The global pandemic has undoubtedly taken its toll on the global economy and has forced many people to rethink their careers and apply for new positions as retrenchments loom large. As such, many have been tailoring their resumes and CVs in order to highlight their best skills and showcase their talent. So, how exactly can we best highlight our skills on our resume? And what sort of skills are employers looking for?
Here I explore a few ways to highlight your skills on your resume so that you have a chance in the ever-competitive world of job hunting.
Showcase both hard and soft skills
Employers today are looking for candidates who possess both hard skills and soft skills. Simply put, hard skills refer to technical capabilities – those teachable things that are often studied – whereas soft skills refer to interpersonal skills such as the ability to communicate, handle high-pressure situations, or manage conflict.
Ultimately, you want your resume to reflect your strengths in both of these areas so that potential employers can see your technical abilities and how your personality might fit into their team.
Show your skills, don’t merely state them
While you want to offer prospective employers a clear and concise list of your skills by stating them in an exact list, you will also need to share some concrete examples of achievements and accomplishments in these particular areas.
For example, if communication is one of your core skills, show prospective employers just how effective you are by telling them about those daily social media postings you wrote or the successful series of webinars that you hosted. The best resumes are thus a balancing act between highlighting broad and over-arching skills and sharing some specifics.
Highlight organisation and care by creating an error-free resume
Whatever job you are applying for, organisation and attention to detail are probably paramount. As such, the layout of your CV and the information you choose to share is as telling as your employment history and experience. Thus, you can showcase your organisational skills, attention to detail, and commitment to the job, by ensuring that your resume is error-free, accessible, and well organised. In light of this, it’s well worth asking someone to proofread your resume before you send it off.
Tailor your resume to the specific job
No two jobs are the same, and thus your resume should be slightly modified to reflect the particularities of the job that you are applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing job and the advert mentions networking and communication but also analytics and project management, you’ll want to illuminate how your expertise has equipped you with specific skills in these particular areas. Again, this will require you to reflect on both your hard and soft skills.
What NOT to do
While it’s important to focus on what you should do, here are a few things you should avoid:
Don’t skip the editing part: Be sure to proofread your resume to avoid any unnecessary and possibly damaging errors.
- Don’t embellish or make things up: While we all want to put our best foot forward when it comes to a resume, it is crucial to not make things up. Understandably, most employers will do thorough background checks, and any embellishments could ruin potential career opportunities.
Don’t be vague: Potential employers are looking for the facts, and thus it is imperative to give accurate numbers. If you managed a team of 20, highlight this in your resume and be specific.
Creating a successful resume takes energy and time. However, it is well worth the investment and can go a long way in helping you to secure the job of your dreams.