Written by Joshua Brown | November 2018
When deciding how many skills to list on a resume you should always list a few more than you think you need.
There is not a specific number of skills that you need to put on your resume. Instead, follow the guidelines below to get a better idea of what is the right amount of skills for your industry, level of experience, and other key factors.
Depending On The Job
One of the first things you need to consider is the job you are applying for. More specifically, you should investigate the job listing and see how many skills or abilities they are asking for. This will vary a lot depending on what type of job you’re looking into.
For example, if you’re applying for a HVAC technician job then there will be a lot more specific tool & ability knowledge expected of you than compared to a sales or customer service type of position.
Regardless of what type of job you’re looking for, let the company itself tell you the types of things they want to see in a candidate. As long as you can include them without your resume stretching onto a second page, add as many of the skills the company is asking for that you possess.
You should not be listing any skills that aren’t relevant to the job. They can often be a distraction to the employer and get in the way of your actual strong points.
If you’re having trouble coming up with at least six different one-or-two word skills to list then you may be better off ditching a skills section and instead describing those abilities inside the job descriptions.
Consider The Format & Layout
All of the skills you list need to be relevant to the job.
Your skills should be organized in such a way to show your depth of experience while not taking up too much space on the page.
With this three column skills based resume on the right, you can fit 13 bulleted skills.
Each skill on this resume can be a little bit longer than normal so don’t be afraid to use phrases instead of one word bullet points.
How Many Skills Do YOU Need?
Looking for a resume with just a little bit of space for skills? Check out this 2 column industry specific skills resume:
This two-column skills resume provides a smaller space for skills so that you can get super specific and targeted with your skill choices.
If you need some extra space to write your professional summary or to describe your education, you can even remove a few skills.
But for the sake of the format and overall look of the resume, I wouldn’t go less than six total skills – three in each column.
If you like the format but have a few more skills to list, the resume has space for up to 10 skills without going onto a second page.
You can also remove job description bullet points to add even more skills!
Looking for a resume with lots of room for skills? Try this three column skills based resume:
A three column resume gives you tons of room to list & expand on tons of job relevant skills.
This resume can list eighteen skills without spilling over onto a second page.
If you have less information to list on your education, the skills section can be exanded even further.
With this much space, you can list more than single word skills.
You can also try listing skills or abilities that are best worded as a phrase or small sentence.
This is a great resume for any type of trade industry applicant. Listing lots of skills in an easy to read matter is a definite strong suit of this resume.