Skills are talents or expertise that are necessary for an applicant to work on a certain position. They answer the question, "What can I do and what have I done before?". With skills, you can effectively showcase and "sell" yourself as a candidate.
In a resume, recruiters pay close attention to a candidate's skills. This depends on the vacancy and the requirements set by the company itself. While describing one's skills isn't always the most critical point in a resume, it can have a direct effect on an employer's decision to invite you for an interview.
The problem is that a lot of people confuse skills with personal qualities. Oftentimes employers find themselves reading things like, “I share a common language with people, as I know how to work in a team”, as one of the applicant's listed skills. While it's good to know that one can work well with a team, the employer would see this as a thoughtless approach and that the applicant didn't properly adapt themselves for a specific job. If properly justified, it would be a big plus in any resume.
So what skills do recruiters often look for in a resume? It's time to find out.
Management skills aren't just for managers. Likewise, you don't have to lead or supervise a group of people before obtaining managerial skills. A person who possesses these skills knows which direction to take, can form a team, and lead it towards a common goal. This candidate exudes with confidence, is resolute, and knows how to take responsibility. Most of all, they know how to convince others of their own rights, and own up to their mistakes.
Conversational skills are quite useful in many life and work situations. For a person with these skills, it's easier to adapt to a new workplace and join a team. At work, negotiating skills can help defuse a difficult situation, calm a raging client, and even motivate colleagues to achieve their goals. At the same time, presentation and negotiations with partners will be a piece of cake.
If you possess negotiating skills, make sure to describe them in detail in your resume, and back up with real examples from your practice.
This doesn't mean you have to know the answers to all the questions, or solve all the problems that may arise in the course of your professional career. However, this isn't a reason to run to the head of the company, in the hope that they'll solve the issue for you.
By honing your research skills, it's easier to know where to look for answers, who to talk to, which specialist to contact, and formulate solutions based on the information at hand. Having research skills gives you the upper hand in any work environment.
Many people fear change. They're afraid to get out of their comfort zone. Sometimes, this is understandable. After all, adapting to change can be difficult. But for a company to grow, it's necessary for employees to grow - and change - with it.
With practical skills, you can function and meet the demands of your workplace. So if you think you're flexible, can adapt to any given situation, and work efficiently in an era of change, go ahead and write about it in your resume.
Foreign Language Skills
In certain job positions, employers would often prefer candidates who know foreign languages. Polyglots tend to have higher chances of getting decent, highly paid jobs, particularly in international companies.
It goes without saying that good command in several different languages boosts your chances of getting hired fast. So let potential employers know about your foreign language skills by mentioning it in your resume.
Points to Ponder
1. Learn to distinguish skills from personal traits/qualities. Patience and dependability, for instance, are personal qualities; while friendliness and empathy are examples of communication skills.
2. Adjust your resume according to a specific job. List down specific skills that an employer may find useful. Read the job description carefully before turning in your resume.
3. Don't include more than 3 skills. And then, justify each skill in a concise manner. For example, if you want to let an employer know that you're a multi-tasker, consider adding 5 to 10 projects you've led from a previous job.
4. If you think there's nothing to write about in this regard, it's better to not write anything at all instead of adding false information in the hopes of pleasing an employer.
Skills are a delicate thing. Because of this, Resumance highly suggests not to take any risks or overlook the importance of a good resume. To be on the safe side, get the help of a professional writer to guide you in writing a winning resume.
Posted by Abigail Jackson
Abigail Jackson is the Editor-in-Chief at Resumance. After earning her degree in Psychology and working for several years as a career adviser, she is now working as an independent career consultant and a seasoned resume writer. You can get in touch with Abigail on Twitter @theresumance.