Woman choosing skills to include on resume
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When you begin the job application process, you need to make sure your resume is optimized and ready to be sent out to employers. The struggle isn't so much finding enough things to include on your resume. Rather, it's choosing what skills, experiences, and accomplishments to include on your resume to boost your likelihood of landing an interview.


Choosing the right skills to include on your resume is easier said than done. What skills will really stand out to recruiters and hiring managers? What skills demonstrate why you'd be a great fit for the position? What skills best represent what you bring to the table?

Fortunately, there's an easy process you can follow to ensure you're answering these questions and setting yourself up for job opportunities.

Here are four steps for choosing the right skills to include on your resume:

1. Decode Job Descriptions

Before you hit "apply" on a job posting, it's important to read through the job description and understand what the job actually entails.

You have to analyze the job description, then think about how you would fit into this "mold" of an employee that they have in mind for the position. Start to think about the core responsibilities you've had in your previous jobs.

Do your previous core responsibilities translate into skills that this job posting is asking for—skills that would make you a great fit for the position?

2. Ask Yourself "Can I Quantify That?"

Man thinks about which skills to include on his resumeBigstock

Once you've decoded the job description and determined if you have the skills the employer is asking for, it's time to think about which skills you should include on your resume (because you can't include them all).

The key to getting your resume past the ATS is to include only hard skills on your resume.

Hard skills (skills that tie directly to core responsibilities) are what applicant tracking systems (ATS) and hiring managers want to see. They're quantifiable. If you can't quantify it, it's probably a soft skill. Soft skills DO NOT belong on your resume.

So, when deciding what skills you should include on your resume, ask yourself, "Can I quantify that?" If you can, it's a hard skill, and it belongs on your resume.

Both industry-specific and transferable hard skills can go on your resume. After decoding the job description, you will know which hard skills the employer is looking for.

3. Think About Your Brand

Woman on laptop thinks about her personal brandBigstock

The next step in deciding which skills should go on your resume deals with personal branding. You want to make sure you are "branding" yourself correctly for job opportunities.

By that, we mean knowing what type of service you provide for a company—and what skill sets support that service.

After all, here at Work It Daily, we know every job seeker is a business-of-one. Are you branding your business (yourself) correctly in order to attract customers (employers looking to invest in you)?

Know your brand, and own it!

4. Customize, Customize, Customize

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The last step in deciding which skills should go on your resume is customization.

Customizing your resume is veryimportant. You'll probably have to highlight different skills for the different jobs you apply for. That means customizing your resume for each job application.

  • What projects did you work on?
  • What expertise did you gain?
  • What skills should you be emphasizing?

If you ask yourself these questions for each job you apply for, your answers will most likely differ. That's how you'll know you're customizing your resume correctly and giving yourself the best chance to land an interview.

As you're thinking about your resume, remember you have more skills than you realize. Your job is to make it easy for employers to see the connection between your skill sets and the skill sets needed to do the job. When in doubt, ask yourself, "Can I quantify that?"

The goal at this stage in the job search process is to get an interview. You can only worry about getting the job after you know you're in the running. What skills are going to get you in the door?

Need more help with your job search?

We'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Power Hour Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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Inspiration lacking this Monday morning? On the job search and feeling blue? Stuck in a career you hate? Not sure what success means to you? You're not alone. Grab a nice, warm cup of coffee and let us help you out.

Light your inner fire with these inspirational career quotes:

What Are Professional Quotes? 

Professional quotes motivate and inspire you to become the best professional you can be in your career. They remind you that you can achieve what you want to achieve. What does success look like to you? If you ever need some inspiration, read these quotes...

What Are The Best Inspirational Quotes For Professionals?


  1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius
  2. “It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career." —Carlton Fisk
  3. “Work to become, not to acquire." —Elbert Hubbard
  4. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." —Katherine Whitehorn
  5. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan
  6. "Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." —Robert H. Schuller
  7. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." —Abraham Lincoln
  8. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." —Thomas A. Edison
  9. "I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." —Lou Holtz
  10. "I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything." —Jon Stewart
  11. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it." —George Lucas
  12. "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." —Walt Disney
  13. "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire." —Johnny Carson
  14. "I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do." —Helen Keller
  15. "A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory." —Arthur Golden
  16. "It's not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts." —Brian White
  17. "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." —General George Patton
  18. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." —Albert Einstein
  19. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  20. "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." —Mark Twain
  21. "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." —Confucius

1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius

Inspirational Career Quotes Confucius


2. “It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career." —Carlton Fisk

Inspirational Career Quotes Carlton Fisk


3. “Work to become, not to acquire." —Elbert Hubbard

Inspirational Work Quotes


4. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." —Katherine Whitehorn

Inspirational Work Quotes


5. "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan

Inspirational Career Quotes Michael Jordan


6. "Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet." —Robert H. Schuller

Inspirational Quotes About Failure


7. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." —Abraham Lincoln

Inspirational Abraham Lincoln Quotes


8. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." —Thomas A. Edison

Inspirational Thomas Edison Quotes


9. "I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." —Lou Holtz

Inspirational Career Quotes


10. "I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything." —Jon Stewart

Inspirational Career Quotes Jon Stewart


11. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it." —George Lucas

Inspirational Quotes George Lucas


12. "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." —Walt Disney

Inspirational Walt Disney Quotes


13. "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire." —Johnny Carson

Inspirational Career Quotes


14. "I can not do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do." —Helen Keller

Inspirational Career Quotes


15. "A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory." —Arthur Golden

Inspirational Career Quotes


16. "It's not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts." —Brian White

Inspirational Quotes About Life


17. "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." —General George Patton

Inspirational Quotes About Success


18. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." —Albert Einstein

Inspirational Albert Einstein Quotes


19. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspirational Career Quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson


20. "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." —Mark Twain

Inspirational Career Quotes About Success


21. "You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." —Confucius

Inspirational Career Quotes Confucius

We hope these quotes motivated you. Please share with someone you know who needs a little inspiration right now.

Need some more inspiration in your career?

We'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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