In earlier blogs I talked about the Big 4 CV Mistakes, and Really Important information About What Must Be In a CV (What things make you nervous about writing your CV).

Most people know that their CV needs to include a ‘Skills’ or ‘Strengths’ section. A well thought out list of your main Skills is very important. This can be presented in a simple, bullet point list. But is this enough?

I’ve read many CVs over the years. My observation is that the Skills section is often either too brief or too long. Given that this section of your CV may well be one of the most important sections, you really should aim to get it right. So how do you do this?

Make a list of all your skills, paying particular attention to the transferable ones. These are the skills that can be used in a variety of different jobs and contexts. Once you have this list, divide them up into groups of skills that go together. E.g. skills related to communication and teamwork will work well together. Skills related to management tasks will work well together etc.

Now give each group some kind of functional heading. ‘Communication’ and ‘Management ‘will work well for the groups above.  You should probably aim for 3-4 groups of skills in your CV, and they should be organised under good headings. Click on the chart to enlarge.

When you apply for a job, your first step is to carefully read the job advertisement. Use a highlighter to identify all the skills that are required as they appear throughout. Keep these in mind as you prepare your CV to go with your application. 

Now look at your list of skills. You should edit and rearrange them to make sure that you include the skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and list them using the functional headings mentioned above. Doing this will ensure that your CV provides information relevant to the job you are applying for. It also makes it easy for a recruiter to understand who you are and what you offer.


And to answer the question:

Is Your List of Skills Really That Important in Your CV?

Many recruiters tell me that the skills list is one of the first things they read in a person’s CV.

If a person doesn’t have the skills required to do a job, there’s not much point in reading the rest of the CV.

So ‘YES’ it really is important to have a well-crafted list of your skills.

Janet Tuck

Janet Tuck

Career Management Specialist

M: +64 21 526 387

It’s CV month at Career Clinic

  • Are you unsure about your skill set?
  • Do you need help to work out what your skills are?
  • Would you like to know how to list your skills so that they work well for you?

Call Janet and book in a coaching session now. Don’t apply for another job without getting your CV sorted out.


Call now for an appointment

Janet – 021 526 387


Watch out for the next Blog where I will tell you about the One Sure Way to Have Your CV Overlooked.

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