Should You Be Using a Skills-Based Resume?

For many years, job hunters have been using a resume that lists their work experiences in a reverse-chronological format. It made sense: Show a prospective employer where you have worked and what your duties were, and start with the most recent.

But what about those fresh graduates who have no experience to list? Or the candidate whose goal is to change careers? Outlining their experiences will not necessarily show the hiring manager that they could be a good fit for the company.

But there is another option; the skills-based resume. Instead of the traditional work-history format, a resume that emphasizes your skills might be more effective.

What Is a Skills-Based Resume?

With a skills-based resume, you’re focusing on the specific skills you have that are readily transferable to the job you want. You’ll still include your work history, but move it to the bottom of the page. Changing the focus from position and titles to your skills and experiences—both at work and in your personal life—will give hiring managers a more comprehensive picture of your assets.

Should Your Resume Be Skills-Based?

If you have little or no work history, or what you do have isn’t closely related to the position for which you’re applying, you should seriously consider switching to a skills-based resume. Here are other scenarios in which it may be a better option:

  • there are noticeable gaps in your work history;
  • you have spent most of your time in short-term positions, temp jobs or internships;
  • your experiences have come from volunteer work or other unpaid jobs; or
  • all of the positions you’ve held are similar, and listing them looks redundant.

How Do You Create This Resume?

Choose the skills you want to target

Check out the skills that are required for the job, and target your matching skills to them. Then, pick three-to-four broader skill sets that connect to the job description. If you can, back them up with specific accomplishments. Don’t forget, soft skills like leadership and communication are important.

Add your accomplishment statements

Using bullet points, list your skills and the experience you have in each of them. You don’t have to bother with the companies or the position you held in them. Focus on your achievements and results.

Include an abridged work history

After you list your skills, add a brief work history section. Include the company name, your job title, employment dates, and the city and state of the business. No bullet points needed here, but include any volunteer work or internships.

Add extra headings

Add in any other headings that have some professional value and will highlight your experience.

  • Education;
  • published articles;
  • projects;
  • continuing education; and
  • community activities.

Do you need more help with your skills-based resume?

Give us a call. We are United Personnel, and we’ll help you get your job hunt started in the right direction. Whether it’s a short-term placement or a direct-hire position you’re looking for, we can help you find it. 

Whenever you’re ready to make a move, make us your first contact!