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'Skills' section on CV Question

Anonymous A asked on Sep 27, 2018 - 2 answers

Hi! I have some contacts who are happy to refer me at their firms (MBB/2nd tier) but I have a question about the 'Skills' section of the CV. I'm in Germany but not sure that impacts the answers I could use.

At a career fair recently they had CV Checks where people from different companies would look at your CV and give you tips. Every person from consulting firms gave me conflicting advice! One said to leave off computer skills such as Office (Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) because 'everyone has them' and it just takes up space but another said it was vital. One said they really liked that I had my Key Skills section as it is my soft skills (not listed, rather with brief examples but it's very short/to the point) and another said it seemed showoff-y (isn't that the point of a CV?).

My question is, for someone with an abundance of soft skills and minimal hard skills (yes I know Office, DIVA and SAP CRM software, Adobe, etc. but not much else) as I come from a liberal arts background, what should my skills section include/not include? I speak 3 languages but that goes under my info in a Languages section as it's important they see it ASAP since German is not my first language/CV is in English.

Thanks in advance!


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replied on Sep 27, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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  • Keep the languages within the languages section
  • Keep the technical, statistical and financial modeling skills as a separate section (if you really has smth). If it is just power point - there is no sense to make a separate section
  • Soft skills I believe are not needed since their evaluation is very subjective


replied on Sep 27, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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Disagreement between consultants you've experienced is not unusual, since different firms will have different "CV scoring training" material for their employees. Additionally, it is highly subjective. I understand this is very frustrating, but do not worry too much - your skills section is very unlikely to be a determining factor in your CV.

Given space constraint and the fact you should try keep your CV to one page, I have a couple pieces of advice:

1) If you have a differentiating skill here (e.g. advanced Alteryx certificate), definitely include it. My understand is you don't

2) If you have other skills that are not as directly applicable to the job, I would still consider including it (except probably super basic things like microsoft office). However, you probably get more value from an extra bullet or two on your work or leadership experiences, so if there's a trade-off to be made I would generally choose to add more detail on your experiences.

Hope this helps!


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