How to Effectively Describe Your Skills on Paper

Poets. Advertising executives. Travel writers. A lot of professions are based on describing complex or elusive topics in evocative prose.

Well, you might not be a poet. But you do have to find a way to describe your skills on paper. By capturing your abilities in your resume and cover letter, you increase your ability to score your dream job.

Of course, you’re a complicated, unique individual. It’s difficult, to sum up, all your attributes in a brief set of bullet points. However, that’s the precise task you take on when you create your resume.

How can you do this as effectively as possible? Here are some tips that will allow you to describe your skills on paper:

Look for Templates

You don’t have to start from scratch. A resume doesn’t represent a creative writing exercise. If you’re having trouble concisely describing a skill, look for examples elsewhere.

Search the internet for examples of resumes for your selected position or for your target industry. Most likely, the skills you want to describe are relatively common. You can use these examples as templates for your resume.

Think about the Overall Impact

Remember, your goal isn’t just to make a list of skills. You’re looking to score an interview and, ultimately, land the job. Your bullet-pointed abilities should add up to a high-level candidate.

As such, consider the items you want to emphasize. Also, edit your work to make sure you get the most out of every word. Show your drafts to others so they can give you feedback.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of this aspect of the process:

  • Use Descriptive Language
  • Customize for Each Opportunity
  • Remember Soft Skills

Consider Adding Specifics, Like Statistics or Examples

Examples help you tell a story. Of course, you don’t have much room in a resume. Even in a cover letter, you can’t go into minute detail.

Still, there are ways to add specifics even while respecting a cramped word count. Numbers help a lot. For instance, you wouldn’t just list “typing” as a skill. Report that you “type 80 words per minute.”

At the same time, use the bullet points of your work history to give examples of your listed skills. So if you name “leadership” as one of your abilities, add the fact that you led a team of 10 people on a particular project at the appropriate spot.

Expand in Your Cover Letter

You might not have space to provide the detail you want in your resume. However, you have another opportunity to add specifics: your cover letter.

No one wants to read a novel-length cover letter. You can’t expound on every skill. However, you can pick a handful of crucial abilities to highlight.

Use what you know about the position to select a few choice capabilities. Expand on these in your cover letter. Provide examples and data to underline your most marketable skills.

Getting a job interview involves putting your best foot forward. You need to sell yourself effectively. Or you can get a top recruiter, like SmartTalent, to sell you instead.

Contact SmartTalent today to get the support and guidance you need to find the perfect job.


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