Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Write a Skills Based Resume: Template and Examples

April 9, 2021

Several types of resumes can be used when applying for a new position. The type of resume you choose to create and submit will depend on the job you are applying for as well as the information you wish you convey to potential employers. A skills-based resume is a common type of resume used most frequently by those who have little experience or who are changing careers and want to highlight their skills before their work experience. In this article, you will learn what a skills-based resume is, when it's most appropriate to use this type of resume and also see a template as well as examples of how to create a skills-based resume.

What is a skills-based resume?

A skills-based resume, which also may be referred to as a functional resume, is a resume in which a person's skills are highlighted first and foremost as opposed to the more traditional chronological resume.

This type of resume most often lists accomplishments and skills as bold headings with an explanation as to how that skill was acquired and used in a person's previous job history. A skills-based resume is ideal for individuals with little job history such as individuals who have recently graduated from high school or college. This resume type may also be a good idea for people changing careers and who have little to no work experience in the new career field they are pursuing.

In a skills-based resume, the primary focus is on the resume summary or introduction and the skills section. In these two sections, the individual will emphasize their skills and achievements as they relate to the position they are applying for. The work experience section of a skills-based article is typically much smaller than a chronological resume and often does not include the timeframes in which the individual worked in each position. The person's contact information, education and other relevant resume sections should be included as well. The goal of a skills-based resume is to emphasize your strongest skills as they relate to the job you are applying for to increase your chances of getting an interview.

Related: Writing a Resume With No Experience

When to use a skills-based resume

There are a few situations in which a skills-based resume would be most appropriate when applying for a new job. These situations include:

  • You are changing your career or the industry in which you work and have little to no experience in the new field.
  • You have gaps in your work history that exceed several months or a year.
  • You have recently graduated from high school or college and have little work experience.
  • You have only held short-term jobs or internships rather than extended periods of experience in one position.
  • You have several previous work positions that are similar.
  • You have held the same position for several years.

If you are experiencing one or many of these situations, a skills-based resume is likely the best option. However, if you have a robust work history in several different positions in which you obtained increasing responsibility and advanced in ranks, you should consider using a chronological resume when applying to new positions.

Related: 29 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

Skills-based resume template

The following is a skills-based resume template that you can use when formatting your own:

First and last name
Email address

Qualifications summary: Use this section to highlight your best skills and traits as they relate to the job you are applying for. Include three to five relevant achievements or skills as well as any work or educational history that may emphasize your suitability for the position.

Relevant skills: Include three-to-four bullets that have as many specific and quantifiable examples as possible.

Skill #1

  • List an achievement and/or work experience that portrays evidence of how you used the skill in your work history.

Skill #2

  • List an achievement and/or work experience that portrays evidence of how you used the skill in your work history.

Skill #3

  • List an achievement and/or work experience that portrays evidence of how you used the skill in your work history.

Work experience

Company Name, City, State
Job Title
Employment dates (optional)

Company name, City, State
Job Title
Employment dates (optional)

Note: In the employment section, you do not have to include a bulleted list of job duties for each title. You can simply list the company name and your job title. You can also include volunteer work and internships if they are relevant to the position you are applying for.

Education

Degree Type, Major
School Name, City, State
Dates in which the degree was completed

Other relevant sections

You can include additional sections that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Possible additional sections include accomplishments, volunteer work, professional affiliations and awards.

Download Resume Template
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Skills-based resume example

The following is an example of a skills-based resume for a sales representative:

Charles Bradshaw
(555) 475-8755
charles@email.com
12207 White Circle, New York City, New York 41789

Qualifications summary

  • Proven record of increasing monthly sales by 15%
  • Recognized as Sales Representative of the Month for consistently high customer satisfaction ratings
  • Solid customer service skills displayed through proven ability to anticipate and meet the needs of clients

Relevant skills

Interpersonal skills

  • Regularly communicate with customers, managers and team members via phone, email and in-person
  • Effectively educate clients on new products with an emphasis on how the products address their specific needs
  • Voted most personable employee by clients for four months in a row

Sales

  • Regularly exceeded sales quotas by a minimum of 5% monthly
  • Upsell an average of two out of five clients by recommending products that met their unique needs
  • Ensured all customers were satisfied with their purchases and handled any complaints in a timely and efficient manner

Marketing

  • Set up merchandise in an appealing manner that led to a 7% increase in sales in-store
  • Contributed to marketing plans to draw in new customers and increase current customer retention
  • Participated in weekly marketing meetings

Employment history

Java Company, New York City, New York
Sales Representative

Extra Corporation, Miami, Florida
Sales Coordinator

Education

Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
University of Miami, Miami FL
2010-2014

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