Resume Skills


Stating skills on your resume is important. Your resume reflects your strengths, your specific knowledge and skills. With your skills you describe what you can do and the knowledge you have. But how do you chart your skills and which do you name on your resume? On your resume, at least mention the skills that are relevant and have an added value for the position you are applying for.

Skills or competencies

By skills we mean something other than competencies. The concepts touch each other, but they aren't the same. They are often used interchangeably, so we first explain what we mean by competencies.

What are competencies?

Competencies are personal qualities or qualities that can be learned and developed if your character allows it and supplemented with personality, intelligence and motivation. Competencies that you could have are, for example, adaptability, stress resistance or leadership qualities.

What are skills?

By skills we mean: activities that you are good at. These activities can be learned. You practice them in practice. Skills that you could mention on your resume are, for example: MS Excell, Photoshop, JavaScript, but also: finishing, scaffolding or driving a forklift.

And Then?

'Competence' is therefore a much broader concept than the concept of 'skill'. You often need various skills for developing competencies. Skills that you might need to be innovative (competence), are technical skills such as the use of new technology and conceptual skills such as being able to analyze well (for example, to improve a product). Note this difference when preparing your resume.

Include skills on your resume

The naming of skills on your resume is always a good choice. You show what you are good at. Everyone has certain skills. You may have acquired those skills in previous jobs or while practicing hobbies or other activities. When drawing up your resume, it's smart to list your skills on the resume that are important for the job you are looking for. So make a selection of the skills that have an added value for the position you are applying for. Often you have too many skills to put them all on your resume, especially when you consider that a resume of a maximum of 2 A4 pages is long enough. Therefore, also use the vacancy text; often certain skills are required.

Mapping skills

Of course it's impossible to put all your skills on your resume. But how do you map your skills? It is smart to start from the categories in which you can classify skills. You then decide per category what you are good at. What can you do, what are your strengths? First make a list that's as complete as possible for yourself. Then list 5 to 7 skills on your resume.

Skills: 4 categories

Skills can be divided into four categories:

1- Social skills

Social skills say something about your ability to collaborate with others. Examples of social skills are: being able to speak well (giving presentations, explaining complex matters to others, chairing meetings, interviewing techniques), being able to write well (creating manuals for clients, drafting reports, taking minutes), being able to understand and motivate others, being able to listen well, coaching or managing colleagues, being assertive.

2- Technical skills

With technical skills it's about being able to use certain tools, procedures and techniques. Think of computer skills such as MS Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, HTML, FTP and JavaScript. But a carpenter also has technical skills; for example, he can lay floors, insert doors or finish cabinets very accurately.

3- Conceptual skills

Conceptual skills revolve around the ability to make connections, analyze processes, make a planning, organize and use your creativity. For example, you can make good reports or reports, organize events, or interpret data and record it in graphs.

4- Political skills

Political skills say something about the ability to strengthen one's own position or that of the company. Think of skills such as being able to network well, being able to make strategic decisions, creating support, being diplomatic, being able to reflect, investigating, thinking critically and problem solving, being able to motivate others, getting the best out of other people.

Special attention to computer skills

Due to the rapid technological developments, the computer skills that were still good on your resume a few years ago are now no longer worth mentioning. Today it's assumed that every applicant can use a word processing program such as MS Word and an e-mail program such as Outlook; they are among the standard skills of every job seeker. It's therefore unnecessary to state on your resume that you are proficient in these types of programs. For your computer skills, therefore name the skills that not everyone has mastered. Excel is fairly standard, but if you are advanced in Excel then you are able to make the most beautiful graphs and extensive analyzes. Do you have knowledge of certain web technology or online networks such as web servers, HTML, FTP or JavaScript, VPN? Then that's certainly worth mentioning. Online is becoming increasingly important nowadays. When mentioning your computer skills, focus on the most specialist knowledge and skills you have. You can just omit Word and Outlook; that's too standard.

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