On a resume, your skills are an area that are of particular importance to a potential employer. They want to know if you possess the skills and talent necessary to successfully perform the job, and to benefit their company in some way. It is essential that you prepare this information in a way that is brief, yet still highlights your capabilities so that an employer easily recognizes what you can do for their company. In this article, you will learn more about how to write the skills section of your resume in a professional manner, so that you are one of the candidates most suited for the job.
Resume skills and abilities are NOT the same thing
Many job applicants mistakenly believe that skills, responsibilities and abilities are one and the same, but this is not the case. On your resume, skills refers to those things where you can quantify the effectiveness of how knowledgeable you are in computers, for example. Skills are something that you gain as a result of actually doing, and that improve over time with practice. For example, you may be an expert in certain computer software programs, because you have used those programs extensively and built your knowledge base.
On the other hand, abilities simply indicate your capacity to perform, in a physical or mental sense. You may be ‘able’ to do something, but that doesn’t mean you have practice or skills in that area. Employers want concrete evidence that you have actual on-hands experience and are capable of doing the work involved, which is directly related to skills you have acquired through action.
How to include resume skills that impress an employer
There are various ways you can write information with the same basic meaning. This information can be presented in a way that is dull and flat, drawing little interest from an employer, or it can be written in a professional, dynamic manner that grabs their attention. Here are a few skills that look impressive on a resume, and that will likely get a reaction from a potential employer:
Leadership skills, time-management skills, business management skills, organizational skills, teaching skills, decision-making skills, etc. In each example, you would need to quantify the results of these skills so that an employer recognizes the impact you may have on their business. For example, you may want to describe your people management skills by including a sentence about your last job, in which you ‘managed 5 employees and increased productivity.’
In order to rise to the top of potential job candidates, you want to include key skills that highlight your strong points, especially those directly related to the position in question. Include any skill that demonstrates your ability to organize, communicate, prioritize or analyze. If you have strong verbal or personal communication skills, or are great when it comes to creative thinking, show off your skills! You will be one step ahead of the rest of the crowd.