Updated: Nov 7, 2019
In today’s technology-driven world, almost every job requires technical skills whether it’s an understanding of point of sale and inventory management systems for those in retail or knowledge of Java, HTML, XML, and Python for computer programmers. Possessing the right technical skills is a surefire way to get past applicant tracking systems (ATS), set you apart from other candidates, and catch the eye of recruiters and hiring managers. Consequently, a stand-out resume shines a spotlight on relevant technical skills.
What are Technical Skills?
Technical skills are the abilities or knowledge needed to accomplish particular tasks or use certain tools. Technical skills are acquired through practice or education and have a practical application, which is what makes them so appealing to employers. For example, a candidate possessing a particular proficiency or skill set, such as expertise in website design, content development, and digital advertising, is an ideal fit for a marketing position.
A Dedicated Technical Skills Section
The best resume writers will tell you that one of the simplest ways to highlight your technical skills is with a dedicated technical skills section on your resume. Because these attributes are what employers are searching for, make sure to give your technical skills section a prominent position near the beginning of your resume. Tailor your skills section to the job you’re applying for by listing your most relevant in-demand skills to get the attention of employers.
The certified resume writers of SoCalResumes also suggest formatting your technical skills to make them easily scannable by recruiters and hiring managers. Since human resource professionals are likely to lack the technical vocabulary specific to the job, describe the skill first and follow with the technical information. For example:
Programming: Java, C++, HTML, XML, Perl, Python, AJAX, Ruby
Graphic Design: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, FreeHand
Accounting: Peachtree, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Sage
Payroll: Paychex, Sage HRMS, ADP, Ascentis
A Qualifications Summary
Similar to a dedicated skills section, a qualifications summary should have a leading spot on your resume. Between three and five short sentences, a qualifications summary is your best attempt to catch the attention of a potential employer and entice them into reading the rest of your resume; therefore, you’ll want to emphasize your most relevant technical skills and experience to the target position.
Professional resume writers will encourage you to lead with relevant skills, abilities, and experiences—read the job description thoroughly before you begin writing. A winning resume profile summary will tell employers your key relevant skills, your experience, and any major roles held; an overview of your current role; and any rewards or honors you’ve received. For example:
Top-ranked Sales Manager with a proven record of success in penetrating new market segments, account development, and revenue growth. Experience growing both regional and national accounts through an in-depth understanding of the sales cycle and a commitment to customer satisfaction. Currently leading a 15-person sales team that’s exceeding sales plan by 36% and achieving multi-million dollar revenue gains.
Show Off Your Skill Through Your Experience
Don’t limit bragging about your technical skills to just one section of your resume—permeate your resume with them. One place ideally suited for demonstrating your technical skills is your professional experience. This is an excellent place to not merely give insight into the technical skills you possess, but also how those skills have benefited previous and current employers. For example:
Don’t: Have experience with customer relationship management software.
Do: Used Hubspot’s CRM software to create an inbound marketing campaign increasing traffic by 33% and conversion by 17%.
Don’t: Knowledge and understanding of social media marketing.
Do: Created channel-specific marketing initiatives to grow followers and engagement on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, driving an additional 1,000 visitors monthly to the company’s website.
Don’t: Used web development skills for a better website user experience.
Talk Up Technical Skills in Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is another great place to highlight the technical skills you have that are most relevant to the position. Recruiters and hiring managers are on the hunt for candidates with particular skill sets—so, just like on your resume, get one or two key technical skills in the introductory paragraph to hook them into reading your entire cover letter. The best resume writers will remind you that it’s import to be succinct, so don’t overdo it. A good example of an introductory paragraph is:
Whether it’s on your resume or in your cover letter, there is only so much space to work with, so stay focused on featuring your skills and abilities that are most relevant to the particular position. Likewise, if your resume contains outdated or irrelevant skills, it will take attention away from pertinent ones.
For example, your technical writing skills aren’t as valuable as your knowledge of programming languages when applying for a coding job. Similarly, in-depth knowledge of CRM systems is of little value if you’re applying for a job outside of marketing or sales.
The Takeaway to Getting Hired
Technical skills are some of the key attributes you offer a company; because of that, it’s imperative you highlight them to put yourself in the best position to land an interview and get a job. If you’re unsure how to structure your resume to accentuate your technical skills, a resume writing service such as SoCalResumes can help you properly bring your technical skills to the foreground. A professionally written resume is one of the best investments you can make—it’s proven that applicants who enlist the help of a professional resume writer are more likely to find a job—and faster—than those writing their own resume.