Top 5 Skills Qualities Employers Want in Your Resume

Whether you’re looking to find a new position all together or “upgrade” to a different position with your current employer, the results of the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2010 survey may surprise you… and your resume.

The Job Outlook 2010 survey of employer organizations holding NACE memberships was conducted from mid-August through October 2009.

Test Your Resume Against the Top 5

The Job Outlook 2010 study’s Top 5 Candidate Skills/Qualities summarize the skills employers report as essential for candidates to possess. Does your resume demonstrate these characteristics that employers report are essential to on-the-job-success?

First, review your resume. Think it sells all you offer? Presents a compelling “hire me” story?

Now run it through the Top 5 list below as a filter. Is your resume too focused on technical skills and industry-specific knowledge without spending enough time on these skills employers are looking for? Have you linked these Top 5 skills to tangible results that demonstrate the value you bring to an organization?

To say that you possess “excellent [fill in the blank] skills” is not enough. To set yourself apart from the hundreds of other candidates applying for the same position, you must demonstrate your unique strengths in these Top 5 areas through real examples with successful, measurable outcomes.

When your resume answers “what’s in it for me if I hire you?” in these five areas, your resume is more likely to land at the top of the pile of candidates to call for in-person interviews.

Top 5 Candidate Skills/Qualities

The Top 5 along with a few action phrase starters as examples of how to prove your skills in these essential areas:

1. Communication Skills

  • Facilitated group discussions…
  • Detailed accurate information…
  • Delivered engaging presentations…
  • Summarized plans concisely…

2. Analytical Skills

  • Strategically considered options…
  • Interpreted data to back up…
  • Surveyed target audiences…
  • Validated through trend research plans to…

3. Teamwork Skills

  • Collaborated with colleagues to…
  • Fostered a culture of… in the team by…
  • Participated as member of…
  • Built trust within team to accomplish…

4. Technical Skills

  • Engineered new unit…
  • Installed hardware…
  • Programmed customized IT solution…
  • Integrated systems…

5. Strong Work Ethic

  • Businesslike
  • Dependable
  • Flexible/adaptable
  • Productive

Match Them to Your Strengths

Yes, ideally you will prove your worth to a new employer by including these Top 5 throughout your resume with strong examples of measurable results.

CAUTION: Be aware that you are always selling YOUR strengths, talents and abilities vs. simply saying what you think they want to hear. If you’re an introvert with excellent written communication skills tout that not your “powerful public speaking presence.” That’s not you. If using your analytical skills means you gather information by interview and talking with members of the right audience, don’t spend time talking about your preference to be closed away for hours at a time hunkered over spreadsheets.

Well, you could do the opposite (any Seinfeld fans out there?) of what is true to you, and yes you may even get that job. But I guarantee misery will set in right about that 90-day “probationary period” deadline.

Bottom line: Include these Top 5 while making sure they are authentic to your personal brand


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