Every single time you sit down to type your resume, how you wish you could read the minds of potential employers! Figuring out what they are exactly looking for can be mind-boggling.
So, does that mean you write a complete essay going gaga about your achievements and skills? No. Employers have to go through hundreds of resumes everyday, and they read the same ‘excellent communication skills’ and ‘team orientation’ in almost all the applications that they receive.
If your resume is nothing but a copy of an Internet sample, it will simply be glossed over. Therefore, instead of writing a mini-autobiography, putting in a few job-oriented skills would be a better option. Though the skills you put in will vary according to the job you are applying for, and should be relevant to the current requirements for a particular job, here are a few basic ones to help you out. Most companies look out for these skills when looking to hire a candidate, they believe will be a true asset to them. With these skills highlighted on your resume, your chances at getting the job will get a huge boost.
1. Start With a Cover Letter
A cover letter is one of the several ways in which you can make your resume stand out. Writing a good cover letter takes some practice, and one can benefit from shared experiences of job seekers, who have written cover letters for their resume.
- A cover letter is a document which explains your education, work experience, and your skills relevant to the position being applied for.
- It enables the employer to understand you as a professional even before they look at your actual qualifications.
- The letter should be brief and specific in regard to the position, your relevant education, work experience, a short listing of your skills, and why you think the job is suitable for you.
- This is the first document that an employer will see, and it increases your chances of being accepted, if made professionally.
2. Analytical and Conceptual Skills
- Your analytical skills deal with your ability to visualize a problem and come up with a logical solution for the same.
- An analytically-skilled individual can not only figure out the problems in the organization, but also comes up with different ideas to solve them.
- Conceptual skills help an individual to see the organization as a whole, which will enable him to come up with ideas for smooth functioning of the company.
- Include instances where you have used this ability, either from educational or work experiences.
3. Organizational and Planning Skills
Organizational and planning skills are a very essential part of any resume.
- They include goal-setting, i.e. to plan a given task and finish it in the given time.
- Not only do good organizational skills benefit you professionally, they also help you in your personal growth.
- If your work is well-planned, there will be fewer errors, which will, in turn, save your time and energy.
- Fewer errors automatically result in increased productivity. This is one skill that is highly valued by employers.
4. Interpersonal Skills
These are the skills we use in our day-to-day lives to communicate and interact with people around us.
- Effective interpersonal skills not only help us to get work done faster but also to develop a friendly environment at work.
- They also help you to work effectively as a team as well as encourage your fellow team members.
- These are also helpful in solving a dispute.
- Leadership is also a part of interpersonal skills. Encouraging and motivating people to work as a team will definitely make them develop faith in you.
- An individual with good interpersonal skills will have good listening skills and proper body language.
5. Personal Skills
Personal skills are your strengths which will prove beneficial for the company’s growth. These include the following:
» Self-motivated: An individual who lacks any kind of enthusiasm towards his work is the last thing that employers want. To be able to encourage others, you should yourself be self-motivated. It helps give your best to work, and will in turn motivate the others around you.
» Adaptability: Employers always look for an employee who is adaptable to changes, and is open to new and creative ideas of working. An individual with adaptability and multitasking skills is always respected.
» Responsible: No employer will want an employee who is irresponsible towards his/her duties. A sense of responsibility ensures your employers that you value your work, and that they can rely on you.
» Punctual: This is another quality that is valued at a workplace. Being punctual develops a feeling of respect and trust towards you. You are regarded as a reliable person if you are punctual.
» Innovative: Employers always look for an individual who can come up with new and creative ideas for the betterment of the company.
» Dynamic: A person who is dynamic, energetic, and has a positive attitude towards life is a source of inspiration to other employees.
» Good Learner: Any employee should always be ready to learn new things, no matter what age or background they come from. With rapid technological developments, there is always scope for change. If you possess this skill, you will always be appreciated wherever you go.
6. Technical/Computer Skills
Technical skills are a must when applying for any kind of job. Computers are inescapable in the way business is carried out today.
- To start with, one must be very well-trained in operating Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
- Other computer skills to put on a resume vary with your qualifications and the job profile.
- For instance, a database management job will require you to have relevant experience or knowledge of software like MS Access or Excel.
- For a design job, you need to be acquainted with Adobe Photoshop and other such software.
- Basic knowledge of using the Internet is another prerequisite.
What Not to Do
Although the above sections deal with skills which must necessarily find a place on your resume, there are also certain aspects of resume writing which must be avoided at all costs.
✘ Do Not Lie: Why? It’s simple, really. Liars are caught, sooner rather than later. It’s unprofessional to inflate achievements and show experience for work you have never been remotely near to. Plus, in a world overflowing with social media and search engines, it isn’t difficult for an employer to run a quick background check on you. Or they can hire companies to do it, in which case, you may be left unemployed and blacklisted.
✘ Outdated Info: Try and cull whatever irrelevant information your resume may have been burdened with over the years. Employers are interested in skill sets which are readily applicable to their business models. They will not be interested in volunteer work or old college projects that you may have undertaken. Keep what recent certifications you have obtained, any tech-related skills, and whatever is applicable for the position. Filter out the rest.
✘ No Photos Please: Employers are not (usually) interested in the way you look. It’s your skills that matter to them. Leave your smiling mugshot off the resume, unless of course you are trying for a modeling assignment.
✘ Talking About Your Dog: No human resource manager wants to know how well you have trained Spotty. They require the talents you have, and how useful you can be to the company. All other tidbits about your family life and the warmth of the small town where your formative years were spent, is just irrelevant to them. Focus on what professional impression you wish to make.
It is very important that you show instances of how you have displayed each skill, so that the employer believes you. Even if you do not have experience, explain how you have demonstrated that skill in other areas of your life, in brief. If you have documentation for your past experiences, even better. Try to be as precise as possible in drafting your resume, for it is the ambassador of your skills and talents.