There are a lot of moving parts to juggle when writing your resume. Deciding which information is most pertinent to the job description is essential, especially when it comes to your skills. While it’s tempting to recount your entire work history and all the workforce skills you’ve gathered along the way, it’s more beneficial to take a critical look at what you really need to include and why. When your resume is focused, recruiters can quickly tell if you’re a candidate of interest. Clouding your resume with too much information is detrimental to moving forward in the application process. Below we go over some of the things not to include when writing up your skills.
As a general rule, be honest when writing out your resume skills. If you’re not an expert at something like Adobe Photoshop, don’t say otherwise. You’ll not only avoid misleading recruiters about your skill level, but being truthful will save you from some inevitably awkward moments, like being asked in an interview to talk more about your experience using Adobe Photoshop…
In order to avoid situations like this, be honest and if you’re asked about a skill level that you don’t have, say that while you don’t know Adobe Photoshop, you’re a fast learner who is always looking to expand their knowledge and you would be happy to take on the challenge.
Common Computer Skills
At one point in time it really was important to boast that you understood the entire Microsoft Office suite, or confirm that you could type, but now that information is considered standard. It’s common for a majority of those in the workforce to know how to operate Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at a basic level. If you are going to list technical skills, be sure they highlight something more specialized, high-level, or extremely relevant to the job for which you’re applying.
A resume is not the space for listing out how your personal hobbies contribute to your skills, even if your hobbies are really cool. When demonstrating to potential employers where your skills lie, it’s best to stick to work, school, and volunteer examples. You want to avoid becoming overly personal on a resume (and in an interview.)
Speaking of listing out your skills from school, this excludes high school. Exceptions can be made if this is your highest level of education, but in general, try to stick to educational experience starting with any college courses. The reason is that by the time most of us begin looking to enter the workforce it’s been over a decade since we graduated high school. The skills are less relevant and have hopefully been refined throughout any time spent in higher education training.
This is another area that ties into avoiding exaggerations. Most of us took a language class in high school, but unless you are conversationally fluent at the time of applying, don’t list that you can speak another language.
Links to your social media
Unless you’re applying to be a social media manager and you need to provide examples of your work, it’s best to not link employers to your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. While social media can be used to network and connect with recruiters, you don’t need to put that information on your resume. And remember, if you do end up sharing your social media profiles, be sure they’re professional and separate from your private ones.
If you need help with preparing or updating your resume, you can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and ask a career advisor for assistance. Call 602-535-4444 to find a center near you or visit our locations page.