Add New Skills to Your Resume by Reframing Your Experience

woman's hand on a resume

If you’re feeling stuck in your career search, it’s time to take a close look at the skills you have listed on your resume. Recruiters skim the skills section of your resume quickly to see if your skills match the skills listed in the job post. This is a test you can easily pass! 

The skills a company is looking for in their next employee are listed within the job posting. It’s important to tailor your resume and cover letter to match each job you apply for.

But what should you do if you don’t have the skills the job requires? 

First, be honest! Lying about a specific skill on your resume is never the smart choice. 90% of recruiters would disqualify a candidate if they lied. 

Next, take a critical look at your experience. It’s very likely you have more skills than you may realize if you reframe how you think about them. 

Identifying your skills

Job postings may list types of skills (such as communication, graphic design, project management), or they may list specific platforms (like Slack, Photoshop or Asana). If a listing focuses on the specific platform a company uses for the skill, it can be easy to assume you don’t have the experience required.

Not true! If a specific platform is listed in place of a type of skill, like the project management software Asana, do a quick internet search. Once you know what this software does you can determine whether or not you actually have this type of experience. 

Recommended, preferred or required

It’s possible that some skills may be required for a role while others are simply preferred. Pay attention to how these skills are listed on the job posting. If a skill is preferred, there’s room for some negotiation. If a skill is required, it’s much more likely that a recruiter will ask specifically about it so you should be prepared to explain your familiarity with the skill or provide a plan to get familiar with it.

Discover hidden skills

When reviewing your experience for specific skills, avoid being so literal that you count out key skills you do actually have. It’s likely there are some skills hiding in your work history that could actually work to your advantage. Perhaps you don’t have direct project management experience, but you did oversee workflows within a specific team or manage people. If you set deadlines and timelines, that’s a key component of project management.

Comparing apps to apps

If you’re familiar with a specific platform just not the platform in a job listing, you’re on the right path. Platforms all have similar features and functions to accomplish their purpose, be it design, project management, accounting or internal messaging. 

Although one company may use Slack and you’re used to Microsoft Teams, you have experience working within a managed messaging app in a corporate environment. With the abundance of free or very low-cost tutorials and classes related to specific software and platforms, you can easily take a class to familiarize yourself with the company’s preferred platform. 

👉 Platforms all have similar features and functions so investigate if you have any crossover knowledge before discounting your experience.

If asked about this skill in an interview, you can answer confidently that while you haven’t used that specific platform, you have used XYZ platform and are confident in your abilities to adapt your experience.

Some of today’s top business apps

If you’re looking to quickly add some key skills to your resume, getting familiar with these types of platforms could help your resume stand out, depending on the industry and role you’re in. If you have experience using one specific tool, remember that it’s easy to translate those concepts to another tool in the same category.

Some of today's top business apps

These lists are by no means exhaustive, so if you encounter a skill on a job posting that you’re not familiar with, do a quick search. Chances are you’re familiar with the purpose of the app if not the actual app itself.

Take a close look at the skills section of your resume. Consider listing both the skill and the platform you’re familiar with using. Highlighting the skill as well as the specific software you’ve used can help stop a recruiter in their scroll and show that you have the skills required by the job.

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- August 29, 2023

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