If you don’t focus on improving the skills section of your resume, you lose the opportunity to demonstrate to employers why you’re suitable for the advertised job.
Hiring managers are always searching for pertinent competencies. You may have labored for hours in perfecting the experience section of your resume, but if you don’t put much weight on your skills section, you lose the chance of getting an interview. A well-written skills section convinces human resource managers to call you for a scheduled interview.
Let’s see how you can determine the competencies to put on your resume and optimize the section to attract hiring managers.
Types of Competencies to Include in Your Resume
You need to focus on enhancing the skills section of your resume. Hard skills are abilities that you possess to do your job. You gain them through education and/or experience. For instance, if you’re a business process analyst, you have to include data analysis, strategic planning, business planning, forecasting and planning, and process mapping as your hard skills.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are personal characteristics and traits that hiring managers can use to determine your work ethic. They include emotional intelligence, behavioral traits, interpersonal strengths, and communication styles. You may think that they’re not as essential as job-related hard skills, but employers often seek a list of attributes when the scan applicant resumes.
Team player, initiative, communication skills, and problem-solving skills are some of the most valuable competencies.
Where to Search for Skills
You can review job postings of your target career. Search for the work descriptions and list down the recurring competencies. Match them with your skillset. You have to remember that you develop skills from self-study, extracurricular activities, work experience, training, education, volunteer work, and hobbies.
You can also research your target employer to understand their desired proficiency type. It’s normal to perform editing to your resume to match the competencies required from the professionals by companies.
Expand Your Resume Skills Section
After identifying the skills that you want to include in your resume, you can follow the following tips.
- Name the section as “proficiency,” “competencies,” or “expertise.”
- Use the appropriate keywords
- Keep the list short and targeted
- Place the competencies section after your career summary or within it
- Keep the listing symmetrical using a two-column list or center it
- Group your specialized competencies
- Modify the skills section for each job you apply for
- If you’re changing careers, add transferable competencies to draw attention to the necessary competencies for your new career goal
Show Your Proficiency
Every job application possesses a specific skill. If you want to get ahead of the game, you have to substantiate your competencies with certain accomplishments. For instance, if you’re a business process analyst, you have to prove you have excellent process mapping competencies by including accomplishments in the experience section to show how you use them.
You can say that you document process maps, liaise with key stakeholders, plan schedules, manage process change, offer assistance to users, and provide feedback on process performance.
Honesty is always the best policy, even when listing your competencies. If you’re tempting to include a keyword of an in-demand proficiency, you have to be ready to demonstrate it when the employer hires you or during the job interview. You can include your competency level for each skill that you add on your resume.
- Beginner — You’re a novice. You lack experience, but you understand the fundamental concepts.
- Intermediate — You’re in-between a beginner and an expert. You lack an understanding of advanced concepts, but you have experience.
- Expert — You have training and experience with the skill. Moreover, you understand advanced concepts.
Let Your Competencies Shine
If you want an employer to interview you, you have to know which competencies you have to include in your resume.
If you’re a fresh graduate, a professional business process analyst, or changing careers, you have to ensure that you include the necessary competencies that your target employer wants, so you get a chance for an interview. Your resume is your gateway for new opportunities. As such, you have to ensure that you’re able to substantiate whatever skills you include.