When it comes time to build a resume, there are a few questions you have to ask yourself. What font will I use? Will I list my experience by chronology or relevance? And of course, should I have a separate skills section? The answer is yes! However, if you’d like a more thorough answer than that, keep on reading to find out why it will help you.
Benefits of A Skills Section
Skills are certainly something you should have on your resume. However, you may be wondering if it’s worth it to break them out into a separate section. Almost always, the answer is yes. Your mileage will certainly vary depending on industry and field, but it’s certainly valuable. A dedicated skills section is at it’s most useful on the first page of a resume. Having those skills on the front page will also help you get past pesky keyword filters. It will also catch the eye of any hiring manager looking at the resume. These two functions should be enough to encourage you to do so, but if not, we’ll explain further.
It’s widely known that your resume has around 60 seconds of time in front of a hiring manager before it’s tossed or kept. If your skills are listed, it may help you make stand out in those 60 seconds. Wondering why? Compare a resume with a skills section to one without. The one without probably has them built into the experience section’s bullet points. However, this means that finding them within the resume is a longer process. Leading with them on the front page makes it easier to realize you are qualified. Don’t leave them out of the experience section if it makes sense to have them, just highlight them separately. This should help you get noticed!
How to Format It
So we’ve established that you should have a skill section- now we’re going to talk about how you should do it. It should be on the front page, and towards the top so it draws attention. The skills you list should also be phrased the same way they are on the job description. This will help any keyword detection software they may be using notice them. For example, if the job description lists ‘Facebook Ads’, your resume skills should say it that way, not ‘Facebook Advertising’. Phrasing is important, and you should also worry about formatting.
They should all be listed in a consistent fashion. If you are listing the skills as single words, list them all that same way. Don’t use sentences with some and not others. You can also choose to list them alphabetically, or by importance. It may also make sense to break them down into categories. For example, you may sort a group of skills under ‘Software’. However you decide to list them, make sure they are consistent.
Lastly, make sure they are legible. If they are all mashed up together into one line, it may make it challenging to read. Furthermore, if the skills are tough to read, you lose the benefit of them being easily recognized by hiring managers. As long as you keep all of these things in mind, you will have a great skills section. It’s a great way to increase the visibility of your resume, and hopefully receive more calls!