Are you switching industries? Returning to work after some time away? Not sure your experience really shows off what you can offer? Do you have a generalist background with a wide variety of skill sets?
All of these situations can make it difficult to concisely describe what you can do for a potential employer. While a well-written summary statement can give a high level overview, sometimes you want to show the depth or breadth of your experience in a snapshot for a potential employer. That’s a good time to consider using a “Key Skills” section in your resume.
What is a “Key Skills” section on a resume?
The Key Skills section allows you to outline what you think are the most valuable aspects of your expertise. It’s a great tool for targeting your resume to a particular job opportunity, because you can tweak your list to reflect the specific job requirements.
If you’re looking for a role where certain keywords are going to catch a recruiter’s attention, consider how this section can work for you.
Which are my key skills?
Some common items listed in this area are areas of responsibility, like budgeting, P&L, business development, market research, strategic planning and more.
In some cases it’s also appropriate to list technologies in this area. For instance, a web developer might list PHP, ASP, Joomla, and other web technologies.
In the HR world, the list might include specific procedures, laws and regulations, like FMLA, EEO, OSHA, workers compensation and more.
Where do my Key Skills belong on a resume?
They most often appear after a resume summary, but before work experience. Because this information appears in the top third of your first page, you’ll want to pay extra attention to how you portray your experience. Often, a recruiter or hiring manager will only thoroughly read the summary and key skills, so you’ll want to be sure to always target the particular job that you’re applying for.
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