CV Writing Tips
Listing Skills - Q&A

How should I arrange the skills on my CV?

It is usually a good strategy to place your most relevant skills at the top, where they are most visible to a prospective employer. If you are listing several short skill keywords, then using a two or three column bulleted list is recommended.

If I am changing careers, how can I best describe my skills?

You will need to focus on transferable skills, or skills you've developed in your previous employment or personal life, that you can bring to your new job. First, analyze the requirements of your target job. Based on the job description, what skills are needed? Writing skills? Computer skills? Organizational skills?

Create a list of all the required skills. Then, for each of these, review your employment and personal history for tasks you have performed that used similar skills. For instance, say your job target requires answering the phone and then either providing information or directing the caller to the correct person. This requires the skills of communicating with a customer, analyzing their needs, and then making a decision on how to fill that need. You would use these same skills in any customer service job. Your transferable skills would be Interpersonal Communication, Customer Needs Analysis, and Problem Solving.

Do employers prefer paragraph descriptions of skills or bulleted lists on a CV?

Employers generally prefer a bulleted list of skills. Bulleted lists are generally easier to read and identify important skill sets.

Should I emphasize my experience or skills or both?

If you have significant experience relevant to the job you are seeking, you will probably want to emphasize your skills using Action-Benefit Statementswithin your Accomplishment and Experience sections. If you have limited experience in your target job, you will want to emphasize your transferable skills in a Capabilities or Skills section.

As a recent graduate, how can I best describe my skills?

Review the classes and projects you have completed in school, and also your experience in full or part-time jobs, volunteer activities or student activities. From each of these, think of the skills and abilities you have used or learned that would be relevant to your job target. Have you had a service industry job? Then you have probably learned communication skills. Do you know how to type? How many words per minute? You bring that potential skill to a job. Have you proven to be a reliable employee, always showing up on time and never calling in sick? Reliability could also be considered a skill. Listing all these items would be a good beginning in describing your skill set.

Should I reference skills that are not related to my target position?

You should put in your CV only those things that will make you an attractive candidate for the job. If you possess a skill that is not required for your target job, then you should consider leaving it off your CV.

art_remember cv writing tips listing skills Q&ACheck the spelling and grammar of your CV and cover letter. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your job application, CV or cover letter send it to a professional for assistance.

To make your CV preparation task easier you may take a look at CV keywords, CV templates and CV samples.

Remember that your CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits.

art_tip CV Writing Tips Listing SkillsIf you have a difficulty with your CV writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:

art_tip CV Writing Tips Listing SkillsWe are strongly recommending that you email your job applications and CVs together with cover letters. If you have a difficulty with your cover letter writing use:

Other CV Writing Tips on Listing Skills Info

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Good luck with your CV writing tips on listing skills!


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