Key skills are the fuel which can boost your profile in a job-site’s search engine. Recruiters are constantly looking for candidates in the database using keywords. Key Skills are essential to ensure that you appear on all the right searches.
What are Key Skills?
Key Skills are the set of skills a job-seeker has acquired through his or her education, training, work experience or even life experiences. Around the internet, these are variously known as skills, keywords or specialties. Since these need to be filled on a job-site, one needs to short-list the skills that make him or her employable and eligible for the target job.
Hiring Managers and their teams search a job-site’s database using certain keywords like “sales”, “HR”, “civil engineer”. Key Skills should be the set of all the words for which you want to be searched.
Imagine for a second, if Steve Jobs decided to register on a job site. What would his key-skills look like? Probably something like this:
“product development, calligraphy, design, product evangelization, turn-around specialist, corporate strategy, visionary, reality distortion field, team leadership, hiring top talent, branding, marketing, invention, research, quality control”
This list is a mix of both hard and soft skills which Steve acquired either through formal training or through his career experiences. When recruiters search for any of these keywords, Steve will be part of the search results. The more of these words a recruiter uses, the higher Steve will appear in the search results.
The bottom line: List down all your relevant skills to optimize your profile for a job-site’s search engine.
What Key Skills are Not
Key Skills is not just your designation
Of course, your designation can be one of the key skills, for e.g. translator. But why leave opportunity on the table? You can add so many more skills to improve your searchability.
Key Skills is not a Profile Summary
Your location, education and languages known are already available in your profile. For this field, it’s best to focus on all your skills.
Key Skills need not be framed into a sentence
You need not frame your key-skills into a sentence. A comma-separated list works just as well and probably better as it helps a hiring manager absorb the gist of your profile.
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