Constructing the perfect resume is one of, if not the single most important part of the job search process. Why? Most recruiters only have mere seconds to look at each applicant’s document, so if you don’t stand out right away, you can forget about moving to the interview or hiring stage.
It sounds harsh, but fortunately, with just a little extra time spent perfecting your resume, you can ensure yourself the best possible chance at landing the role. In this article, we’re specifically looking at the best job skills to include on your resume. Even if you’re going for a position that calls for mass hiring, like warehouse associate or construction worker, including these skill types and writing about them in the right way will all but guarantee you at least a second look.
Keep in mind that every job posting is unique, and your resume skills should match the given description so you’re not at risk of being “filtered out” by automated systems. If you’re ready to take your resume game to the next level, keep reading!
When it comes to occupational skills, the most important aspect is optimizing and matching your skills to the industry in which you’re applying. For example, consider a job in construction. If the task at hand calls for experience with flooring and drywall, showing off your past work with skid steer driving and well drilling is not necessarily the best way to prove your competence. Read and re-read the job description and break down past projects into their parts, extracting the elements that align with your desired role. For any position, think of skills that emphasize your:
- Problem-Solving Ability
- Attention to Detail
Computer and Tech Skills
Nearly every job requires a basic understanding of computers, and demonstrating proficiency with industry-standard software is an excellent way to qualify for more positions. This category of skills can be broken down further into hardware or software. Hardware skills refer to anything that has to do with operating a physical computer. You might want to consider including:
- Ability to operate a computer
- Ability to operate any type of specialized machinery or devices
- Connecting machines to networks
- Ability to complete basic or advanced repair work
- Ability to change parts or fix broken devices.
Software skills refer to the use of computer programs and applications. These are often prerequisites for administrative or office-type roles, although it can never hurt to add these if you possess them! Be sure to note if you hold basic proficiency, intermediate knowledge or expert ability, as you wouldn’t want to face tasks you’re unprepared for on the job. Popular software skills to consider at any level are:
- Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Presentation Software (Powerpoint, Keynote, Google Slides)
- Spreadsheets (Excel, Google Sheets)
- Professional email communications
- Graphic Design
- Operating systems (Windows and MacOS)
Being Bilingual has been called a “resume superpower” and if you do happen to be, that’s a detail you should include on every resume you submit. Demand for bilingual employees has greatly increased in the U.S. job market, and this is a great way to stand out as an applicant, even without a significant amount of past professional experience.
On your resume, give language skills its own section, and be sure to list each language you speak (other than English) along with your proficiency level. This skill is so valuable to have, you might want to consider including it in your resume introduction and/or cover letter as well. You’ll once again want to keep it honest when it comes to your proficiency level, as this could come back to haunt you if you’re assigned tasks you’re not equipped to handle on the job. Here are a few ways to consider phrasing your proficiency:
- Advanced: fluent, native speaker
- Mid-range: conversational, intermediate, professional
- Beginner: elementary, basic, limited working proficiency
All kinds of roles require physical abilities, like construction, warehousing, landscaping, trade technicians and much more. Jobs that deal in daily tasks that require candidates to remain on their feet will like to see proof that you’re up to the challenge. It’s important here to list past experiences and physical abilities that align with the unique needs of the role(s) you applied for. Common physical strength tasks in professional environments are:
- Lifting and carrying heavy objects – List a weight you’re comfortable with (i.e. 30lbs and ensure it’s equal to or greater than what’s being asked if applicable)
- Standing on feet continuously
- Eye-hand coordination
- General coordination and agility in fast-moving environments
- Endurance during long shifts
- General physical fitness
“Soft” skills are an often overlooked, but no less important element of the resume. Everyone wants to work a meaningful and enjoyable job, and a huge part of that comes down to having responsible and respectful co-workers. Virtually every position requires some degree of communication, teamwork and leadership. When it comes to soft skills, the best way to put them on a resume is not by simply listing them, but by incorporating your intrapersonal strengths in descriptions of your past experiences. That being said, here are some of the top qualities and traits recruiters look for to get you started:
- Decision Making
- Leadership – delegating tasks and motivating others
- Negotiation and strategic planning
- Communication, written and verbal
- Flexibility and ability to adapt to any situation or team configuration
- Active listening and strong collaborator
So how do you prove you actually possess the skills you claim to have? One of the best ways is with a certification. Typically granted by educational institutions or independent industry groups, these can either be a prerequisite for specialized roles, or a strong enhancement for recruiters looking for candidates who have a demonstrated interest in their own professional development. Additionally, obtaining a certification can be a way to make up for limited practical experience. Either way, give your certifications an individual and prominent placement on your resume. For each one, include the following:
- Certification title
- Name of the Host/Awarding Organization
- Date Earned and/or Perspective Earned Date
- Relevant Associated Skills (i.e. for a First Aid Certification, one might list “CPR and AED training”)
- Optional: Short Program Description (i.e. “six week full-time apprenticeship”)
Best of Luck on the Job Search!
There’s no doubt that the job search process can be stressful, but taking just a little bit of extra time to tailor your resume to your industry and positions of interest can greatly improve your chances of earning a role.
If you’re currently looking, consider applying on the Movo platform. There you’ll find roles across frontline industries with stable pay, full benefits and liability coverage and health insurance from the first month. Signing up for the Movo app is another way to gain access to regular shifts and gig work that fit your desired availability and schedule.