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Career Planning: Resume Writing- Skills Matter

For a recent graduate or a student continuing your education, you may find that utilizing a skills section of your resume can be a useful tool to supplement a less than abundant professional work history. It’s an important part of resume writing. Admissions directors and potential employers will use this short section to better understand that you have the right skills to exceed the basic standards of the college program or job you are applying to.

Read more about resumes in our resume writing series:

  • Overview
  • Education
  • Work History
  • Honors, Awards, and Accomplishments
  • Activities
  • Avoiding the Top 10 Pitfalls of Resume Writing

Since the lessons you learn throughout your academic and professional career may not always be quantifiable or related to a particular job or task, listing these skills in your resume is a great way to address them in an understandable and succinct manner.

Tips for crafting a skills section

How fast can you type? Are you adept at frequently used software programs? What technical or vocational abilities do you have? What other career related skills are you talented in? Answering these questions will give you a better idea of how to build your skills section in 4-6 bullet points to boost the overall content of your resume.

Remember, while employers particularly may want to know that you have a basic understanding of computer programs, try not to limit yourself to one category of skills and above all, be specific. Listing general skills will seem as if you copied a standard list, while covering a few categories of skills with specificity will make your resume pop.

What skills are important?

Always list skills that will help a college admissions director or employer better understand how you will perform in a college or work environment. Keep in mind to list skills that show how you well you can:

  • Accomplish a particular task or job (i.e.: How fast you type)
  • Work in a specific field or industry (i.e.: HTML experience)
  • Adapt yourself to any environment (i.e.: Your personality traits or communication style) 

Example:

  • Types 40+ WPM
  • Beginner knowledge of HTML and Web Design
  • Takes on multiple responsibilities with ease
  • Advanced Spanish language speaking skills

By using a basic bulleted format above and including specific information about the unique skills you can offer a college or employer, you should be able to improve the content of your resume. However, if you need more help to write an effective skills section, use a professional resume writing service to ensure that your resume stands out in the crowd.

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