The biggest mistake experienced professionals make on their resumes!

Don’t make any typos on your resume!

Have your accomplishments clearly stated in your resume!

Have a professional email address in the contact section of your resume!

All this advice is invaluable and must be followed by all jobseekers. But I’ve noticed a mistake that most, especially more experienced people are making in their resumes — Not-mentioning specific skills when writing a resume because those skills come so naturally to them that they don’t even think of them as skills. A Project Manager may think, “Well, of course, I am well-organized and have communication and leadership skills. But in my world, everyone has those skills!” Unfortunately, these skills are second nature to you, and you might think they are not worth mentioning on your resume. If an ability is crucial to the type of work you do, it should be included on your resume. Do not minimize the importance of your skills simply because they come easily to you.

But How do I know what to include?

Two words — RELEVANCE and INTEGRITY

Include what’s relevant to the job you are applying for (relevance) and ONLY include the skills that you’ve acquired (integrity).

On average, recruiters receive 250 resumes in response to a job posting and spend 6–10 seconds scanning through the resumes. If you don’t stand out, then you won’t receive the interview calls you were waiting for.

Types of Skills

Two kinds of skills hiring managers and recruiters look for in a resume: Hard Skills and Soft skills.

Hard skills are basically technical skills that you (most probably) have learned through training or education. These are job-specific skills. For example, hard skills for a Digital Marketing Manager would be SEO/SEM, whereas, for a Finance Manager, a hard skill would be Accounting and Financial Reporting.

Soft Skills are skills that are closely tied to your personality and get highlighted in various situations at work. An example would be communication skills, people skills, management & leadership skills, etc.

Most often, soft skills get ignored in a resume because they are so ingrained in you that you don’t even consider them as “skills.”

So what do I do now?

Here’s a step-by-step approach to making sure you are not missing your skills on your resume.

Step 1: Take an inventory — Make a list of all the skills specific to your job profile/industry (hard and soft).

As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

I’d start by sitting and taking an inventory of all the skills, hard and soft that you’ve acquired in your previous jobs. Look at your days and evaluate in detail all the skills you put to work. If you deal with cranky vendors on payment terms, categorize that as negotiation skills. If you are tact to deal with stressed-out bosses and co-workers, that’s your people skills.

Step 2: Do the Matching — Match skills to the job you are applying for

Not all skills you’ve acquired may be relevant to the job you are applying for. Pick the ones that match the job at hand. It could be a difficult task once you’ve made the list of skills in step 1. The best way is to read the job description more than once and highlighting the critical ones necessary for a particular job.

Step 3: Quantify the impact

Here it would help if you answered a “so what” question.

Example: In my past role, I successfully implemented Oracle at XYZ Inc.

SO WHAT?

In my past role, I successfully implemented Oracle at XYZ Inc. that generated overhead cost savings of $1.2M and reduced the time-spent by 400 hours annually.

Do remember that not all projects will be quantifiable but always try to answer the “so-what” question in your resume when mentioning skills.

I continue to hear from people on how they don’t hear back from hiring managers and recruiters. If you’re able to leverage your top skills and capabilities throughout your resume, you’ll definitely attract more interviews.

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