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The importance of professional skills on your resume is much more than what you might have imagined because the skills section on your resume will have a list of skills and that simple list alone will make all the difference for you which means you need to choose all the right relevant skills, professional skills and important skills for your own resume skills section.
There are various categories of skills for many professions that people have, some profession may only need one category skills however in most cases, every profession and job needs skills of multiple categories such as communication skills, technical skills, soft skills, hard and soft skills, hard skills for particular job descriptions, professional skills for design, analytical skills and even transferable skills and so on.
Understanding these categories can help you a lot because it will help you understand how many skills you need to pick and from which categories. The simple decision of the choice of skills to mention on your resume skills section can make a big difference because it will the brief reflection and evidence of your capabilities and competency. Let's learn more in detail.
Importance of skill categories for your resume
A skills category in any resume is important because it lets the recruiter or the hiring manager get an idea of the skills you have in your possession with the experience you've had. Skills makes up who you are professionally and how you will perform at a particular job or position, it also gives an insight to the hiring managers regarding whether you are the professional suitable with the job description that they have posted in their job posting.
When you are choosing the skills for the skills section on your resume, you might end up choosing only soft skills or only hard skills which will have wrong impression of you as a professional on the hiring managers. You need to make sure that you pick the skills that are right blend of hard and soft skills along with other specific skills necessary for your role and profession. The professional skills are inclusive of all the hard and soft skills as well as technical skills and other skills because they are all essential for a good performance at your job and role in a professional capacity, that will be more than satisfactory for the company, owner, supervisors, managers, superiors and even the hiring managers.
Skills section is where you will list skills which will not be more than 5 or 7 in number. That means your ability to reflect your capabilities in the skills section will be limited. This is why, you should always include your professional skills in other sections as well such as resume summary, professional experience, education section and even extra sections- in addition to the skills section on your resume.
In those other sections of your resume, you should try to include as many different relevant skills as possible so that the hiring managers get the right and accurate idea of your capabilities. So when you are picking skills to list in the skills section, you should choose the most important skills that are inclusive of hard and soft skills and other specific skills for your role. But in the other sections, you can change things up a bit.
The resume summary section should include your top most important skills that are also top skills in terns of relevancy and value. It will be the section that will ensure that the hiring managers' attention is grabbed and then sustained for the rest of your resume.
The experience section should mention all kinds of skills in context of particular instances and scenarios where those skills are important and required in order for the professional to perform well and acquire good results that the superiors expect and need for the success of the company or the organization. You can mention both the hard and soft skills in the experience section in addition to your specific and necessary skills for the job, because the experience section will have the job description of each of your past jobs so you will have a lot of opportunities to mention the skills in relevant context and spaces.
You can also mention the skills in the education section because while you were acquiring theoretical knowledge, chances are you also learned a few soft skills in addition to particular skills for the particular job and profession/industry. You can also include your hard and soft skills in the education section because it is possible and viable to have soft skills while still going through education journey.
You should make sure that you try and include as many skills as possible in your resume, throughout various sections so that the hiring manager gets the accurate idea of your capabilities, capacity and competency.
How many skills should be mentioned on your resume skills section?
There is not set number of skills one should mention on the resume, however, there should be a couple of them incase your resume is not very large, and it shouldn't be too big a list when your resume is covered with your experiences.
Therefore, given that there is no ideal number, it should be around four to six. These four to six should be your core skills you have earned through the fruits of your labour in whatever you have experienced. For example project mangement, and you are a fresher just getting into the industry, then you should have had some experience in managing festivals in university, or managing projects of clubs and organising events. These types of experiences you might have to put in your resume to corroborate your skills. For example if you're skilled and you are looking to get into some type of consultancy, the project management is a role in itself, then you need to show that in your past experiences that you have managed projects, communicated really well and then completed.
You should always focus on quality over quantity for skills. However, there are few pieces to keep in mind.
The relevance to the job matters.
Here we talk about you catering or making a custom list of skills based on the job you are applying to. The position you are applying for, you should research that on various social media websites like LinkedIn or glassdoor etc. to understand the kind of skill people have developed or are gaining while in the job,. The list here might be between four to seven. The list might depend, extend, or shorten basis the nature of the job you are applying for.
The skills should be relevant to the core competencies.
Core skills for the job you are applying for. For example you are applying for the position of a business analyst, then you should have the core competency of Microsoft Excel, and if you are a proficient business analyst looking for a bump to the next level then Microsoft Power BI.
You should always segregate in the list itself what your Soft skills are and what your Hard skills are.
For example your soft skills are communication, team building, leadership and your hard skills are the technical abilities i.e., excel.
While you are mentioning your skills you should always show your progression.
This means that for example for the role of business analyst you are putting excel as a hard skill you should show at what level you are i.e., beginner, intermediate, advanced etc. This allows for the recruiter or the hiring manager to know what growth scope you have and what you are. This can help in actually determining how many skills you want to put on your resume.
The skills you mention should be keywords that can be used to pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
The system can catch on to your key word which could be relevant to the job you are applying to, thus the research you do is important.
Types of skill categories: resume skills section
Soft skills on your resume
Soft skills are those that are not technical, are intangible, and enhance your personality in the work or personal environment. They include skills likes leadership, teamwork, communication, time management, adapts quickly etc.
Hard skills are those that are more technical in nature, can be tangible in the work you do i.e., any particular tool/ tools you have learned like excel, power BI, processes like Agile, or web development, or proficiency in coding languages etc.
Technical skills on your resume
Technical skills come under the purview of hard skills. As mentioned above they could be the skills required without which you may not even get the job for example if you are going to be coding for a company, then the code language they want you to code in should be your technical skill.
Interpersonal skills on your resume
Interpersonal skills are soft skills but very important. The word means how you are able behave around people, how one interacts with them. This means the emotional bandwidth or the emotional intelligence you carry and how you are able to tackle problems that involve conflict and confrontation. This helps build other soft skills.
Communication skills on your resume
Communication skill comes under the purview of soft skills. The word it self is used so commonly, but without which we would not be able to express anything. Therefore, it is an important skill to have, and if you have put it then you should be prepared with examples which you can elaborate to the recruiter or the hiring manger. There should be a clear problem which is solved using communication, which was done efficiently and effectively.
Customer service skills on your resume
Customer service as a skill is also something that falls under soft skills, but it is an important skill to have like communication skill. The skill involved dealing with clients, customers, and communication their needs to the right parties, listening to them, conveying your messages to them in a manner that allows them to understand without being take aback in a neutral manner.
Leadership skills on your resume
Leadership is a very broad term and also falls under the soft skill gambit. The leadership skills is a collation of multiple other soft skills like decision - making, strategic thinking, motivation,
Project management skills on your resume
Project management skill is an important one to have regardless of what you do or where you go. The skill is the ability of the individual to plan, implement, and monitor the various tasks of a project. The skills requires meticulous planning and noting down the possible scenarios depending on the project, coordinating with multiple stakeholders and then adapting to changing requirements of the project.
Problem solving skills on your resume
Problem solving skill is also a soft skill and as previously mentioned it can also be a sub-skill under leadership as well. However, problem solving is a key skill in all professions. It shows the recruiter that you are capable individual who can deal well under pressure, can use analytical skills to identify problems and implement solutions.
Design skills on your resume
Design skills is also a soft skills but can also be called hard skills as there might be tools involved. It required the individual to create art that is appealing to one, some, or all senses. These skills are critical to graphic designers, web designers, architects, interior designers etc.
Additional skills on your professional skills section
There can be any number of additional skills you can have on your resume, there is no dearth of these in the world, and as we are progressing new skills are being created as well. However, the additional skills you want to put on your resume should be relevant to the field you are getting into. They can include languages, or any specialised trainings. These necessarily don't have to be related to the job but as a skill that has enhanced your personal life as well.
Relevant skills on your resume
Common relevant skills on your resume will include a mix of soft and hard skills, mix personal and professional skills, technical and leadership skills. Relevancy of the skill will be basis the the job you are applying to, the nature of it, the position, your background, your experience. Keeping all of this is mind create a list.
Additional key skills for your skills section
- search engine optimization
- time management
- basic understanding
- emotional intelligence
- organizational skills
- web development
- organize skills
- specific skills for sales job
- computer skills
- good communication skills
- critical thinking
- marketing skills
- organization skills
- writing skills
- Adobe creative suite
- personal skills
- strong communication skills
- people skills
- soft skill
- resume hard skills
- emotional intelligence for a particular job
- project management software
- project management
- active listening skills
How to choose the skills for your own resume skills section?
As we have previously mentioned and explained to you throughout the course of this article, there is no one way to choose your skills for your resume. But there are guidelines. Below are few pointers you should keep in mind before choosing.
Always review your job description and your background:
While you are trying to choose the relevant skills for your resume you should always do the right research. Firstly, go through thoroughly the job description provided to you by the recruiter or the company you are applying to. Secondly, use LinkedIn to find more job descriptions of the same job title to enhance your view for the role. Third, now connect that with your background, if you have the same background but this a promotion, or the same job, or a different job in the same field, starting out new etc. These scenarios need to be tested against the skills you will be putting.
Categorise your skills in boxes:
Categorising means that you need to put them in soft skills and hard skills. As told earlier to you that you need to put both of these and there are several other types of skills that fall under these two categories. So once you know what skills you want to put then, put them in these separate boxes basis your qualifications, experiences, and what the nature of the job is. If it is management job then you need to put more soft skills than hard skills, if it isa coding or finance role than you need to put more hard skills.
Prioritise your skills:
Prioritising is equally important as finding the skills and categorising them. Thus once you know you have the list of skills with its progression level defined thn you should think of what should come first and then the chronological order of the remaining. The job and its nature will help you there. If the role is that of more technical then your hard skill should very much come before soft skills, and if it is a management role than you should place your soft skills ahead of your heard skills. Therefore, be very careful, these details might not seem huge, but if missed then you miss your chance of creating the slight impact even a placement of skills can do. The hiring manager will want to know more about your soft skills more than you hard skills if you're applying for the role of CEO.
Always Quantify your skills wherever possible:
Quantifying your skill does not mean to elaborate about your skill in that particular space, however, when you are writing your experience section then you need to elaborate their your skill and your achievements and any numerical metric associated to it if any to corroborate your skill. This enhances your resume ten folds since the hiring manager can consider you a more reliable candidate. This also adds value to your resume since you are trying to show that you have done this much work or achieved this much by actually giving it a value. Always keep in mind that you can back up that number with evidence.
Very important to clear the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The keywords that are also the skills. These keywords will be picked up by the system and then your resume can get noticed. You can also use these keywords in your other sections too.
Customise as per the application and company:
It is very important to customise your resume as per the job you are applying to. You may have a broad list of skills but you need to customise it as per the role and the company you are applying to. If you are applying to multiple places then you need to customise the keywords, the skills as per the company and their job description, this gives your resume a personal touch.
Balancing the hard and soft skills:
This is also very essential, you need to learn how to balance your soft skills with your hard skills. This will also largely depend on the role you are applying to. Therefore, consider using the broader list of skills and then choose which of them will the most relevant since you only have a handful of these to use on your resume.
In conclusion, skill categories are important part of creating your resume. You need to know what categories can go inside and create a broader lis of these skills for your resumes and then you need to customise it as per the application. You should always look at your resume from the perspective of the recruiter or the hiring manager. That way you can recognise the strategic approach to choose which category will go well with your resume and then what skills under it will go will with your resume.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many skills should I mention in my resume?
You should ideally have around 5-7 skills on you're resume that you should also be able to corroborate in your experience section
Which are some of the soft skills I can mention on my resume?
You can mention soft skills like communication, time management, leadership, creativity, teamwork, emotional intelligence, adaptability, creativity, decision-making, negotiation etc.
What do hard and technical skills mean that some professionals mention on their skills section on their resume?
Hard skills are those which require you to attain them through learning tools and processes and which can be tangibly applied to the place you are working in. For example Power BI software for a role of business analyst