Some resume trends come and go. Colorful resumes can confuse employers, making them even less likely to view you favorably. Others stick around because of their usefulness. Customizing your resume and adding an executive summary as an “elevator pitch” are trends that are likely going to stick around for a while.
Another section of the resume that remains relevant is the skills inventory. Phil Rosbenberg, president of ReCareered, suggests that candidates create a skills inventory at the ends of their resumes. He suggests a three-column format with 30 to 50 three-word sound bytes (double that number for tech candidates).
He suggests that candidates include their industry, functional, leadership, technology, and soft skills in this section.
“Bonuses of a well written skills inventory are that you have a chance to match the changed criteria (in the time between writing a job description and filling it) and you have a chance to meet the “nice to haves” (the criteria that never makes a job description, yet is often the single factor that separates the top candidate from the rest of the pack),” Phil explains.
Just like for resume trends, however, skills lists come in and out of fashion. For instance, nobody needs to note that they can use Microsoft Suite or email on a contemporary resume. Instead, your skills list should highlight modern and desirable competencies that employers want for the current and future.
Here are some of the skills you should include on your resume skills inventory.
The skills that relate to the job posting.
More important than almost anything else is demonstrating that you have the skills in the job description. Key here is finding a succinct way to connect phrases and ideas from the posting to the resume itself.
ResumeGenius suggests these skills translations from a job posting to a resume:
- “Reporting observations of the patient” → Oral communication skills
- “Completing forms, reports, logs, and records” → Written communication skills
- “Prepare rooms” → Organizational skills
- “Answering patients’ … requests” → People skills
Use exact language from the posting itself whenever possible, especially if you are listing how you match these skills in your experience section. The idea is to list specific skills in your inventory section and then repeat them – with or without the exact language – and add examples in your work history section.
Your critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Many companies seek problem solvers to be important members of their teams. Be sure to include skills like “critical thinker” or “problem solver” in your skills inventory, in conjunction with specific examples of how you used these skills in your work experience section.
For instance, you could mention how you developed a program that helped sales team members identify information about clients more quickly.
Your skills in working remotely and using modern technologies.
As remote and hybrid work becomes more permanent, employers are seeking job candidates who can operate effectively using virtual tools.
82 percent of job postings look for candidates who have comfort levels with specific software. Depending on your field, you may want to list your capacity with programming languages, social media platforms, and spreadsheets.
What’s more, you want to mention your comfort level with different conferencing tools, especially if all or some of your position will be virtual. For instance, you might want to mention your familiarity with tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Monday, and Zoom in your skills inventory. If you have a specialized knowledge, perhaps running meetings in Webex Meetings or similar, be sure to list this experience in your work history section.
Your data analysis skills.
Many recruiters are interested in your ability to analyze data and use it to make decisions. In your skills inventory, for interest, you could list tech skills like “data visualization” or communication skills like “analyzing” or “explaining.”
“In your experience section, mention ways that you’ve analyzed data and used it to make an impact. If you’re a software engineer, for example, write about how you increased the speed of your software after looking at data to see where users were getting slowed down,” CNBC suggested.
Your skills of adaptability.
One of the most important types of skill sets an employee can have is flexibility. Highlighted by mentioning language like “dynamic,” “adaptable,” or “flexible,” words like these signal that you’re able to make changes to your work style in response to challenges. These are particularly important skills to mention now, as the state of business is constantly in flux.
Using the Skills Inventory Effectively
The skills inventory is an important section on your resume. Not only does it ensure that your materials will pass the applicant tracking system (ATS), which checks for connection to the job posting, but it also ensures that you mention skills that might make you a standout for the role. By including as many relevant skills as possible, you’ll be sure to include the competencies important to advancing to the interview stage.