-3 key skills that directly align with the job description. This provides a high-level overview of your qualifications and piques the employer's interest in learning more in the work experience section.

3. Don't Forget About Projects:

Did you participate in any relevant projects outside of your traditional work experience? If you have volunteer experience or freelancing projects, highlight them on your resume and showcase the skills you utilized.

4. Tailor Your Cover Letter:

Your cover letter is an opportunity to elaborate on your skills and how they align with the specific role and company. Briefly mention 1-2 key skills from your resume and elaborate on how you've used them to achieve success in relevant situations.

By seamlessly integrating your skills throughout your resume, you create a cohesive narrative that showcases your capabilities and positions you as the ideal candidate. Now, let’s explore some common mistakes to avoid when highlighting your skills on your resume!

What shouldn't you do with job skills on your resume?

What shouldn't you do with job skills on your resume

While showcasing your skills is crucial, there are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Generic Skills: Avoid generic skills like "hardworking" or "team player." These are overused and need to provide concrete information about your capabilities. Instead, focus on specific skills relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • Exaggeration: Don't overinflate your skill level. Be honest about your proficiency, and avoid using terms like "expert" unless you have extensive experience.
  • Jargon Overload: Keep your resume jargon-free and easy to understand for a broad audience. While some technical terms might be necessary, prioritize clear and concise language.
  • Focusing on Duties, Not Achievements: Don't simply list your responsibilities. Instead, highlight the achievements you accomplished by utilizing your skills. Quantify results whenever possible to demonstrate the impact of your skillset.
  • Typos and Grammatical Errors: Proofread your resume meticulously before submitting it. Typos and grammatical errors create a negative impression and portray a lack of attention to detail.
  • Lying About Skills: Never lie about your skills or experience. If you're unfamiliar with a software program, be honest and mention your willingness to learn.
  • Including Irrelevant Skills: Stick to skills relevant to the job you're applying for. Avoid listing skills that do not affect the position or the company's needs.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your skills section is impactful and accurately reflects your capabilities! 

Hire Top Talent from VLink

Finding top talent can be challenging in today's competitive market. VLink takes the guesswork out of the equation, connecting businesses with exceptional developers with the skills, drive, and cultural fit to propel their projects forward.

Here's how VLink can be your one-stop shop for all your hiring needs:

  • Extensive Network: We leverage our vast network of skilled developers across various disciplines to identify the perfect match for your requirements.
  • Expertise & Deep Understanding: Our team of experienced recruiters deeply understands technical and soft skills. We can accurately assess a developer's capabilities and cultural fit to ensure a successful and long-term placement.
  • Streamlined Process: We handle the entire recruitment process from initial screening to interview scheduling, saving you valuable time and resources.
  • Tailored Solutions: We take the time to understand your company culture, project needs, and desired skill sets. We then develop a customized recruitment strategy that aligns perfectly with your goals.
  • Data-Driven Approach: Emphasize VLink's data-driven approach to recruitment, showcasing how they leverage data and analytics to identify the best developer talent for their clients.
  • Long-Term Success: Our dedicated team is committed to fostering long-term success. We go beyond simply filling positions; we build meaningful connections between businesses and developers, ensuring a solid foundation for lasting collaboration and team success. 

VLink connects businesses with exceptional developers with the skills and drive to propel your projects forward. We leverage our extensive network and expertise to identify the perfect match for your needs, ensuring you hire developers who can seamlessly integrate into your team and contribute meaningfully to your success.

Partner with VLink Today. Don't settle for just any developer. Let VLink connect you with the top talent that will propel your projects forward and empower your business to achieve its full potential. Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how VLink can revolutionize your developer recruitment strategy.

That’s it from our side in this blog. This blog post has equipped you with the knowledge and strategies to create a resume that's not just good but great! Now, go forth and conquer the job market!

skills-to-craft-a-resume-employers-read-cta

Conclusion

Crafting a powerful resume that showcases your skills and grabs the employer's attention is an art. By following the strategies outlined in this guide, you'll be well-equipped to create a compelling document that positions you as the ideal candidate for your dream job.

Here are some additional tips for success:

  • Keep it concise: Aim for a 1-2 page resume, depending on your experience level.
  • Professional formatting: Use a clean and professional format that's easy to read and navigate.
  • Proofread meticulously: Typos and grammatical errors can be a dealbreaker. Proofread your resume thoroughly before submitting it.
  • Tailor your resume for each job: Don't send a generic resume for every position. Tailor your skills section and work experience to highlight the most relevant qualifications for the specific job.

Remember, your resume is your first impression. By showcasing your skills effectively, you'll open doors to exciting career opportunities and land the job you deserve.

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the must-have skills for a powerful resume in 2024?

Focus on communication, problem-solving, teamwork, time management, and adaptability. Highlight technical skills specific to your field and remember soft skills like leadership and work ethic. 

How can I tailor my resume skills to a specific job?

Read the job description closely to identify key skills and qualifications. Match your skills to their needs, using strong action verbs and achievements to showcase how you've applied them in previous roles.

Can I highlight soft skills on my resume?

Absolutely! Don't just list them. Use accomplishments to showcase your soft skills. Did you lead a team or use your interpersonal skills to solve a problem? Quantify the results if possible! 

What are some common resume mistakes to avoid?

Typos and grammatical errors are a big no-no! Proofread meticulously. Don't use generic skills, exaggerate your experience, or lie about your abilities. Tailor your resume for each job and focus on relevant skills. 

Should I include a reference list on my resume?

In most cases, including a reference list on your resume is unnecessary. However, you can state, "References available upon request." Be prepared to provide references when contacted by a potential employer. 

Can I include a headshot on my resume?

Headshots are not typically required in the US or Canada. However, they might be expected in some countries. If you need more clarification, check with a career counselor or research standard practices for your target region.

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