Resume Samples & Templates

Writing A Skills-Based Resume: A Guide with an Example

Job applicants with little work experience in their desired area may find a skills-based resume to be a terrific option. Even if you are a recent graduate, changing careers, or have work gaps in your background, this type of resume can help you highlight your greatest and most pertinent talents to a hiring manager. You can create a strong application by learning about and developing your skills-based resume.

In this post, we define a skills-based resume, walk you through the process of writing one, and offer a sample and template to assist you in creating your own.

What Is A Skills-Based Resume?

A skills-based resume, also known as a functional resume, is a type of resume format that emphasizes an individual’s skills, qualifications, and abilities over their chronological work history. Unlike a traditional chronological resume, which lists work experiences in reverse chronological order, a skills-based resume places a strong focus on the specific skills and qualifications that are relevant to the job being applied for.

In a skills-based resume:

  1. Skills Take Center Stage: The main sections of the resume are dedicated to showcasing the candidate’s key skills and qualifications. These skills are often listed at the beginning of the resume, making them immediately visible to the reader.
  2. Work History is Deemphasized: While a chronological work history is still included in a skills-based resume, it typically appears as a separate section and is often shorter, with less detail about specific job responsibilities. The emphasis is on the skills and achievements gained from these roles.
  3. Tailored to the Job: Skills-based resumes are highly customizable and can be tailored to match the requirements of a specific job or industry. This allows candidates to highlight the skills that are most relevant to the position they are applying for.
  4. Use of Headings: The resume is organized using skill-based headings that categorize the candidate’s abilities. Common headings include “Marketing Skills,” “Project Management,” “Technical Proficiencies,” etc.
  5. Focus on Achievements: Instead of listing job duties, a skills-based resume emphasizes achievements and accomplishments related to each skill. These achievements serve as proof of the candidate’s proficiency.

Skills-based resumes are particularly useful for individuals with gaps in their employment history, recent graduates with limited work experience, career changers, or those who want to redirect their focus to different roles or industries. They allow candidates to highlight their transferable skills and qualifications effectively, making them a valuable tool in the job application process.

How To Create A Skills-Based Resume

Follow these guidelines to create a skills-based résumé to help you create a strong application:

1. Think about when to utilize a resume with a skills focus.

To write a skills-based CV, you must first decide if doing so is appropriate for you. You can weigh the advantages of using a skills-based resume over a conventional chronological resume by being aware of when to utilize one. Here are a few typical justifications for employing a skills-based resume:

2. Carefully go over every job posting.

After deciding which resume format will work best for your application, thoroughly read the job descriptions for each position you choose to apply for. In the job posting, hiring managers outline what they are looking for for the ideal applicant. You can learn more about the qualifications and abilities the hiring manager is looking for by reading the job description. You may construct a CV that matches your qualifications and experience to the requirements of the position when you are aware of the skills the employer is looking for in their ideal applicant.

3. Format and outline the document.

Prior to drafting your resume, give it some thought. Having an outline gives you organizational structure and guarantees that you include all the necessary elements. Additionally, by assisting you in choosing which information to include before you begin writing, outlining will help you write your resume more quickly and effectively. It is customary to place the skills part after the education portion on a resume that is skills-based, with the job history section coming last. This format enables you to highlight your abilities.

Consider structuring your resume in addition to outlining it. Make it simple to navigate the material by using clear section headings. To make your section titles stand out at a glance, think about designing them with bold and italic fonts. Maintain a consistent format across the entire paper to show your attention to detail and professionalism.

4. Include contact information

Near the beginning of your CV, be sure to add your contact details. Include your first and last names along with your contact information (telephone number, email, and city of residence) in the header. These data make it easy for the employer to get in touch with you if they have any queries or to set up an interview. The likelihood that the reader will follow up with you increases if you make it simple for them to obtain your contact information.

5. Compose a professional summary

An introduction to yourself in a professional overview gives the reader a sense of who you are. This summary, which is usually one to three sentences long, includes details on your level of relevant experience as well as the core competencies you hope to bring to your new position. If you have gaps in your work history, are a recent graduate, are trying to change careers, or are new to the field in question, you may utilize this section of your skills-based resume to explain these things. Address a couple of your primary abilities in addition to defining your level of experience at the moment.

6. Show evidence of your education

On your resume, be sure that there’s a section for education. List this section beneath your professional summary if you just graduated. This part demonstrates that you possess the necessary educational background to be eligible for your position. In this part, you can also include information about any professional credentials or licenses that you hold. The hiring manager can see that you have the required education, licenses, and certifications by looking at your credentials at the top of your resume.

7. Include your skills

Your skills section on a skills-based resume will probably be longer and more in-depth than the skills section on a chronological resume. Pick three to five skills to list as subheadings when designing your skills section. Give a list of bullet points under each category describing how you have used that expertise in different professional contexts or what achievements you have made with that skill. For instance, if you put leadership on the list of your essential abilities and use one of your bullet points to provide an example of a time you successfully led a team, that would be appropriate.

8. Describe your professional background.

Your career background should be summarized in the final section of your resume. If you have little to no work experience, utilize this section to list any voluntary work or extracurricular involvement you may have had. Add your official position title, dates of your employment or participation, the name of the organization, and the place where you worked or participated for each entry. Include a list of bullet points explaining your main responsibilities for the position.

Importance of Skills-Based Resume

The importance of a skills-based resume lies in its ability to effectively showcase your qualifications, capabilities, and suitability for a job, making it a valuable tool for various job seekers and career situations. Here are some key reasons why a skills-based resume is important:

  1. Emphasizes Relevant Skills: A skills-based resume places your key skills and qualifications front and center. This is crucial when your skills are more relevant to the job than your work history or when you want to highlight specific competencies required for the position.
  2. Facilitates Career Changes: If you are changing careers or industries, a skills-based resume allows you to showcase transferable skills that are relevant to the new field. It helps potential employers see how your existing skills can benefit their organization.
  3. Highlights Achievements: By focusing on accomplishments related to each skill, a skills-based resume demonstrates your ability to apply your skills to achieve results. This provides concrete evidence of your proficiency and impact in previous roles.
  4. Addresses Employment Gaps: If you have gaps in your employment history, a skills-based resume allows you to emphasize your abilities and experiences, reducing the emphasis on chronological work history. This can make employment gaps less noticeable.
  5. Adaptable to Various Situations: Skills-based resumes are versatile and can be tailored to specific job applications. You can customize the skills and achievements you highlight to align with the requirements of each position, increasing your chances of landing interviews.
  6. Stands Out in Competitive Job Markets: In competitive job markets, where employers receive numerous applications for each position, a skills-based resume can grab the attention of hiring managers quickly. It provides a concise and clear overview of your qualifications.
  7. Showcases Soft Skills: In addition to technical or hard skills, a skills-based resume allows you to showcase important soft skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving, which are often highly valued by employers.
  8. Demonstrates Initiative: Using a skills-based resume demonstrates that you are proactive and focused on showcasing your strengths and abilities. It can leave a positive impression on employers who appreciate candidates who take the time to present their qualifications effectively.

In summary, a skills-based resume is important because it provides a tailored and compelling way to present your qualifications, whether you’re emphasizing specific skills, changing careers, or addressing employment gaps. It allows you to align your resume with the needs of potential employers, making it easier for them to assess your suitability for the job and increasing your chances of securing interviews and job offers.

Template for a Skills-Based Resume

Here’s a skills-based resume template to help you create your own. Customize it with your own skills, qualifications, and experiences:

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[Your Email Address]
[Your Phone Number]
[LinkedIn Profile (Optional)]


A highly skilled and results-oriented professional with expertise in [mention your key skills, e.g., project management, digital marketing, data analysis]. Seeking to leverage my proficiency and achievements to contribute to the success of [Company Name] in the role of [Target Position].

Key Skills:

  • [Skill 1]
  • [Skill 2]
  • [Skill 3]
  • [Skill 4]
  • [Skill 5]

Professional Experience:

[Job Title] | [Company Name] | [City, State] | [Month Year] – Present

  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 1]
  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 2]
  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 3]

[Job Title] | [Company Name] | [City, State] | [Month Year] – [Month Year]

  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 1]
  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 2]
  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 3]

[Job Title] | [Company Name] | [City, State] | [Month Year] – [Month Year]

  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 1]
  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 2]
  • [Achievement or responsibility related to Skill 3]


[Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree] in [Your Major] | [University Name] | [City, State] | [Year of Graduation]


  • [List relevant certifications, e.g., Project Management Professional (PMP), Google Analytics Certification]

Additional Skills:

  • [List any additional skills that are relevant to the job]


Available upon request.

Example of a Skills-Based Resume

Here’s an example of a skills-based resume:

Jane Doe

123 Skills Street

Skillstown, CA 98765


Phone: (555) 555-5555




Highly skilled and adaptable professional with expertise in digital marketing, project management, and data analysis. Seeking to leverage my diverse skill set and proven track record of achieving results to contribute to the success of XYZ Marketing as a Digital Marketing Specialist.

Key Skills:


– Digital Marketing Strategy

– Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

– Content Marketing

– Social Media Management

– Email Marketing

– Project Management

– Data Analytics

– Marketing Automation

– Google Analytics

– Market Research

– Team Leadership

– A/B Testing

Professional Experience:


Digital Marketing Specialist | ABC Marketing Agency | Skillstown, CA | January 2019 – Present

– Developed and executed digital marketing strategies resulting in a 30% increase in website traffic and a 25% growth in online sales within one year.

– Managed SEO efforts, leading to a 20% improvement in organic search rankings and a 15% increase in website conversions.

– Oversaw social media campaigns that boosted engagement rates by 35%, reaching a broader and more targeted audience.

– Led cross-functional project teams, ensuring timely and successful execution of marketing initiatives.

Marketing Project Coordinator | XYZ Corporation | Skillstown, CA | July 2015 – December 2018

– Coordinated and executed marketing projects, collaborating with internal teams and external partners to meet project objectives.

– Implemented email marketing campaigns, achieving a 20% open rate and a 12% click-through rate.

– Conducted market research and competitor analysis to identify growth opportunities and inform marketing strategies.

– Managed A/B testing efforts, optimizing website landing pages and increasing conversion rates by 18%.



Bachelor of Science in Marketing | Skillstown University | Skillstown, CA | May 2015



– Google Analytics Certification

– HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification

– Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification

Additional Skills:


– Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator)

– Familiarity with marketing automation tools (e.g., HubSpot, Mailchimp)

– Strong written and verbal communication skills



Available upon request.


In conclusion, crafting a skills-based resume provides a strategic way to showcase your qualifications and abilities, making it a powerful tool for job seekers with diverse skill sets or those looking to change career paths. By placing your key skills at the forefront and supporting them with relevant accomplishments, you can create a resume that not only captures the attention of potential employers but also effectively demonstrates your readiness and suitability for the desired role. Remember to tailor your skills-based resume to each job application, focusing on the specific skills and qualifications required for the position, to maximize its impact in the competitive job market.

Frequently Asked Questions about Skills-Based Resumes

Here are five frequently asked questions about skills-based resumes, along with answers to help you better understand this resume format:

  1. What is the main advantage of using a skills-based resume over a chronological one?
    • The main advantage of a skills-based resume is its ability to highlight your key skills, qualifications, and accomplishments, making it an excellent choice when you want to emphasize your capabilities and make a career change. It allows you to showcase your transferable skills and relevant achievements upfront, rather than focusing on your work history.
  2. Can I include a work history section in a skills-based resume?
    • Yes, you can include a work history section in a skills-based resume, but it is typically shorter and less detailed than in a chronological resume. The emphasis in a skills-based resume is on your skills and achievements, so the work history serves as supporting evidence of your abilities.
  3. When should I use a skills-based resume?
    • You should consider using a skills-based resume in the following situations:
      • When you want to emphasize your skills and qualifications over your work history.
      • If you have employment gaps or frequently changed jobs.
      • When you are changing careers and need to highlight transferable skills.
      • If you have limited work experience but possess valuable skills.
  4. Should I include an objective statement in a skills-based resume?
    • While an objective statement is optional, it can be included if you want to convey your career goals or provide context for your job search. However, a summary statement or professional profile that briefly highlights your skills and career objectives may be more effective in a skills-based resume.
  5. How can I tailor a skills-based resume for a specific job application?
    • To tailor a skills-based resume for a specific job application, review the job posting carefully to identify the key skills and qualifications required. Customize your skills section to include those relevant to the position, and ensure that your achievements and work history (if included) align with the job requirements. This customization demonstrates your suitability for the role and increases your chances of getting noticed by employers.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, you can gain a better understanding of when and how to use a skills-based resume to effectively present your qualifications and stand out in the job market.

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