Created on 12 July 2021

Key Skills – writing your CV

Some sections of your CV can feel pretty straight forward to fill in, for example ‘Work Experience’ – you list any work experience and jobs you’ve had, and under ‘Education’ you list any educations/training you’ve done. But then you get to the ‘Key Skills’ section…..

This section can be really tricky, especially if you haven’t worked before or have a gap in employment. Listing 6-8 skills can seem daunting but here are some tips to help:

Top Tips

  • If you don’t have work experience, think about skills you’ve developed from volunteering or courses you’ve been on, school or other aspects of your life? Have you cared for a family member? Have you helped organise anything within your local community? Because you will have developed skills throughout life without even knowing it.
  • Try to think what things you enjoy and why, because the things you enjoy probably involve skills? For example, if you enjoy crafts you probably have a good eye for detail.
  • Try and make your key skills as relevant as possible to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a job in customer services for example, it’s important to try and show that you are good at communicating.
  • Try and have a mixture of ‘soft skills’ which are universal and harder to measure (such as creativity or adaptability) and ‘hard skills’ which are measurable and specific (such as speaking a foreign language or being able to use a specific computer programme).
  • Google is your friend – if you are finding it hard to think of key skills, search up some information and see if you get inspired!
  • If you feel you are lacking key skills, don’t worry as these will be developed over time. Think about doing volunteering, a course or training or maybe start an apprenticeship. All of these opportunities can help you to build up the skills you have to offer.


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