Popular resume templates and HR pros prompt job seekers to include a list of strategic skills on their resume. Think of this section as a moment to show off a bit. From Java to Final Cut Pro, speaking Arabic to spearheading 150% growth, be sure to include not only the relevant skills that make you a perfect fit for the role, but also the skills that make you stand out.
Take note, command of Microsoft Office is not a skill. It’s a given.
Before grabbing your laptop to edit, follow these five steps to make your resume really shine:
Step 1: Tailor your list.
Decide how your skill set fits with the particular job you’re targeting. If you are applying to work at an international organization and you are a seasoned world traveler who speaks several languages, both your language skills and your international experience are extremely relevant. That’s a no brainer.
If, on the other hand, the opportunity you are pursuing does not have an international component, your language skills are still relevant to list, but your world travel experience can be cut. Save precious resume-real estate for only the most pertinent details.
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Step 2: Highlight tech skills.
Being tech savvy will always be of interest. However, it’s also a given these days. To distinguish yourself from the pack, be specific so recruiters know exactly what tools you can command.
Step 3: Remember, soft skills matter too.
Flexibility, resilience, a solid work ethic, a propensity to work well on a team are all soft skills, and they are important to hiring managers. Soft skills lead to better workplace cohesion, and employees who have them elevate team morale.
Instead of simply listing soft skills, demonstrate how your command of them has added value in past professional contexts. For example:
“I am a good communicator and was frequently called on by my supervisor to lead my team in meetings and discussions.”
“My supervisor asked me to mentor junior-level colleagues.”
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Step 4: Showcase your social media prowess.
While a large number of Instagram followers is impressive to buddies, it’s not necessarily a skill. However, if you’ve successfully used social media to elevate a brand or drive lead generation, tout that expertise. Make sure to quantify your impact with relevant data, too.
Step 5: Know the lingo.
Every industry has its own insider language and concepts. Show your command of this in the resume and cover letter. If you are a new professional looking for your first professional role, do your homework and start reading up on what is happening in the industry in which you are angling to find employment. Talk to mentors, professors and other professionals to learn what everyone in the industry talks about, so that you can align your skill set with the industry’s standards.