How to List Skills Correctly on Your Resume| 2022

The term resume originates from a French word “résumé” which means abstract or summary. A resume is a formal document that specifies the skill and qualification of a person searching for job opportunities.

Being the first step taken by managers or recruiters to assess eligible applicants, the importance of your resume being outlined properly cannot be over-emphasized. 

Are you wondering what skills to list in your resume and how? The dos and don’ts of a resume?

This article would be your guide and you would find that you would rank quite high just for your resume.

What is a Resume?

A resume is a document containing a concise summary of your professional life made up of skills, qualifications, work background, and work experience relevant to the job currently being applied to and listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent job position.

Resumes are the standard indicator an employer has of your skills, education, and work experience.

A properly crafted resume should present the applicant as a devoted professional with strong career goals and a huge potential towards achieving them, it should contain important details required for the applicant to land the job.

It should be written in a manner that grabs the reader’s attention and separates him from other applicants hence paving the way to the interview session.

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What are the Types of Resumes?

Dependent on your skills, qualifications, and work history a particular format might be better suited towards drawing attention to your qualifications than the other formats.

Hence, there is a great need to understand the different formats used in creating a resume in order to determine which fits your qualifications perfectly.

The main four types of resumes are:

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Functional Resumes

This format does not follow the orthodox method of resume writing. The functional resume focuses on the skill of the applicant and what values he can bring to the company rather than employment history or job opportunities.

Functional resumes are mostly used by people who-

  • Have a significant gaps in their employment history,
  • Are fresh college graduates lacking extensive professional experience,
  • Are trying to forge a new career path and do not have any experience in the chosen industry,
  • have gained skills and experience through ways that are not professional jobs but via ways like volunteer work and mentorship programs and want to draw attention to specifics skills they possess.

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Chronological Resumes

This is the most common type of resume used by job applicants. A chronological resume enables the human resource department to determine the value a particular applicant is bringing into their organization judging from their previous job experience.

In a chronological resume, your job experience is outlined in reverse chronological order starting from your current position. It should contain a list of achievements, certifications, special abilities, and educational data.

Chronological resumes are mostly used-

  • When there is no or little gap in your employment history;
  • You possess several years of experience in a particular profession;
  • To draw attention to past growth and development in the same career field;
  • When the name of past company or employer might be significant to the potential employer.

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Targeted Resumes

This is a direct, short, and easily read a resume, having its main focus on a particular work or previous job experience.

A targeted resume focuses on only skills and qualifications that are required for that particular position you’re applying for. 

A perfectly written targeted resume should be able to convince the human resource manager that you’re fit for the position.

They are mostly used-

  • When you need separate resumes for various career paths,
  • Or when you have a specific career path,
  • When you want to highlight specific qualifications and experience.

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Combination Resumes

A combination resume is also known as a hybrid resume. A combination resume usually combines the combined characteristics of the functional resume and the reverse chronological resume to attain its unique characteristics.

It combines the skill focus of the functional resume with the qualification focus of the reverse chronological order to give an in-depth demonstration of your qualifications.

This type of resume is used to highlight an impressive employment record.

Mostly used when-

  • You have a diverse history of employment or
  • You wish to highlight your internship, mentorship, and volunteer experiences.

Difference Between a Resume and a CV (Curriculum Vitae)?

The resume and CV are often misinterpreted to mean the same thing on analyzing both we see that each has its own unique characteristics and properties.

They both vary in three key ways which are in content, purpose, and length.

  • Length: The first observable difference between a resume and a cv is the length. Where a resume is normally straight to the point with the applicant ensuring to focus his qualifications in a single page the CV is usually 2-3 pages long and provides an in-depth illumination to the achievement of a person starting from his academic achievements to career feats.
  • Purpose: The resume is mostly used when applying for regular job opportunities while a CV is used for academic purposes I.e., when applying for a doctorate degree (PhD), applying to join a college staff or requesting for a research program.
  • Content: A CV normally contains a comprehensive description of the achievement of the applicant both in academics and career while a resume contains just the qualifications required for the particular positions being applied for.

What Should a Resume Contain?

There are certain basic aspects that shouldn’t be omitted in your resume, they include

Name and Contact Information:

These are important aspects of a resume that cannot be omitted, it enables the employer to be able to get through to the applicant whether successful or not in the vetting process.

Resume Objective or Summary:

The resume objective and summary are slightly different hence you should be able to select which one to use or if to make use of the two depending on the position you’re applying for.

The resume objective mostly used by fresh graduates or career changers highlights your ambition and what your goal is for in the career you’re vying for while a resume summary in a few sentences summarizes your past work experience.


This section is very important to employers who wish to employ people with a certain degree or level of experience.

The education section should clearly state the- School name and Location, Field of study, Degree obtained (if available), Year of graduation, Awards, special achievements or recognitions, post held and coursework, Grade point average (usually if above 3.4)

Professional Experience:

This is the main part of your resume as this section highlights to the hiring manager your achievements throughout your professional career and your capability.

Also, this section should be viewed as an advertisement to your capability. This section should contain your employment history from most recent to oldest.

The experience section should contain- Name of employer, Job position, Duration of employment, Accomplished tasks.

Skills, Qualifications and Certificates:

Hiring managers does not just entail searching for people with experience but also trying to find if you possess certain skills required for the growth and achievement of the organization or company.

There are two main types of skills I.e., soft skill and hard skill. Soft skill is defined as abilities not specific to a particular job example include management skills and communication skills while hard skills are technical abilities that can be taught examples are IT skills and marketing skills.

Your skill section is advised to contain a mixture of both hard and soft skill.

Internship or Volunteer Work:

This is the last section of your resume and shows the hiring manager your ability to be committed strongly to a goal even in absence of monetary gain.

This section highlights perspectives in which you might have given back to his community either via volunteer work, charity or other accomplishments.

Do’s and Don’ts when Writing a Resume?

Writing a resume is not usually an easy task hence there are relevant guidelines to writing a perfectly outlined and comprehensible resume.


  • List skills only relevant to the position you’re applying for.
  • Select a resume template that matches your preference.
  • Provide a significant explanation of previous accomplishments.
  • Always try to make the resume fit in a single page.
  • Use words that are simple, easy to understand and direct.
  • Make use of a resume summary.
  • Always proofread your resume to detect spelling and grammatical errors.


  • Adding irrelevant hobbies and interests.
  • If you’re not a fresh graduate or not switching career paths do not use the resume objective.
  • Using unprofessional fonts on your resume.
  • Embellishing your qualifications or experience.
  • Using jargon and cliché words.

How to List Skills in your Resume?

When listing skills in your resume it should be done in an orderly manner, steps to be followed include

  • Understanding skills relevant for the job position: Your main focus when listing skills should be on the job description, each skill should be tailored to satisfy the job description given. 
  • Determining skills that will affect your employer positively: There are certain skills that most employers are always searching for examples include communication skills, teamwork, adaptability and time management. When these skills are present in a resume the employer views the applicant in a positive manner hence raising chances of being hired.
  • Listing relevant exceptional skills: The skills you possess which are relevant to the job description should be clearly highlighted. Starting from the most relevant to the least. These should contain both soft skills and hard skills.
  • Organizing the skills properly: Your skill list should be categorized properly for easy identification. Your skill set can be categorized into soft skill or additional skill and hard skill. 60% of the employers are partial to applicants with stronger soft skills due to their ability to function well in a team.
  • Give examples of the skills: This is not a compulsory requirement but an applicant can give examples of when he applied certain skills to achieve a goal. This will provide authenticity, increase value and marketability to your resume.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should my resume be?

It’s preferred for your resume to not exceed two pages usually a single page is highly preferred.

  • Which type of resume should I use?
  •  The type of resume you can use depends on the role you are applying for and your past employment history.

  • How do I create a resume if I have no experience?
  • The key to this is focusing on your passion and elaborating on your skills, volunteer work, and charity.

  • How do I deal with employment gaps in my resume?
  • Ensure that you give a brief explanation for the reason for the gap in your cover letter then highlight in the resume community projects and skills acquired during the employment gap. 

  • How do I know my resume is good?
  • If you follow the steps for listing skills in your resume correctly, the resume is already 60% good.


    Outlining skills in a resume is a core area when writing a resume as most employers might just browse through the document but tend to focus on getting to the skill section.

    In order to know if the applicant has the necessary skills required for that position hence the importance of the skill section being outlined correctly.

    This article has successfully provided the framework necessary to creating a topnotch resume if followed properly.


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