How to highlight your skills in a Resume?

A resume must be able to effectively highlight your skills in order to up-sell you to potential employers.

While, a resume is considered as a standard when applying for a job; just having one is not enough. A resume must be able to effectively showcase you and highlight your skills and abilities in order to impress the potential employer and to land you that job interview. This is of course easier said than done.

Whether you are using a skills based resume (one that focuses on your skills rather than your experience) or a traditional one, you can’t deny that skills are important. An employee with skills is sought after second only to an employee with experience; and even an employee with 20 years of experience is not a viable candidate if he doesn’t have skills applicable to the job. So, what skills should you highlight in your resume, and how?

According to the National Association of College and Employers Research, here is a list of the top skills employers are looking for in their 2013 candidates:

  • Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  • Ability to work in a team structure
  • Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  • Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  • Ability to obtain and process information
  • Ability to analyze quantitative data
  • Technical knowledge related to the job
  • Proficiency with computer software programs
  • Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  • Ability to sell or influence others

If any and all of these skills are applicable to you and the job you are applying for, then you must highlight these skills in the skills section of your resume. Another strategy you can follow is to look at the job posting itself. Often the job posting will list the skills that they are looking for in a candidate. If any of skills on the list are applicable to you, then you must list them on your resume. However, mention those skills on your resume, only if they are applicable to you. Do not lie on a resume, if you are caught, that may be the reason you lose out on the job.

Now that we know what skills to highlight on the resume, lets move on to how you can effectively highlight your skills on a resume. First and foremost learn to recognize your strengths; even if you don’t have great work experience, of if this is your first job, you still have skills. These could be from playing a sport or having a hobby, or even from plain old school work.

For example, if you have been playing a sport, then you can list something like this:

Captain (or team member) of a football team for two years.

  • Initiated team practices on a weekly basis
  • Facilitate plays during the game according to unique circumstances
  • Communicate with team of 15 people in order to relay information about game times and locations

This shows leadership skills, initiative, and communication skills.

Or.

If you are overly active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest

  • Manage and regularly update various social media accounts
  • Find and share interesting and relevant information
  • Participate and host discussions on a global media platform

This shows social media integration, research skills, and communication skills.

As you can see essentially anything in your life can be used to shown a relevant skill, even all the hours you spent on Facebook. The only question is how you go about it. If you do it in a right way, ten lack of experience hardly matters. Just think creatively about the things you have done and be honest about what you have taken away from those activities.

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