Five Essential Job Skills: From CV to Resumé

As you set out translate your CV into a Resumé, it will help to pinpoint some of your academic activities (courses, projects, positions/employment, service) that demonstrate your skills and professional development in critical areas. The following five question categories can help you think more broadly about your academic activities and your marketable skills. As you go through your CV, ask yourself how you can frame and incorporate specific examples of these skills into your resumé in a way that makes sense to the potential employer using language from the job posting and/or mission statement as a prompt or guide.

ONE. Project Management, Planning and Design 

Where/When/How have you:

  • Developed a unique idea based on an absence or need in the existing scholarship (market)
  • Designed a project around that idea
  • Identified essential priorities and anticipated potential problems
  • Planned and managed the “critical path” of your project through its essential stages
  • Concluded and submitted your work within a preset timeframe or deadline

TWO. Management / Leadership & Human Resources

Where/When/How have you:

  • Lead or facilitated group discussions
  • Planned, contributed to, and/or presided over business meetings
  • Worked on group projects as a leader and/or team member
  • Responded appropriately to and given constructive feedback and criticism to a peer or subordinate
  • Provided appropriate and effective mentorship in formal and informal settings
  • Navigated complex bureaucratic structures
  • Practiced/demonstrated professionalism and professional etiquette

THREE. Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving

Where/When/How have you:

  • Identified a problem, investigated its possible causes, found and implemented an effective or elegant solution
  • Sorted and managed large amounts of information by identifying essential ideas and interrogating and evaluating sources
  • Formed and defended independent conclusions based on your assessment of the best available evidence

FOUR. Communications

Where/When/How have you:

  • Debated difficult questions succinctly and respectfully with your peers and/or advisors
  • Organized and communicated ideas and essential information in oral presentations for diverse audiences
  • Broken Down and explained complex subjects in plain and approachable language
  • Produced effective writing in a variety of formats/lengths
  • Written successful project and/or grant proposals
  • Made persuasive arguments to a specific audience
  • Used a word processor, spreadsheet program, and/or other common/essential communication technologies

FIVE. Workload and Stress Management

Where/When/How have you:

  • Worked in a high pressure/competitive environment
  • Performed difficult mental/intellectual tasks to a high standard of quality 
  • Worked under time pressure to meet strict deadlines
  • Comprehended large amounts of new material/subject matter in a short period of time

Click here to view or download a PDF of this page. Click here for the excellent list of transferable skills provided by the University of Michigan Career Center, on which this page was based.