Crafting a professional CV is all about paying attention to every section and ensuring that you have included enough details that a recruiter is bound to call back. While the professional experience and profile summary sections are important, a lot of people miss out on the skills section. Well, we are here to tell you that the skills section is also one of the most important ones and you should be paying more attention to it to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
No matter which job or position you are applying for, if you are a fresh graduate who is making their first ever professional CV or an executive who is editing their CV to apply for a new job position to take their career to the next level, the Skills Section is important for everyone. Here is an overview of why the skills section is important and why you need to start paying more attention to it.
The Skills Section is usually placed at the top of your CV, just after the Profile Summary and it contains keywords that specify all your abilities and areas of expertise and knowledge. The section can include three different types of skills:
- Hard Skills:
Hard Skills refer to the job-related knowledge and abilities that are required to perform a job right. They are technical skills and differ from one job to another. Each job requires a different set of hard skills. Hard skills are developed over time and may come from experience. Usually, hard skills are measurable and you can learn new hard skills through training, in school, or a job. For example, programming or budget maintenance.
- Soft Skills:
Soft skills are personality traits or general characteristics that a person has. Soft skills are intangible and cannot be measured. Soft skills are self-developed and every person has a different set of soft skills. Soft skills are just as important for any professional career as hard skills because they define what type of a person we are. For example, leadership or effective communication.
- Technical Skills:
Technical Skills are a type of hard skills. They are just more technical and tailored fit for each job. Different technical skills are required for different jobs, they are required for you to perform your job. Technical skills usually require technologies and tools. For example, UX designing or web development.
Importance of the Skills Section:
According to professional cv writing services in Pakistan, a recruiter spends mere 7 seconds looking at a CV which means you get just 7 seconds to catch their attention and impress them. The recruiter usually skims through a CV and tries to identify whether you are a good fit for the job or not. The skills section is placed at the top and can be used to your advantage. If written correctly, the skills section can show the recruiter that you have all the required abilities and knowledge to nail the job role.
Recruiters usually pay a lot of attention to this section since it is easy to read and gives a lot of information about the candidate in just a few words and also because it is at the top of the CV. This is why you need to pay attention to this section and include relevant skills in your CV to tailor it for each job you are applying to.
Tailoring the Skills Section:
Making your CV ATS-friendly is one of the most important things and the skills section can help you greatly in achieving this. Every job requires a different set of skills, be it hard or soft. According to professional CV writers in Pakistan, you must read the job ad thoroughly before writing down the skills section in your CV. Your skills section must match the job title and position you are applying for. You will find exactly what skills the recruiter is looking for in a potential employee and you can include them in your CV to make your CV ATS-optimized as well as to make the recruiter see that you are the perfect fit for the job role.
Where to Place the Skills Section?
You should always place the skills section at the top of your CV after the profile summary. The placement is important because when the skills section is at the top, the recruiter will be bound to see it and it will save their time and make them see that you have all the required job-related knowledge and abilities. If you place your skills section at any other place, the recruiter might not get to it and the whole purpose of the section will be wasted.
Top Skills to Include in Your CV:
Some common skills that almost everybody has and you must include in your CV are:
- Interpersonal Communication
- Customer Service
- Active Listening
- Time Management
- Problem Solving
All the skills that you have included in your CV must be followed up with a few achievements that verify the skills that you have written. Including accomplishments and achievements that directly highlight the skills that you have will make all your skills look credible. If you have any awards and honors you can also use them to showcase how you achieved these accomplishments by putting your skills to use.
Remember, a good CV always has a combination of both hard and soft skills as they are considered equally valuable by a recruiter. Technical skills are also really important and they must be included in your CV under a section titled “Technical Skills” right after the skills section. You should also update your skills regularly or if you are applying for a different job position. If you are having a hard time identifying what skills you have, you can ask a fellow workman or simply go through all your achievements to see what you are good at. Invest your time and energy in crafting the perfect skills section to stand out from the sea of candidates and make a positive impact on the recruiter from the start.