One of the best ways to narrow down your skill list is to go through your work experience. Your experience section will showcase all the relevant jobs you’ve had. Try to think of two to three specific skills you used and honed as part of each job. Those are probably the job skills you’ll want to list.
Some of these skills can be considered to be interpersonal in nature they have to do with how you interact with other people. Others are intangible skills that describe how you approach work (such as adaptability, or teamwork), You should also come up with technical skills, or skills that you learn through training that are important in your industry, which may include:
These are all skills that may help you in your job search depending on the competencies hiring managers are looking for.
It’s not practical to just list all the resume skills above. Chances are you’re not equally proficient at all of them, and it would also take up too much space on your resume. This is the time to narrow down your list to anywhere between 5 to 12 skills that will fit the specific job you’re applying for. One exception to this limit: a functional resume, which stresses skills and breaks them out into several categories.
To narrow down your skills, look at resume examples for the types of jobs you’re looking into. It’s also a good idea to look at the job posting and pick out skills that match your own. Often, recruiters will incorporate keywords from the job description in an applicant tracking system (ATS) that will scan incoming resumes. That means employers will be specifically looking for important skills based on the job description.
It’s typically best to determine your top two to three skills while you’re going through the resume writing process. It’s common for job interviewers to ask what your top skills are in the actual interview, and having an answer available for that question will help you answer it more easily. In your resume, highlight those skills first and foremost in your skills section so they catch the recruiter’s eye.
Soft skills and hard skills are both important for most jobs. Your mixture of hard skills and soft skills will inevitably depend on what job you’re applying for. A customer service job will probably lean towards as much as 80% soft skills, whereas a software engineer may lean towards 70% to 80% hard skills. Again, looking at other resume examples in your industry will help you see the types of skills that companies value, allowing you to build a skill set for your resume that stands out.
Entry-level jobs need the same number of skills as higher-level jobs. The only thing that’s different is that you probably don’t have as many skills from previous experiences. Check for any required skills in the job posting, then go through the same process of determining the right skills depending on your past experiences, certifications and knowledge.