On average, recruiters will only spend about 6 seconds looking at a single resume! Therefore, skills might be your only chance to make a recruiter stop and shout: "Eureka! This candidate is perfect for the job"!

But what skills are important to recruiters?

Recently, I have been searching for an answer, and I found out - according to studies by Bloomberg, NACE, Prospects and others - that around 67% of recruiters in all industries say communication is the most important skill, and almost 78% of employers desire leadership and teamwork among new graduates. These studies place the same skills at the top of the lists that show the skills employers want most, and they all happen to be basic, non-technical skills!

The top 5 universally desired career skills are:

  • Communication (Written and Verbal)
  • Leadership
  • Planning and Strategic Thinking
  • Analytical Thinking and Research
  • Teamwork or Collaborative Work

But how do you showcase your skills on your CV? Here are my recommended tips:

1- Make Your Skills Relevant To The Job Offer

Read the advertised job vacancy carefully, and not just the job title! Underline the skills required by the potential employer, and then match your skills to those you find in the job description.

2- Research People Who Already Have The Job You Want

Go to LinkedIn (and other job listing websites). Check out the skills and accomplishments of professionals who already have the job you want. If you have those skills, add them to your skills sections.

3- Add Extra Skills For Extra Value

Transferable skills are skills that translate across various jobs, such as the use of Microsoft Office or the ability to speak French. Add them even if they are missing from the job description.

4- Add The Universal Skills That All Employers Want

Just to make sure you have everything, look at the earlier list of universal skills. Do you have any of them? If you do, make sure to put them in your skills section.

5- Numbers Will Make You Stand Out From The Crowd

Add numbers and details (as proof) to draw the eye of the recruiter. For example, instead of putting “proficient at sales conversions”, write “able to convert 45% of leads to sales”.

6- Beat The Bots By Adding Keyword Skills

There is a good chance that R2D2 will read your CV. ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), also known as “resume bots”, look for keyword skills from the previous job details in your resume. Make sure to beat the bots by enriching your CV with relevant keyword skills.

Until next time, Good luck job hunting!

Images: Giphy

Ali AlSabbagh

Marketing Consultant, Media & PR Strategist, ex-Entrepreneur, Public Speaker, Youth Activist, Bookworm, Tech Savvy, World Traveler. Awarded the "Best Entrepreneurial" award in Social Media Awards 2012 by the Bahrain Information Affairs Authority. Magna Cum Laude UK graduate with a BA in Multimedia Computing and MSc in Economics, Finance and Management.

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