Ready for an a-ha moment? I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you discover the differences between your qualifications and your skills, and hey, you might just start looking at writing a new resume with an enthusiasm you never thought possible for such a detested activity.
Let’s look at the typical resume sections.
Notice there is no section for skills. There’s a reason for that. Skills don’t belong in a section of their own. Skills are described within your resume’s Experience section.
Here are three ways you can see the differences between skills and qualifications:
1. Skills are learned — Qualifications are earned
- a Skill is something you develop, like attention to detail, great communication skills, or the ability to multi task. Skills typically are developed through experience, although sometimes are built-in attributes.
- a Qualification is something you have earned, like a diploma or degree, a certificate, a license, a document of recognition, a designation, a promotion, or even a superior’s commendation. A qualification is something you pursue.
2. Skills need to be described — Qualifications need only be presented
- Skills don’t stand on their own the way qualifications do. Skills need to be described so the reader of your resume can see how you applied your skills in previous jobs and what the outcomes were.
- Qualifications need only be presented. When you state you are a graduate of a university program or a certificate-holder in a specific field, you don’t need to elaborate on it. Qualifications speak for themselves.
3. Skills are transferable — Qualifications are non-negotiable
- Skills are the abilities you have developed over the course of a job or a career that will continue to be useful and relevant in a completely different kind of job or career. For example, strong analytical skills you developed as an accountant will be just as necessary when you decide to work in a different industry, say as a computer systems analyst.
- Qualifications are the credentials you have earned through academia and practical application and typically are relevant only in jobs within a specific discipline. For example, a degree in commerce won’t have much relevance when you decide to change careers and go after a job as a foreman in a fabrication shop.
Job postings often intermingle skills within the Qualifications section, and in those cases you should always follow suit. If the job posting lists “good communication skills” under Qualifications, then you should respond by listing, under the Qualifications section of your resume, an accomplishment showing how you used your great communication skills. After all, if having great communication skills qualifies you in the employer’s eyes, then give ’em what they want.
Alright all you job-seekers, there it is for today. Remember, since I am an expert resume-writer I can develop a fantastic resume and cover letter for you, so don’t stress! Believe me, there is no shame in getting an expert to write such an important document for you. And, as always, I welcome comments so I can make this blog really useful and helpful to all job-seekers.