Updating Resumes: From Keywords to Key Skill Sets

Resume Tips

1. Update Your Education on Your Resume

For anyone that’s been out of the job market for a while, going back to school can help you get in front of employers because it shows that you have recent skill sets if the coursework is relevant. You might even consider auditing a free class to add the education on your resume. Coursera offers free classes that you can audit from some of the top schools and even if it’s only a few classes online for free, a Harvard or Wharton School of Business class can get you in front of employers that may have fellow alumni.

2. List Any Classes and Seminars You’ve Attended

If you took time off to care for a sick relative or to raise a child, getting back into the job market might be hard, but taking a class or attending a recent seminar is something that can help get your foot in the door. List it on your resume. If you find a free workshop on computer programming, for example, and you take a class in it, it should be added to your resume. If you attend an AI workshop on technology in the workplace, this can get you in front of potential employers, as well.

3. Add Typing Classes and Software Courses

One area that can help you with interviews is with typing and software. Potential employers love to see job seekers that have recent skill sets in software their business utilizes. For secretaries, for example, a proficiency in Office 365 can help you to get an interview. If you have expert knowledge of Excel and other software, ensure that this is on your resume and cover letter. Never lie about it as you will likely be tested by HR and by the company you’re interviewing with or the department you’ll be working in.

4. How to Add Specific Classes to Get an Interview

If there’s a particular company that you’re interested in working for and they have particular software that they use, consider taking a class on it. Don’t spend money on it as the coursework may not get you the job, but it can help with getting you the interview. For example, if you’re working with a tech firm and they want you to have special coding skills, if you find a free class, you might want to sign up if that’s the field you want to go into. If that company doesn’t hire you, another one will.

5. Be the Answer to Their Problem

A great piece of career advice is that potential employers are looking for someone to be an answer. What this means is that they have a role open because they have a problem. There may be a difficult manager who wants an expert with spreadsheets. If you have a proficiency in MS Excel and a thick skin, you might be the answer for that particular business. With your cover letter, you can indicate that you have a proficiency in MS Excel, and list that you’ve worked with difficult personalities or Type-A personalities if they indicate that’s a requirement for that particular role.

6. Climb the Ladder Strategically, But Don’t Say It

Some businesses might be hiring internally throughout their organization. If they have a role open that you want to apply for but it pays less than a senior role, find out the particular skill sets they are looking for with the senior role. That way you can interview, learn what education you might need to advance further and keep that on the back-burner as you meet with HR and your potential boss. Never indicate that you just want a senior role because then they’ll know that you are planning on leaving soon and might not hire you.

7. List Recent Job Training Seminars

With some roles that you interview for, recent training may get your foot in the door. If you just took a corporate workshop with a previous employer, list that on your resume if it’s relevant. You may also have more recent experience from a job training course or work seminar that can help with that particular role. This lets potential employers know you have recent skill sets. If there are any areas where you feel like your skill sets fall short, be honest and never lie. HR reps are usually able to tell if you’re being dishonest.