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Mentioning key skills in a resume can be the barrier to applying for a job, and getting one. A good resume stands out for all the right reasons. This makes the life of a recruiter a lot easier to assess and consider all the vital information provided, which correlates to a specific job position.

Amongst the things mentioned in the resume, skill sets (both hard and soft) are the crucial pointers that divert the full attention while deciding on a candidature for further rounds of an interview procedure. Therefore, it is important to list out the key skills in your resume.

In this blog, we cover the reasons why mentioning a key skill in a resume changes the equation while searching for a job and how recruiters assess a jobseeker’s intent in applying for a post.

Why is highlighting key skills in a resume important?

Most modern recruiters use advanced applicant tracking systems that filter out thousands of profiles and highlight the ones with the correct skill sets.

For instance, if there is a requirement of a SQL DBA, the recruiters would use such keywords and the tracking system would track down profiles with these key terms. Having a hard skill with exposure to SQL allows the recruiters to get hold of the profile.

Even for companies that a person might apply directly, the first thing a recruiter would look for is the skills the person possesses. Both hard and soft skills count.

Top 10 key skills in a resume to highlight

As we have already discussed hard and soft skills, let us discuss each of these key skills in resume one by one:

Hard skills

Hard Skills are directed towards the candidate’s educational qualifications/ certifications/ diploma that is associated directly with the job opening. These skills are essential for working in a specific job position that requires the usage of these skills comprehensively. Hence, mentioning any such skills in the resume is vital for a job opening.

For instance, if the person is a coder, the skills in Java, HTML, and Python are considered as hard skills. These require specific training, and certifications are almost certain.

Let us check some hard skills that are worth mentioning:

  1. Subject skills: Subject Skills are the ones that a person learns out of the course curriculum. A specific subject skill is vital for working on various projects. This covers all industries, irrespective of the technical roles and implications.

    For instance, a Chartered Accountant is one such position that caters to accountancy concepts and a hard skill having a value proposition.
  2. Project management: Project Management skills are vital for specific jobs that require handling multiple clients and stakeholders. Certain project management tools call for comprehensive understanding before use.

    Thus, a company might look out for a person with advanced project management skills over a person who doesn’t possess the certification or relatable skill set.
  3. Marketing and analysis skills: Marketing professionals in the digital world have the advantage of using various tools for their job. Some of these marketing tools give insights into a specific market and offer metrics for analysis.

    For instance, a certification in Google Analytics is a key skill while working in the Digital Marketing industry and more specifically if the work has something to do with metric analysis.
  4. Administrative skills: Running a branch or an organization in the modern-day industry needs the concerned person to look after several aspects. The introduction of administrative tools requires understanding the usage of day-to-day problems and addressing these without delay.
    The overall planning and managing at administrative levels is a hard skill that only a specific number of people can perform.

Soft skills

Soft Skills are the abilities or the personal skills that a candidate develops organically and sometimes with the help of select individuals. These skills are always open for improvement, and companies consider the perfect combination of soft and hard skills in any employee recruiting.

Let us check the vital soft skills needed for any job opening:

  1. Communication skills: Communication skill is arguably the most desired ability a recruiter expects out of any employee. The ability to communicate verbally with colleagues, employees, clients, and stakeholders matters a lot for the company. A good communication skill thus earns a better reputation and transparency.
  2. Problem-solving skills: Major industries look out for candidates who are capable of making decisions and solving a problem with minimal issues. Right from addressing the concern to providing a sustainable solution, every problem-solving skill counts.
  3. Systematic and organizational skills: Companies prefer optimizing their expenses. Organizational practice allows keeping work-related objectives structured and easy to understand.

    For instance, having clean and easy-to-understand charts of work schedule and objective schedules ensure all the deliverables are completed on time. This ensures there is no time for the employee to waste or run out of schedule.

    Thus, organizational skills are vital for a company, and they prefer employees following the same.
  4. Creativity skills: A candidate with the ability to think out of the box with skills that resonate with creativity stands tall. During the interview, the recruiter determines such skills with the help of tests and assignments.

    A creative individual’s copy would reflect the skills while giving a unique perspective. A person with a creative outlook is an asset to any brand, and recruiters weigh the option highly.
  5. Being a team player: While most companies have different teams for different types of work, it is obvious that a company expects a candidate to be a perfect team player and eventually carry on with leadership roles.

    The overall adaptability of the person while using their professional skills and combining with appropriate teamwork yields a productive result. This is one soft skill that defines progress in any industry.
  6. Strong interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills form the base of any future leadership roles. Recruiters would notice the skills with communication, team cooperation, empathy, adaptability, and flexibility among the key factors. A candidate with these skills together has a great chance of securing the dream job.

Final thoughts

In the end, though, highlighting key skills in a resume defines a candidate’s chances of getting into a job profile. There might be some imperfections about a combination of different skills. However, this doesn’t impact the candidates with strong and desirable skill sets to talk about. Recruiters would rather vouch for employees having a balanced portfolio over their competitors.

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