When you have finally found the job you’re qualified for, you’d be faced with the task of not just listing your skills, but including the relevant skills for the job role in your CV. The skills you include in your CV go a long way to differentiate you from other candidates, influence the flow of conversation between you and the recruiter and play a role in determining the salary figure you settle on.
As you read on, you will get to know:
The difference between soft and hard skills and why you need them in your CV.
The right kind of skills to have for different job positions you may be going for.
How to identify which skills are more important to your potential boss.
The list of skills you can include in your CV is endless. There are hard skills that are specific to certain industries and career fields, while there are also soft skills which are needed in every job.
Hard skills are simply technical and practical skills a certain field requires to build a career in it. They are highly measurable and may not be transferable from one field to the other. While a software developer must have skills in programming languages, a graphics designer does not have any business with that. Hard skills are usually gotten from training and are solidified better through years of practical experience.
Soft skills on the other hand are creative habits and attribute to demonstrate your ability to thrive in any working environment. It largely shows how you are able to manage relationships and work well with other people. They are not particular to a specific job and are transferable across different jobs and even career paths. Soft skills ultimately help you absorb any company culture and enable you to be a good employee.
Both skills are necessary to have a healthy career and neither is less important. A skilled social media manager who is not able to manage emotions or communicate properly will end up messing up the job and his entire career. Yet, no one wants to hire a candidate who is simply emotionally intelligent but has no relevant skill for the job role he is applying for. It is then imperative that the average candidate who wants to get his dream job must have a grasp of both the soft and hard skills needed for the job. However, highlighting your soft skills in your CV is always better articulated in your previous experiences. So, with your ability to show how you have worked with people in the past, you are able to detail the soft skills that the prospective employer will want to see in your CV. Truth be told, anyone can include any soft skill in their CV, but with highlighting your experiences, you assure the recruiter that those skills on your CV are not fairytales.
Having communication skills on your CV is a must for everyone. This is because you will be dealing with a lot of people that you have to communicate with. Be it your boss, colleagues, or even clients, giving and receiving information in the course of the job will happen a lot of times. Communication skills can be in different forms such as:
Here’s an example of how you can include communication skills in your CV.
“Interacted with about 30 clients daily, building a strong customer base for the organisation by providing personalized product guidance and following up on customer challenges.”
“Negotiated and collaborated with a team of 10 remote developers to build several client websites in a space of one month.”
Leadership skills include your ability to lead, inspire and manage yourself as well as other people. An employee who is able to inspire and influence people to action is always an advantage to any organisation he is a part of. Employers are always in search of candidates that can help move things faster, and keep them from slowing down. That is an attribute of a leader.
To communicate your leadership skills on your CV, you could tailor this example
“Spearheaded outreach projects in 30 cities within a specified budget while increasing brand awareness across the cities.”
This could work too,
“Influenced an increase in employee appreciation scheme which in turn improved general attitude to work of the team and increased productivity by 15%.”
Interpersonal skills are those skills that help you relate with other people. They are skills you have to maximize when dealing with people. They include:
All of these are interpersonal skills you must develop to do well in a work environment. People have emotions, and these skills help you manage your emotions as well as that of the people you are working with.
To highlight your interpersonal skills, you can put it this way in your CV
“Implemented a 1-on-1 meeting rhythm with my team reaching high employee happiness and longest retention rate.”
You can also have
“Built and maintained relationships with 20+ influencers (incl. bloggers, editors, and stylists) that led to a 20% increase in media visibility.”
Creativity is simply the ability to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions/ways of handling things. The strength of creativity lies in bringing fresh ideas on how things can be done. This always comes with a new spark and motivation to the team, which every employer looks out for in candidates.
In your CV, you can include your creativity skills this way,
“Revamped website flow and navigation menus, reducing misdirection of customer service queries by 25% and increasing traffic to neglected pages.”
This also shows creativity in your CV,
“Created a performance reporting template thereby achieving 80% reduction time in preparation of client materials.”
Every organization is made up of teams, be they big or small. Also, the organization itself is a team. Your ability to function well in a team, whether as a leader or a team member is an advantage. No employer wants an employee who always drops the ball, making the team look bad. If you are going to do well at a job, you must have and include the skill of teamwork in your CV.
Your teamwork skill can be highlighted this way,
“Liaised with a team of 5+ developers and product managers to launch 12 new customer-based features in 3 months and access project outcomes.”
“Supported the HR team on several projects including best practice research, recruitment support and other ad hoc HR tasks.”
No matter what job you are doing, you will encounter problems in the course of doing it. Being able to manoeuvre challenges while working is a good skill that employers look out for when hiring. Employers want to know that you will be able to come up with quick and effective solutions to issues.
Here’s how you can highlight your problem-solving skills,
“Developed a contingency plan during tough economic conditions to save R 450 000 yearly.”
Here's something else you can use,
“Analyzed 1000+ responses to a customer survey to evaluate the brand perception and customer’s willingness to pay.”
Being able to think rationally and deeply are elements of critical thinking. Employers want to know that you can give deep thoughts towards projects and tasks. That is part of the proof that you can perform a thorough job and be detailed with your tasks.
You can talk about your critical thinking skills by saying,
“Designed a social media strategy by myself that increased the company's share growth rate by 15%.”
In another context, here's what could also work,
“Wrote over 300+ articles in the sphere of genetics, molecular diseases and biotechnology. The majority of them were published in reputable scientific newsletters.”
It is not just that you can carry out tasks but that you can carry out those tasks with little or at least minimal time. Being able to effectively manage time and be productive is always a huge plus. With deadlines to meet and clients to satisfy, no employer wants an employee that drags his feet on tasks.
A good example of highlighting time management skills on your CV can be
“Managed and coached Scrum team using Agile Methodology of 2 weeks spring cycles to deliver software on time and within budget.”
“Created knowledge base of 80 internal resources, improving employee onboarding and reducing time spent per project on administrative tasks by 40%”
Part of being a good employee is taking responsibility and owning up to mistakes. It also entails being proactive and not always waiting to be told what to do. While it is okay to ask questions for the sake of clarity, it is also necessary to be proactive and take initiative in your job.
Including these soft skills in your CV can go this way
“Examined technical feasibility of more than 4 development projects to avoid hitches before execution.”
Being able to organize your tasks and deliverables is part of the skills you should have. This skill begins to show even in your CV. Employers are always looking out for organizational skills because it lets them know that you will need minimal supervision to deliver on whatever task is assigned to you.
An example of organizational skills in a CV,
“Organized new office and designed systems to maximize office function efficiency by 30%”
“Managed and handled over 700 cases of misdemeanour, juvenile and felony from intake to disposition”
The hard skills required for roles differ for a lot of reasons. It could be due to the peculiar need of the organisation, the location or other variables. However, there are certain hard skills that different job roles require. Here are a few of them.
A full-stack developer is a software engineer that develops and maintains the front-end and back-end of a website or application. A full-stack developer should have these skills
Proficiency with server-side languages such as Python, Ruby, Java, PHP and .Net.
Proficiency with database technology such as MySQL, Oracle and MongoDB.
A UI/UX designer creates a positive user experience that encourages clients to stick with a brand. The goal is to create an interface that looks good and also works perfectly. An outstanding CV for a UI/UX designer should have these necessary hard skills
Prototyping, wireframing, user flows and mockups
Visual design and design software
Basic front-end coding
A product manager is responsible for crowdsourcing, developing and curating ideas that will deliver value to customers. He basically identifies a customer need and larger business objectives that a product can fulfil. A product manager will need to have these skills included in his CV
Understanding of web development
Ability to write technical specs and requirements
Conducting market research
Knowledge of user experience best practices
Basic data analytical expertise
Find a list of openings for product managers you can apply for.
A DevOps engineer is a software professional who introduces processes, tools and methodologies that balance needs through the software development cycle. A DevOps engineer is expected to have a wide-ranging knowledge of both development and operations which include coding, infrastructure management, etc. Skills a DevOps engineer needs for a CV include
Linux Fundamentals and Scripting Skills
Knowledge of automation tools like Source Code Management (SCM)
Knowledge of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GPC) and Microsoft Azure
A digital marketer is an expert who uses digital platforms to reach potential customers of a brand for the advertisement of the brand’s products and services. If you’re going to get the attention of the recruiter with your CV, these skills have to be added
Search Engine Optimization Strategy
Social media marketing
Marketing analytics skills
Pay per Click (PPC) advertising
Basic design skills with tools like Canva or Photoshop
Competitive research analysis
Look up some digital marketing vacancies that would interest you.
A sales executive is a professional whose job is to sell products and services. He sets annual goals and sales targets for the company and often comes up with creative ideas with a team of other sales personnel to ensure the targets are met. A professional sales executive will have to be skilled in these
Product and Policy Knowledge
Lead Generation and Qualification
Customer Needs Analysis
Increasing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Reducing Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
If you need opportunities as a sales expert, then you’re at the right place.
Customer service representatives serve as a liaison between a business and its customers. He represents the business before the customers and ensures that the customers are satisfied with the products and services.
Point of Sale (POS)
Outbound Call Skills
Microsoft Office Suite
Apply for customer service vacancies avaialable here.
An office secretary handles the administrative aspect of a business. The job role entails the paperwork of the business and every kind of record-keeping and correspondence needed to keep the business running. As an office secretary, your CV should cover these relevant skills
Microsoft Office Skills
Here are some secretarial job positions in South Africa for you.
A project manager has the responsibility of managing projects. He is responsible for the planning, implementation and execution of projects from start to finish. Relevant Skills a project manager requires are
Knowledge of Agile and Scrum
Find project management jobs in South Africa here you can apply for.
A civil engineer is a kind of engineer that specializes in the building and construction of structures. Roads, buildings and infrastructure are the areas of work a civil engineer covers. Skills needed by a civil engineer are
Technical Report Writing Skills
Civil engineering job roles are right here!
Engineering technologists provide technical support to engineers, scientists and other professionals. They also visit construction job sites to collect or test materials or to observe activities as a project inspector. Skills required in the CV of an engineering technologist include
Agricultural engineers are engineers that attempt to solve agricultural problems concerning power supplies, the efficiency of machinery, the use of structures and facilities, pollution and environmental issues, and the storage and processing of agricultural products. Getting a job as an agricultural engineer would need these relevant skills in your CV
Soil and Crop Science
Here are some agricultural engineering jobs for you.
Laboratory scientists are responsible for conducting tests on different patient samples. They serve as assistants for healthcare professionals by helping them diagnose patients through tests. A lab scientist will have to be skilled in
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
Use of X-Ray, MRI, and CAT Scans
Teachers are always needed in every economy. They are basically the professionals that train other professionals. To get a teaching job, you should have these relevant skills in your CV
Testing and Grading
Math and Data-driven Skills
Basic First Aid Knowledge
You can find a variety of teaching jobs here.
A nurse is basically a healthcare professional who takes care of the sick or invalid. They are usually trained and licensed to be able to practise because they interface with people and determine the general healthcare and recovery process of a sick person. A professional nurse should have the following skills
CPR and First Aid
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
Taking Vital Signs
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Wound Dressing and Care
Find a number of nursing jobs to apply for.
Getting your dream job with the relevant skills in place in your skill will require one extra step from you. Rather than simply list skills you believe are important or possess, you’d also want to list out skills that will appeal to the employer to enable you to get a spot in the role. To do this, take some time to learn more about the company. Beyond the job description, research the company and recruiter and find out the skills that are important to them. You can do this by asking friends that already work with them, or visiting their website. These will help you get clarity on the skills the company is looking to hire for the position. It’s always needed when you want to include soft skills in your CV.
Including relevant skills in your CV will also help you beat tracking systems companies use for their hiring processes. Most CVs do not get to the human recruiter immediately after it is sent but pass through an ATS before it gets to him. When you use relevant skills in your CVs, they stand as keywords that the ATS looks out for while parsing your CV. That way, your CV eventually gets to the right table where it can be properly appreciated.
Now you know never to submit your CV without the relevant skills attached to it whether soft or hard skills. As much as you can, include these skills in your CV and impress your recruiter with your next application!