Essential Skills for Resumes

Essential Skills for Resumes – What Skills to put in the CV

Most people think it is easy to list the essential skills for resumes. On the contrary, it isn’t. You have to be sure about what skills the employer actually wants to see. Because nobody likes to be bogged down in unnecessary details while sorting through many CV’s. This is one of the biggest reasons why your CV is getting rejected in the shortlisting phase.

Today, we will see what are the essential skills for resumes. We will try to describe how best to write this section on your CV as well. 

Why is the Skills section important?

The Skills section is one of the 3 most important sections on a CV or resume. (Speaking of which, did you know that CVs and resumes are not the same?) This section is important because it highlights the keywords related to the job. These days the companies are using automatic systems to scan and shortlist candidates. These systems are called Applicant Tracking Systems. 

Whether automated or manual, they always look for the relevant keywords in your CV. Your skills section shows them in clear highlight. You can and should also categorically divide them in between hard and soft skills. 

What are the hard skills and soft skills in a resume?

Your Hard Skills are those that are directly related to a job specifically. Accordingly, these skills can only be picked up via specialized education or training. Or, you may have found them through experience as well. Either way, hard skills are specific to a job. They are also essential for a job. If the company sees a vital skill necessary for the job missing from the list, you might get shortlisted. Especially when they don’t provide training.

On the other hand, your Soft Skills refer to generalized skills that are common to most work. These could have been picked up in any way; even self-taught. You can also list the techniques you use to adapt to a job. For example, typing skills, using ms-office, or teamwork all are good soft skills you should list.

How to list your skills on the resume

Now you are wiser about what job skills are and why they are important. So, let us move on to how you can list them correctly. Then you can stand out in the CV heap.

1. Fit your skills to the job

Make sure the skills you are listing pertain to the work itself. The HR looking for web developers doesn’t need to know about your driving skills. In fact, it might just irritate him.

2. Mention proficiency level with skills

Just listing the skills is not enough. The employer should, at a glance, be able to know how good you are at them. So, make sure you put a proficiency level beside each skill you list. You can use a simple beginner / advanced/expert scale, or a 0 to 5 rating scale.

3. List experience supporting the skills

Your skills and experience sections should rhyme together nicely. The experience section should reflect information related to the skills you have written.

4. Transferable skills are good

If you are switching careers, list the skills that you can use in both jobs. This is going to show that you have some grasp on the new subject. Also, HR knows that you won’t be completely lost in the beginning.

5. Universal skills are good too

Some skills may be useful everywhere. These are generally soft skills. Make sure you mention 2-3 of them. Then, you can sound worldly and evolve.


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