Advice and thoughtful leadership from our experts.

Deck Your Resume with Boughs of Skills

Fa la la la la la la la la! If you’ve kept up with our blogs, you know by now that hiring professionals spend less than 6 seconds when reviewing a resume. What some may not realize is there are even further steps before even getting in front of the hiring managers’ eyes. One of the best ways to make sure your resume gets seen is making sure you have the right keywords/skills listed. This way whether someone is trying to find you through resume database searches (Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, etc.) or you apply to a company with an ATS (applicant tracking system), your resume will make the cut!

  1. Technical skills: One of the biggest mistakes we see candidates make is they do not list the computer skills/software they have previously used or studied. While it is not necessary to list every software you’ve ever used, definitely list what is relevant for the type of roles you’re applying for. Some may think a software is too old so they don’t list it, but some software can be very similar and may help you be chosen over someone who doesn’t have any software experience at all. Some popular skills we see in high demand are:
    • Accounting/Finance: QuickBooks, ADP, Sage, and Peachtree
    • Marketing: Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Acrobat, Sketch, Canva, WordPress , SEO, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp
    • Database Management: SAP, Salesforce, Infor, Lawson, and Oracle
    • Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube
    • Administrative: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Teams, and Google Drive
    • Healthcare: EPIC, Allscripts, Cisco, and Fiserv
    • Information Technology: HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL, PHP, C#, C++. Python, Ruby on Rails, Linux, WAN/LAN, and AI
  2. Include acronyms and whole phrases: You never know how someone might be searching on a resume or what they’ve set their tracking system to search for. They may be looking for an AP Specialist, but using “accounts payable” as the term. Cover all bases and add both. Examples:
    • Accounting: AP/Accounts Payable, AR/Accounts Receivable, CPA/Certified Public Accountant, A&A/Audit and Assurance, GL/General Ledger, and CFO/Chief Financial Officer, etc.
    • Sales: KPI/Key performance indicators, CRM/Customer Relationship Management, and POS/Point of Sale
    • Healthcare: RN/Registered nurse, CMA/Certified Medical Assistant, MLT/Medical Lab Tech, etc.
    • Finance/Bank: GNMA/GinnieMae, PMI/Private mortgage insurance, QC/Quality Control, FICO/Fair Isaac Credit Score, FHFA/Federal Housing Finance Authority, etc.
    • Engineering/Technical: CAD/ Computer Aided Design, and GIS/Geographic Information System
  3. Not only list technical skills, list how you used them and any successes with them: Sharing certain accomplishments and actions you’ve had with software can help hiring managers determine your proficiency in the software.
    • Actions:
      • Word: Mail merge, SmartArt, proofreading, and Quick Access
      • Excel: Spreadsheets, formulas, pivot tables, data analysis, and macros
      • Outlook: Navigation, email filters/rules, scheduling, and calendar management
      • QuickBooks: automating downloads of transactions, automate data entry, and automate payments
    • Successes:
      • Social: Gained 200+ followers for company page with one week campaign, 4.8% engagement rate, etc.
      • Writing/Marketing: Increased open rate from 8.5% to 12/3%, wrote and designed 15 blogs through WordPress leading to a 10% increase in web traffic
      • Sales: Automated reports with Oracle to cut reporting costs by 10%, grew profits by 15% by using SAP data analysis to track key activities

These are a few key suggestions we believe will help you get to the very top of the resume “yes” pile. A good way to remember is the more technical the role is that you’re applying for, the more technical your resume should look. Good luck!