Your CV isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s your way of standing out from other candidates to potential employers and getting the job you want. In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can identify and highlight your abilities in your CV.
- What are good skills to put on a CV?
- How to identify your own skills
- How many skills should you include on a CV?
- How to put your skills on a CV
What are good skills to put on a CV?
Employers will look for a mix of hard skills and soft skills on your CV.
Hard skills are technical skills that are specific to your role or industry. Certifications, qualifications, or real-world experience can prove these skills. For example, if you’re in the tech industry hard skills can be expertise in coding languages, graphic design, or data analysis.
Soft skills are often known as your people skills or social skills as they portray your ability to work well with others and communicate effectively. For example, soft skills include teamwork, adaptability, leadership, and problem solving.
Highlighting a good balance of hard skills and soft skills on your CV can show that you’re a well-rounded candidate. It’s also important to note that different jobs might want different skills, so remember to adapt your CV to match the role you’re applying for. You can learn more about tailoring your CV and cover letter for a specific role in our ‘How to write a successful job application’ article.
How to identify your own skills
Now that you understand a CV should include a mixture of hard skills and soft skills, it’s time to think about what good skills you have that you can include. If you’re unsure of the skills you excel in, below are three things you can consider:
1. Your awards and achievements: Think about what awards and recognition you’ve received. Maybe there have been skills that might have assisted in you reaching your achievements. You can reflect on your talents to understand what skills may have contributed.
2. Ask others what your strengths are: It can be hard to recognise your own abilities therefore, it can be best to reach out to your friends, classmates, teachers, or colleagues to help you find out what you’re good at.
3. Talking to professionals: Consider contacting professionals who are already in the job or industry you want to be in to find out what skills they are looking for and deem the most important to have. Learning these skills can then help you to identify what skills align with you or that you may need to improve on to get the role you want.
4. Reflect on projects: If you’re a student or are coming to the end of your studies, you may have built a set of transferable skills from the projects and assignments you’ve worked on. Here is a list of eight graduate skills to help you identify the skills you’ve potentially gained and might not have considered.
When listing your skills, it’s recommended to mention your strong skillset. If you’re working on improving a skill but are not confident in it yet, you do not need to include it in your CV. However, the skill you’re working towards could be something you discuss in your interview to show you’re working to improve and learn in your role.
How many skills should you include on a CV?
Once you’ve made a list of your skills, you could be wondering if you’ve written too little or too many. There is no hard rule on how many core skills you should include on your CV although, according to Resume Genius around four to ten is enough.
It’s not about how many skills you can list but more about how relevant they are to the job you’re applying for. Tailoring your skills to match the position’s requirements is key. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you might want to include your skills in SEO, social media, and content creation rather than your ability to swim 100 metres as ultimately it all comes down to quality, not quantity.
How to put your skills on a CV
There are many ways you can add your skills to your CV. A few examples include:
- Having a dedicated skills section on your CV where you can list your skills
- Including your skills in your job experience. You can showcase how you’ve put your skills into action and how they helped the company
- Within the hobby section of your CV. If you have an interest that is relevant to your skills and the position you’re applying for then this is a great opportunity to showcase them
Remember to align your CV for each job application to ensure the most relevant skills are listed for the job, as this will help you stand out.
Now that you know how to identify your strengths and highlight your skills within your CV, take a look at our current exciting vacancies to find your next role!
Last updated on 27 October 2023Share this article