Creating an effective resume involves more than just listing your skills; it’s about presenting the right skills in a way that resonates with the job you’re applying for. Tailoring your skillset to the specific position is crucial because mentioning irrelevant skills can bore the HR manager and potentially cost you the job. For example, if you’re applying for a software development role, the hiring manager won’t be interested in your marketing expertise; they want to know about your proficiency in Python and your ability to work well with a team. In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step process for including skills on your resume, ensuring that you highlight the right skills in a way that grabs the hiring manager’s attention. Here’s what you’ll discover:
- Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills – What’s the Difference?
- Why Should You List Your Skills on a Resume?
- 8 Best Skills to Put on a Resume
- How to List Skills on a Resume
- 120+ Skills to Put on Your Resume (For 10+ Fields)
Hard Skills vs Soft Skills – What’s the Difference?
What’s the Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft SkillsYou’ve succinctly summarized the two main differences between hard skills and soft skills:
- How You Obtain Them:
- Hard Skills: These are typically acquired through formal education, specialized training, work experience, or certification programs. They are specific and technical in nature, and you can often quantify your proficiency in hard skills.
- Soft Skills: These are developed through life experiences, both within and outside of the workplace. They are more general and relate to personal attributes and habits that influence how you interact with others and adapt to various situations. Soft skills are often cultivated over time through practice and self-awareness.
- How You Use Them:
- Hard Skills: These are applied directly to perform specific job tasks or functions. They are task-oriented and directly contribute to job performance. For example, a software developer uses coding skills to write software programs.
- Soft Skills: Soft skills come into play indirectly and often complement hard skills. They impact how effectively you work with colleagues, communicate, solve problems, and adapt to different work environments. For instance, strong leadership or communication skills can enhance the effectiveness of a project manager.
Why Should You List Skills on Your Resume?The skills section of your resume is indeed one of the most critical parts, alongside your work experience and education sections. However, as you’ve rightly pointed out, simply listing skills is not enough; there’s a nuanced approach to consider. Here’s a breakdown of the key points: Importance of the Skills Section:
- The skills section is among the top three critical sections on your resume, along with work experience and education.
- A well-structured skills section can significantly impact your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers.
- Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage the high volume of resumes they receive.
- ATS software scans resumes for specific keywords relevant to the job description.
- If your resume lacks these keywords, it may be automatically rejected by the ATS.
- For example, if a job requires expertise in Java, you must explicitly mention “Java” as a skill to avoid rejection.
- A significant portion of resumes (over 70%) is rejected at this initial ATS screening stage.
- Even if a company doesn’t use an ATS, HR managers often skim resumes looking for the right skill set.
- This means that correctly listing your skills is crucial whether you’re dealing with an ATS or a human reviewer.
- Mentioning the right skills on your resume is essential to make it past the initial screening stages.
- The guide likely provides insights on how to strategically list skills to grab the attention of both ATS and human reviewers.
- The guide probably offers a list of best skills to include on your resume, irrespective of your profession.
- These skills are likely to be transferable and highly valued across various industries and roles.
8 Best Skills to Put on a ResumeYou’ve highlighted the importance of both hard skills and soft skills in various professions and emphasized their significance in today’s job market. Let’s take a closer look at your points: Role-Specific Hard Skills:
- Every profession typically requires specific hard skills that are essential to performing the job effectively. For example, an accountant needs strong mathematical skills, and a photographer must be proficient in using photo editing software like Photoshop.
- These hard skills are relatively easy to identify, as they are directly related to the technical requirements of the job.
- While hard skills are crucial, soft skills are equally essential in the modern job market. Research indicates that 93% of employers consider soft skills to be a critical factor in their hiring decisions.
- Soft skills may be less tangible and more challenging to define, but they are valuable for interpersonal interactions, teamwork, adaptability, and overall workplace success.
- You’ve mentioned that, for instance, a project manager should possess excellent organizational skills in addition to their project management abilities. Similarly, a developer needs to be an adept problem solver.
- These examples illustrate that even in technical roles, soft skills like organizational and problem-solving skills complement hard skills and contribute to overall job performance.
- You’ve indicated that the article contains lists of both field-related, relevant soft and hard skills, allowing job seekers to identify and prioritize the skills needed for their specific profession.
- These lists can serve as a valuable resource for job applicants, helping them understand the skills they should emphasize when applying for positions in their chosen field.
1. Communication skillsYou’ve highlighted the universal importance of communication skills in virtually all professions, underscoring their multi-faceted nature. Here’s a breakdown of your points: Communication Skills are Essential Across Professions:
- Virtually all jobs, if not all, require some level of communication skills. Regardless of your role or industry, the ability to communicate effectively is fundamental.
- Whether you’re a writer conveying a message to readers, a marketing specialist explaining an advertising campaign to a client, or an office worker collaborating with colleagues, communication skills are indispensable.
- Communication skills encompass various facets, and it’s not just about speaking or writing. It involves a range of skills, including:
- Oral and Written Communication: The ability to express ideas and information clearly through speech and writing.
- Non-Verbal Communication: Understanding and using body language, facial expressions, and gestures to convey messages.
- Active Listening: The skill of fully engaging with and comprehending what others are saying.
- Presentation: Effectively delivering information or ideas to an audience, often with visual aids.
- Public Speaking: The ability to address a large audience confidently and persuasively.
- Negotiation: The art of reaching mutually beneficial agreements in various situations.
- Persuasion: Convincing others to accept your viewpoint or take a particular action.
- Discussion: Engaging in constructive and productive conversations to exchange ideas or resolve issues.
2. Computer skillsYou’ve pointed out the increasing importance of digital skills in today’s job market and how computer skills have become valuable assets in a wide range of professions. Here’s a breakdown of your key points: Digital Skills in the Job Market:
- As of 2016, more than 70% of jobs in the United States required medium-to-high-level digital skills.
- This statistic highlights the pervasive influence of technology in the modern workforce.
- Computer and technical skills have become highly valuable, even in professions that are not primarily centered around technology.
- Possessing computer skills can significantly enhance your job prospects and professional effectiveness.
- You’ve listed several computer skills that are valuable for professionals across various industries. These include:
- Office Suites (MS Office, iWork): Proficiency in using productivity software for tasks like document creation, spreadsheet analysis, and presentation design.
- Social Media: Understanding how to effectively utilize social media platforms for marketing, communication, or networking.
- Database Management: The ability to work with databases to organize and retrieve data.
- Web Skills (Internet Savviness, Basic HTML, CMS): Familiarity with web technologies, including basic HTML coding and content management systems (CMS).
- Troubleshooting: Skills in identifying and resolving technical issues.
- Equipment Installation and Configuration: The capability to set up and configure hardware and software.
- Fast Typing: Efficient typing skills to improve productivity in tasks involving data entry or writing.
3. Management skillsYou’ve made an excellent point regarding the broad applicability of management skills, which are not limited to management positions but can benefit professionals in various roles. Here’s a summary of your key points: Versatility of Management Skills:
- Management skills are often associated with managerial roles, but their utility extends to professionals in diverse positions.
- These skills involve effectively handling various aspects, including people, resources, and processes, irrespective of your job title.
- You’ve listed several valuable management skills that are in demand across industries. These include:
- People Management: The ability to lead, motivate, and coordinate team members effectively.
- Project Management: Efficiently planning, executing, and monitoring projects to achieve goals and deliverables.
- Time Management: The skill of prioritizing tasks, setting goals, and optimizing time to enhance productivity.
- Risk Management: Identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks to ensure project or organizational success.
- Logistics: Managing the flow of resources, materials, or information in a systematic and efficient manner.
- Action Planning: Developing clear plans and strategies to achieve objectives.
- Conflict Resolution: Navigating and resolving conflicts within teams or organizations.
4. Problem-solving skillsYou’ve provided an insightful explanation of problem-solving skills and their significance in various professions. Here’s a summary of your key points: Definition of Problem-Solving Skills:
- Problem-solving skills involve the ability to successfully identify problems, uncover their root causes, and devise creative and effective solutions.
- These skills are valuable in virtually every job because challenges and issues are common in the workplace.
- Problem-solving skills are particularly essential in managerial, professional, and technical positions, where complex issues and decision-making are frequent occurrences.
- Professionals who possess strong problem-solving abilities are better equipped to tackle challenges and contribute to the success of their organizations.
- Problem-solving skills encompass a set of key competencies, which include:
- Research Skills: The ability to gather information, data, and relevant facts to understand the problem thoroughly.
- Analytical Skills: The capability to examine data, break down complex issues into manageable parts, and identify patterns or trends.
- Critical Thinking: The skill of objectively assessing situations, considering multiple perspectives, and making informed judgments.
- Decision-Making Skills: Effectively evaluating options and choosing the most suitable course of action.
- Attention to Detail: Being meticulous and thorough in examining information and identifying potential solutions.
5. Organizational skillsYou’ve provided a clear explanation of organizational skills and highlighted their significance in today’s job market. Here’s a summary of your key points: Definition of Organizational Skills:
- Organizational skills are a set of soft skills that enable individuals to effectively manage information, materials, and their time. These skills help individuals handle both short-term and long-term tasks efficiently.
- Organizational skills are highly sought after by recruiters in 2022 due to their role in enhancing productivity, saving time and resources, and fostering a positive work environment.
- These skills contribute to the overall efficiency and success of individuals and organizations.
- Organizational skills encompass various components, including:
- Physical Organization: The ability to arrange and manage physical resources, such as workspace, materials, and tools, in an organized and efficient manner.
- Planning: Creating well-thought-out strategies and approaches to achieve objectives.
- Scheduling: Developing and managing schedules to allocate time effectively for tasks and activities.
- Prioritization: Identifying and ranking tasks based on their importance and urgency.
- Goal Setting: Setting clear and achievable goals to guide actions and measure progress.
6. Leadership skillsYou’ve provided an insightful perspective on leadership skills, highlighting their dual role in both managing and inspiring others, and their broader applicability in various professions. Here’s a summary of your key points: Leadership Defined:
- Leadership encompasses the ability to not only manage but also inspire and influence others. While managers may not always possess strong leadership skills, effective leaders often make good managers.
- Effective leaders tend to possess key qualities, including emotional intelligence, excellent communication skills, and natural persuasive abilities.
- They can motivate individuals to reach their full potential and unite teams to work cohesively toward common goals.
- Leadership skills are highly valuable across a wide range of professions, as they enable individuals to guide and inspire others, fostering a culture of collaboration and achievement.
- Soft skills that are closely related to leadership include:
- Relationship-Building: The ability to establish and nurture meaningful connections with team members and colleagues.
- Motivation: Inspiring and encouraging individuals to excel and go the extra mile.
- Creativity: Thinking outside the box and generating innovative solutions to challenges.
- Commitment: Demonstrating dedication and passion for one’s work and goals.
- Strategic Thinking: The capability to formulate and execute well-thought-out plans and strategies.
- Coaching: Guiding and mentoring team members to develop their skills and reach their potential.
7. Customer service skillsYou’ve highlighted the widespread relevance of customer service skills in today’s job market and how these skills encompass various other valuable attributes. Here’s a summary of your key points: Importance of Customer Service Skills:
- Customer service skills are highly valuable in many professions that involve interactions with customers, ranging from customer support representatives to cashiers.
- These skills are particularly sought after in 2023 due to their ability to enhance customer satisfaction and overall business success.
- Customer service skills encompass several essential components, including:
- Persuasion Skills: The ability to influence and persuade customers effectively to make informed decisions or resolve issues.
- Positivity: Maintaining a positive and helpful attitude, even when dealing with challenging situations.
- Product Knowledge: A deep understanding of the products or services being offered, allowing for informed and helpful customer interactions.
- Adaptability: The capability to adjust to various customer needs and preferences.
- Attention to Detail: Paying close attention to customer inquiries and concerns to ensure accurate and effective responses.
8. Interpersonal skillsYou’ve provided a comprehensive explanation of interpersonal skills and their relevance across various roles, including team-oriented, customer-facing, and even roles that may not involve direct interaction with people. Here’s a summary of your key points: Definition of Interpersonal Skills:
- Interpersonal skills encompass the ability to understand, relate to, and effectively interact with other people.
- These skills are valuable not only in roles that require frequent communication but also in positions where understanding human behavior and collaboration are essential.
- Interpersonal skills are highly useful in team-oriented or customer-facing roles where effective communication is paramount.
- They also have relevance in roles that may not involve extensive interaction with others, such as writing, where understanding and connecting with the audience remain crucial.
- Interpersonal skills consist of several key components, including:
- Teamwork: The ability to collaborate and work effectively with colleagues to achieve common goals.
- Communication: The skill of conveying ideas, information, and messages clearly and effectively.
- Networking: Building and nurturing professional relationships and connections.
- Empathy: Understanding and empathizing with the feelings and perspectives of others.
- Openness: Being receptive to new ideas, feedback, and different viewpoints.
How to List Skills on a Resume (And Stand Out)Now that we have established the significance of skills and their varying relevance, let’s discuss the effective way to present them on your resume. There are specific strategies to employ in order to make your resume stand out.
1. Tailor Your Skills to the JobRelevance is crucial; the customer service abilities you acquired while working as a server during your college years may not prove to be very useful when you begin your role as, for instance, a data analyst. So, the primary thing to keep in mind is to only include skills that are applicable to the specific job you’re seeking. To identify these skills, it’s essential to carefully review the job listing. Typically, job advertisements outline a set of requirements or skills that they expect a strong candidate to possess. It’s imperative that you incorporate all of these into your resume. For instance, let’s imagine you’re applying for a position as a line cook in a restaurant: Job Description: “At ‘ABCD,’ we are dedicated to crafting a unique dining experience for our guests. Our French restaurant is currently seeking a skilled line cook for the summer season, working closely under the guidance of our chef. Duties encompass food preparation, sanitation, meal creation, and maintaining a clean work area. An exceptional eye for detail in both cooking and presentation is essential.” The highlighted portions in this job description outline the role’s responsibilities. Upon closer examination, it becomes evident that ABCD is searching for an individual who:
- Is committed to excellence and maintains a high level of professionalism.
- Collaborates effectively under supervision and with colleagues.
- Is capable of food preparation, cleaning, and cooking.
- Demonstrates meticulous attention to detail in cooking and food presentation.
2. Create a Skills SectionOnce you’ve identified the appropriate skills to include in your resume, establish a dedicated “Skills” section to showcase them. This approach simplifies the hiring manager’s task of assessing whether you possess the necessary qualifications, and it also ensures that ATS (Applicant Tracking System) software doesn’t automatically disqualify your application. When creating the “Skills” section in your resume, keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Be Specific: Use detailed descriptors. For instance, “Verbal and written communication” is more informative than just “communication.”
- Prioritize by Relevance: Arrange your skills in descending order of importance for the specific role. Place the most crucial skills at the top, and the less critical ones at the bottom.
- Avoid Falsehoods or Exaggerations: Honesty is paramount. Never fabricate or exaggerate your skills. If you claim expertise in something you’re not proficient in, it may become apparent when you’re tasked with a job requiring that very skill.
3. Match Each Skill With Your Proficiency LevelWhen listing your skills on your resume, it’s helpful to use a proficiency scale to indicate your level of competence. Here’s how you can categorize your skills:
- Beginner: This level signifies that you are just starting to learn or have acquired theoretical knowledge but lack practical experience. You may be a recent graduate who understands concepts through coursework or classroom experience.
- Intermediate: At this level, you have applied the skill in practice and can use it independently in most situations. However, you may still require occasional assistance or encounter challenges in more complex scenarios. You have room for further growth and development in this skill.
- Advanced: If you consider yourself at the advanced level, it means you are highly proficient and confident in the skill. You no longer need assistance or guidance and can handle even challenging tasks with ease. You have the capability to teach and guide beginners in using this skill effectively.
- Expert: Expertise indicates that you are a recognized authority in the skill. You have consistently demonstrated excellence and are considered the go-to person for any questions or challenges related to this skill. Your proficiency is at such a high level that you could even write comprehensive guides or books about it.
4. Back-Up Your Skills in Other Resume SectionsCreating a dedicated skills section on your resume can only take you so far since most applicants follow the same approach. To elevate your resume from good to exceptional, it’s essential to make your key skills stand out and demonstrate to the hiring manager that you genuinely possess them. This is where the resume summary and work experience sections play a crucial role. The resume summary, a concise 2-3 sentence overview of your qualifications, can instantly showcase your strongest attributes as a candidate when the hiring manager first glances at your resume. Regarding the line cook example mentioned earlier, here’s how the resume summary could look in practice: Original: Detail-oriented line cook with over 5 years of experience prepping and cooking over 200 Mediterranean cuisine recipes. Collaborative professional who puts the needs of the team first. In my last position, was able to help the chef handle rush hour work of over 100 tables with 100% accuracy and approval rate from our customers. After grabbing the hiring manager’s attention with your top skills in the resume summary, the next step is to provide evidence of your proficiency. The most effective way to accomplish this is by detailing accomplishments in your work experience section and explaining how specific skills enabled you to achieve them. For instance: Original: Prepped and helped cook food for over 500 customers in the past two years, receiving high praise and positive recommendations for the restaurant continuously. Helped restaurant to receive positive reviews for 3 years in a row from Gastronomica magazine for attention to detail and food aesthetics and presentation.
5. Put Transferable Skills to UseIf you’re a newcomer to the job market or undergoing a career transition, it’s highly advisable to leverage transferable skills. Transferable skills are not directly linked to the specific job you’re applying for, yet they remain valuable and applicable across various roles. For instance, let’s consider a scenario where you’re transitioning from a sales position to copywriting. In this case, you can capitalize on the skills you gained in sales by including them in your copywriter resume. These skills may encompass:
- Written Communication: Both roles involve written communication. Salespeople frequently send cold emails, while copywriters are tasked with crafting persuasive newsletter emails.
- Persuasion: Copywriters must create compelling content that drives sales, much like sales professionals who need to be persuasive in face-to-face interactions.
- Computer Skills: Both professions necessitate a degree of computer proficiency. Salespeople may use Customer Management Software, while copywriters are involved in publishing online content.
150+ Must-Have Skills (for Every Field)If you’re uncertain about which skills to include in your resume, don’t worry. We have you covered. We’ve put together a list of some of the most pertinent skills in 2023, spanning various fields! If you happen to possess any of these skills, be sure to highlight them in your resume. If not, remember that it’s never too late to acquire new skills!
1. Soft SkillsSoft skills are crucial for virtually any job role. While they may not be directly tied to job-specific tasks, they play a vital role in building positive workplace relationships and fostering a harmonious work environment. In situations where two candidates possess similar hard skills, the hiring manager often gives preference to the one with superior soft skills. Therefore, it’s highly important to highlight your soft skills in your resume. Here are some of the most sought-after soft skills in today’s job market:
- Time Management
- Effective Communication
- Emotional Intelligence
- Conflict Resolution
- Stress Management
- Problem Solving
- Productivity and Organization
- Critical Thinking
- Attention to Detail
2. Marketing SkillsIn today’s rapidly evolving landscape, it’s crucial to go beyond the fundamentals of traditional marketing. Here’s a list of some of the most pertinent marketing skills in today’s environment, encompassing both cutting-edge online tools and classic marketing abilities: Marketing Skills Examples:
- Data Analysis
- Web Analytics
- SEO/SEM (Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing)
- HTML & CSS
- Email Marketing
- Web Scraping
- CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) and A/B Testing
- Data Visualization and Pattern Recognition through Critical Thinking
- Search Engine and Keyword Optimization
- Project/Campaign Management
- Social Media and Mobile Marketing
- Paid Social Media Advertising
- B2B Marketing (Business-to-Business)
- The 4 P’s of Marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion)
- Consumer Behavior Drivers
- Brand Management
- CMS (Content Management System) Tools
3. Management SkillsAs a manager, it’s essential to possess a well-rounded combination of both soft and hard skills. Here’s a list of management skills that are not only valuable for securing the job but also for enhancing employee and company productivity over the long term: Management Skills Examples:
- Six Sigma Techniques
- The McKinsey 7s Framework
- Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
- PESTEL Analysis
- Emotional Intelligence
- Stress Management
- Task Delegation
- Technological Proficiency
- People Management
- Business Development
- Strategic Management
- Proposal Writing
4. Sales SkillsDespite technological advancements, the fundamentals of the art of selling remain unchanged. Human interactions and connections continue to be at the heart of successful sales. While communication channels have shifted to digital platforms, sales professionals still prioritize communication and empathetic skills. Here’s a comprehensive list of essential skills for salespeople: Sales Skills Examples:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Public Speaking
- Closing Deals
- Lead Generation
- Buyer-Responsive Selling
- Buyer Engagement
- Product Knowledge
- Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Social Media and Digital Communication
- Time Management
5. Design Skills
6. Basic Technical SkillsThese are fundamental skills that nearly every office worker should possess. You can include these skills on your resume when applying for positions such as a secretary, office clerk, or any other office-related role. Here are the basic technical office skills to highlight: Basic Technical Skills Examples:
- Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Access, Publisher, Outlook, PowerPoint
- Filing and Paper Management
- Data Entry
- Basic Bookkeeping Using Excel or TurboTax
- Research and Data Analysis
- Basic Understanding of User Interface Communication
- Technical Writing
- Cloud Networking and File Sharing
7. Accounting & Finance SkillsIndeed, the accounting and finance field has evolved significantly with the advent of technology. To thrive in a career in accounting and finance, it’s essential to be well-versed in a range of skills. Here are some critical accounting and finance skills to highlight on your resume: Accounting & Finance Skills Examples:
- Microsoft Excel (Advanced)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
- Big Data Analysis and SQL
- Know Your Customers (KYC) Compliance
- Cognos Analytics (IBM)
- Visual Basic
- Proficiency in Accounting Software
- Revenue Recognition
- Anti Money Laundering (AML) Compliance
- Clear and Effective Communication
- General Business Knowledge
- Numerical Competence
- Attention to Detail
8. Education SkillsIndeed, the education industry has undergone significant changes, and educators now require a broader set of skills to excel in their roles. Here are some essential educational skills that can enhance your resume, whether you’re a teacher, professor, or educational professional: Education Skills Examples:
- Updated Curriculum Knowledge
- Research and Data Analysis
- Effective Communication
- Familiarity with Educational Platforms and Software (e.g., E-Learning Tools)
- Stress Management
- Technological and Digital Literacy
- Critical Thinking
9. Web Development Skills
10. Business AnalyticsAbsolutely, business analysts play a crucial role in helping businesses make informed decisions through data analysis. Here are some essential business analytics skills to highlight on your resume: Business Analytics Skills Examples:
- SQL (Essential) and Hive (Optional)
- Programming Languages (R, Python, Scala, Matlab)
- STATA, SPSS, SAS
- Data Mapping
- Entity Relationship Diagrams
- Big Data Tools
- Microsoft Visio
- Agile Business Analysis
- Machine Learning
- System Context Diagrams
- Business Process Modeling
- Technical and Non-Technical Communication
11. Nursing & Healthcare SkillsNursing and healthcare professionals indeed have a demanding and ever-evolving profession. Here are some fundamental nursing and healthcare skills that are essential to highlight on your resume: Nursing & Healthcare Skills Examples:
- CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
- Patient Care and Assistance
- Paperwork and Record-Keeping Abilities
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
- Attention to Detail
- Physical Endurance
- Acute Care
- Infection Control
- Surgery Preparation