Extra Skills To Fill Out Your CV

Lacking work experience?  Here are 9 skills to consider putting on your resume:

1.   First Aid Accreditation

This is something employers love to see – it shows that you take initiative and it means they’ll have an extra first-aid certified employee in their workplace.  If you don’t have the time or the money to do in-depth first aid training, there is a one day course offered by St John Ambulance designed for the workplace,   or else there is a full three-day course which will equip you with the knowledge to deal with a variety of emergency health and safety situations. Some universities and institutions offer discounted first aid courses and there’s independently run courses from places like The Red Cross.

2.  Typing skills

If you’re applying for a job that involves lots of typing, the speed at which you can type may be very relevant. The average person types between 38-40 wpm (words per minute), so if you’re above average you should consider including it in your resume.  Test your speed here or better yet, learn to touch type for free here.

3.  Languages

You should always include any languages you speak on your resume, and you don’t have to be an expert to list one. If you’re not fluent, use phrases such as ‘conversational French’ or ‘intermediate Japanese’. In the UK, the most sought-after languages (in order) are French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Polish.

4.  Software and IT skills

Don’t neglect to mention anything that may be relevant to the jobs you’re applying for. As well as software programs like Microsoft Excel, you can include desktop and mobile operating systems (e.g. Linus,  Mac OS X), cloud computing systems (Google Drive, Dropbox)  social media skills or other web skills.  Webs skills can include the communications side of things such as ‘writing for the web’ or they can be more technical; perhaps you know a little code or SEO?  If you want to get better at any of these things, there are plenty of online courses that you can do in your spare time.  To start with, for coding try Codecademy and Moz for SEO. Make sure to investigate the UK market to determine if there are specific programs which are preferred here over those back home.

5.  Public speaking

By the time you were through with your first semester in the UK, you’ve almost certainly braved several oral presentations and made it through alive. Congratulations – you have public speaking skills.

6.  Volunteering

Many hiring managers say that when evaluating work experience, they consider volunteering to have equal weight as paid work, so don’t think that your volunteer work should be excluded. Volunteering demonstrates interest and commitment, and that you are well-rounded beyond just academic qualifications.

7.  Creative skills

Even if you’re not applying for a creative job, listing a few of your more creative skills adds to a well-rounded impression.  It’s also good way of hinting that you’re adaptable, a good learner and capable of thinking outside the box.  You can include things like photography, graphic design or even instruments. These can help to stand out from the crowd of people with similar qualifications.

8.  Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

These might sound like something you need special training for, but actually, most of us do these things every day. You’ve probably had to apply these skills many times in group assignments or any kind of group activity. Once you’ve done a few of these, you can add this to your resume.

9.  Research Skills

If you’re a student then you already have great research skills.  You have the ability to seek out a wide range of sources and perspectives, to appraise their relevance and value, to identify and triage key issues and to make recommendations based on your research.  You’re a regular sleuth, so don’t forget to mention it on your resume.


If you’re looking to get more training or personal development, check out the selection from the Good Universities Guide, or courses from Lynda.com, The Great Courses, Coursera or Open 2 Study.  Good luck!