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Job Candidates Must Emphasize Skills, Experts Say

resume, mistakes Credit: Resume image via Shutterstock

With so many people going after a limited number of jobs, it is critical that job seekers make the most of the chances they have. One of the first impressions employers have of a job candidate comes from their resume. When reviewing a resume, many employers will focus on the skills section. The skills section tells an employer what type of job the candidate would be good for and whether the candidate has what it takes to succeed in the position they are hiring.

Steve Bradley, owner of Quality-Resumes.com, believes the most important skills to include on a resume are those that surround team-building.

"More and more jobs are requiring employees to work in teams a significant amount of the time, if not on a full-time basis," Bradley wrote on the Yahoo Contributor Network.

He said job candidates should be sure to mention they can both work as part of a team and lead a team when necessary.

The website CareerGuru recommends job seekers give extra attention to the hard skills they posses, such as the capacity to use a computer, analytical skills and any other industry-specific traits.

"Hard skills are necessary to determine how qualified a candidate is for the job that he or she is applying for," the website advises. "Capitalizing on hard skills shows that the job applicant is capable and qualified to thrive in that specific work environment, as well as being specialized in a certain type of task."

Randall S. Hansen and Katharine Hansen from Quintessential Careers said job candidates must use their resumes to highlight their communication skills, which includes the ability to listen, write and speak effectively.

When discussing communication skills on a resume, they advise in an article on their website to say something that highlights abilities, like, "Exceptional listener and communicator who effectively conveys information verbally and in writing."

With social media playing an increasingly large role for businesses, highlighting skills relating to Facebook, Twitter and other pertinent social networks is also critical for candidates.

"Social media is a very powerful tool in today's market, particularly LinkedIn," Sarah Wright, the lead client representative for the Virginia-based ROCS staffing firm, said in an interview with U.S. News. "In addition, having a familiarity with Google +, knowing the ins and outs of Facebook, and staying savvy on Twitter-speak could be valuable skills to highlight on your resume."

Kim Isaacs, a resume expert for the career website Monster.com, said while hard to prove, those searching for a job should feature adaptive skills, such as reliability, ability to get along with colleagues, honesty and productivity, on their resumes.

"These skills are the hardest to substantiate as they include personality traits and characteristics that determine your work style," Isaacs wrote in an article on the website.

When it comes to the number of skills to include on a resume, she advises that job seekers select 10 to 15 of their strongest, most desirable skills.

"A short, targeted skills list will be more effective than one that's long and overwhelming," she wrote.

Just as important as what you include in the skills section of the resume is what you don't. Miriam Salpeter, social media strategist and consultant for job seekers and entrepreneurs, said it's important to ensure that skills sound current.

"Avoid old-fashioned references and language that makes the reader think you are stuck in the past or lacking useful skills," Salpeter wrote in her blog.  "If you work with computer programs, be sure to reference the most up-to-date software versions."

While your skill set might not make you a match for every open job, accurately describing what you are good at in your resume will help you land the job that is the best fit.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily and business.com, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.