You’d better believe it. The employer wouldn’t include them if they weren’t. Required and preferred skills are essential. When reviewing the description for a job opening, be careful to note exactly what the employer lists as required and preferred. This is critical information.
You need to make sure your resume communicates very clearly that you possess all of the required skills. This means you’re capable of doing the job and performing the essential functions. An entry-level HR representative who is doing the initial screening for the opening will most likely not pass your resume on to the next person for review unless your resume clearly indicates that you possess each and every one of the required skills.
Preferred qualifications are the employer’s wish list of things they’d like to have in a new employee. They can live without them, but if you can prove you possess them, you just upped the ante for the other candidates being considered and are one step closer to positioning yourself as the ideal candidate.
It’s just one more reason why it’s so important to carefully review the position announcement and to customize your resume as you apply to different opportunities. It doesn’t have to require hours of work to make adjustments. Just switch out a few keywords and reorder the accomplishments/bullet points on your resume so the most relevant ones come first. These are small, quick changes you can make that better present you to the potential employer.
Need some inspiration for writing your resume? Check out our resume writing samples page.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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