Is a Skills-Based Resume Right For Your Career?

Skill_base_resumeWhat Is a Skills-Based Resume?

Skills-based resumes differ significantly from ordinary, professional resumes in that they are not presented chronologically. That is, they do not list your experience from the most recent position to the oldest position.

Instead, they focus on portraying your skills and talents in a highly attractive way that will stand out in the eyes of employers and search consultants. The emphasis in a skills-based resume is on your skills and competencies, rather than on your work history.

Why Use a Skills-Based Resume?

Skills-based resumes (which are also sometimes called ‘functional’ resumes) are best suited to candidates who do not have the right amount of relevant experience in a particular area or industry.

This might include:

  • Candidates who are changing industries or career paths and whose skills are predominantly transferable, rather than industry-specific
  • Graduates or students who haven’t yet gained much formal or relevant work experience
  • Candidates who have been consistently working, but whose experienced is varied; for instance, they might have held multiple temp or casual roles in a short period of time
  • Unemployed applicants who have been out of the industry or job market for a long period of time

If you fall under one of the above categories, a skills-based resume may be ideal for your career and can mean that your talents are showcased in a way that is more beneficial to your situation.

How to Format Skills-Based Resume?

The best way to format your skills-based resume is to group your abilities and any experience using particular ‘skills’ headings, rather than listing your chronological employment history. Sample headings you can use include:

  • Leadership Skills
  • Technical Skills
  • Personal or Behavioural Skills
  • Key Competencies
  • Qualifications & Training
  • Work Experience
  • Key Achievements

You should be as honest as possible when deciding what skills to include in your resume; don’t include skills that you don’t possess or portray your skills as ‘advanced’ when they are more ‘intermediate’ or ‘basic.’

When deciding which of your skills to include in your documents, ensure that you review the job advertisement or description. This will tell you exactly what the employer is looking for and will give you a clear idea of which of your skills you should emphasise over others.

Explaining Your Skills

All of this information should culminate in your document to give readers a strong idea of the overall value you can contribute to a business. However, your skills-based resume needs to be more than just a series of lists if you are going to be successful.

It is vital to demonstrate in your resume how you have used your skills in particular situations to achieve something or produce a winning outcome for the business. Hence, you will need to expand on each skill that you present and spell out to the reader how your talents were valuable in past situations.

Do you need a skills-based resume or a more traditional resume? Contact Resumes Australia for further resume writing information or visit:


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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