What is an area of expertise? It’s a set of skills or a high level of knowledge in a particular field. Areas of expertise include:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Financial Analysis
  • Project Management
  • Software Development
  • Data Analysis
  • Graphic Design
  • Human Resources Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Machine Learning and AI
  • Environmental Science
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Sales and Business Development
  • Educational Leadership
  • Content Creation and Copywriting
  • Public Relations and Communications
  • Legal Compliance
  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Renewable Energy Technologies
  • Biotechnology Research
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Event Planning and Coordination
  • Culinary Arts
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • International Trade and Relations

Whatever your area of expertise is, you should always try to highlight it on your resume. This not only shows employers what you are good at, but it also helps you stand out from other candidates who may have a more generalized skill set.

In this article, we’ll show you how to identify your area of expertise, add it to your resume, and then tailor it to match the specific requirements of the job you’re applying for.

How to identify your area of expertise

It’s not always easy to identify your area of expertise. Most people have a variety of skills and experiences. This makes it challenging to pinpoint one specific field where they excel the most.

Here are three ways to help you figure out your area of expertise:

  1. Look back at your experience – Think about your past jobs. What tasks did you enjoy and excel at? Try to remember any positive feedback. This can help you see what you’re good at.
  2. Think about what you like to do – What are your hobbies or passions? What subjects in school were you best at? Often, the things you enjoy doing the most are closely related to your area of expertise.
  3. Ask for opinions – Talk to friends, family, colleagues, or mentors. Ask them what they think you’re good at. Sometimes, others can see strengths that you might not recognize in yourself. 

You can also use artificial intelligence (AI) to help you figure out your area of expertise. We recommend using ChatGPT to do this. ChatGPT is a free AI tool that millions of people use every day. All you need to do is sign up for an account here.

When you’re ready, simply paste your resume into ChatGPT and type in the following prompt: 

“I’ve pasted my resume below. Based on this information, could you help identify what appears to be my primary area of expertise?” 

Here’s an example of how to do this:

An example of a ChatGPT prompt.

Asking ChatGPT to determine your area of expertise can be surprisingly eye-opening. This is because it provides a clear, objective view of your skills and experience. 

How to match your expertise to the job

Your area of expertise should be relevant to the demands of today’s job market. In other words, you must combine what you love with the skills hiring managers are looking for.

How do you know what skills hiring managers are looking for? Just read the description of the job you’re applying to. For example, here’s a job description for a senior auditor. Some of the key requirements are underlined in red:

Sample job description for senior auditor with underlined keywords

There’s another important reason why your resume needs to match what’s in the job description. It has to do with the technology hiring departments use today.

This technology is called an applicant tracking system (ATS). When you apply for a job, your resume goes straight into an ATS  database. 

When hiring managers want to find suitable job candidates, they type words and phrases into the ATS search bar. These words and phrases are called keywords. The keywords hiring managers type in are usually skills and other qualifications.

pie chart that shows the percentage of fortune 500 companies that use an applicant tracking system in 2023

For example, if a hiring manager wanted to fill the Senior Auditor position above, they would most likely type in the keywords “CPA certification,” “tax compliance,” “team management,” etc…

If your resume does NOT include these keywords then it won’t be found by the hiring manager. It will just sit in the database, unseen. 

This means you must have the proper keywords in your resume if you want to get noticed by a hiring manager. The problem is that it can be difficult to know which keywords to focus on. Some keywords are more important than others. 

To solve this problem, try an online tool like Jobscan’s resume scanner. It analyzes your resume against the job description and tells you exactly which keywords you need to add to your resume.

How to use the scanner:

Step 1: Paste your resume into the scanner.

Step 2: Paste the job description into the scanner.

Step 3: Click “scan”. 

You’ll then receive a score that shows how well your resume matches the job description. You’ll also be told how to increase your score by adding certain keywords. 

The higher your score the more likely a hiring manager will find your resume and offer you a job interview. Here’s an example of a score and keyword suggestions:

Example of Jobscan's Power Edit resume score and suggested keywords.

The highlighted keywords (with red circles) are missing from this resume. Add them to increase your score.

How to add your expertise to your resume

You need to be sure that your area of expertise comes through loud and clear on your resume. To do this, add your expertise to the following resume sections:

Resume headline

Your resume headline is a one-liner that appears at the top of your resume, right under your contact information. Your headline quickly tells employers who you are professionally. 

Here’s a simple formula you can use when creating your headline:

Job Title + Years of Experience + Top Skill / Accomplishment / Certification

For example, if your area of expertise is digital marketing, your headline could be:

An example of putting your area of expertise in the resume headline.

Resume summary

Your resume summary should appear right below your headline. It should provide a bit more detail about your area of expertise. 

Here’s an example of a resume summary for a digital marketer:

An example of putting your area of expertise in your resume summary.

PRO TIP: Whenever possible, try to use numbers to illustrate your area of expertise. For example, the summary above says “Successfully boosted website traffic by 30%.” Your resume should not just be about what you did, but how well you did it. Numbers help you do that.

Work experience

Your work experience section is the heart of your resume. This is where hiring managers will spend most of their time.

That’s why it’s crucial to highlight your area of expertise in this section. You can do this in the following ways:

For each job on your resume, focus on the responsibilities that relate to your expertise. For example, if you’re an expert in digital marketing and SEO, you might say: 

“Developed and implemented SEO strategies, including keyword research, on-page optimization, and link-building initiatives.”

If you played a key role in projects or campaigns, mention how they relate to your expertise. For example:

“Spearheaded a content marketing campaign that resulted in a 25% increase in engagement on our main product lines.”

Mention tools, platforms, or technologies you used that pertain to your expertise. For example: 

“Utilized tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush for comprehensive SEO analysis and reporting.”

What would this look like on an actual resume? Here’s an example of a work experience section (again, for a digital marketer): 

An example of adding your area of expertise to your resume work experience.

PRO TIP: Use action verbs to make your resume come alive. These are words that convey doing. In the above example, each bullet point starts with an action verb such as spearheaded, contributed, and utilized.

Skills section

You should always try to include a skills section on your resume. This allows employers to quickly determine if your capabilities align with the job requirements.

When listing your skills, focus on those in your area of expertise. For example, if your expertise is in digital marketing, your skills section might look like this:

An example of adding your area of expertise to your skills section.

PRO TIP: Consider including some soft skills in your skills section. Soft skills are “people skills.” They show how you interact and work with others. Soft skills include communication, time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking

Education section

Are you a recent graduate or lack work experience? Then try to highlight your area of expertise in your education section. 

You can mention relevant courses, major projects, or certifications that align with your expertise.

For example, your education section might look like this:

An example of adding your area of expertise to your education section.

How to develop your area of expertise

To stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing world, it’s important to keep improving your skills. Here are three simple ways to do that:

1) Keep learning: Always look for ways to learn more about your area of expertise. This could be through online courses, certificates, workshops, or industry events. The goal is to stay abreast of the latest developments and innovations in your field.

2) Use your skills: Try out what you learn in real situations. This could be at your current job, in a new project, or even a hobby. Using your skills in real life helps you get better.

3) Meet people in your field: Connect with others who do what you do. Go to meetings, join groups, or talk to people online. Networking gives you new ideas and keeps you in touch with what’s happening in your industry.

These steps will help you stay ahead in your career, make you more valuable as a professional, and keep you excited about your work.

Key takeaways

  • It’s crucial to showcase your expertise on your resume to differentiate yourself from candidates with broader skill sets.
  • Identify your area of expertise by reflecting on past job experiences, hobbies, and feedback. Consider using AI tools like ChatGPT for an objective analysis.
  • Highlight your area of expertise in your resume headline, summary, work experience, skills section, and education section.
  • Use Jobscan’s resume scanner to quickly tailor each resume for the job you’re applying to.
  • Stay competitive by constantly updating your skills through learning, practical application, and networking.

FAQs

Why is it important to show your areas of expertise?

Showing your areas of expertise on your resume helps you stand out to employers by highlighting your specific skills and knowledge. It demonstrates your suitability for the role and can make you more attractive to potential employers.

What is an example of an area of expertise?

An example of an area of expertise could be financial analysis. This includes skills like budgeting, forecasting, investment analysis, and proficiency in financial software.

What should you put for your area of expertise?

For your area of expertise, list specific skills or knowledge you excel in that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. This could include technical skills, industry-specific knowledge, or particular methodologies you are proficient in.

What are areas of expertise?

Areas of expertise are specialized skills or extensive knowledge you have in a particular field or subject, often developed through experience and education.

How do you find your area of expertise?

To find your area of expertise, reflect on your past experiences and successes, consider feedback from colleagues or mentors, and think about the tasks or subjects you are most passionate about and skilled in.


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Robert Henderson, CPRW, Resume Expert

Robert Henderson, CPRW, is a career advice writer and a resume expert at Jobscan.

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