This page will provide you with free skills-based resume templates that feature skill sections as well as information on how to decide what skills to include on your own resume.
What is a Skills Based Resume?
A skills based resume is a type of resume format that uses your specific skills and abilities to show how qualified you are for the job.
Your skills can come from many different places – education & schooling, past work experience, hobby work, or self study.
Skills based resumes use some type of skills section to convey the often large amount of specific skills that are hyper applicable to the job you’re applying for. This is important because your resume should only include information the hiring manager NEEDS to know. Space is at a premium on your resume and especially so in your skills section.
How To Organize Your Skills
Your skills should be organized differently based on the types of jobs you’re applying for and the types of skills you’ll be listing.
If the job requires an especially wide range of skills over a broad number of topics then you may want to list your skills into different categories. These categories should be based on how the particular company categorizes the skills.
The categories for the more specific job listings can be things such as job titles, or more generic skill headings that don’t overlap.
If the job is more specific and asks more for skills and abilities within a single or small number of topics then it will likely be best to list all of the skills under a single “skills section” heading.
Most skills sections will use a bullet point format with multiple columns. This isn’t necessarily because of stylistic reasons, but more so because it is the best way to use the space on a resume.
Use two to three word phrases to list your skills. Remember that you will have much more space to detail exactly how you used your skills to success further down on your resume.
What Types Of Skills To Put On A Resume
Professional resume skills are a combination of two different types of skills that you will put on your resume.
The two skillsets that will show your qualifications are called technical skills and transferable skills..
Technical or “Hard” Job Skills
Your technical skills, sometimes called your hard skills, are professional skills that apply to a specific career path, industry, or job.
For example, a technical skill for a medical assistant would be an ability to draw blood from a patient. Only somebody in a medical field-related job would be expected to know how to draw blood. But specifically for a medical assistant, it is often a crucial and often required skill.
If a job listing calls for lots of these type of job or industry specific skills, you will probably want to have your very own skills section. View the resume template example below for a sample of a resume’s skills section.
Examples of Technical Resume Job Skills
Technical skills can be job duties, tools you know how to operate, software you know how to use, or any other job specific qualification.
For example, many office and customer service based jobs will ask that you know some basic office computer software like Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Putting those software titles in a bulleted list on your resume will quickly let the employer know you meet those qualifications.
Below are some more examples of “technical” job skills across a very wide range of jobs.
Transferable or “Soft” Job Skills
Your transferable skills, often called “soft” skills, are skills that you can apply to any job you may do, no matter the specifics.
Transferable skills are things like your ability to communicate or how you handle working under deadlines & pressure.
For the most part, I don’t recommend listing these transferable skills along with your technical skills. Transferable skills are hard to explain in one or two word phrases. Therefore, I’d recommend detailing these soft skills under your job descriptions.
For example, putting that you are an “effective communicator” is not nearly as flattering as taking a full sentence to describe a situation when you actually communicated effectively.
Instead of writing that you are “a quick learner”, describe situations when you had to learn new systems or job duties while still performing your normal daily tasks.
Skills Based Resume Format & Layout
The ideal layout or format for a skills based resume would look something like this:
- Name Heading
- Professional Summary
- Skills Section
- Work Experience
Your skills based resume may end up in a different order but let me explain my choices.
Writing A Professional Summary
Having the professional summary start off your resume (after your name and contact information) is a great way to quickly summarize your professional qualifications. You let the employer know right away that you are a qualified candidate.
The professional summary should go right above the skills section.
Filling Out Your Skills Section
The summary is also a great way to lead in to your skills section. Your summary gives a general idea of your talents, while the skills section comes along and solidifies the individual skills that make you fit for the job.
How you organize your skills is a personal preference, but most people use a bullet point style of listing skills to make each one stand out. It’s also a good idea to use a column type of structure to use as little space as possible to list many skills.
Laying Out Work Experience
On a skills based resume, the work experience section should include examples of you using the skills you listed above.
Your experience should also be described by your achievements as much as possible. After reading your job experience section, an employer should know what skills you have, how you use those skills, and what you’re able to accomplish with those skills.
For examples on what to write, you can look on the job listing from the company. See how they describe the job. Find the similarities between how they write about the job and any former jobs you may have.
Listing Skills That Are Job Specific
So now that we know technical skills are the skills we will be listing on our resume, how can we know which skills to add? Let’s take a look at a sample job listing to find out:
Let’s go through and see which requirements listed would be good additions to our skills section.
Working with our applications and databases
They don’t list the specific applications, but if you have experience working with database software then that would be a great technical skill.
Proficient in Microsoft Office programs (Outlook, Excel, Word)
Here they list specific computer software programs that we can list on our resume if we know how to use them. Microsoft Outlook, Excel, & Word.
Ability to type at a minimum rate of 55 wpm
While typing itself would not be an appropriate ability to list, the ability to type at a specific words per minute, or wpm, can be an important requirement listed by employers.
Why Use a Skills Based Summary?
A skills based resume is often needed when the job posting asks for a lot of specific qualifications that need to be listed.
Free Skills Based Resume Templates For Download
A skills based resume template provides an applicant a lot of space to list their specific skills and abilities.
This is a great resume for job-seekers in trade industries including IT, various medical fields, and the electrician profession – just to name a few.
All of the following resumes are available free to download.