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One of the most important things to know as a job applicant is how to list skills on your resume. You need to create a resume when looking for a job. It is a document that covers your contact details, educational background, and other qualifications. It also includes a skills section that highlights your abilities that are related to the job.
List Skills – Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
When it comes to creating your resume, your skills can be classified as hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to your work experience or knowledge required for the job, such as specific technical know-how. Hard skills include things such as a bachelor’s degree, proficiency in another language, expertise in Excel or financial reporting, and relevant work experience.
On the other hand, soft skills are abilities that are often hard to quantify. They may include communication skills, problem-solving skills, ability to work with a team, or leadership qualities. Regardless of the industry, hiring managers consider both hard and soft skills essential in any work environment. That’s why it is important to include list skills of both types on your resume.
Things to Consider When you List Skills
Through the years, you’ve likely learned a lot of skills and gained significant work experience. But that doesn’t mean that you have to include all of your skills on your resume when applying for a specific position. So how should you create your skills section? Here are some things to consider:
1. Customize the skills section to match the job requirements
As much as possible, make sure to tailor your skills list to the specific job you’re applying for. For instance, if you want to land a job in investment banking, highlight your bachelor’s degree in economics or finance, MBA, and proficiency in Excel and other MS Office programs. If you are applying for an analyst job, list financial modeling certifications, programming languages, and other technical skills that you have.
2. Include multiple resume skills sections
If the job requires different types of skills, you can have several categories of skills. Categories might be “computer skills”, “marketing skills”, etc. Categorizing your skills makes your skill list more well-organized and reader-friendly.
3. Include soft skills
Just as with hard skills, make sure to focus on soft skills that match the requirements of the job. The finance industry typically looks for professionals with excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to work with a team, and problem-solving skills.
4. Add keywords
Hiring managers look at the skills section to know if you have the specific skills needed for the position. To increase your chances of getting noticed, make sure to use resume keywords on your resume. Many employers use automated applicant tracking systems to browse through numerous resumes for keywords related to the job. Only the resumes which include an acceptable keyword match level get further consideration.
5. Avoid including skills that you do not have
This should be a no-brainer. However, when applying for a job in a highly competitive industry, some candidates often list skills that they don’t have, hoping to impress recruiters. Stick to abilities that you genuinely have and highlight them in your skills section. You don’t want to end up like the poor guy who falsely claimed to be fluent in Chinese – and who, based on that claim, was hired to work in a company’s Hong Kong office.
The skills section is your platform to showcase what you can do and offer. While preparing a long list of skills is a good thing, bear in mind that recruiters really only need to know your abilities that are relevant to the open position. Keep your list concise and straightforward, highlighting your most relevant strengths.
We hope you’ve found it helpful reading CFI’s guide to how to list skills on your resume. CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:
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