The whole purpose of a resume is to be a document that gathers together and lists all of your skills and qualifications. Ideally, you will formulate your resume to highlight your key skills that are relevant for each job that you apply for. However, many people do tend to get a little carried away and over enthusiastic about noting down every single bit of work experience they have or every accomplishment achieved. This can lead to information overload for the poor recruiter who is looking over your resume.
When building your resume, it is wise to stick to the skills that most employers will be looking for, Remember that recruiters will only spend between 15 to 30 seconds on the first skim of your resume, so you will want to make sure your skills stand out!
Most key skills that you need to include fall into one of three categories:
These are the skills that you have gained that can be applied to just about any setting. These are important skills because they can be used in many different sorts of business or industry sectors, and are the skills your potential new employer will require as standard for the role on offer. These skills are also the ones you need to push heavily if you are looking for a career change and if your new work environment will be very different from where you came from.
Everyone possesses transferable skills even if they don’t recognise them as such. Typical transferable skills you may already have are:
Computer skills: If you have a good working knowledge of computers and most of the popular office software used, then this is a transferable skill.
Management skills: If you were placed in charge of a team or was a project leader for an important task, then these are transferable skills that would benefit another employer.
Negotiation skills: If you are a good communicator and have negotiated good deals or favourable terms for your previous employer, then these are skills that are highly sought after in many commercial organisations.
Meeting deadlines: If you have proven able to meet deadlines and have good time management skills, then these are key skills that would be desirable for companies that have to work to deadlines, such as the media industry or the print industry.
Your job-related skills will be specific to the line of employment or trade you have been working in and may have required you to have received training to perform. These skills are especially valuable if you are looking to work in the same industry but may want a role that offers better career progression. Potential employers will see that you have already completed some related job training, which means that they wouldn’t need to put you through the same training for the role.
There are obvious job related skills for specialised roles such as nursing, accountancy and engineering where you wouldn’t be employed in these roles without first having the proper training. However, in some business sectors that encourage on the job training, they may take you on with a basic level of job-related skills and pay for you to upgrade your skills or qualifications with further training.
Adaptive skills are much less obvious to specify in a resume than your qualifications or job related work experience. These sorts of skills rely more on aptitudes and personality traits rather than learning. While there may be room to include some of your adaptive skills on your resume page in your personal statement, many people will use their cover letter to outline their adaptive skills more clearly. Although you may not think that adaptive skills are that important, they can often mark you out from another candidate with the same qualifications or work experience as you.
Think about the sort of personality you have when describing your adaptive skills. Some of the key skills to include are:
Working well in a team. Not everyone is a team player, but if teamwork is one of your strengths then it is important to mention this, especially if the company are looking for team players to take on.
A sense of loyalty. If you have been in your job for a long time then this is a valuable skill to include. Employers who invest in their employees via training and company perks like to see loyalty in return.
Positive attitude. If you are going to be working as part of a team, then an employer will be looking for someone who will fit in well with the existing team. Employers tend to favour candidates who mention positivity in their resume. It goes a long way towards creating and sustaining a happy work environment.
You are tenacious. If you can see things through to the end rather than give up at the first hurdle, then your prospective employer will be impressed by that. You can demonstrate this at interview by describing a work situation that was resolved through your tenacity.
Creative nature. There are a lot of employers who are crying out for creative people. If you have any creative skills such as painting, playing music or graphic design, then mention this to show off your creative skills.
There are a lot of key skills that you could mention in your resume, but remember that you only need to mention the ones that relate directly to the job position you are applying for. Go through your skill-set and add those that your potential new employer will be looking for. You will have time to dazzle them with your fantastic personality and fill them in on your other admirable skills once you have secured your interview.