In Resumes

When writing or updating a resume, you might get stumped when you start thinking about the skills section. We’ve talked about the skills you should include on your resume and how they should apply to the job you want…but what about the skills you shouldn’t include on your resume? Yes, there are skills you shouldn’t include on your resume. 

Here are a few “skills” that will make employers skip over your resume. 

Basic Computer Skills

Sorry, but it’s no longer impressive if you know how to use Microsoft Word or email. It’s now expected that you’re at least proficient with a computer and things like email and word processors. If you add too many of these “skills” to your resume, you run the risk of looking like you’re trying to “fluff” your background because you don’t have a lot of skills to share. 

One exception here would be if you’re skilled at using Excel to create databases and import data. Excel can be a beast and if you’re an expert, brag about it…but be specific. 

Another exception is experiencing working remotely and proficiency in related software like Zoom, etc. For more information on this read How the Coronavirus is Impacting Job Searches.

Social Media

Sharing pet pics and starting fights in the comment section on Facebook is not a skill. Unless you’re a social media manager or expert in the field of social trends and marketing, don’t include social media on your resume. If you manage some accounts in your free time and think this is worth mentioning, include stats on how you’ve helped the account grow and what you do to stay on top of trends. But, unless the job is directly related to social media in some way, you should leave it off. Getting a lot of likes on your vacation pics does not make you a social media expert. 

Certain Soft Skills

Soft skills can be valuable but it’s how you talk about them that will make or break your resume.

While it might be important to highlight the fact that you’re a great leader, just listing “leadership” isn’t helpful. In fact, just including a list of soft skills like, “good communicator, problem-solver, team player, etc.” is not going to help you get the job. 

Instead, list a concrete example of a time you demonstrated your leadership skills. Like when you led a project team that wrapped ahead of time and below budget. 

Hint: Don’t include multitasking. Scientifically, multitasking isn’t possible

Skills Not Related To The Job

You might be good at a lot of things but given that you have about 7 seconds to sell yourself to your future employer, you should leave a lot of those things off your resume. You might have an award-winning cupcake recipe but, unless you’re applying for a job in a bakery, leave it off the resume. Comb through the job description and highlight the skills that most directly relate to the position you’re applying for. 

When studying your skill set for your resume, it’s important to think about what a future employer might want to see. They expect that you’ll be a hard worker and a team player but they might not know that you’ve prepared and given multiple presentations to crowds of over 15o people. That’s a valuable skill if you’re in the communications field. So don’t try to impress with things like Word and web browsing–highlight the skills you’ve spent years perfecting to make sure you land that interview!

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