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A Thorough Guide on How to List Skills on a Resume

In your quest to come up with the most winning resume for your dream job, allow us to map out the ins and outs of a crucial factor that greets every applicant: deciding how to fill out skills on a resume. We provide a detailed guide below, as well as some impressive examples throughout the entire article. 

Is there a particular job that you are anxious to have? Whether you’re a fresh graduate or an experienced applicant, the key to any job application perfect details. Every component of your application needs to ring just right for your future employers. From the way you present yourself during the interview to the way you craft your resume. We lay down the groundwork for a crucial feature to any resume below: the ever-important skills section. We teach you how to fill out skills on a resume in thorough detail. We’ll guarantee your chances of landing your dream job.

Components of a Resume

For starters, it is worth knowing that no portion of a resume ever goes unnoticed. Regardless of the position or industry, it is a widely-known fact that interviewers and hiring managers will peruse every resume that goes their way with what seems to be a magnifying glass. They will assess every part of the document, from the respective contents and the format down to the aesthetic choices. As such, it pays to put more thought and effort into creating a resume. 

As for the contents of any resume, each section serves a unique purpose. There is no such thing as a section to fill dead or black spaces on the document. Essentially, each part of a resume helps employers determine whether a candidate is a right fit for the position. Each section, therefore, is a determining factor of one’s chances of getting a callback or not. 

That said, one component of a resume, in particular, edges out a potential hire over everyone else in the application pool, and that is the skills section. While hiring managers and interviewers will analyze each component of a resume carefully, the skills section seals the deal and eventually convinces them of a candidate’s worthiness. Every applicant should pay close attention to what they choose to include or omit in a resume’s skills section. Learn how to fill out skills on a resume in the most impressive way possible. 

Recommended Reading: How to Write a Resume – A Beginner’s Guide

How Important is the Skills Section on a Resume?

The skills section is a group or collection of key phrases or terms that detail an applicant’s abilities in line with the job description. When asked about its significance to an application’s success, the short answer is a resounding and definitive yes. 

In detail, to expound on the answer above, the skills section is of great value to the applicant because it ultimately decides whether or not a particular applicant is the best fit for both the position and the hiring company at large. Hiring managers and interviewers will look to the skills section to see if a candidate has technical and personal grit that will be of great value to a business or corporation. As an applicant, you could have a beefed-up section dedicated to your work experience. Still, if the skills you choose to indicate on your resume do not seem relevant to the position, employers will likely start viewing your application with caution. Conversely, you may not have the most extensive experience or educational qualifications, but you can use the skills section to make your application more appealing. 

With all this in mind, it becomes imperative that you learn how to write about your skills on a resume.

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Determining the Kind of Skills to Include on a Resume

The initial step to take when learning how to write about your skills on a resume is to find the perfect balance between hard skills and soft skills. 

Distinguishing Between Hards Skills and Soft Skills

As a thumb rule, hard skills are technical abilities that often involve industry-specific software or technologies, while soft skills are more personal qualities that an applicant embodies. Every great resume containing a winning skills section features a convincing balance between hard and soft skills. The following are some great examples of each category to give you an idea of what you can include in your own skills section.

Excellent Samples of Hard Skills on a Resume

  • Data Analysis
  • Credit Assessment
  • SEO Marketing
  • Adobe Suite
  • Copywriting
  • Software Programming
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Automobile Services
  • Coding Languages
  • Real Estate Appraisal

Impressive Examples of Soft Skills on a Resume

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Effective Communication
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Customer Service
  • Managerial Skills
  • Dependability
  • Critical Thinking

Figuring Out Which Skills Are Applicable for Your Credentials

When deciding how to write out your skills on a resume, hard or soft, a significant first step is to take a moment to list every skill that you believe you possess. After that, group these skills accordingly. 

Another surefire measure of how to write out your skills on a resume is to ask a fellow employee or colleague about what they think your strengths are too. This way, you can corroborate your self-made list with an outsider’s perspective. For fresh graduates, you can consult professors, intern advisers, or trusted peers. As for experienced employees, apart from asking colleagues’ opinions, you can also go over any awards or certificates you may have acquired throughout employment. Doing so should inform you of any affirmed skills or abilities. If not, you can also note what your bosses or supervisors tend to ask you to do. Consider special assignments that your bosses or supervisors are unlikely to assign to anyone else in your group or department but you.

Whichever skills you wish to include in your resume, remember that each one must be actual, correct, and fact-based. You need to be able to verify that you indeed possess the skills you decided to highlight. Putting up skills that do not apply to your application will only send the wrong message to hiring managers and interviewers about your integrity and value. 

Formatting the Skills Section on a Resume

Now that you have your list of hard and soft skills to feature on a resume, you need to learn how to add skills on a resume. You can include your skills section between your resume summary statement and work experience list. This format is what hiring managers and interviewers would expect to see on more traditional or standard resumes. Nonetheless, there are endless possibilities in this modern-day and age when it comes to formatting and aesthetic choices. Applicants now have more creative freedom to inject their personality into their resumes. They can format or design their resumes any way they please, and it would be acceptable to most recruiters.

As far as arrangement goes, it is best to remember that your resume should target the job description as best as possible. As such, if the job you are applying for is more technical, you should highlight your hard skills in detail first. Describe each hard skill with a concise sentence that proves how you possess them. You can then list your soft skills s relevant skills, but you no longer have to provide a descriptive sentence below each item. You just need to do the opposite for less technical and more interpersonal positions, describe your soft skills in detail, and list your hard skills succinctly as relevant skills. That said, you can use a hybrid of the two should you deem it more fit according to the job description of the position you are eyeing.   

Outstanding Samples of Skills Sections on Resumes

To give you an idea of how to add skills on a resume impressively and convincingly, use the following examples as benchmarks, especially when it comes to formatting and arrangement.

Credit Specialist Application

Credit Assessment

Made credit application approvals that increased branch success rates to 17% in the year 2023

Statistical Analysis

Utilized strength in statistical analysis to make informed decisions on credit application approvals

Software Proficiency

Has outstanding proficiency in all industry software used for credit assessment 

Relevant Skills: Interpersonal Relations, Customer Service, Dependability, Integrity, Time Management

Public Relations Associate Application

Effective Communication

Was the point person for press junkets and media events and coordinated with various press companies for company communications

Interpersonal Skills

Established longstanding relationships with local and international industry players, which proved instrumental to fruitful business ventures

Copywriting

Corresponded with press companies in the creation of company-sourced announcements or press releases for print 

Relevant Skills: Research, Software Proficiency, Adobe Suite, English, Spanish, and German Languages

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Some Final Thoughts on How to List a Skills Section on a Resume

As you try to polish your skills section, remember that a few proofreading sessions will not hurt and will only guarantee that you have a precisely crafted component in your hands to help you clinch the position. 

Use our guide and examples above to inform the contents and format of your skills section. Lastly, as you seek to project yourself on this crucial resume component, remember to be direct, factual, and proactive to have a practical and successful application.

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