Resumes

Complete Guide to Area of Expertise Skills

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It can be helpful to include specific areas of expertise skills on your resume to help set you apart from the competition. Determining which area of expertise skills you should include and how to incorporate them into your resume is a worthwhile pursuit. This article will explore the different types of area of expertise skills, why these skills are important and how to incorporate them on a resume along with some tips for gaining new skills.

What are area of expertise skills?

Area of expertise skills are the abilities related to a specific industry or job. Area of expertise skills can be shown on a resume by simply listing duties performed in a previous position, or they can be included by describing the specific skill in the work experience section for a particular job. 

Why are skills important on a resume? 

Skills give hiring managers a quick way to assess whether or not an applicant is qualified for a position. Hiring managers spend six seconds on average reviewing a resume. If your skills are concise and easy to read, you have a better chance of being selected for a job interview. 

Different types of skills to list on a resume

Here are the different kinds of area of expertise skills that you can list on your resume:

Hard skills

Hard skills are specific, teachable and tangible. They can be measured and tested through assignments and assessments. Hard skills are learned rather than inherent. Hiring managers may be flexible if you lack all the necessary hard skills for a position as they can be taught.  Examples of hard skills include computer programming and carpentry.

Soft skills

Soft skills are intangible and harder to measure than hard skills. They are personality traits and interpersonal skills that come naturally to people rather than being taught. People are born with soft skills and can develop them further over time through upbringing, education and experiences. Hiring managers are very interested in soft skills as they are harder to develop in a new hire. Examples of soft skills include being a strong communicator and demonstrating leadership.

Transferable skills

Transferable skills can be carried with you from one job to another. While they can be hard skills or soft skills, the hallmark of a transferable skill is that it can be used in several industries or roles. Examples of transferable skills include organization and professionalism.

Job-related skills

Job-related skills are mainly considered hard skills. They are skills related to a specific role or position. Examples of job-related skills include spreadsheet formatting and project management. 

Where to include skills on a resume

Here are some ways to include skills throughout your resume:

Resume header

At the top of your resume, directly below your name, write your job title along with the three most relevant skills you have as a candidate. Customize the job title and skills for each job you are applying for. Make sure the skills align with the skills required for the job. 

Resume summary statement

Your resume summary should give an overview of your background, years of experience and your top skills in sentence form. 

Summary of skills

Below your resume summary, include a summary of skills section. This is a list of your areas of expertise skills directly related to the job posting. If you have less than 10 skills, you can list them out in columns. If you have more than 10 skills, you can organize them into categories that can then be listed in columns.

Work experience

The work experience section usually comes after the summary of skills on a resume. It is a description of your past work experiences including duties performed and skills utilized. Give specific details about where, when and with whom you have used your skills. Use numbers and metrics to quantify your achievements.

How to select professional skills

Use the following steps to determine which skills you should include on your resume:

1. First, create a master list of skills

Begin by making a master list of every professional hard, soft, transferable and job-related skill you have. Don’t be afraid to list things that seem obvious, like computer skills or customer service. Write beginner, intermediate or proficient next to each skill listed as needed.

2. Second, determine the necessary skills for the job

Go through the job description and highlight each quality that describes the candidate the company is looking for. Create a list of these necessary skills using the same wording as the job posting. 

3. Third, compare the lists

Review your master list and the job posting skills list. Note which skills appear on both lists. These are the skills you should include in your resume. 

Tips to gain area of expertise skills 

There are several ways that you can obtain the necessary skills for your area of expertise. Hard skills are learned, so you can typically find an online resource, school or curriculum to pick up the needed skill or skills. Learning soft skills is a little trickier. These interpersonal skills and personality traits are hardwired into humans, so the best way to get better at them is to practice. If you can’t practice soft skills while on a job, try to find some day-to-day activities during which you can practice these skills.