Effective Skills-Based Resume With Examples & Tips

Are you loaded with skills for a specific job but don’t have the work experience to back that up? If so, then a skills-based resume is what you need.  A skills-based or functional resume prioritizes experience and transferable abilities above a list of previous jobs. Candidates with employment gaps or career changers commonly use it.

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A successful skills-based resume should clearly and simply explain the candidate’s skills and competencies, supported with accomplishments and concrete examples.

It is important to customize your resume to the specific position you are seeking and to include vocabulary that is acceptable for the role and the industry.

This detailed guide will provide you with the skills and information you need to build an effective and captivating skills-based resume, whether you are recently graduated, changing careers, or just seeking to update yours.

skills based resume

What is A Skills-based Resume? (Functional Resume Format)

A skills-based resume, also known as a functional resume emphasizes, a candidate’s skills over other factors like education or work experience. Instead of listing employment experience chronologically, this form of resume combines skills, such as “Technical Skills” or “Leadership Skills”.

Candidates with little work experience, those changing careers, or those with gaps in their employment history will find this type of resume to be especially helpful.

The resume objective section is found at the start of a skills-based resume, which is then followed by a section highlighting the applicant’s most important skills and qualifications.

This could be followed by a section outlining pertinent education, training, and certifications; however, these parts are brief and less thorough than those in a regular chronological resume.

In creative or tech fields abilities and skill sets are more important than employment experience. Therefore a skills-based resume is mostly preferred.

What to Include in a Skills-based Resume?

It’s vital to concentrate on the skills and qualifications that are most relevant to the position when writing a skills-based resume and to use language and vocabulary that are particular to the industry or area.

The following components should be included while writing a skills-based resume:

  • Summary or Objective Statement
  • Skills Section
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Achievements & Awards

Tips to Write An Effective Skill-Based Resume

  • Examine the job posting and identify the precise skills and qualifications that the employer is seeking. Use terms specific to the position and industry and make sure to showcase these talents in your resume.
  • Provide specific examples and accomplishments from your previous employment to support your skills and qualifications.
  • Put your attention on transferable skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for if you are changing jobs or have gaps in your employment experience.
  • Make sure to thoroughly check your resume for spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • A resume that emphasizes skills shouldn’t be more than two pages. Eliminate any unnecessary facts that do not support your qualifications and express them effectively.

Effective Skills-Based Resume Example

David Adams
589-963-5896
Adams.david235@example.com
www.linkedin.com/David_Adams

Resume Objective
Graphic designer with considerable expertise in print design, marketing, and multimedia. Excellent interpersonal and collaborative skills; active team player with strong written and vocal communication skills. An enthusiastic and creative designer accustomed to working under pressure and limited budgets and creating advanced marketing ideas and campaigns.

Skills Summary

Visual Design

  • Routinely worked on the overall graphic design, page layout, and creation of online and digital visual material.
  • Led the daily design of several technology-related initiatives.
  • Product photography sessions for print advertising and promotional materials are art directed.

Illustration

  • Created more than 1700 oil, pen, and ink portraits.
  • Fresh graphic designs and concepts were created and put into use for several advertising and promotional projects.
  • Worked together with several creative teams to produce and illustrate a run of comic books.

Work Experience

Freelance Conceptual Artist
Chicago, IL
May 2017—Present

Spokes Graphic Design
Graphic Design Intern
Springfield, IL
June 2016 – March 2017

Job Responsibilities:

  • Assisted the lead and graphic designer at work to become familiar with the everyday activities of the position.
  • Utilized Adobe Photoshop to change the lighting, exposure, and other parameters for fresh designs and photographs.
  • Developed ideas for future design projects that the present graphic designer must accept or assess before production can begin.

Additional Skills

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • MS Office Suite
  • HTML5
  • Manual Drawing Skills
  • Color Theory
  • Digital graphics
  • Attention to Detail
  • Collaboration Skills

Education
Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, Minor in Graphic Arts
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA
Graduated – May 2016

3 Best Skills-Based Resume Templates

Insert images of 3 Skills-Based Resume Templates

How To Include Your Contact Information?

Make sure it’s simple for the employer to find you when include your contact information on a skills-based resume. Add your contact information ins the following format:

  • Include your full name
  • Provide your phone number
  • Provide your professional email address
  • Provide links to your online profiles

Additional Components:

  • You can add your website or portfolio link if you are a writer.
  • Provide a link to social media accounts if you are a marketer.
  • Write down the ink to your GitHub profile if you are a developer.
Good Example
Roger McKinley
Senior Software Development Engineer
426-486-2587
rogerkinley@example.com
https://www.linkedin.com/mckinleyroger
www.mckinleyroger.com/portfolio
Bad Example
Roger McKinley
Senior Software Development Engineer
creativekinley@example.com

How To Write An Attention-Grabbing Resume Objective?

A brief sentence that summarizes your professional objectives and what you can give the company makes up an attention-getting resume objective.

  • To determine the key skills and experiences they require, use the job description and company research.
  • Mention your qualifications for the job, such as your experience and skill set.
  • Express your passion for the work and the organization by speaking positively.
  • Avoid using generalizations and clichés like “looking for a challenging position” or “looking for a career opportunity”.
Good Example
A seasoned marketer with a track record of creating effective marketing campaigns and remarkable project management skills. Adept at producing quantifiable outcomes that lead to further expansion. Looking to join as a marketing manager and make use of my skills.
Bad Example
A professional marketer searching for a challenging position to use my knowledge of marketing and strategies.” 

What types of skills can be listed on a skills-based resume?

skills based resume

An emphasis is placed on your skills and abilities rather than your employment experience or degree in a resume that is skills-based. Only list skills that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. Also, provide examples from previous jobs where you used those skills.

Technical Skills: This refers to knowledge of how to operate software, equipment, and other forms of technology.

Soft Skills: These are related to your personality traits like communication, problem-solving, time management, and teamwork which are highly recognized.

Language Skills: Be sure to mention them on your skills-based resume if you are bilingual or fluent in a foreign language.

Organizational Skills: Having organizational skills can help you manage your workload, set priorities, and fulfill deadlines.

Industry-specific Skills: These are particular skills that are highly appreciated depending on the industry you work in.

Certificates and Licenses: List any relevant certificates and licenses on your skills-based resume. For example, your CPA or real estate license.

How To Write A Professional Work Experience Section

Use this section to highlight the accomplishments and responsibilities of past jobs and how they relate to the job you’re applying for.

The following tips can help you write a strong job experience section:

  • In reverse chronological order, start with your most recent job and list all of your previous employment.
  • When possible, quantify your accomplishments with numbers and metrics.
  • Include work history only if it is related to the position you are applying for.
  • Emphasize your experiences that apply to the job you are now looking for if you have worked in a range of sectors.
  • Make sure you utilize active language and begin each bullet point with an action verb.
  • Use words that are particular to the position and the field for which you are applying.
Good Example
Doc Stock Inc
Digital Marketer
March 2018 – Present

Job Responsibilities:

  • Managed social media profiles with a total following of more than 100,000, which enhanced interaction and brand exposure.
  • Increased open rate by 18% and click-through rates by 15% by running email marketing campaigns.
  • Enhanced consumer happiness and loyalty by working with cross-functional teams to develop and implement successful product launches and promotions.
Bad Example
Digital Marketer at Doc Stock Inc
Job Responsibilities:
  • Managed social media profiles
  • Carried email marketing campaigns
  • Worked in a team to enhance consumer loyalty

What If You Have Gaps In Your Work History?

You can still utilize a functional resume structure to emphasize your skills and certifications even if your employment history contains gaps. If your job history has gaps, the following tips will help you fill them up in the professional experience part of your functional resume:

Focus on relevant skills

Instead of outlining your employment history, concentrate on your accomplishments and talents that are pertinent to the position you are applying for.

Use an appropriate heading

Utilize a useful heading like “Relevant Experience” or “Professional Skills” instead of “Work Experience”.

Consider including volunteering or freelance work

Instead of any paid work experience, you must add any volunteering or freelance jobs you have undertaken in this section. This showcases your use of skills during the work gap.

Address the gaps in your cover letter

In your cover letter, you should address any gaps in your career history even though you don’t have to on your resume. Give justifiable reasons for those gaps and explain in brief how you used the time to improve your skills during that period.

Good Example
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Helping Hands Non-Profit Organization
January 2019 – Present

Job Responsibilities:

  • Developed and carried out effective marketing strategies that increased contributions by 20%.
  • Managed social media profiles with a combined following of more than 50,000 people, which enhanced interaction and brand exposure.
  • Developed and launched successful fundraising events in collaboration with cross-functional teams, which improved donor involvement.

Volunteer Experience
Marketing Committee Member
Johansson’s Charity Organization
September 2017 – December 2018

Job Responsibilities:

  • Created and carried out marketing initiatives to publicize charity events.
  • Developed interesting social media visuals and content in collaboration with the team to spread awareness.
Bad Example
Marketing and Communications Specialist at Helping Hands Non-Profit Organization
  • Carried out effective marketing strategies
  • Launched successful events
  • Worked with teams

What is The Proper Format For The Education Section?

Your formal education, including any degrees, certificates, and pertinent training, is often listed in the education part of a resume. The education section of your functional resume must include the following:

  • Your most recent degree
  • Institution name
  • Major
  • Graduation Date
  • Honors & Awards
  • Relevant Coursework
  • GPA (only if it is impressive)
Good Example
Education

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Major: Marketing
The University of California
Berkeley, CA
Graduation Date: May 2022

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor: Chemistry
University of California
Los Angeles, CA
Graduation Date: May 2018

Relevant coursework:
Marketing Strategy, Consumer Behavior, Market Research, Financial Management, and Organizational Behavior.

Bad Example
Master of Business Administration with a marketing major
Graduated from California University

How To Craft an Impressive Skills Summary Section?

skills based resume

The skills summary section of your resume, which is essential, showcases your most important skills and qualifications that are important to the position you are applying for.

It should raise the hiring manager’s curiosity. It must persuade the hiring managers that your abilities are more significant than your employment background.

Use appropriate keywords.

Examine the job description and identify the phrases and terms the company is seeking. To demonstrate that you possess the abilities and credentials they are looking for, use these keywords in your talents summary section.

Concentrate on your hard skills

Hard skills are specialized technical competencies you have learned through formal education or practical experience, such as software expertise, data analysis, or project management. Include a section in your summary of these challenging skills.

Include soft skills

Teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership are examples of soft talents, which are interpersonal abilities that are hard to quantify.

Common Technical Skills For a Functional Resume

skills based resume

Candidates can show they are qualified for technical tasks even if they don’t have the usual work experience in the sector by highlighting these skills. Common technical skills to emphasize in a functional resume for technical jobs include:

Programming Languages: Proficiency in programming languages like Java, Python, Ruby, C++, and PHP is highly valued in technical roles.

Databases: Displaying experience working with database management systems like Oracle and SQL Server is important for database administrators and data analysts.

Web Development: Highlight the knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As a developer, Experience with frameworks like React and Angular is a great addition.

Cloud Computing: This might include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Cybersecurity: Knowledge of cybersecurity principles and experience with security tools like firewalls and encryption technologies are highly valued.

Project Management: Experience with project management platforms like Jira, Trello, and Asana is highly regarded for professions that include overseeing software development projects.

List of Soft Skills For a Functional Resume

  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Time-Management
  • Leadership
  • Attention to Details
  • Customer Service

List of Hard Skills For a Functional Resume

  • Computer Skills
  • Data Analysis
  • Technical Writing
  • Project Management
  • Quality Control
  • Marketing
  • Languages Skills

Summarization

  • A skills-based resume is focused on your skills and is especially appropriate for positions that need certain skills, such as those in the creative industries.
  • If you’re a new graduate with limited job experience or if you’re switching careers, you can utilize a functional resume.
  • Additionally, overqualified job applicants who want to downplay their experience and candidates transitioning from the military to civilian life who have difficult-to-explain experience should use skills-based resume templates.
  • You need to get your skill summary section especially perfect if you want to produce a functional resume that stands out

Complement Your Skills-Based Resume with a Cover Letter

Your chances of obtaining the hiring manager’s attention and an interview could increase if you submit a strong cover letter along with your skills-based resume.

Use the following guidelines to create a professional cover letter:

  • Mention the position title, the company name, and any additional relevant information.
  • In the cover letter, focus on your qualifications that fit the job’s requirements.
  • Research a bit more about the company and discuss what you find interesting about it to show your keen interest.
  • If at all possible, address the hiring manager by name and express gratitude for taking a look at your application.
  • Proofread your cover letter thoroughly before mailing it to prevent typos, grammatical errors, and other issues.

Cover Letter Example for A Skills-Based Resume

Lisa Han
587, Kennings Street Unit
Winnipeg, CA

Dear Mr. Jones,

In response to your recent posting, I would like to express my keen interest in the job post and think that I would be able to justify the role.

I am excited to work for a reputed organization that has a strong devotion to its clients and a stellar reputation for customer satisfaction.

Adept in managing and taking notes for the minutes and handling executives.

I have thoroughly gone through your requirements and believe that if given a chance to work for this position will effectively handle the duties. I am capable of handling situations under pressure with my good communication and collaboration skills.

For more detailed information, I have attached my resume for your ready reference.

Looking forward to hearing a positive response from your side.

Sincerely,
Lisa Han

FAQs

Who Should Use the Skills-Based Resume?

A skills-based resume is a helpful tool for anybody who wishes to concisely and clearly emphasize their experiences and skills.

It can be especially helpful for the following people who are:

  • Changing jobs and previous work is not directly relevant to the new career path.
  • For fresh graduates
  • A freelancer, consultant, or self-employed individual with several projects or clients.
  • Gaps in your professional work history due to personal reasons or other situations.

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