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30 Essential Skills for a Professional Resume [+ Examples]

Top Skills For Your Resume

What are the best skills for a resume? Which skills do employers expect from great applicants? There is a constant growth of skilled professionals in the job market. So, it is crucial to make your resume stand out. The skills you put on your resume are likely to be one of the key factors in the hiring manager’s decision. It is thus important that you include the best, most sought-after skills for a resume.

Essential skills for a professional resume

When creating a resume, it is important to include skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Here are some essential skills that you can consider including on your resume:

Soft Skills:

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. They are highly valued by employers. Some examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication skills: The ability to convey information clearly and effectively.
  • Critical thinking: The ability to analyze and evaluate information to make informed decisions.
  • Problem-solving: The ability to identify and solve problems efficiently.
  • Time management: The ability to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively.
  • Leadership: The ability to guide and motivate a team towards achieving goals.
  • Adaptability: The ability to adapt to new situations and handle change.
  • Teamwork: The ability to work collaboratively with others towards a common goal.
  • Creativity: The ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions.

Hard Skills:

Hard skills are specific technical or job-related skills that are required for a particular role. They are typically acquired through education, training, or work experience. Some examples of hard skills include:

  • Computer skills: Proficiency in using software applications, programming languages, or operating systems.
  • Data analysis: The ability to analyze and interpret data to make informed decisions.
  • Project management: The ability to plan, organize, and execute projects effectively.
  • Language proficiency: Fluency in multiple languages.
  • Graphic design: Proficiency in using design software and creating visually appealing graphics.
  • Customer service: The ability to provide excellent customer service and resolve customer issues.
  • Sales skills: The ability to persuade and influence others to make a purchase.
  • Technical skills: Skills specific to a particular industry or field, such as medical skills for healthcare professionals or engineering skills for engineers.
Hard Skills vs Soft Skills overview, infographic.

Transferable skills for your resume

Transferable skills are skills that you acquire in one employment setting that can be seamlessly transferred and applied to your next job or career. These skills are not specific to a particular industry and can be valuable assets when transitioning between different roles or fields. Transferable skills can be categorized into two types: hard skills and soft skills.

Here are some examples of transferable skills that you can consider including on your resume:

  1. Communication skills: The ability to convey information clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  2. Leadership skills: The ability to guide and motivate a team towards achieving goals.
  3. Problem-solving skills: The ability to analyze and solve problems efficiently.
  4. Adaptability: The ability to adapt to new situations and handle change.
  5. Teamwork skills: Possessing the skill to collaborate effectively with a team to achieve shared objectives.
  6. Time management skills: The capacity to organize tasks and efficiently manage one’s time.
  7. Critical thinking skills: The skill to assess and appraise information in order to make well-informed decisions.
  8. Creativity: The ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions.
  9. Organizational skills: The ability to organize and manage tasks, resources, and information.
  10. Interpersonal skills: The ability to build and maintain positive relationships with others.
  11. Attention to detail: The capacity to be meticulous and ensure precision by paying careful attention to details.
  12. Project management skills: The ability to plan, organize, and execute projects effectively.
  13. Research skills: The ability to gather and analyze information from various sources.

Best practices for listing skills on a resume

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

  • Create a dedicated skills section: Include a separate section on your resume specifically for highlighting your skills. This section allows you to list the specific competencies you have developed that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Include a mix of technical and workplace skills: In your skills section, include a combination of technical skills (specific software or tools you are proficient in) and workplace skills (how you approach your work and the type of team member you are).
  • Tailor your skills to the job: Customize your skills section to align with the requirements and qualifications mentioned in the job description. Identify the key skills sought by the employer and highlight those that you possess.
  • Quantify your skills: Whenever possible, provide specific examples or achievements that demonstrate how you have used your skills in previous roles. This can help employers understand the impact you have made and the value you can bring to their organization.
  • Use action verbs: When describing your skills, use strong action verbs to convey your abilities and accomplishments. This can make your skills more impactful and engaging for the reader.
  • Consider additional sections: Depending on your specific skills and experiences, you may want to include additional sections on your resume to showcase certain skills in more detail. For example, you could have a separate section for technical skills or a section highlighting specific certifications or achievements.
Remember, the goal is to effectively communicate your skills to potential employers and demonstrate how you can contribute to their organization. Tailor your resume to each job application, focusing on the skills that are most relevant and valuable for the specific role you are targeting.

How to quantify skills on your resume

When quantifying skills on a resume, it is important to provide specific and measurable examples of your accomplishments. Here are some steps to help you quantify your skills effectively:

  1. Track your work: Keep a record of your achievements, projects, and responsibilities. This will help you gather the necessary data to quantify your skills.
  2. Gather your data: Collect relevant information and data that demonstrate the impact of your work. This can include numbers, percentages, dollar amounts, or any other measurable metrics.
  3. Make use of ranges: If you don’t have exact numbers, you can use ranges to provide a general idea of your achievements. For example, instead of stating “Increased sales by 20%,” you can say “Increased sales by approximately 15-25%.”
  4. Focus on key metrics: Highlight the most important metrics that showcase your skills and achievements. These can include revenue generated, cost savings, customer satisfaction ratings, project completion time, or any other relevant metrics.
  5. Use bullet points: Format your accomplishments as bullet points under each relevant job or experience. Start each bullet point with an action verb and include the quantifiable result or impact of your work.

Here are examples of how to quantify skills on a resume:


  • Project Management: Successfully managed and executed multiple projects, resulting in a 20% increase in efficiency and a 15% reduction in project completion time.
  • Project Management: Led a team of 7 software developers to deliver a critical project 2 weeks ahead of schedule, resulting in a 20% increase in client satisfaction.
  • Sales: Exceeded sales targets by 25% for three consecutive quarters, generating $500,000 in additional revenue.
  • Cybersecurity: Implemented a new security protocol, resulting in a 20% reduction in cybersecurity incidents over 6 months.
  • Customer Service: Maintained a customer satisfaction rating of 95% through effective communication and problem-solving skills.

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