The job application is your chance to attract the attention of the hiring manager. The skills listed show the manager what you can do for her company and serve as a way to land yourself an interview. Review your previous experience and education along with the job description to identify the best job skills for the application.
Analyze the job description or help wanted ad to look for key responsibilities of the job. Make a list of the specific tasks listed in the description, including keywords used by the company. These key phrases and duties for the job clue you into the skills the company wants to see in candidates. An applicant who already possesses the skills needed to perform the job responsibilities has the edge over another applicant without relevant skills and experience.
Your personal experience and education give you a basis for the job skills you list on the application. Desirable skills are often concrete, measurable and observable actions. When you back your skills with work experience and education, your skills and abilities are more appealing to the company. Write a list of the duties you performed at previous jobs. Include specific coursework and internships you completed during your schooling. Compare those skills with the items you identified from the job advertisement to look for concrete examples for the application.
Communication is a key skill used in almost every industry. Include specific skills pertaining to written and oral communication. Technology is another key area for many industries. Highlight your experience with specific programs, operating systems and technical tasks that are relevant to the job. To demonstrate productivity, give concrete examples of past productivity achievements and skills. Depending on the industry, you will have other categories to choose from, including sales, event planning, scheduling, mediation, management and conflict resolution. Include trade-specific skills, such as the ability to operate a backhoe and other heavy machinery when applying for a construction job.
Write your skills in brief, actionable descriptions that accurately reflect how you perform the task. Avoid embellishments to your skills just to meet the requirements listed in the job description. Eventually the hiring manager will discover that you aren't as competent as you claimed on the application. Detail experience such as professional organization membership, career achievements and fluency in a foreign language if applicable to the job.
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