How to find your skills?
Make a list of 20 accomplishments – things that you had done at work or even outside work that you are proud of.
Study each of the above accomplishments and list the skills demonstrated by each.
The Skills section in your resume comes before the experience and accomplishment sections. However you would be able to refine & further complete the “Skills” section more meaningfully only after you have actually created the “Work Experience” and “Accomplishments” sections.
Your skills include both “Hard Skill” and “Soft Skills”. Hard skills are those which are acquired as a result of a specific training or work experience and are easily quantifiable. Soft skills are those which are personal attributes, interest areas and are not easily quantifiable.
Hard Skills Examples
Knowledge of specific equipment, machinery, computers, knowledge of company’s procedures etc. “Adobe Photoshop 6.0”, “contract negotiations”, “PMP” etc are additional examples of hard skills. In some cases a soft skill backed by a lot of experience can be seen as a hard skill. For example 10+ years of experience in customer service is a hard skill. Similarly 5+ years of experience in delivering trainings/presentations is a hard skill – while if you simply write “communication abilities” – it would be seen as a soft skill.
You can directly mention hard skills on your resume.
Soft Skills Examples
You should NOT directly mention soft skills on your resume. By themselves, soft skills (eg. communication skills, leadership, problem solving etc) sound like cliches. Instead, mention the related work you did which proves that you have those soft skills – Use the above table to map soft skills to related work.
Have You Overlooked Any Of Your Skills?
You need to understand that even those skills which you may overlook – which you may have acquired on job or as part of normal living – may be ‘transferable’ ie they may be of great value to the company you are applying for. A housewife who has extensive experience with children would be a great day-care assistant, if you have cared for an aged relative you may be have the skills needed to work in a senior’s home, if you have organized weddings you may be able to use the lessons learned there in a project management job or an event planning job etc etc.