What skills should I include on my CV?
As we have mentioned in many articles, your CV is designed to do one thing: to get you an interview with a prospective employer. That means that every section of your CV must contain information of most value - and relevance - to the advertised position. And, your 'Skills' section is arguably the most important part of your CV to employers.
Hiring managers want to know what's in it for them: What will you bring to their company? Therefore, you need to sell yourself and demonstrate your skills and show how you are going to be a positive addition to their workforce.
When writing their CV, many people follow the tradition of using stock phrases and 'key words' to help them get selected. This isn't always the best approach but it seems that there is little choice given the fact that 80% of CVs today are placed directly into keyword-searchable databases.
Before you rush to compile a list of all the things that you are capable of doing, take some time to understand what skills are important for the specific job that you are applying for.
If you are unclear about what skills the job requires because the job advert gives little information, then search similar job titles on Monster and note what those positions are looking for. Once you have done that, create a list of your matching skills and competencies.
So, what skills should be included on your CV?
There are three key skills types:
- Transferable - skills learnt in one field of work that can easily be adapted to a different field
- Job-related - skills or qualifications that are directly relevant to a specific job
- Adaptive - skills that are difficult to substantiate because they cannot be proven by experience but by personality traits
Clearly, transferable and job-related skills are the most desirable to include in your CV. Be sure to include the ones that will help you stand out. Here is a list of skills that are particularly popular with employers:
If you know a particular programming language, put it down. If you have basic understanding of French, your reader wants to know. You can't be expected to know the specifics of the particular bespoke accounting system they use, but by demonstrating the broad range of things you do know, you're giving the impression that you're a good learner who can retain information.