How To Make Room For Supporting Skills On Your Resume

resume secondary supporting skillsIf you want your resume pulled from the databases and read with serious attention, it's common knowledge that it needs to focus on the skills you bring to a single target job. However, employers still want to know about your supporting skills.

For example, a colleague and hiring manager in the IT world says, " I don't just want to see evidence that someone is a hotshot in say, the ".NET Framework," I also want to see that they can get around with other languages, so that I know that if my company introduces a new development environment, I have someone who will be able to handle that with ease."

Now, while " supporting skills" are nice to have, your resume must nevertheless...

1. Be data-dense, with that data focused on the "must have" skills of the job to get your resume ranked high enough in database searches. A recruiter will not read your resume unless it ranks in the top 20 of that recruiter's database search; because twenty resumes is about as deep as they ever go.

2. No one enjoys screening resumes, and the process is initially visual, with the resume scanned for key content; this favors resumes with layout that enables a reader to rapidly absorb key information.

Because your resume's goal is to get you into conversation with hiring managers, it works best when it is focused on the skills and capabilities described in the Job Posting. While this approach is proven starting point for any productive resume, you can still get important supporting skills information into your resume, without taking up too much room, by using a Core Competencies section.

The Core/Professional Competencies section is the place in your resume where you succinctly deliver all the relevant professional skills you bring to that job. Start with those skills most important to your target job; and then add the supporting skills, that speak to the depth and breadth of your professionalism. This section comes at the front of your resume, after contact information, a Target Job Title and your Performance Profile or Summary.

Here's an example of a Core Competencies section from an Operations Management resume:

Professional Competencies


Project Management

Cross-Functional Team Building


Human Resource Issues

Employee Benefits

Risk Management


Strategic Business Planning

Research & Analysis

Financial Modeling

Business Modeling

Portfolio Management

Acquisitions / Divestitures

Policies & Procedures

Adding a Core/Professional Competencies section to the front end of your resume helps you deliver a succinct review of all the critical and supporting skills you bring to the job; it's professional and a real attention grabber for a recruiter.

When you also repeat those critical-to-the-job keywords in the context of the jobs in which they were used, it multiplies the occurrence of keywords likely to be used by recruiters in the database searches and will dramatically improve your resume's ranking.

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