Have the Must-Have Skills? How Do You Spotlight Them on Your Resume?

When you apply for a job, you need to show that you’re the ideal candidate for the role. Usually, you can use the must-have skills list as a gauge. If you possess the majority of what’s on the list, there’s a decent chance you have what it takes to thrive in the position.

However, you’ll only land the job if the hiring manager knows you can bring those skills to the table. You can’t wait until your interview to draw attention to these capabilities. If they aren’t a part of your resume, your application might end up in the discard pile before you get the chance.

Luckily, integrating the must-have skills into your resume doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you want to make sure they are in the spotlight, here’s what you need to do.

Include the Top One or Two in Your Professional Summary

Usually, items on a must-have list are ordered based on the hiring manager’s priorities. The most critical requirements will be first, while those that aren’t as crucial will be further down. Additionally, it isn’t uncommon for the most important skills to be mentioned more than once.

Review the job ad to see which skills are the top priorities. Then, work them into your professional summary. Ideally, you want to focus on a quantifiable accomplishment where you put those capabilities to use. That ensures the manager has valuable context regarding the value of your skills, making them more impactful.

Create a Focused Skills Section on Your Resume

Sometimes, having a small skills section on your resume can be beneficial. You can place it between your professional summary and your work experience, drawing additional attention to specific capabilities.

In most cases, you want to include six to ten skills. Make sure that any that you include are relevant to the hiring manager. If they aren’t, leave them off of this part of your resume.

Feature Them in Your Most Recent Experience

Hiring managers may only spend a few seconds skimming your resume. Often, when it comes to your work history, the most recent job is going to get the most attention. As a result, you want to make sure to reference a few must-have, high-priority skills there.

By including critical skills in your first work history entry, you are increasing your odds of catching the hiring manager’s attention. They’ll see that you’ve used those capabilities recently, and that makes a difference.

As with the professional summary, highlight the skills by connecting them with a quantifiable achievement. That makes the details more meaningful.

Include Them in Your Cover Letter

Typically, a cover letter and resume go hand in hand. Unless you are specifically told not to include a cover letter, it’s always best to include one in your application. It gives you another chance to highlight your capabilities, including that you have the must-have skills the hiring manager wants to find.

Searching for a job?

Ultimately, all of the tips above can help you spotlight your capabilities on your resume. If you’d like to learn more about techniques for landing a job, the team at TRC Staffing Services can help. Contact us today and see how our resume writing expertise can benefit you.

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