8 Key Skills to Feature in your Resume

Winter break is over, classes are picking up and it’s probably time to start updating your resume. Whether you’re updating it to include a new experience, applying for a job or internship, or just finally updating your old high school resume, it’s important to know what skills employers are seeking in recent college graduates. 

The skills on your resume can differentiate you from other applicants and demonstrate to employers why you are the most qualified for the role. However, just stating these skills is not enough to convince employers of your qualifications. You must also be able to demonstrate how you applied those skills in previous experiences, to truly show employers why you are the best candidate for the role. 

Here are the skills employers value the most in recent college graduates:

1. Communication

Employers need candidates who can clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization both in writing and orally.

Sample Behaviors include: Understanding the importance of and demonstrating verbal, written, and non-verbal/body language, abilities. Employing active listening, persuasion, and influencing skills. Expressing ideas — verbally and in writing — in a clear and organized manner so that others can effectively understand.

2. Critical Thinking

It’s important to know how to Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.

Sample Behaviors Include: Making decisions and solving problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgment. Gathering and analyzing information from a diverse set of credible and valid sources and individuals to fully understand a problem. Proactively anticipating needs and prioritizing action steps.

3. Professionalism

Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.

Sample Behaviors Include: Acting equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization. Maintaining  a positive personal brand in alignment with organization and personal career values. Being present, prepared, and dependability (e.g., report consistently for work or meetings).

4. Leadership

Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.

Sample Behaviors Include: Inspiring, persuading, and motivating self and others under a shared vision and goals. Seeking out and leveraging diverse resources and feedback from others to inform direction. Using innovative thinking to go beyond traditional methods.

5. Teamwork

Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.

Sample Behaviors Include: Listening carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting. Effectively managing conflict and learning how to effectively work with diverse personalities. Being accountable for individual and team responsibilities and deliverables.

6. Technology Skills

Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.

Sample Behaviors Include: Navigating change and being open to learning new technologies. Using technology to improve efficiency and productivity of their work. Identifying appropriate technology for completing specific tasks.

7. Equity & Inclusion

Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.

Sample Behaviors Include: Soliciting and using feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions. Actively contributing to inclusive and equitable practices that influence individual and systemic change. Advocating for inclusion, equitable practices, justice, and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.

8. Service to Others

With an eye toward justice, continually reflect on what the world needs you to be. Apply your unique talents and skills gained while at Boston College to help address the world’s most urgent problems.

Sample Behaviors Include: Articulating how your individual strengths and skills can be used to help others and serve the greater good. Seeking out opportunities to help others with no expectation of personal reward. Sharing resources such as time, talent, and money with those in need.

Resumes can be tricky and difficult to navigate. But that does not mean that you have to make your resume by yourself! Check out our website for resume resources, tips, and examples and make an appointment with one of our career coaches or drop-in to meet with a PCC today!

By Howard Thrasher, Assistant Director, Career Education

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