The 12 Skills to Include on Your CV
Your CV should certainly reflect your professional background, but also should include hints about your personality and non-technical skills: your transferable skills, which may also be known as "soft skills". These soft skills may not be directly related to a job but more to how you work with your personality, habits and individual mindset. These soft skills, which we expand upon below, are increasingly appreciated by recruiters these days.
For more information about which soft skills you should include on your CV or resume, also read this page.
No matter what industry or field you work in, teamwork is one of the essential skills to highlight in a resume. In any work, you will regularly be required to manage projects with colleagues and therefore to work as a team, so it is essential to work effectively with others. You will also notice that you are often questioned about your teamworking skills and experience during an interview.
When there is heavy workload, you might need to finish tasks urgently and under pressure. Resistance to stress is a quality sometimes requested by recruiters, but it depends on the industry in which you work. For example, employees in the health and the financial sectors (banking, insurance, etc.) are more exposed to stress, but rest assured, stress at work can occur in all sectors of activity! Fortunately, however, there are some sectors where stress is less of an issue; you could be working as a librarian enjoying the smell of the books in a quiet place!
Whatever job you do, you need to be organized. Ideally, plan your day and include all the tasks you need to do each day. This will allow you to manage your time and organize your projects in order to meet the deadlines that may have been given to you. A well-organized schedule allows better efficiency!
Being Proacting and Taking the Initiative
Do you know how to take the initiative? This is a question that comes up regularly during interviews. Are you a leader or a follower? There are some people who like to lead and take matters into their own hands, while others prefer to follow directions and dislike making decisions on their own. What is the right attitude to adopt? There is no right or wrong attitude as both leaders and followers are essential in every business. Whatever your profile, you will have a valuable role to perform within your team so don't hesitate to identify yourself and include examples.
With the evolution of new technologies and new working methods, you have to know how to adapt quickly. Today, everything changes much faster in the working environment than before. It might be that the project you are working on takes a new turn overnight and, in this case, you have no choice but to adapt and be responsive! Adaptability is an increasingly standardized skill, and it remains necessary to put this skill on your CV.
Versatility is a rare quality. If you know how to and, above all, like to multitask then you could be much in demand. Not everyone can manage working on various projects at the same time, but some employees like to have varied assignments and deal with different issues every day. Versatility is highly appreciated in most companies as it will allow managers to assign different tasks and roles to the same person to save resources.
Autonomy is an important asset and much appreciated by recruiters and managers. If you know how to work alone and independently without your employer having to inform and manage you about the tasks to be performed, it saves time and therefore money for the company.
Language skills are highly sought after by recruiters nowadays and sometimes your languages skills give you the edge over other job applicants. If you are lucky enough to have two mother tongues, specify it. You can also certify your language level with language exams such as TOEFL or IELTS. These language qualifications will definitely add value to your CV! Besides, if you lived abroad and actively used your foreign language skills, you should note this on your CV clearly as practical languages skills could be even more appreciated by a recruiter.
Do you know how to use the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) well? If so, indicate this on your CV! Depending on your profession, we advise you to highlight any software that you know how to use. If you work in design and marketing, mention your Photoshop (photo editing software) skills, WordPress (CRM) or Mailchimp (emailing solution) experience. If you are a salesperson, there is customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce. Recruiters usually mention the requirement to know any software in the job ad but, even if they don’t clearly mention it, try to add any IT skill that might be useful in that job in your CV.
Recruiters receive lots of applications for each vacancy. Give them more reason to favor your application by differentiating yourself from other candidates by including these important skills in your CV.
Problem solving skills mean your ability to use creative and analytical thinking to deal with problems in the workplace. People who can approach issues from various angles and with alternative ways of thinking usually tend to be better at solving problems, and such employees become key people within the organization. Abilities in brainstorming, analysis, reasoning, negotiation and proactive thinking play a big role in becoming known as a problem solver at work.
Being honest and trustworthy is desirable quality in any employee profile. People who can take an ethical approach to accomplishing their tasks can be more reliable and they will be given key roles in their careers. The following soft skills can be good examples regarding work ethics: integrity, responsibility, discipline, professionalism and teamwork.
Initiative and Curiosity
You might face lots of challenging tasks at work, and a proactive approach led by your curiosity to learn and develop yourself will be one of the key skills in making you a successful employee. People with forward way of thinking who prepare for possible challenges at work tend to be more successful. Taking the initiative to train to use software that your company will eventually need is be a good example, and if you mention a similar example of how you took the initiative in your previous work, you will surely catch the recruiter’s eye.
Those skills we list here can be expanded, depending on your profession, industry and experience, and there might be additional, new skills that you might need to develop in the long term. So, our final advice is always to ask the experts what skills could be key in your field, and also always keep up with the demands of changing times and trends in your work that require you to develop new skills.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Develop the skills you need to get that job.
This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.
About the Author
Gabi Casin is a marketing and content advisor at inseo media, which specializes in enhancing the online presence of career agencies, educational institutions and companies. She has a master’s degree in marketing and worked for several years in Bilkent University’s careers advice department before moving to marketing roles in the web marketing field.