rating skills on resume

Is rating the skills on your resume a good practice? Not really. In this article, we’re talking about the two main reasons you should avoid this resume template trend.

There are countless resume templates on the web to choose from. In our highly visual age, many of these templates include superfluous graphics. While it is important for your resume to have a clean, easy-to-read design, you should be careful to avoid using templates with unnecessary visual elements. Graphics cannot be read by applicant tracking systems and often do not offer busy recruiters the information they’re looking for.

In the past few years, rating your resume skills on a scale has become a trend that you’ve probably seen when searching for templates. Here’s an example:

rating skills on a resume

The Two Main Reasons You Should Avoid Rating Skills on a Resume

Although it looks nice and adds visual interest to your resume, rating skills on a resume is essentially wasting space. Here’s why.

1. Applicant tracking systems can’t read your rating scales.

There’s a good chance your graphics will get thrown out when processed through an ATS, which parses your resume text into a formatted profile.

2. Recruiters don’t know how to interpret your rating system.

If you’re grading yourself, recruiters may wonder how modest or immodest you’re being. Plus, they won’t know how to read your ambiguous scoring system. Does a 5/5 mean you’re at the top of your industry peers or just that these are your top skills?

Here’s what Senior Technical Recruiter Kristen Fife told us:

“There are significant issues with ‘scores’ and graphics on resumes. The single biggest one: the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and how it scans (or doesn’t) graphics.

The second biggest issue is: what is your methodology, how did you come up with this ‘score’? What are you comparing it against, what are the actual measurement parameters?

Finally, they are difficult to read and take up valuable space that can be better used for text. There is no context to the graphics and you lose out on valuable opportunities to showcase your skills that DO come up in a keyword search”

So, save that prime resume space to add other relevant resume skills or more context and success metrics within your work experience section.

Resume Skills Resources:

Learn all about resume skills and how to list them.

Discover the top resume keywords.

Resume Template Resources:

See our complete collection of resume templates.

Download one of our ATS-friendly templates.

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