What skills are impressive to have on a resume?

The skills recruiters are impressed by will largely vary based on the job you’re applying to. To identify the most in-demand skills in your field, look at a wide cross-section of job postings that you’re interested in and take notes on which ones appear most frequently. Recruiters may also like to see certain role-specific certifications. There are a handful of skills, though, that are applicable to many different careers, and are worth including no matter what. A few examples: fluency in a foreign language, data analysis (especially in common platforms like Excel or Google Sheets), and project management and leadership (with concrete examples to back it up).

I have submitted tons of applications, but I haven’t heard back from anyone. What am I doing wrong?

When it comes to submitting job applications, it’s about quality, not quantity. If you’re not hearing back at all, you may want to think about whether you’re applying to the right jobs. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but if you don’t have the direct experience needed for the job you want, you may want to start thinking about applying to stepping-stone positions. Another common culprit for getting the silent treatment? The applicant probably hasn’t tailored their resume to the position and the key requirements posted for the position. For each application, you should carefully read the job description and include and/or highlight specific skills and experiences you have that match what the company is looking for. Use the same language as the job description. Other strategies to get your resume past the screening phase include finding somebody at the company to refer you.

I need experience to get a job, but I need a job to get experience. What can I do?

It may be a bit of extra work, but you can definitely gain experience without being employed full-time in a particular field. Consider volunteering with nonprofits. Sometimes volunteer gigs turn into paid jobs, and they are a good way to start your resume. You can also bulk up your resume through freelance work.