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How to Prepare a Summary of My Professional Skills for a Job Application

by Neil Kokemuller, studioD

A summary of skills statement is often one of the first things a hiring manager notices on job application materials. Given its importance, you should take time to prepare an strong summary of your professional job skills. Typically, an application asks for a summary of qualifications or skills. Additionally, your resume and cover letter are tools for you to highlight your qualifications in support of your application.

Skills Inventory

One of the first things you should do in preparing for a job search is a skills inventory. This process simply begins with you brainstorming all of the professional skills and technical abilities you possess. After this step is complete, you can hone in on the skills you feel best match with your desired profession, or better yet, a specific job description. Identify those three to five key skills that provide the best match and make those the basis of your summary.

Prepare Summary Statements

Armed with your key skills, you can prepare a summary statement to include in your resume and on the job application. Ideally, the statements should match or be very close. You can develop a summary statement with one to two sentences, such as "Received a customer satisfaction score of 97 out of 100 by applying excellent service and communication abilities. Earned company service employee of the month three times in two year period." Within this statement, you highlighted and demonstrated your service and communication abilities.

Bullet List

An alternative to the narrative statement is a bullet list with a few statements that highlight particular skills. On your resume, under the header "Summary of Skills," you could break up you core strengths into a few statements. One bullet point could say, "Developed new marketing segments using database software analysis, which lead to 12 percent revenue growth in the subsequent year." The next could say, "Achieved two promotions in three years by demonstrating a strong team-orientation and collaboration abilities within marketing department."

Action Verbs

Action verbs are a key element to include in your summary. Action verbs tell a story and get the attention of the hiring manager when he reviews your application, resume and letter. Starting your statements with words like "Demonstrated," "Exceeded," "Developed," "Established" or "Generated" will capture the reader's attention. These words also help you provide statements as to how you have applied your skills, which is especially important for a hiring manager to see.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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