How to Ace the Skills Section on your Resume

A common struggle we all face in the modern business age is perfecting our personal resume. Everyone has one and going back to edit it should never feel like a chore. From summer jobs to internships, personal interests, and what I like to call “big girl jobs,” a standout resume is necessary in order to stand out from the crowd.

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been building upon my resume since I was fifteen years old, but there’s a lot of contrasting information out there when it comes to producing the perfect resume. Should you use colors and graphics? What fonts are appropriate? How many pages is too many?

 

While many of these questions depend on the field you work in, what I can tell you is that I and many others have always been confused by the dreaded resume “skills section.” For years, I never even added one to my own resume, because I had no idea how to format it or add it in without sounding conceited about my own skills.

 

Today, I plan to tell you just exactly why a skills section is so important to your resume, and how to make it work for you, no matter what field you work in.

 

Hard and Soft Skills

 

Ultimately, the main problem I initially had with putting my skills on a resume was differentiating between my hard and soft skills. I didn’t know the difference and thus didn’t know if I should have included them at all. So, what exactly are they?

 

Hard skills are definite, technical skills, like having a First Aid and CPR Certification, or knowing how to work with the Microsoft Office programs. Soft skills are more personally related to you, like traits of leadership, organization, or communication.

 

I had never wanted to include my soft skills on a resume because I felt like I was bragging about skills that were hard to prove. I didn’t know the difference between the two, and so never included any skills at all!

 

The Endgoal

 

While I do include soft skills on my resume now, I include them alongside my hard skills, to show a balance and mix between all I have to offer as an employee. For example, I am able to fully operate Zoom Video Conferencing, but I am also skilled in customer service and e-mail and letter writing.

 

Having a good balance of skills on your resume is important, and it's okay to not have a lot of one or the other of hard and soft skills. As long as what you write on your resume is true and applicable to the job you are applying for, then you should definitely include it.

 

The next time you’re looking to edit your resume, try adding in a skills section! Include hard and soft skills, so that employers can get an idea of what exactly you are capable of. Don’t be afraid of your own abilities. Be proud of your skills, put them on your next resume, and ace your next interview!

 

Good luck!