Skills To Put On A Resume

By Jeff Gillis

When somebody says the word “skills” to you, what immediately comes to mind?

For most people, the answer is “things I am good at“.

Typing.  Woodworking.  Public speaking…  Cartwheels.

Yes, all of the things listed above can be considered skills, but when it comes to the job hunt, you have to be selective as to which of these to include on your resume.

Why?

Because the company you are interviewing with AND the job you are interviewing for both require a very specific set of skills in order for you to get the job done effectively.

Filling up the skills section of your resume with a bunch of skills that have absolutely nothing to do with the job you are applying for is basically just a waste of space.

This is why it is important that you understand how to choose the correct skills to include.

JEFF'S TIP:

If you REALLY want to supercharge your resume, check out this new strategy top job seekers are using to get more job interviews and job offers. Mike wrote a new blog post about it here.

hard-soft-skillsHard Skills vs. Soft Skills

There are two basic types of skill-sets that a job seeker can have and include on their resume, and those are either hard skills or soft skills.

Hard skills are the skills or abilities that are easily quantifiable…that can be learned through classroom work, apprenticeships or other forms of learning.  These include things like operating tools, computer programming, speaking foreign languages or typing.

Soft skills are more subjective and harder to quantify, and are often grouped together by what we know as “people skills”.  Some examples of soft skills include communication, relationship building, self-awareness and patience.

FREE: "BIG LIST OF SKILLS" PDF ACTION LIST

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Which Skills Are More Important?

The debate rages on about which of these two types of skills are more important.

On one hand, in a tough job market, job seekers with a proficiency in a specific hard skill may get hired more quickly as companies look to hire people that can deliver value with fewer resources (ex. the need for training, etc.).

However, we are also seeing that many hiring managers are choosing to hire candidates with highly developed soft skills.

Why?

Because they feel that they can always train the candidate in the hard skill that is required to complete the job, but soft skills are often skills that cannot necessarily be taught.

So what does this mean for you?balance-242223_640

Balance!

You can’t simply just pick one or the other and cross your fingers.

The best strategy is to take a balanced approach and make sure that your resume contains both hard and soft skills.

But as you’ll see later in this article, you can’t just list all of the skills you “think” you have.

There is strategy to this whole thing!

Don’t worry, we’ll show you exactly how to ensure that you list the skills that will get you the interview AND get you the job.

But before we get started you should download our free “Big List of Skills to Put on Your Resume” Action Sheet!

This handy (and FREE!!) pdf contains 100 “Interview Guys Certified” plug ‘n play skills that you can put into your resume right now! And we’ve organized everything by the most common job categories so there is a little something for everyone. Click Here To Get The “Big List of Skills to Put on Your Resume” Action Sheet!

opportunity-396265_640How Do You Choose The Skills To Put On a Resume

Here’s the deal.

You know what you’re good at.  You know the things you grew up doing as a kid, or the things you learned in school (and excelled in), or the activities you did after school (ex. sports, fine arts, clubs, etc.).

So you should already have a list of things that you would consider yourself proficient in.

This is a good place to start.

Here are the steps for choosing the right skills:

1) Make a List of The Skills You Know You Have

Or better yet, take a look at the list below and make a note of the skills you have an above-average proficiency in.

List of Skills for Resume

Hard Skills List

  • Word Processing
  • Computer Programming
  • Heavy Machinery Operation
  • Spanish Fluency
  • Advanced Bookkeeping
  • Schedule Management
  • Systems Analysis
  • Automotive Repair
  • Environmental Cleanup
  • Mathematics

Soft Skills List

  • Problem Solving
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Self-Confidence
  • Handling Pressure
  • Leadership
  • Creativity

Okay, so chances are you don’t necessarily have many (or even one) of the hard skills on the list, but these examples should give you an idea of the type of skills you should be thinking of.

If you need more examples, you should download our free “Big List of Skills to Put on Your Resume” Action Sheet!

This handy (and FREE!!) pdf contains 100 “Interview Guys Certified” plug ‘n play skills that you can put into your resume right now! And we’ve organized everything by the most common job categories so there is a little something for everyone. Click Here To Get The “Big List of Skills to Put on Your Resume” Action Sheet!

2) “Mine” the Job Descriptions For Must-Have Skills

The next step is take a look at the job description for the position you are applying for and make a list of the required skills that are listed.  Are any of the skills on both of the lists you just created?  If so, these are must-haves for your resume.

Now notice if there are any skills on the job description that you don’t have.  If there aren’t any, great!

But if there are…don’t panic.  You just need to dig a little deeper into your past in order to demonstrate that you have the skill… more on that in a minute.

tailoring-method3) Tailor Your Skills to the Company/Position

As you may have read in our other blog articles, it is always very important to “tailor” your job interview to the company and position you are interviewing with/for (for a more in depth look on our Tailoring Method, check out our article Job Interview Questions and Answers 101).  This includes your resume and the skills you include on your resume as well!

As we mentioned before, the company will have a specific set of skills that they will require the successful candidate to have in order to do the job to their standard.

So as you might have guessed, it is absolutely essential that these skills make an appearance on your resume.

You need to spend some more time researching the company, and this means going through all of their various web properties including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Why?

Because they will leave clues about the types of people they hire, which will give you a better idea of the skills that you need to inlcude in your resume.  This especially applies to soft skills.

Ask yourself this.  “Do I have a similar skill-set to the types of employees they hire?”

If the answer is yes, great!

If the answer is no… read on!

And as we said before, REALLY dig into the job description to make sure you have a strong understanding of the skills that are required for the job, and make darn sure you put those skills in the skill section of your resume.

What If I Don’t Have The Required Skill?

nail-screw-small

We brought up the earlier scenario in which you didn’t necessarily have the skills required to do the job.

Here’s where you have to be honest with yourself.  If the skills required are part of the core competencies of doing the job, you may want to reconsider your application.

For example, if a golf course posts a job posting for a golf pro, you probably shouldn’t apply if you’ve never swung a golf club.

Use your common sense to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the job.

Quite often though you will come across a situation where it is close…where you kind of have the skill.

This is where you need to get creative (and NO we don’t mean lie).

You need to be able to demonstrate, using examples from your past, that you are capable of doing the required skill.  So go over your work history with a fine-tooth comb and try to come up with a few examples of you doing the skill.

They are going to ask about it in your interview, so don’t think you can just wing it and everything will be fine.

JEFF'S TIP

If you can't think of a time when you clearly demonstrated the skill, try showing that you won't have a problem picking up the skill on the job.  This can be done by showing examples from your past where you easily acquired other skills.  This works especially well with hard skills.  For example, you could say something like, "I don't have a lot of experience with Microsoft Excel, but in my last job I had no experience with Adobe Photoshop and picked it up easily in a few days.  I believe this shows my competency with regard to learning new computer programs."

Where Do You Put Skills On Your Resume?

There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to deciding where to put the “skills” section on your resume.  There isn’t one right answer, because just like everything else in the job interview world…

It depends on the industry, company and position you are interviewing with/for.

For example, for a job where technical competencies are of the utmost importance, it is often beneficial to list the skills closer to the top of the resume, right underneath the resume objective or resume summary statement.

However, if through your research you determine that the hiring manager will put more weight into your experience, you may want to lead with your experience and put the skill section further down your resume.

At the end of the day, the selection of the skills themselves (and ensuring that the right skills are chosen) is the most important thing.

After all, most hiring managers will easily find your skill section regardless of where it is on your resume.

Putting It All Together

So there you have it.

The most important thing to remember is to select skills that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for, and more important than that, skills that your company puts a tremendous amount of value in.

Once you get your skills straightened out, you should make sure that the rest of your resume is congruent with the skills you just selected, namely, that your experience shows that you both used those skills in a work environment and developed the skill with on-the-job tasks.

The next thing you should do is download our action list below!

Good Luck!

FREE: "Big List Of Skills To Put On Your Resume" PDF ACTION LIST

 

Get our handy action list!

In it you'll get 100 "plug and play" skills you can pop into your resume right now!

These skills are organized by THE most common job categories so you're getting tailored skills that will fit perfectly with your position.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE ACTION LIST

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60 Comments

  • Jamie Eskridge

    Reply Reply March 5, 2016

    Very helpful information. Much needed help and I thank you very much.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 5, 2016

      Thanks for stopping by Jamie!

  • Astitva

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    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 9, 2016

      Thank you so much Astitva! Good luck on your interview!

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    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 11, 2016

      Thank-you Catherine! Let us know how your interview goes!

      Mike

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    • Jeff

      Reply Reply April 28, 2016

      Great Breanna!

  • Joel Vizcarra

    Reply Reply May 4, 2016

    Thanks for the help and idea awesome man thanks again

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply May 4, 2016

      No problem Joel!

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    Reply Reply June 3, 2016

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    • Jeff

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      Great to hear Rossy!

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    this is very helpful information! i only know now that there are two kinds of skills. the hard and soft one. i’ll keep that in mind and thank you for the added knowledge.

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    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 11, 2016

      Great to hear Solomon!

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    • Jeff

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Thank you so much Donna!

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  • Gaurav Chakraborty

    Reply Reply September 8, 2016

    Thank you Mr. Jeff or i should probably call SIR to u, because after visiting this page, i came across new things and learnt a lot and these small things helped me during my interviews. thank u again

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply September 8, 2016

      No problem Gaurav! And you can call me Jeff 😉

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    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 8, 2016

      Thanks Sianna!

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    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 8, 2016

      Thanks Nerline!

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  • Jett

    Reply Reply December 1, 2016

    It was helpful and I got the job

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 5, 2016

      Congratulations Jett!

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  • I have my resume on indeed. Will you please look at it and make it more eye catching. I have not a job in 3 years. I really need help with my resume. Sincerely please help me.
    Thank you, Leslie McCutcheon

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