Sometimes a skills based CV or resume is more relevant than one that is industry focused or based on your achievements.
This will be the case if you have decided it is time for a career change. Perhaps work in your sector is difficult to come by, or you have decided you want to change direction. So you want to demonstrate to the employer that you have the transferable experience and skills that will make you successful in this position, such as writing, and persuasive and effective communications.
A skills-based resume allows you to appeal to a much broader market, and is also an effective approach for those with employment gaps or who are new to the job market.
Or if you are a contractor, whose remit is usually to achieve a specific contracted task such as a rollout or installation for the employer, and does not include making changes to the status quo .Your job is to go in, achieve the contracted task , and leave. So it is often hard to point to achievements and cost savings delivered for which you can take credit.
When you are writing a Skills-Based CV or Resume the focus is not be about who you worked for and the types of responsibilities and projects you managed. Instead hone in on particular experience and skills to show how they can apply to your new career track or to new contracts you are aiming for.
Think about what skills and strengths the employer would be looking for that you have and that can be supported by your previous work. The job advertisement and description will itemise the skills competencies and qualifications required. Look at job descriptions for similar positions from other employers on job boards to get an overall sense of the specification. Identify the top 5 or 6 skills the employer seeks.
List your contact information at the top of your resume, then create a section called Profile,
and here list the job title you would give yourself , and then list job descriptions you would apply for, for example ;-
- An experienced technical contractor with extensive knowledge of IT, telecoms, data and cable industries.
- Copper, Fibre and Data engineer.
- Containment engineer
Then create a section called
Qualifications /Key Skills/Training
And here list accreditations and qualifications you have , and also
ECS advanced Datacomms specialist card
- CSCS Card
- IPAF Accredited
- SSSTS Accredited
- Enhanced CRB Cleared.
- Ukata Asbestos Awareness accredited
The next section is Career history
List your positions or key contracts in Reverse Chronological order, focusing on transferable skills you have demonstrated, as opposed to industry and functional-specific information, for example
Name of company Lead engineer managing crews on VOIP rollout. Managed site surveys to determine the IT infrastructure and cabling installation requirement. Creation of reports and stock allocation by site.
Name of company Lead engineer managing phone system roll out using Siemens and Ascom kit to upgrade Analogue to an IP phone system. Managed contact between client and the lead contractor for quality issues. Delivered project on time and in budget.
Outline the relevant experience and transferable skills you have, to show you are relevant to the position.
For example, if you are moving from managing IT projects to a broader role, then your key skills would include the ability to manage crews and subcontractors, the ability to meet tight deadlines and budgets, and the ability to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations. These skills are relevant to a lot of jobs besides IT.
Or if you are contracting then you are highlighting your key skills and competencies. so your key skills would be as the paragraph above.
If you have taken courses or volunteered for work that is relevant to your new career that shows the employer that you have taken the initiative to continue to develop your skills yourself for this particular career.
There may also be skills you have that were not fully used in your previous career that are worth highlighting in your CV or resume now. For instance, are you bilingual? It would be worth noting if the employer’s client base is international.
Your new skills based CV should make it easier for recruiters to readily identify your relevant skills.