It can be difficult to write a good resume. You want to keep your resume short and sweet whilst also ensuring that key skills are mentioned and emphasised to give you the best chance of receiving an interview request.
When looking through a resume hiring managers pay particular attention to the set of skills that you include. Having the right skills included on your resume can make the difference between hearing back from a company and hearing nothing.
In this article we will consider the most important skills to include on your resume to give you the best chance of getting hired.
Best Soft Skills for your Resume
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
Communication is a vital skill for almost all work job positions. Whether you’re working in an office or out in the field completing your duties, hirers want to know that you can be clear, concise and thoughtful in your communication.
Solving problems is crucial in many job positions. It’s important that you show potential employers that you are capable of thinking through problems in a logical way and able to come to valid solutions.
Critical thinking is defined as ‘the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.’. This is a very important skill for many job positions as it highlights the ability to break down complex issues into small tasks that can be solved.
Flexibility is important to many employers as it shows that you are able to work independently in a range of environments and that you won’t feel unable to complete tasks when faced with something unexpected.
Leadership is an important soft skill that can be hard to master. If you’re applying for a position where you will be managing others then it’s important to provide leadership as a skill and also provide example so this elsewhere in your resume.
Few roles nowadays can be completed in complete isolation. Being able to demonstrate your teamwork skills can be especially important if you’re going to be managing people or working in a large team where collaboration and communication is important.
Your ability to organise yourself is crucial in any position. This is a great soft skill to include in positions where you might be dealing with multiple stakeholders or clients. Administrative positions also require a high level of organisation so it can be a great skill to have here.
Best Hard Skills for your Resume
- Software Skills
- Data Analysis
- Project Management
If you’re going to be working on a computer then it’s likely you have some software skills.
This can range from word processing and spreadsheets through to domain specific software such as those used in architecture, software engineering or highly technical jobs.
If you are an Excel pro and are applying for a role where you’ll be in spreadsheets a lot then don’t forget to mention your software skills.
Many positions call for a strong understanding of design or user experience.
This is most obvious in jobs that directly require design (think Graphic Designers) but is also very important in a number of less obvious job roles.
For example if you’re applying for a Product Manager role then obviously your management skills are key but it might also be very useful to showcase that you have a good understanding of user experience. Being able to demonstrate this shows that you are able to support across a range of roles and increase your apparent flexibility to help out across tasks.
The ability to analyse data and come to conclusions is super important in a number of roles. From marketing through to finance roles showcasing your ability to analyse data shows that you can make fact based decisions which will positively impact business outcomes.
This is an important skill for a range of positions but it’s probably most relevant in sales or marketing positions. If you’re applying for any position that will require speaking with clients or persuade people for any reason then including negotiation as one of your skills would be a great idea.
A well written resume will demonstrate your writing ability more clearly than simply listing the skill. If writing is important to the position you’re applying for then it is important to include it.
If you’re applying for a position that requires the ability to write to a certain ability, in a specific language or to a specific audience then it can be useful to include this on your skills list.
- Writing in Spanish - advanced
Languages are a great, often overlooked, skill that you can include on your resume. If you’re working for an international company or are likely to be working with colleagues from other countries then being able to speak another language can be a large advantage to you.
Project management is a broad skill that can be important to include on your resume if you’re going to be in a position that will require you to do a lot of planning. Employers love to see organised and self starting individuals and strong project management skills demonstrate your ability to plan ahead and enable work to start.
Find target keywords
The examples above give you a strong set of skills to start adding to your resume however if you still feel they don’t quite match then perhaps you should start looking for target keywords.
Target keywords are skills that are listed in the job description of the role you’re applying to and will help you recognise the skills that the hirer values.
How to Showcase Skills on your Resume
Having the right skills is essential when applying for any job position but knowing how to showcase the skills is often overlooked.
At JustRemote we have seen a lot of resume’s and the ones that stand out are always well formatted. If your resume is crammed with information and written in a tiny font size then you’ve added too much information. The best resume’s utilise white space in their layout and allow the hirer to easily see the information they’re looking for.
When it comes to showcasing your skills we recommend that you include a highlights section.
This section can be as simple as a list of well organised bullet points to show, at a glance, the skills that you would bring to the job.
You have to remember that on average resume’s only get glanced at initially and you want to be able to draw in the hirer by highlighting immediately that you have the correct credentials for the position.
How to order skills on your Resume
Remember that list of target keywords we talked about above?
Once you’ve identified the skills are started to showcase them on your resume it’s important to remember that relevance is key.
If particular skills are mentioned multiple times in the job description then it’s likely these are more relevant and therefore should be shown higher in your list of skills.
Equally if a job description is listing particular skills, software or languages that are crucial then it’s likely that the hirer has put the most important skill at the top of that list. The meet their expectations try to mimic this order in the resume to show that you also place greater value on their most crucial skills.