In a job market where recruiters review an average of up to 250 applications per job listing, you need to submit a resume that stands out. But where do you even start?
Since you already know which skills to leave off your resume, and you’ve studied which trends to try and which to ignore, it’s time to talk about what should be on your resume. Here are three expert’s takes on the seven skills that will have recruiters excited to see your resume come through their queue:
Technical skills that pop: website development and design, data collection and analysis, and social media
Whether you’re a high-tech data scientist or a high-performing elementary school teacher, here’s a selection of technical skills that can make you stand out from the competition:
1. Website Development and Design
Website development and design aren’t just for website developers and designers anymore, writes J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of the career coaching site WorkItDaily.com, on LinkedIn: “Times have changed,” she continues. “The [website design] technology has gotten a lot better, and job seekers are more savvy at branding themselves properly. Now, I actually think personal sites are a good idea for all professionals.”
Resume tip: Build a simple website using an easy-to-learn tool like WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, or countless other website-building platforms. Include a link to your personal website on your resume, but don’t explicitly list website building skills on your resume unless you’ve achieved a basic level of competency that you could repeat on the job.
2. Data collection and analysis
Increased technology usage in the workplace means there’s more data than ever to collect, track, and analyze. That’s why data analysis is such a huge growth area, says Matt Sigelman, the CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, on Time.com: “Mainstream American companies have come to realize that in order to become more effective in the marketplace, they need to analyze data,” explains Sigelman. “And we’re seeing those skills showing up at a premium in a variety of industries, including marketing, logistics jobs, and operations management jobs.”
Resume tip: Reflect on the opportunities you’ve had to capture and analyze data in your current job and include them on your resume. If you can’t think of any, consider taking a free online course in data analytics from a website like edX or Coursera, then apply what you learn on the job.
3. Social Media
Social media makes a timely addition to any resume, says career coach Bethany Wallace: “Regardless of career field and job role, possessing social media management skills is a plus for any candidate,” she remarks. “Many companies still resist hiring a social media manager, and the ability to fill that gap might make the difference in a candidate’s standing.”
Resume tip: If you completed coursework or an internship that involved social media, include it on your resume. Extra points for sharing the online branding campaign you developed using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to drive traffic to your company’s website. Don’t list recreational social media on your resume – limit this technical skill for times that you’ve managed social media accounts in a professional capacity.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Don’t miss this report: “We Asked 750 Hiring Managers What Makes a Candidate Irresistible, Here’s What They Said”
Soft skills: Communication, problem-solving, and a positive attitude
Even in a technical age, it’s not all about technical skills. In fact, in a report compiled by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, OfficeTeam, and HR.com, 67 percent of HR managers said they’d hire a candidate with strong soft skills even if that person’s technical skills were lacking.
While you can’t rely on being hired for a job based on soft skills instead of technical talent, such a strong majority opinion among hiring managers is more than enough incentive to bring a focus to soft skills on your resume and in your interview process. Just don’t list them out point-blank – that’s an amateur (and unconvincing) way to do it. Instead, provide an accomplishment statement or proof statements for soft skills you’ve shown on the job.
“It’s easy for Employers can clearly detect which candidates are great listeners and clear, concise, and coherent when speaking during an interview,” explains Wallace. “Did you send a thank you card after the interview or express gratitude for the opportunity in another way? If not, you won’t likely be the top pick.”
Resume tip: Edit your resume for grammar and spelling, but also for clarity. Rewrite long sentences to be shorter, then read your resume out loud to make sure all of your thoughts make sense. Prove your communication skills by email and phone by being brief and to-the-point – yet warm – whenever you interact with the recruiter.
“Employees themselves are hopefully ‘solved problems,’ fulfilling their job duties and more,” writes Jessica Amidon on the AthLife blog, a career development resource for post-professional, professional, and collegiate athletes. “An employee that is able to present creative solutions to complex problems creates tremendous value for the employer and makes himself indispensable.”
Resume tip: Most resume bullet points focus on the solution of a problem, such as “Raised email open rates 10 percent.” Whenever possible, articulate the problem as well as the solution so that recruiters can see exactly how you’ve applied your problem-solving skills.
6. Positive Attitude
“Having a positive attitude is absolutely crucial if candidates want to stand out from their peers, many of whom (particularly Gen Z candidates) may unknowingly display an attitude of entitlement,” says Wallace. “Since the positive opposite of entitlement is gratitude, candidates who demonstrate gratitude and assume responsibility for both their strengths and weaknesses will stand out.”
Resume tip: It’s easier to display a positive attitude in an interview than on a resume, but you can start by framing your on-the-job challenges in a positive way. Using verbs like “overcame,” “surmounted,” “succeeded,” and “won,” on your resume can contribute to an overall energetic impression.
Read this to make sure you’re actively combatting youthful stereotypes: “How to Smash the Millennial Stereotype”
Whether you’re one of the millions of Americans looking for a job, or employed but looking for your next move, list as many of these skills as you can to make your resume pop.