Your resume is like a complex jigsaw puzzle. If any pieces are missing, you will sell yourself short on showcasing the complete picture of you.
One of the most important sections on your resume is the Areas of Expertise. It is a space dedicated to highlighting the skills that set you apart from the competition, while also conveying your acumen for your particular industry.
Your resume should begin with an opening summary section of three to four sentences that tell a hiring manager what you bring to the table. This summary has gradually replaced the generic objective statement that sheds no light onto your personal and professional strengths.
Below this summary is the perfect location for the Areas of Expertise. This paragraph serves as a perfect complement to the summary and helps give the top half of your document a nice balance of narrative and bullet points.
The Right Keywords
A section outlining your key skills should do just that – as succinctly as possible. Loading it with industry-specific keywords that will pay off two-fold:
Human Review: If you are targeting a smaller company, odds are that a good-old-fashioned human review is in the cards for your document. This means that you will want to impress your reviewer by highlighting specific keywords. You can analyze the job description you are targeting for what seems like the most important words, and then incorporate them into your Areas of Expertise.
Computer Review: Larger companies use applicant tracking systems to screen incoming documents for relevance to the open position. Hiring managers load their ATS software with keywords specific to the vacancy. For example, an accounting position would require knowledge in accounts payable, accounts receivable, quality assurance and audits. The Areas of Expertise section is the perfect place to list those critical terms, helping your resume pass through ATS filters.