There are many reasons why it might be advisable to highlight your skills rather than your work history on your resume. You may have experienced a gap in employment, a bad experience with a previous employer, or you may be changing careers. For some professionals, such as a coach or a trainer, highlighting your skills may be more effective in attracting an employer’s attention.
Monster article contributor, Roberta Chinsky Matuson, recommends a functional resume over a chronological resume in such circumstances. A functional resume focuses on your skills primarily, but still provides information concerning previous positions.
If you decide to highlight your skills, prioritize them according to the job description. For each skill, provide examples of how you applied that skill, your qualifications that support that skill, and any achievements that can attest to your level of competency. A fitness instructor might list client responsiveness as a key skill and cite the number of satisfied clients with examples of their testimonials.
- Use action-oriented and descriptive words to describe your skills and always support them with achievements. For example, instead of “operated machine in manufacturing plant” use “set up, operated, and troubleshot machinery to efficiently manufacture quality products.”
- Use quantifiable results in addition to descriptive words. For example, your efforts may have increased sales by 20 percent or brought in 10 new, long-term clients. Any statistics could show progression and development over time.
- After describing your skills, list your work history. By listing your skills first on the resume, the reader will be impressed by your practical abilities rather than your last job title or the longevity of your assignments.
A resume that highlights skills rather than chronological employment is an alternative way to package yourself. Consider what is most important to the employer in a candidate and stress your suitability according to the employer’s need. A functional resume is also effective if you possess the necessary skills, but have worked in a different industry or role previously.
Contact a PrideStaff Atlanta professional for advice on the best format for your resume. We can assess your experience and skills and suggest the best way to present yourself to a potential employer.