What are the Best Skills to Highlight on a Resume?

You can’t ignore the skills section! It carries more weight than the rest of the things. Learn about the skills which are a must to mention on your Resume in order to make it appealing yet relevant.

Today’s employment market is competitive, therefore it’s important to make your resume get noticed. Employers often receive numerous applications for a single position, and highlighting the right skills can make a significant difference in grabbing their attention. This article will explore the best skills to highlight on a resume and provide valuable insights into curating your resume to make a lasting impression.

When crafting a resume, it’s essential to present your skills in a way that aligns with the employer’s needs. Your resume should showcase your ability to contribute effectively to the organization and convince the hiring manager that you are the ideal candidate for the job.

Importance of Highlighting Skills on a Resume

Employers value candidates who possess the necessary skills to excel in their roles. By highlighting your skills on a resume, you demonstrate your qualifications and suitability for the position. It helps employers quickly assess your capabilities, saving them time and effort in the hiring process.

highlighting skills on a resume

Identifying Relevant Skills for the Job

To effectively highlight skills on your resume, it’s important to identify the skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. Here are two key steps to achieve this:

  • Researching the Job Description

Thoroughly review the job description and make note of the required skills and qualifications. Look for keywords and phrases that indicate the specific skills the employer is seeking.

  • Analyzing Transferable Skills

Identify transferable skills that you have developed throughout your professional and personal experiences. These skills can be applied across various industries and job roles, making them valuable assets to highlight on your resume.

Core Skills to Highlight on a Resume

When it comes to skills, there are three main categories to focus on: technical skills, soft skills, and industry-specific skills.

core skills to highlight on a resume

  • Technical Skills

Technical skills refer to the abilities and knowledge required for a particular job. They can include proficiency in software programs, programming languages, data analysis, or any other specialized skills relevant to the position.

technical skills

  • Soft Skills

Soft skills, also known as interpersonal or transferable skills, are qualities that enable effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. These skills include leadership, teamwork, communication, adaptability, and time management.

  • Industry-Specific Skills

Industry-specific skills are those that are directly related to the field or industry of the job you are applying for. These skills may include knowledge of specific tools, regulations, processes, or methodologies that are unique to the industry.

Tailoring Skills to the Job

Once you have identified the relevant skills, it’s crucial to customize your resume for each application. Here are two important strategies to consider:

  • Customizing the Resume for Each Application

Don’t submit the same resume for every single position you apply for. Instead, customize your resume to highlight the skills that are specifically requested in the job description. This shows employers that you have taken the time to understand their requirements and are genuinely interested in the position.

  • Prioritizing Relevant Skills

When listing your skills on a resume, prioritize the most relevant ones. Place the skills that directly align with the job requirements prominently, either in a separate skills section or within your work experience descriptions. This ensures that the hiring manager can quickly identify your qualifications.

Showcasing Skills Effectively

Effectively showcasing your skills on a resume requires more than just listing them. Here are two essential techniques to make your skills stand out:

showcasing skills effectively

  • Using Action Verbs and Quantifiable Results

Instead of simply stating your skills, use action verbs to demonstrate your proficiency. For example, instead of saying “proficient in project management,” you can say “successfully managed and delivered projects within budget and ahead of schedule.” Additionally, whenever possible, quantify your achievements with specific numbers or percentages to provide a tangible measure of your success.

Action Verbs show what the subject of a sentence is doing. Some of the actions verbs that should be used in resume are:

  • Including Specific Examples and Achievements

To further strengthen your skills section, include specific examples of how you have utilized your skills to achieve positive outcomes in previous roles. This helps employers understand the practical application of your skills and provides evidence of your capabilities.

Demonstrating Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are often overlooked but can be valuable assets when highlighted correctly. Here are two strategies to demonstrate transferable skills on your resume:

transferable skills

  • Highlighting Skills from Non-Work Experiences

If you lack direct work experience in a particular skill, consider showcasing transferable skills gained from non-work experiences, such as volunteer work, internships, or personal projects. These experiences can provide valuable insights into your abilities and demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and personal development.

  • Emphasizing Skills Developed Through Volunteering or Side Projects

Volunteering or working on side projects can offer opportunities to develop and refine skills that are relevant to your desired job. Highlight these experiences on your resume, especially if they align with the skills required for the position.

Developing Skills Section on a Resume

skills section on a resume

Organizing your skills section effectively ensures that employers can quickly identify your strengths. Consider these tips:

  • Organizing Skills with Bullet Points or Columns

Present your skills using bullet points or columns to create a visually appealing and easy-to-read format. This allows hiring managers to scan your skills section efficiently.

  • Categorizing Skills Appropriately

Categorize your skills based on their relevance to the job. You can create sections such as “Technical Skills,” “Leadership Skills,” or “Communication Skills” to provide a clear and structured overview of your capabilities.

Balancing Skills with Work Experience and Education

work experience and education

While highlighting your skills is important, it’s essential to strike the right balance with your work experience and education sections. Consider these points:

  • Finding the Right Balance

Your resume should provide a holistic view of your qualifications, combining your skills, work experience, and education in a cohesive manner. Avoid overshadowing your work experience or education with an excessive focus on skills.

  • Complementing Skills with Relevant Work History and Education

When describing your work experience and education, weave in relevant skills naturally. Describe how you have applied your skills in real-world situations or how your education has equipped you with the necessary knowledge to excel in the job. By connecting your skills to your work experience and education, you demonstrate the practical application of your abilities.

Keeping Skills Updated

keeping skills updated

Skills requirements evolve over time, and it’s crucial to stay updated and relevant. Here’s what you can do:

  • Continuing Professional Development

Invest in continuous learning and professional development opportunities to enhance your existing skills and acquire new ones. This could include attending workshops, earning certifications, or participating in relevant industry conferences.

  • Learning New Skills and Technologies

Stay abreast of emerging trends and technologies in your field. Acquiring new skills can make you a more attractive candidate and demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to embrace change.

Final Thoughts!

What skills to highlight on a resume is vital for capturing the attention of potential employers. Identify and change relevant skills, showcasing them effectively, and connecting them to your work experience and education. Create a compelling resume that sets you apart from other applicants with help of professionals from Careers Writing.

Incorporating the right skills can significantly increase your chances of securing interviews and landing your desired job. Update and refine your skills to stay competitive in today’s dynamic job market.