A skills section is a critical part of your resume, whether you are a recent graduate newly on the job market or an experienced professional looking for a new career.
Knowing which skills to include and which to leave out can be a challenge. Hiring managers often only spend a few seconds reading resumes, so you need to efficiently capture their attention by highlighting the essential skills they want to see in your resume.
Here’s everything you need to know about the skills section of your resume, including how to figure out the best skills to include.
Soft Skills VS Hard Skills
The skill that hiring managers want to see can be separated into two categories—soft skills and hard skills.
These are interpersonal skills that you develop naturally. Hiring managers want to see them to get a better feel for how you will fit into the team and company culture.
Some examples of soft skills include the following:
- Critical thinking
- Attention to detail
These are technical skills that you will need to have learned (and in many cases mastered) to perform the necessary job functions. The hard skills you will need to demonstrate will vary from one job to another.
Some examples of hard skills include the following.
- Data mining
- Data analysis
- Research skills
- Graphic design
- Project management
- Foreign language skills
- Programming languages
- Accounting or bookkeeping
What to Include on Your Resume’s Essential Skills Section
The skills section aims to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded job candidate who has the required interpersonal skills and technical knowledge to succeed at the job. So, there is no one answer to the question of “what should I include in my skills section?”
However, there are many things you can consider that will help you identify the best skills to include in your resume. Here are some things to think about to get you started.
What awards have you won?
Think about any awards you have earned personally or professionally. These can help you identify which skills you had to showcase to achieve them.
What do others think you’re good at?
Talk to former colleagues, friends, and teachers to uncover where they think you excel. You can gain some valuable insight into what sets you apart from others in your field.
What skills are necessary for the job?
Talk to someone in the industry to find out which skills are considered essential in the field, then align those with your own skills to figure out which ones to include in your resume.
Create Your Skills Section
No matter what skills you include in your essential skills section, make sure you can back them up with real-world examples.
Keep in mind that you can showcase many skills through your resume and cover letter. Thoroughly editing your resume indicates your attention to detail while using a well-designed format can highlight your creativity.
No matter what type of job you are searching for, we can help you put your best foot forward. Browse our template designs to get started building a resume that will help you get the job of your dreams.