Although it takes a bit longer to develop a skills resume than it does a chronological resume, there are a variety of reasons to write one. This chapter shows you why a skills resume may be good to consider and how to write a skills resume.
What Is a Skills Resume?
In its simplest form, a chronological resume is little more than a list of job titles and other details. If you want to change your career or increase your responsibility, the chronological style can often be ineffective. This chapter helps you write a skills resume that highlights the skills you can use to transition to a new career or promotion.
Employers and recruiters usually look for candidates with a work history that fits the position they have to fill. If they want to hire a cost accountant, they look for someone who has done this work. If you are a recent graduate or have little experience in the career or at the level you now want, you will find that a simple chronological resume emphasizes your lack of related experience rather than your ability to do the job.
A skills resume avoids these problems by highlighting what you have done under specific skills headings rather than under past jobs. If you hitchhiked across the country for two years, a skills resume won’t necessarily display this as an employment gap. Instead, under a heading called “Market Knowledge,” you could say “Traveled extensively throughout the country and am familiar with most major market areas.” That could be very useful experience for certain positions.
A Sample Skills Resume Template
The Following is a basic skills resume. The example is for a recent high school graduate whose only paid work experience is in fast food. Read it and ask yourself: If I were an employer, would I consider interviewing Lisa? For most people, the answer is yes.
Although the sample resume is simple, it presents Lisa in a positive way. She is looking for an entry-level job in a nontechnical area, so many employers will be more interested in her skills than in her job-specific experience. What work experience she does have is presented as a plus.
Lisa M. Rhodes
813 Lava Court • Denver, CO 81613
Home: (413) 643-2173 (leave message)
Cell: (413) 442-1659
Sales-oriented position in a retail sales or distribution business.
Skills and Abilities
How To Write a Skills Resume | Sample Skills Resume Template
|Communications||Good written and verbal presentation skills. Use proper grammar and have a good speaking voice.|
|Interpersonal Skills||Able to get along well with co-workers and accept supervision.|
Received positive evaluations from previous supervisors.
|Flexible||Willing to try new things and am interested in improving efficiency on assigned tasks.|
|Attention to Detail||Concerned with quality. Produce work that is orderly and attractive.|
Ensure tasks are completed correctly and on time.
|Hardworking||Throughout high school, worked long hours in strenuous activities while attending school full-time. Often managed as many as 65 hours a week in school and other structured activities while maintaining above-average grades.|
|Customer Service||Routinely handled as many as 500 customer contacts a day (10,000 per month) in a busy retail outlet. Averaged lower than a .001% complaint rate and won the “Employee of the Month” award in second month of employment. Received two merit increases.|
|Cash Sales |
|Handled more than $2,000 a day ($40,000 a month) in cash sales.|
Balanced register and prepared daily sales summary and deposits
|Reliable||Excellent attendance record; trusted to deliver daily cash deposits totaling more than $40,000 a month.|
Franklin High School, 2007–2010. Classes included advanced English. Member of award-winning band. Excellent attendance record. Superior communication skills. Graduated in top 30% of class.
Active gymnastics competitor for four years. Learned discipline, teamwork, how to follow instructions, and how to work hard. Ambitious, outgoing, and reliable, and have solid work ethic.