Resume Tips - Skills

Employers tend to look at a large number of resumes so the aim is to hook them from the start. List your skills in order of how relevant they are to the job you want. For example, if you are targeting a sales position, having graphic design skills isn’t going to win your employer’s vote of confidence. More relevant would be your skills in “exceeding sales targets by at least 10% monthly”, “sourcing new business clientele” and “training and mentoring a team of sales staff”.

While you may wish to be considered for a variety of roles, being too general about your skills won’t make you appeal as an exceptional candidate. Instead of listing “computer skills”, list the software and hardware you have knowledge of and how advanced your skills are.

Look at job advertisements and research the industry you are targeting. Pick out commonly used words and phrases as a guide to what employers are looking for. For example, sales positions often refer to “key performance indicators” and budgeting or customer relationships. Try to use these same key terms in listing your skills.

Additional assistance with Skills section

The following lists of skills are vocation specific. Use these as a guide rather than copying and pasting them verbatim. The skills you list should be considered relevant to the type of role and employer that you want your resume to appeal to. Rather than listing as many skills as you can, try to consider the top 10 – 15 skills that are particular strengths for you.

Administrative/information processing skills back to top
  • Collect, research and analyse information
  • Gather information through observation or interviewing
  • Analyse and break down information
  • Compile, organize and priories information
  • Visualise, draw, paint or create
  • Keep records
  • Develop and monitor work plans
  • Use information management systems
  • Prepare business plans/grant proposals/budgets and forecasts
  • Develop, implement and review policies and procedures
  • Develop and evaluate risk management plans
Skills for teachers/mentors or trainers back to top
  • Use a range of teaching aids including online delivery, audio visual aids, educational technology
  • Write and develop courses and units of study
  • Supervise students in and outside the classroom
  • Use appropriate criteria in student assessment
  • Develop course materials to support curriculum
  • Be aware of current educational policies and best practice standards
  • Keep up to date with current theories and practice in teaching
Writing and creative skills back to top
  • Write technical language, reports, manuals
  • Write poetry, fiction plays
  • Write grant proposals
  • Prepare and write logically written reports
  • Write copy for sales and advertising
  • Edit and proofread written material
  • Prepare revisions of written material
  • Utilize all forms of technology for writing
  • Write case studies and treatment plans
  • Demonstrate expertise in grammar and style
Management and leadership skills back to top
  • Manage personnel, projects and time
  • Foster a sense of ownership in employees
  • Delegate responsibility and review performance
  • Increase productivity and efficiency to achieve goals
  • Develop and facilitate Work Teams
  • Provide training for development of staff
  • Adjust plans/procedures for the unexpected
  • Facilitate conflict management
  • Communicate well with diverse groups
Finance and accountancy skills back to top
  • Calculate, perform mathematical computations
  • Keep accurate and complete financial records
  • Perform accounting functions and procedures
  • Compile data and apply statistical analysis
  • Create computer generated charts for presentation
  • Use computer software for records and analysis
  • Forecast, estimate expenses and income
  • Appraise and analyse costs
  • Create and justify organization's budget to others
Nursing skills back to top
  • Changing wound dressings
  • Aseptic technique
  • Removal of sutures
  • Cardiac monitoring
  • Assisting with insertion of a pacemaker
  • Neurological observations and assessment
  • Care of a patient with renal transplant
Engineering skills back to top
  • Statistics and error analysis/propagation
  • Programming/writing scripts for automation
  • Analysis and testing
  • Understanding of statics/dynamics and heat/mass transport
  • Thorough understanding of unit conversion
  • Practical application of formulae and equations
Media and PR skills back to top
  • Crisis management
  • Networking and relationship management
  • Online marketing and networking
  • Writing and editing creative media releases
  • Writing and editing e-newsletters and web site content
  • Search Engine Optimisation techniques
  • Initiating and managing a public relations campaign
Computer skills back to top

When identifying your computer skills, it is not only important to state which software programs you are proficient with, but how competent you are. If you have advanced skills in Office, add in brackets (advanced proficiency) whereas if you are able to use only basic word processing tools in Word, put (intermediate proficiency).

Software Development
  • .NET
  • Ada
  • Assembly
  • Basic
  • C
  • C++
  • Cobal
  • Corba
  • Delphi
  • Flow Chart
  • Fortran
  • HTML
  • Java
  • Ladder Logic
  • MFC
  • Pascal
  • Perl
  • Sequential Function Chart
  • Structured Text
  • Visual Basic
  • Visual Basic Applications (VBA)
  • Visual C
  • Visual C++
  • Visual Java
Word Processing/Desktop Publishing
  • Enter and edit text and use the following function: clipboard, cut, copy, paste, delete, and insert
  • Insert and delete text; select and type over text
  • Copy and move blocks of text
  • Change text format and styles, margin, line spacing, tabs, etc
  • Use the bulleting and numbering features
  • Use word processing utilities: Spell checker, Thesaurus, Dictionary
  • Create a header or a footer
  • Insert date, time, page number
  • Insert and edit a table; add a variety of information to the cells; add/delete rows and columns, resize columns
  • Add clip art and other graphic images to the document
  • Interpret and communicate information in an existing spreadsheet
  • Enter data in an existing spreadsheet: enter text and numeric entries in cells; use the entry bar
  • Print a spreadsheet; print only selected parts
  • Manipulate data within an existing spreadsheet in order to solve a problem
  • Create a spreadsheet with rows, columns, headings
  • Understand and create the three basic types of cells (label, value, and formula)
  • Create/Copy formulas and functions to perform calculations
  • Insert a spreadsheet into a word processing document
  • Use AutoSum
  • Utilize functions
  • Use information from an existing database; search a dataset for specific information
  • Enter data, add a record, and delete a record from an existing database
  • Sort a database by specific fields; search for desired information given 1 criterion and given 2 criteria (using “and,” “or,” or “not” connectors)
  • Insert database fields into word processing document
Web Browsing
  • Access and use resources on the Internet and World Wide Web using a web browser
  • Use a web browser to access a specific web site and to perform a specific web search
  • Know the URL of the college and your department; be able to find information on these sites
  • Use a web browser to perform a keyword search for specific information
  • Create, delete, organize, use, and save favorites/bookmarks
  • Change the web page you will use as the home page in your browser
  • Download information from the World Wide Web
  • Copy or save images from a web page
  • Save a web page
  • Comply with copyright and educational fair use policies for using any images or content you save
Online Research
  • Search for materials using keywords
  • Identify and use primary sources of information
  • Use advanced search
  • Choose the appropriate online research tool to use for the specific task
  • Use appropriate bibliographic format for citations of electronic resources
  • Evaluate the information for accuracy, credibility, relevancy, timeliness, and cultural sensitivity
  • Compare sources for different viewpoints and bias from Internet resources
  • Locate free computer skills instructional resources on the Internet

Again, the skills listed are only examples of the types of skills employers may be looking for in potential candidates. Use these as inspiration and make sure to adapt them to express your own skills and attributes. If you feel that your area of work has not been represented adequately here, please contact ISMYCV for assistance.