How Many Skills Should You List For Your Resume Experience?

Do you have too many skills on your resume or not enough? Can you list too many skills for your resume experience? What is the right number to list on your resume? There is a fine line of what are too many versus not enough. If you do not list enough skills on your resume you could be beat out by candidates who possess more. Listing too many can also have negative results.

Listing too many skills will make your resume unbelievable. Most people are good at a few things and most employers expect candidates to be good at a few things. This is why many employer job postings will include a skill they are wishing for in addition to what is required. The posting will read something to the effect of “graphics experience helpful” or “creativity a plus.” Employers will expect you to know and be proficient in the basics required for your profession.

Some employers request an unreasonable amount of skills for the position in their job posting. If you are familiar with your industry and know the work required for the position or career, you will know what is reasonable to expect potential candidates to have. If you are unsure if too many are listed, research ads for similar positions and make a list of the most common ones requested. Compare the job postings against others. Here is a tip: if the employer job posting lists way too many skills for the position either the advertisement is a wish list or the employer does not really need to hire someone. ‘

Listing too many skills can dilute the power of your more relevant ones. When your resume includes too many not only can you create skepticism, but determining how much proficiency you have at which ones can be near impossible for an employer. Too many resume experience statements can often become in-distinctive and immeasurable and this can make your resume seem out of focus and be eliminated.

Guessing which skills you should include can be brain racking. Trying to write accomplishment statements for a myriad of them and placing the statements under the correct job title can be a puzzle. When skills do not belong with a particular job title your resume raises doubts. If your job title is accountant for example, you might not want to list proof of your creativity. Similarly if your title is cashier listing research skills might not apply.

The number one source for the skills you should choose first is the employer listed ones for the position in the job posting or description (providing you possess them!) While you might want to include some secondary skills on your resume, you will need to emphasize your primary or most relevant ones. The most efficient way to demonstrate secondary ones while relating them to primary ones is to use the resume skills tier method to express your resume experience.

So unfortunately there is no magic number answer here. This is more about hitting the target then seeing how many shots you can fire. If you cover the gambit of what the employer expresses, you should not need to add many more. Your cover letter is a great opportunity to highlight relevant skills. You can include a short bullet list of what the employer is seeking. If you happen to have the extra skill the employer is looking for include a P.S. at the end of the letter such as: P.S. By the way I have four years experience in graphics with the very software your company is using.

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