Create a CV Skills Section

Skills demonstrate your ability to perform tasks well, be effective in various workplace scenarios and show your expertise in your profession.

They go to the very heart of your potential to be a good employee, so it’s vital to include a well-crafted skills section in your curriculum vitae.

Skills for your CV fall into two main categories, role specific or hard skills, and generic or soft skills.

Hard skills are those required for performing particular jobs, for example programming skills for a games developer or lesson planning skills for a teacher.

Soft skills, which you’ll also see referred to as adaptive skills, are broad skill sets required for most jobs. For example, teamwork and adaptability.

How do you choose which ones to list? As with your entire CV, the key is staying directly relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Go to the advert and read the job description. The hiring manager uses this to state what they’re looking for in a new employee, so give them what they want.

Desired skills can be expressed explicitly, such as “good team player” or “experience using C#.” However, others are implicit, such as sales skills for an estate agent, even if not specified on the job description.

Take the time to brainstorm a list of relevant hard and soft skills based on the job description. But don’t just add them as an afterthought in a plain shopping list style format. Do it properly. Here’s how:

How to Write a CV- Skills Section:

RIGHT
Written communication skills: Prepared monthly company newsletter based on briefings from senior managers.
Adaptability: Maintained a high standard of service delivery during emergency office move and unexpected long term absence of team members.
Contract management: Kept supply and service costs within budget through effective negotiation with contractors.
Analytical skills: Shown in researching blockages in team processes to improve efficiency.
Performance management: Maintained regular schedule of 1-1 meetings and introduced new annual performance review process.
WRONG
·         Communication skills
·         Adaptability
·         Contract management
·         Analytical skills

The right example uses a splash of eye-catching bold text to emphasise the skill itself then gives a practical application of that knowledge. They clearly show the employer that you actually possess that skill and know how to use it in the workplace.

The second example triggers one response. Prove it.

Some skills will vary from job to job, but others are almost universal. Here are some of the most popular. Feel free to use them to write your own CV, but keep them relevant and show the employer you know how to apply them.

Best Skills to Show on Your CV:

  • Resilience
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Self management
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Planning and research skills
  • Ability to learn

And there it is. You’ve demonstrated more skills than being a dual winner of Strictly Come Dancing and the Booker Prize while maintaining a successful career as a neurosurgeon.

We’re not quite finished though, there’s some extra you can add to promote your curriculum vitae to the Premier League.