The skills section is an extremely important area as is one of the most searchable and one of the first sections read.
When writing a Functional style CV, it increases in importance because it will constitute the main portion of your CV. Instead of focussing on any particular job as in a Chronological CV, you focus on skills and experience gained throughout your life. This means that you can include any skills or experience gained in voluntary or unpaid work or hobbies.
Include approximately 5 functional skill headings. They should be put in decreasing order of importance and be backed up with proof of your skills in those areas. Remember to use both your key and transferable skills.
Transferable skills are skills that you have gained and used during any activity in your life including hobbies, projects and sports. Transferable skills are especially important if you are changing careers or just completed education and have little or no work experience.
Here are some common skill headings used:
Administration advertising communication consulting
Counselling customer service design electronics
Engineering human resources IT experience journalism
Leadership management marketing organisation
Planning public relations publishing research
Sales secretarial training travel
If you are applying for a technical role you should definitely include the summary of your technical skills. This should be written in a table format so this is easy to read / scan otherwise use short bullet points. Prioritise information with the most relevant skills first. Make each bullet an effective statement using power words to create impact. Include as many job and industry key words as possible without losing readability. These days databases are being used to search for potiential candidates and these work on word recognition so keywords are very important.
One thing to remember: Don’t lie.
You need to be comfortable and confident with all the skills you list and be ready to discuss them at interview stage.
Choose your skill headings wisely. Above all make sure that the headings you use are relevant to the job that you are applying for.
Recognising Transferable Skills
We have listed below, many different skills that can be considered Transferable to different roles and industries; simply mark the ones that apply to you. There are some spaces on the form for you to add in other areas that you think are relevant to your own experience the list we have provided is not exhaustive it is just simply a guide to get you started.
Software / Computer Literacy
Business Processes (Flowcharts)
Passing on Information
Creating Documentation / Instructions
Foreign Languages / Sign Language
Dealing with Public / Clients
Leadership & Management
Mentoring / Training
Delegation of duties
Leading a Project / Team
Supervision of Others
Mediation of Problems
Dealing with Budgets
Effective Time Management
Working with Budgets
Working with Balance Sheets
Thinking and Analysis
Carrying out Research
Reviewing Data / Processes
Evaluating Processes / Situations
Gathering of Data
As you can see, some of the skills cross over into different areas and how you showcase your knowledge and abilities within an area will demonstrate on how you which area this particular skill is best described.