It’s no secret that the job market is ultra-competitive right now, and recruiters are up to their ears in resumes. This makes it critical for you to optimize your resume and ensure that it contains all the right elements that recruiters want to see.
One of the most common mistakes that I’ve seen applicants make is to stuff their resume with skills that are no longer relevant to today’s workplace. These skills will make you seem outdated as a candidate and definitely not help you land that interview. Here are 3 obsolete skills that you should remove from your resume, and another 3 that you should be including instead.
Knowing your way around a keyboard may have been a hot skill a few decades ago, but it’s just a given today. In the era of text-to-speech and voice-activated everything, typing proficiency is now a basic expectation for all office jobs.
The exception, of course, is if you’re aiming for a role that emphasizes strong typing skills like a professional transcriber, typing specialist, or secretary for a legal firm. However, for most roles outside of those gigs, basic keyboard skills are just something that’s expected of everyone.
This one might be a little controversial because knowing your way around Microsoft Office tools is an essential skill for the modern workplace. But hear me out: if your proficiency in these tools only goes as far as entering data cells in Excel or whipping up a paragraph in Word, then it’s not worth mentioning.
Because most of us have been introduced to these tools since our school days, knowing how to use them is very common. If you really want to highlight your Microsoft Office skills in your resume, then it’s best to learn some above-average or advanced functions.
Such functions include PivotTables and PivotCharts in Excel, utilizing document collaboration and masterful document formatting in Word, and PowerPoint skills that go beyond bullet points and basic transitions. If these are functions that you’ve used and mastered before, then you should highlight it. Otherwise, it’s best to use the space for something else.
Soft skills are a must-have for any applicant. Unfortunately, the resume isn’t the best place to showcase them because soft skills are best shown, not told.
If you really want to include soft skills, make sure that they are demonstrated through specific examples, accomplishments, or experiences. And don’t forget to illustrate how the specific soft skill resulted in a positive impact.
For example, instead of writing that you have excellent communication skills, write how you “trained 15 new hires and translated complex technical information to a non-technical audience, resulting in a successful onboarding program.”
And instead of claiming that you are a “team player,” say that you “collaborated with cross-functional teams to design and implement a streamlined workflow, enhancing overall team efficiency by 30%.”
The more you can connect a soft skill to a tangible improvement, the better it looks to a recruiter looking to see if you’d be worth the time it takes to set up an interview.
Now that we’ve made some room, it’s a good idea to think about which skills should be in your resume instead. I’ve already written about transferable skills, which will be applicable regardless of role or field. But if you really want to stand out, here are 3 skills that are in particularly high demand right now.
With the world swimming in data, companies are always on the lookout for individuals who can turn raw data into actionable insights. Because companies are always looking to get a competitive edge, data analysis is not confined to a specific industry or role. It’s a cross-cutting skill that will help you land roles pretty much everywhere, whether it’s in marketing, finance, healthcare, technology, etc.
In today’s digital world, having an online presence is pretty much a requirement for businesses that want to remain competitive. With digital marketing, even small businesses with relatively shoestring marketing budgets can tap into bigger markets and increase their revenue.
Coupled with data analysis skills, a digital marketing professional can help even startups go toe-to-toe with large companies, provided that they’re able to leverage digital channels to engage with potential customers, build brand awareness, and drive sales.
From virtual assistants and chatbots to predictive analytics, AI tools are becoming more and more crucial to various industries, transforming the way we work and interact. Despite some initial backlash and apprehension, hundreds of AI tools are being created every day, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything in the market that isn’t incorporating some form of AI.
While it’s fair to be apprehensive about the thought of AI taking over your jobs, I think it’s more productive to consider how being AI-savvy can help you open doors to new opportunities and make you a more competitive and future-ready professional. Good luck!
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