How can PR pros applying for new jobs convey their various abilities?
In writing a résumé, many people include a “skills” section. Here, they cram together “hard” skills, such as programming languages or software expertise, and “soft” skills, such as “conflict resolution” or “adaptability.”
This is a waste of space. Instead of ticking off vague notions like “Excel” or “Photoshop,” tell your audience how you used these programs. Get specific.
For example: “Created sophisticated pivot tables in Excel to track inventory in real time.” This fleshed-out bullet point clarifies that you’re not “skilled” with spreadsheets the way I’m “skilled” with cooking (reheating pizza is my specialty).
Similarly, instead of Photoshop,” try something like this: “Designed images and ads, in Photoshop, for clients’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.”
When I teach résumé writing, my aversion to a “skills” section is the guideline that triggers the stiffest pushback. For various reasons, people cling to this utterly useless info.