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By Joan Igamba

Regardless of your preferred resume format, experience level, or even industry, you should include a skills section on your resume.

Putting yours together carelessly will hurt your chances of getting hired.

You can use some these tips and they will guide you as you put together your CV.

Be smart about what you include and what you exclude

It is true that if you are an experienced professional you will have a lot of skills to speak about. Even entry level professionals who have been exposed to the right learning opportunities can struggle with what to include and leave out.

How will you choose? Will you list all the skills? Will you present the employer with a 7 page CV? The answer is no. Let the job description guide you.

Under qualifications, check out what skills they prefer their ideal candidate to have. Go ahead and include only those skills in your CV.

If you are applying for a job that is not advertised for, then it is up to you to know the workings of your industry in and out.

Research what kind of skills are most important to employers when they are hiring for the position you are applying for.

One good hack for this is to go on to job boards and search for a position similar or exactly to what you are applying for.

Use the job descriptions of these previously posted jobs to guide you on what skills are most in demand from employers.

Make it easy on the eyes

Format is everything. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer. They probably get a lot of CVs that they have to look through.

Make it easy for them to glance at your CV and immediately be able to pinpoint your skill section.

More so, they should be able to go through this section without fatigue. Use bullets or numbers to make it easy to look through the skills you have.

The format you should use to write the skills section

  • State the skill.
  • Mention how you have used the skill before.
  • Then give quantifiable results of how that skill enabled you to achieve something.

Example 1.

This could be relevant for professionals in the science and technology field.

Collaboration skills: Worked with a team of four at the KEMRI Labs and increased productivity by shortening turn-around time for result analysis by 2 hours

Example 2.

This could be relevant for fresh graduates who could have a lot of transferable skills such as leadership skills, time management skills or organizational skills.

Time management skills: Was able to work as a freelance filmmaker and photographer on a part time basis while studying for his full time degree showing himself to be organized and self motivated as well.

Example 3.

This could work best for professionals in the Information Technology (IT) industry where they have to manage various projects with tight deadlines.

Project management skills: Was able to successfully complete a two year project by Emobilis where she had to set both short and long term goals, establish timelines as well as stick to the proposed budget. This yielded returns in the form of over 200 successfully trained candidates with an approval rating of close to 80% from our various clients.

Hopefully, at this point you’ve been convinced to keep your skills section intact and relevant. In order for you to find out what skills would impress (or disappoint) employers, you can reach out to our professional CV writer through her email which is brenda@corporatestaffing.co.ke and she will clear up any confusion you might have.