The world of resume writing is altering at a great speed, reflecting all the changes happening in the world around. Everything from cutting edge technologies to new fashion trends influence resume structure and contents. If your resume is a year old, you may consider it to be a dinosaur. Brand new resumes operate such terms as ‘Areas of Expertise’ and ‘Core Competencies’. What are these and how to present such sections on your resume? Let’s find out!
Professional resumes of recent years have shifted from the sphere of the ‘e-mailed’ ones to the vast territories of the Net and found a new embodiment in the form of profiles in social networks and online blogs. The terms used in modern resume writing have, consequently, undergone some changes under the influence of a specific structure of online resumes. Creating a LinkedIn profile, you may notice such sections as “Skills and Expertise” to showcase your competencies. This entry of an online resume, as well as the corresponding section of a usual resume, serves as a kind of a check-point or a barometer of your professionalism. Employers’ application systems (ATS) will screen your resume in accordance to the key words given by an employer. And if none of these specified options coincide with the skills included into your Competencies resume section, chances to receive an interview call equal zero.
To create a result-bringing Competencies section of a resume, one needs to carry out an investigation first. Analyze the core competencies most frequently demanded in your career field. Screen job postings to check how many of the criteria you may meet with your skills. If you are targeted at a particular company, the search process is even shorter as companies usually have a web page to read about their policies, requirements and thus find out the top skills needed.
The next stage on the way to creating an exquisite Competencies resume paragraph consists in brainstorming. You might have come across this term regarding the issues and problems which require a non-standard approach and quick, brilliant solution. All the applicants usually do at this stage is matching the skills they have in store with those stated on a job ad by the company-employer. However, there is much more to be done. Brainstorming requires a fresh outlook on even seemingly simple skills list. Try to find out what soft skills may interest your future employer or even go as far as analyzing prospect possibilities of company’s development and the skills that might be useful for future. At the dawn of a computer era, for example, hundreds of employees made the right stake having done computer courses, which enabled them to get quicker promotion and ‘overtake’ those colleagues who considered computer skills irrelevant for their job. So, if your intuition hints at a possible route of your professional field’s development, use these feelings to promote and boost your skills.
Although the area of competencies is the first thing a hiring manager will look at on your resume, do not try to squeeze all the skills you possess in this single section. Too much has never equaled to good. Career guides advise to cover your competencies in nine-twelve short phrases. A perfect length of such phrases should not exceed a sentence or two. Remember a golden rule of presenting your achievements by a tandem of an action (duty) and a result description. If you are a lucky owner of numerous relevant for the position applied skills, there is no need to rack your brains over the ways of covering all the skills in one Competencies section. Remember that you may present some of your soft skills or positive character traits at the beginning of a resume in the Summary paragraph, while some of your most eminent strong sides may need more space to dwell on, which may be granted for you by a cover letter.
Follow modern resume writing trends (you may read about the latest of them in out articles), but also remember that not all the fashionable ways of resume formatting and wording may suit personally you. So, be creative and combine traditional resume writing basics with conventional approaches.