Choose your skills carefully to create maximum impact says CV writing expert
27th February 2015
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Writing a compelling and professional CV can be very challenging; it is hard to know what information to include and what not to include. It is very easy, however, to overdo it on the skills front and list attributes (rather than actual skills) such as reliable, dependable, honest, trustworthy, enthusiastic, hard working and motivated. Everyone thinks they have those qualities but they really don’t mean anything to employers. Using buzzwords, such as dedicated, passionate, committed and driven can be a turn off to employers and hiring managers if used on their own, but if they form full sentences rather than part of a list, they can be very powerful.

Some examples:
• An efficient time manager with strong planning skills, dedicated to delivering high-level, technical projects within time and budget constraints;
• A collaborative leader passionate about developing highly skilled cohesive teams to drive marketing initiatives and increase company revenue;
• Highly organised with a methodical approach, committed to the development and implementation of enhanced processes to increase operational efficiency;
• A dynamic sales professional driven to exceed targets and contribute to an increase in market share.
Sentences such as these form part of the Professional or Executive Summary.

Don’t waste space or the reader’s time by listing bland personal characteristics, instead add a section called Areas of Expertise or Core Competencies and add areas where you have proven experience. This section can be tailored to each role by ensuring skills are listed in order of relevance. Examples include Project Management, Business Development, Office Management, Staff Development and Training, Process Improvement, Problem Resolution, Strategy Development, Business Management, Social Media Marketing, Administration Procedures, Office Processes, the list is endless. If you are going to add this section, you need a minimum of 12 skills in a list of three rows. If you can’t think of enough, have a look on LinkedIn and other people’s profiles within your industry. Their skills, listed at the bottom of their profile (in most cases), might give you some ideas.

About the Author

Meg M

Member since: 22nd May 2013

I am currently director of Red Recruitment Solutions and owner of Red CV Writing, a professional CV writing service which also offers LinkedIn profile writing. For more information, please visit

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