In order to land your target job, you’ll need to demonstrate you have the skills your employers are looking for. To do that, you’ll have to create a CV that’s complete, detailed, and in perfect alignment with the requirements of the position. Because most employers have a large pool of candidates to sift through, you won’t even get past the first gate unless your CV contains one essential quality: memorability. Here are a few tips for crafting a truly unforgettable CV skill section.
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How to write a skills section on a CV?
The first step to writing a skills section on your CV is to direct your attention to the requirements listed in the job posting. By matching your skills to the specific job posting requirements, you are actually increasing your chances of moving to the next stage and being selected for an interview.
The skills section allows a hiring manager to confirm that you have the specific skills necessary for the job position. This also ensures that your CV includes the right keywords to be read by an applicant tracking system (ATS). As you may know, many companies are using ATS to scan CV in order to streamline the hiring process. An ATS will no doubt be looking for certain keywords from the job posting. The more words you match, the better your chances of being considered for an interview.
Top skills to include in your CV and examples
Now that you are ready to list your top skills, take a few moments to compare your skills to those listed in the job posting. Be sure that the skills you highlight on your CV clearly show a hiring manager that you indeed possess the necessary skills in the role.Here are 15 powerful skills to include on a CV:
- Problem solving
- Customer service
- Public speaking
- Active listening
- Computer skills
- Analytical skills
- Technical skills
- Decision making
- Creative thinking
- Time management
- Detail oriented
Differences between hard skills vs. soft skills
Hard skills are teachable, measurable abilities that you learn in school, training, certification programs or through on-the-job experience. Hard skills would include:
- Foreign languages
- Equipment operation
Soft skills are typically from personality traits, those that make you a good employee. Soft skills may include:
- Good listening
- Problem solving
- Time management
- Interpersonal skills
Tips to writing a memorable skills section
Move past the obvious
For almost any professional job except those at the bottom rung of the entry level, certain skills are considered essential and more or less universal. There’s no need to boast about or even mention your basic familiarity with the MS Office suite. This won’t set you apart, and neither will spoken and written communication skills or leadership skills. If you really do stand out in these areas, be specific.
Too often, CV skills sections become long, forgettable laundry lists. If your section is becoming a bland list of empty words, change course. Delete most of the items on the list and leave only the ones that truly leave a mark. For example, it’s fine to mention CPR certification or CNC programming experience. Better a short list of unusual skills than a long list of words that flow together and blur in a reader’s memory.
Reserve the first lines of your skills section for the skills that bear the most relevance to your target job. Choose the software proficiencies, language skills, artistic skills, and clinical skills that will bring the greatest benefit to your potential employers. Toward the end of the list, you can include personal projects, sports, travel, or indirectly relevant areas of expertise. For any other problems that you might have with your CV, be sure to use our CV builder tool. We’re here to help ensure the rest of your CV looks as great as the skills section.