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50+ Hard Skills For Your Resume [In 2024]

Top 10 Must Have Hard Skills For Your Resume Yellow

Most often, employers look for specific hard skills in a candidate. Thus, highlighting the top hard skills can help you stand out. More importantly, a strong skill set can increase your chances of getting the job. To do this, you need to focus on the most sought-after skills in the job market right now. With that in mind, let us look at the top 10 hard skills employers look for and how to highlight them.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are specific abilities, capabilities, and skill sets that an individual can possess and demonstrate in a measured way. These skills are learnable and enable individuals to perform job-specific tasks or are required for a specific job. Hard skills can be gained through experience, training, schooling, apprenticeships, online courses, and certification programs. They typically focus on specific tasks needed to complete a job, such as the use of specific software, tools, or equipment.

Most In Demand Hard Skills 2024

Most in-demand hard skills for your resume

In order to effectively highlight your qualifications, it is essential to include the most in-demand hard skills on your resume. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of hard skills that are highly valued across a range of industries, job functions, and career levels. Incorporating these skills into your resume will undoubtedly bolster your chances of standing out to potential employers.

Top 10 hard skills to include on your resume

If you’re concerned about not having specific technical skills that align with a particular role, don’t worry just yet. There are several general hard skills that can still make a significant impact on your resume. These skills demonstrate your abilities and can be valuable across various industries and job functions. 

  1. Data Analysis: Proficiency in analyzing complex data sets, utilizing statistical techniques, and drawing insightful conclusions.
  2. Project Management: Demonstrated ability to effectively plan, execute, and oversee projects, ensuring they are completed within scope, budget, and timeline.
  3. Quality Assurance (QA) Testing: Ensuring software quality, fixing software flaws, and meeting customer requirements are crucial skills in software development.
  4. Financial Analysis: Strong analytical skills and knowledge of financial concepts, enabling accurate evaluation of financial performance and identification of investment opportunities.
  5. Programming Languages: Mastery of programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, or Ruby, which are widely used in software development and data analysis.
  6. Digital Marketing: Expertise in leveraging various digital marketing channels, including social media, SEO, content marketing, and email marketing, to drive brand awareness and generate leads.
  7. UX/UI Design: Proficiency in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design principles, creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces for websites and applications.
  8. Cloud Computing: Familiarity with cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, and the ability to deploy, manage, and secure cloud-based applications and infrastructure.
  9. Foreign Language Proficiency: Fluency in a second or multiple languages, which can be valuable in international business settings and for companies with global operations.
  10. Cybersecurity: Knowledge of cybersecurity best practices, including threat identification, risk assessment, and implementation of protective measures to safeguard digital assets.

Industry-specific hard skills examples to include on your resume

When crafting your resume, it’s essential to include industry-specific hard skills to demonstrate your expertise and suitability for a particular role. Here are some examples of hard skills specific to different industries and job functions:

Finance and Accounting

Employers look for candidates with expertise in financial analysis, budgeting, financial modeling, risk management, and proficiency in accounting software such as Excel or QuickBooks. Demonstrating proficiency in these areas showcases your ability to analyze financial data, create accurate budgets, perform complex financial modeling, and mitigate risks effectively.

  • Financial analysis and forecasting
  • Budgeting and financial planning
  • Risk management and compliance
  • Tax preparation and accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks, SAP)
  • Auditing and financial reporting

Healthcare and Nursing

In the healthcare and nursing field, possessing the right hard skills is crucial to showcase your expertise on your resume. Employers look for candidates with skills such as patient assessment, medication administration, wound care, medical charting, and proficiency in electronic health record (EHR) systems.

  • Patient care and bedside manner
  • Medical terminology and documentation
  • Clinical procedures and equipment operation
  • Electronic health records (EHR) systems
  • Pharmacology and medication administration

Engineering

Employers seek candidates with skills such as computer-aided design (CAD), technical drawing, mathematical modeling, and proficiency in engineering software like AutoCAD or SolidWorks. Furthermore, possessing skills in project management, problem-solving, data analysis, and a deep understanding of industry-specific codes and regulations will greatly enhance your value as a candidate.

  • CAD and technical drawing
  • Project management and planning
  • Materials and structures testing
  • Electrical circuit design and analysis
  • Quality assurance and control

Information Technology (IT) Hard Skills for Resume

In the fast-paced world of Information Technology (IT), possessing the right hard skills can make a significant difference when crafting your resume. Employers are seeking candidates with expertise in areas such as programming languages, database management, cybersecurity, and cloud computing.

  • Programming languages (e.g., Python, Java, C++)
  • Database management (e.g., SQL, Oracle, MongoDB)
  • Network administration and security
  • Systems analysis and troubleshooting
  • Web development (e.g., HTML, CSS, JavaScript)

Marketing and Advertising

Employers look for candidates skilled in digital marketing, social media management, data analytics, SEO, and content creation. Proficiency in tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Creative Suite, and social media platforms indicates the ability to boost brand awareness, analyze campaigns, optimize online presence, and create engaging content. Market research, campaign management, and copywriting skills are also highly valued.

  • Market research and analysis
  • Digital marketing (e.g., SEO, SEM, social media advertising)
  • Content creation and copywriting
  • Brand management and strategy
  • Analytics and data interpretation

Sales and Customer Service

In sales, emphasize your expertise in sales techniques, negotiation, and closing deals. Proficiency in CRM software, data analysis, and pipeline management are also valuable skills to mention. For customer service, highlight your ability to handle inquiries, resolve conflicts, and provide exceptional service. Showcase your proficiency in using customer support software and your problem-solving skills.

  • Relationship building and client management
  • Sales techniques and negotiation
  • CRM software (e.g., Salesforce, HubSpot)
  • Product knowledge and demonstration
  • Complaint handling and conflict resolution

Art & design

Apart from creative positions, art, and design skills are valuable in most jobs. Industry trends often guide the skillset of professional designers. So, the hard skills essential for designers are always changing and evolving. But, some of the most valued design skills are UX design and Adobe Creative Suite.

  • UX /UI design
  • Responsive design
  • Typography
  • Color theory

Project management

Project management skills are valuable across most industries. They allow employees to execute large-scale projects without any hiccups. Moreover, employees with project management skills can minimize risks and costs and meet all requirements and deadlines, making them valuable assets.  Some of the key project management skills include agile methodology, scheduling, and deliverable management.

  • Project scheduling
  • Project planning
  • Business analysis
  • Project control
  • Task management

Remember, the specific hard skills you should include on your resume will depend on the job you are applying for and the industry you are targeting. Tailor your skills section to match the requirements of the position and showcase the skills that are most relevant and valuable to the employer.

How to list hard skills on your resume and cover letter

When listing hard skills on your resume and cover letter, it’s important to be strategic and concise. Here are some tips to help you effectively showcase your hard skills:

Hard skills for a resume 

To effectively showcase your hard skills on your resume, consider the following tips:

  • Create a dedicated skills section: Include a separate section on your resume specifically dedicated to showcasing your hard skills. This section can be placed at the top or bottom of your resume, depending on your preference and the job requirements.
  • Tailor the skills section: Review the job description and identify the hard skills that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Include those skills in your skills section to demonstrate your qualifications for the role.
  • Be specific: Instead of simply listing the hard skills, provide specific examples or achievements that demonstrate your proficiency in each skill. For example, if you have programming skills, mention specific programming languages you’re proficient in and any projects you’ve worked on using those languages.
  • Prioritize job-related skills: Organize your skills section by listing your most job-relevant abilities at the beginning. This means placing your technical (hard) skills before your interpersonal (soft) skills. This allows employers to see job-related skills in order of proficiency.
  • Use keywords: Incorporate keywords from the job description into your skills section. This can help your resume pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and catch the attention of hiring managers.
  • Highlight certifications or training: If you have obtained any certifications or completed relevant training programs, include them in your skills section. This can provide additional credibility and demonstrate your commitment to learning and professional development.

Hard skills for a cover letter

When highlighting hard skills in your cover letter, consider the following tips:

  •  Tailor your cover letter: Customize your cover letter for each job application to highlight the hard skills that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Review the job description and identify the key hard skills the employer is seeking.
  • Use bullet points: In your cover letter, use bullet points to list your hard skills. This makes them stand out and easy to read for the hiring manager. Be specific and provide examples of how you have used these skills in previous roles or projects.
  • Demonstrate your achievements: Instead of simply listing your hard skills, provide concrete examples of how you have applied these skills to achieve results. Highlight specific projects or accomplishments where your hard skills were instrumental.
  • Refer to past positions: If you have followed a linear career trajectory and your past experiences directly relate to the job you’re applying for, consider using a position-based cover letter template. This template allows you to focus each body paragraph on one of your past jobs or experiences.
  • Use keywords from the job description: Incorporate relevant keywords from the job description into your cover letter. This helps to align your skills with the employer’s requirements and increases the chances of your application being noticed by applicant tracking systems (ATS).

FAQ: Hard skills

Q1: Are hard skills more important than soft skills?

The importance of hard skills versus soft skills can indeed vary depending on the job role and industry. In some positions, such as technical or specialized roles, hard skills may be the primary focus and hold greater importance. These roles often require specific technical knowledge, certifications, or expertise that are essential for carrying out the responsibilities of the job.

Q2: How do I develop hard skills?

To develop hard skills, it is important to stay updated with industry trends, technologies, and advancements. Here are some strategies you can employ:

  • Continuous learning: Make continuous learning a habit by actively seeking opportunities to expand your knowledge and skill sets. This can include taking formal courses, attending workshops or seminars, or participating in online learning platforms. By staying curious and open to learning, you can acquire new hard skills and stay up to date with industry developments
  • Self-study practice: Take initiative in self-study by reading books, articles, and online resources related to your desired hard skills. Experiment with applying your knowledge through personal projects or by volunteering for relevant tasks. Practice is crucial for honing your hard skills and gaining practical experience.

Q3: How many hard skills should I include on my resume?

There is no set number of hard skills you should include on your resume. It’s important to focus on quality over quantity and include the skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Aim to include a mix of technical skills that directly relate to the job requirements.


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