Everything you need to know about including skills and languages to your resume

March 11, 2021

Perhaps just as significant as experience, resume skills allow recruiters to determine whether you have the necessary qualifications for a job role. It helps them imagine your odds of being successful are and whether you’ll feel comfortable in a particular position. To ensure your skills are convincing, go beyond the ordinary abilities. 

Most people include skills in their resume without much thinking. The most common abilities are communicative, team player, and analytical. These skills are often not loyal to reality, which can be an issue during the interview if recruiters try to verify them.

We will help you to use all of it without going overboard. If you're unsure what's the best way to write a resume section and how to best highlight your abilities, follow our guide. We will ensure that you include all relevant capacities and clear out the doubts. Thus, you will know how to apply the acquired knowledge to our resume editor afterward and fill the skill section.

How to customize your skills section

The crucial element of writing your abilities section is to read the job ad carefully. Your skills should reflect the requirements of your desired employer. So, keep in mind to tailor this section to your future job role. That will increase your chances of landing an interview.

For example, if you’re applying for a social media manager position, list skills that demonstrate you’re tech-savvy and can drive traffic to websites or increase Instagram followers. In that case, a few abilities that you could add are community management, strategic planning, and data analytics.

But if you’re a software engineer, you can list computer programming and coding, software development, and object-oriented design (OOD) as your core abilities.

Remember that a customized skill section allows recruiters to identify if you have the specific capacities they require. Thus, it’s also an effective way to list keywords because many employers use automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen job applicants.

An ATS is typically programmed to seek relevant keywords. If you manage to match that search with many of your relevant skills, you are more likely to reach the recruiter. When crafting this section, you should also ensure to cover all types of skills.

Here are what skills you should include in your resume.

Hard and soft skills

Even though there’s an increasing awareness of hard and soft skills, many candidates are unsure about the difference and how to include them. Employers want to see both types because they show that a job applicant is technically equipped and able to interact with colleagues and solve problems.

Here is the difference between these two.

Hard or technical skills

Regardless of what kind of job you’re applying for, it will require a combination of soft and hard skills. Technical abilities are the ones you gain through formal education, training, certification programs, and courses. When including these skills, they should be job-specific. Ensure you list the ones that correlate with the requirements of your future position. 

Hard skills consist of specific knowledge and competencies you’ll need to perform any job. They are the ones you learn, and they can be specified, evaluated, and quantified. Most recruiters will use technical abilities more than the soft ones to make a comparison between candidates. 

In some cases, they will even conduct a test of job applicants’ hard skills. If that occurs, they will usually re-evaluate these abilities after some time, typically when considering an employee for promotion or transfer. 

Here are examples of hard skills.

Soft skills

The opposite of technical and measurable abilities, the soft ones you use to interact with colleagues and clients, solve problems and navigate the workplace. We mostly refer to them as interpersonal or people skills. Hence, they directly impact how you communicate and collaborate with others.

These skills also include being both a stellar communicator and listener. Empathy, teamwork, and leadership are a part of soft skills. One of the essential workplace abilities falls under this category:  emotional intelligence (EQ). The ability to comprehend and manage emotions is one of the crucial elements to developing a high-performing team. 

They are not teachable. But recruiters care just as much about them as they care about technical abilities. For instance, one can have job-relevant hard skills, such as programming, but if they’re not good at communication, they will probably struggle with teamwork. 

Even if someone is working remotely, they will likely have to interact with their superiors, team, or buyers. It is why they’re crucial for every successful employee. These skills are transferable, so workers can use them no matter in which job position they are. 

Soft skills help people be more adaptable and align with different workplaces, environments, and co-workers. Those that need them the most work in customer service or have to engage in in-person communication daily. 

If you wonder what’s the difference between personal characteristics and soft skills, you’re right to ask. The truth is, they are the same, except that in this case, they’re work-related. After all, our traits determine how we work and what our professional habits are. 

Here are examples of soft skills.

Transferable and job-specific skills

They typically represent a mix of soft and hard skills. The first ones aren’t necessarily related to the job you’re applying for, but since you can use them regardless of your position, they become relevant.

You can develop transferable skills through education, work, hobbies, or even interaction with people. As a blend of hard and soft skills, you can apply them regardless of your current or future career path.

Here are examples of a few transferable skills.

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Job-specific skills are the ones a particular job role requires from you to be successful. Even though they are a mix of soft and hard abilities, they lean toward the technical side. These are the skills that demonstrate you can handle and manage your tasks and responsibilities effectively.

Recruiters typically list the skillset the ideal candidate should have. Those who have the highest number of required abilities are the ones that are most likely to be hired. But if you don’t possess some of the necessary skills but still want to apply, be honest. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a problem if recruiters decide to test your abilities during the interview.

These skills could be redundant in some workplaces and essential in others. For example, a copywriter will have to possess language fluency and know how to research and use WordPress. But a graphic designer should have stellar Adobe CS, Microsoft Office, and print design skills.

Whenever you apply for a job, keep in mind that you should always meet the job-specific abilities. Emphasize these skills and place them in front of others. Combine these with your strength skills to leave a convincing impression.

What you do the best represents your resume strengths. These skills could be job-specific, technical, or soft. The point is, there are not many people who can do that particular thing like you. For example, you might be a marvelous and persuasive communicator. Or perhaps only a few can work in CAD like you. Whatever it is, ensure to bring your strengths to the forefront.

If it is a requirement or could help you on the job position, you should also add that you have a valid driving license in the skills section.

How to include languages in a resume

Bilingualism is always an added-value to a resume, and it puts you ahead of other candidates. Of course, unless the job role doesn’t include any communication, especially with foreigners. Even the employers never know when and why they might need someone who speaks more than one language. It is why you should include them and flaunt your abilities.

However, avoid placing languages in the skills section because you will minimize their visibility. Instead, create a separate category or use our resume builder to add them. Place this section below experience, education, and skills, and include your proficiency level using the same framework for all of them. List the ones with the highest level of fluency first. 

Here are the language proficiency frameworks you can use.

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