Not sure which skills to include on your resume to emphasize your qualifications? Your priority should be including skills that apply to the job or industry you are interested in. Employers often pay close attention to the skills part of your resume to decide whether you should move forward in the hiring process. Thus, your resume should incorporate the relevant skills to show that you are worth contacting.
What are the top skills to put on a resume?
Most hiring managers glance through resumes for only a few seconds before choosing whether to shortlist or pass on a candidate. What many job seekers don’t realize is that today’s businesses value both hard and soft skills equally when hiring. Below, you can find examples of the best soft and hard skills to include. If you have experience with these skills, you should put them on your resume.
- Analytical thinking and innovative abilities
- Fundamental leadership skills
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Critical thinking abilities
- Creativity and originality
- Problem-solving skills
- Communication skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Organizational skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Technical skills
What is the best place to put the skill section on your resume to stand out?
There are many options for including skills on your resume. Whether you’re working with a functional or chronological resume, it is best to include a list of all your relevant skills. That is, create a separate skills section that compiles all your best and most relevant skills. This option works for both graduates and those with extensive experience who want to highlight their best skills.
A three-column, three-row highlights section towards the top of your resume is a good place to mention the skills that are most relevant to the job. It’s also the best spot to include any keywords you’ve found in the job description. Also, to ensure the reader can browse it quickly, make the section into a bulleted list.
Apart from this, you should also incorporate your skills into your experience section. To do this, include keywords from the job description into the descriptions of your past jobs. Incorporating skills into other sections of your resume can help you support your claims. So, if you mention certain skills in a separate skills section, make sure to also include them throughout your resume to back that up.
Remember: that it’s crucial to tailor your skills to the job’s requirements. Thus, it’s best to focus primarily on skills that are directly relevant to the role you’re applying to. If you lack some of the key required skills, include transferrable skills that are nonetheless valuable.
How to list non-technical, soft skills on a resume
Soft skills are characteristics that reflect how you operate alone or with others. While these are not job-specific, they do aid in your adaptation to the work environment and company culture. Soft skills are harder to define than hard skills, so you must work harder to demonstrate these skills on your resume. Because soft skills are frequently people skills, hiring managers are continuously on the hunt for them. Soft skills may make or break your candidacy and are especially vital if you’re applying for nuanced, creative professions. Here are some of the most in-demand soft skills to put on your resume:
- Creative leadership –Whether you’re in charge of a project or mentoring younger staff, knowing how to lead people is one of the surest ways to advance in your career. As such, you should always emphasize accomplishments that show your competence in these areas.
- Communication – Verbal, writing, and presentation abilities are becoming increasingly, regardless of the industry. Employers need individuals who can confidently communicate with and present projects to a variety of audiences.
- Creative thinking – When it comes to addressing an issue, settling a disagreement, or finding a way to collaborate, creative thinking can be applied. However, this skill isn’t reserved for artists, engineers, or other creative professions. Employees in a variety of sectors are rewarded for their creative thinking, as it allows them to contribute a fresh perspective to the team.
- Time management – Time management is an important ability to have on your resume no matter what job you’re applying for. Employers want to know that you can tune out distractions, fulfill deadlines, and make the most of your time at work.
- Problem-solving and idea generation – Most jobs, regardless of the industry or seniority, are full of issues and challenges. However, most employers don’t want to be on the receiving end of such challenges and problems? Thus, on a resume, the ability to settle disagreements and come up with innovative solutions to problems is highly valued.
- Organizational abilities -Particularly for jobs that require organizing or managing data, large events, or groups, organization is a crucial career skill. In your skills section, mention any instances where your organizational skills came in handy to prove your expertise.
- Interpersonal and teamwork abilities – Your ability to collaborate with others, both inside and across departments, will be important to your professional success. Give exact instances of effective cooperation and partnerships from your job history. And, if you’re a recent college graduate, don’t hesitate to use examples from your projects, seminars, and courses.
- Critical-thinking abilities – Employers don’t want robots. They want people who can make rational decisions and alter their judgment as needed. To show your critical thinking abilities, give instances of times when you had to apply sound judgment to finish or enhance a project or accomplish the intended result.
- Decision-making – Most managers prefer to allow their employees some liberty so that they may focus on the larger picture. Moreover, a greater level of autonomy has proven to improve the overall performance and happiness in work. That’s why they prize employees who can assess a situation and select the best course of action rather than relying on others for direction.
- Flexibility – From successfully working as part of a team to being open to new ideas and processes, flexibility has become a valuable skill amongst the workforce. It refers to being able to carry out various projects, adapt to the needs of the company, and remain open-minded in the face of change.
- Active learning – You should always be willing to acquire a new skill or experience, no matter how old you are or how senior your position may be. Jobs change and evolve all the time, and you should be willing to evolve and learn along with them if you want to stand out in the job market.
- Strong work ethic – Your attitude should prove that you commit to your profession, despite possible challenges. Emotions may easily impact your coworkers. Additionally, energy is contagious. You will see an upbeat attitude spread throughout the company by bringing a positive perspective to situations.
- Loyalty – Even if companies are not always loyal to their employees, employers still seek workers that are committed to the company. On your resume, you can include this soft skill in your professional summary, as well as throughout your work history section. By highlighting the challenges you have overcome and how long each of your job experiences lasted, you can prove your commitment and loyalty.
How to list technical, hard skills on a resume
Hard skills are talents that are specialized to a job or industry. In general, they are skills gained through school, certifications, training, or job experience. These are mostly the general technical abilities required to do the job for which a company is hiring. Remember that your resume should include instances of how you’ve applied the hard skills that are most relevant to the job. If possible, provide concrete, measurable accomplishments for each position you’ve had. Your hard skills should appear throughout your resume, such as in your professional summary, skills section, job experience, and education. To get you started on creating your skills list, here are some of the best hard skills to include on your resume:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) are critical components of every job that works with online material. Experience and understanding of Google Analytics, keyword optimization, content production, and data analysis tools are all examples of SEO/SEM hard skills for a resume.
- Data analytics – Employees who can collect and understand technical data are of great importance and value to businesses. This domain requires a deep understanding of relational database theory, application of data, and strong writing and verbal skills.
- Design skills (UX /UI design) – UX and UI designers are in high demand as the number of new websites and apps grows. Designers create goods and digital services that make people’s lives simpler and more convenient by focusing on the user. A skilled UX/UI designer should be able to understand the main pain points of the user and come up with a solution to improve the overall user experience.
- Social media marketing – Without effective social media strategies, many of today’s businesses would perish. As a result, the need for marketing expertise has only grown. Social media marketing experts should understand a variety of topics, such as consumer research, data analysis, content creation, and paid ads.
- Affiliate marketing – As a relatively new field in the marketing industry, affiliate marketing demands a wide range of skills. This includes an in-depth understanding of SEO, multitasking, creativity, and basic marketing and sales skills. Those with affiliate marketing experience can work in consulting, or even with multiple clients as freelance marketers.
- Cloud computing – Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud, is used by most companies nowadays. These services and products are in high demand among customers and businesses alike. All technical duties, such as organizing and developing the user interface, are managed by the cloud computing team. Furthermore, cloud engineers oversee the cloud infrastructure’s planning, management, and upkeep.
- Technological proficiency – Almost everyone who works in an office should be familiar with these skills and processes. Whether you’re searching for a job as an office manager, office clerk, or any other form of office worker, you should at least mention them on your resume. Some of the most popular technology skills include Microsoft Office proficiency, user interface communication, file sharing, and cloud networking.
- Project management (Trello, Zoho) – Show off your knowledge of the tools and best practices essential for project management in your work history and skills sections. On top of that, there are various former certifications you can obtain as an endorsement of your abilities in project management.
- Network & cyber security – When it comes to sensitive data, nothing is more damaging to a company than stolen data. In this struggle, cybersecurity specialists are the first line of protection. Cyber security skills include understanding security across several platforms, digital forensics skills, and risk identification, as well as cybersecurity credentials.
- Point of sales (POS) – In order to process any customer transactions, most businesses will use POS software (Square). This is a program designed to track, record, and manage all sales. POS software may be used at stores, but also restaurants or any businesses processing payments daily.
- Mathematical skills – Workers have to determine percentages, margins, and construct correct data displays in a variety of fields, not just accounting. A marketer or an editor, for example, will almost certainly deal with survey data or research inputs at some point. Then, of course, there are jobs for which mathematics is a vital skill, such as financial consulting or architect positions.
- Writing & editing skills (copywriting, editing, etc.) – Strong writing and editing abilities are valuable hard skills in any industry. Clear, compelling internal memos, emails, and other communication channels keep a company running smoothly. And, of course, no company wants its clients to find spelling errors and syntax or grammar mistakes on their website, press releases, printed materials, or even corporate emails.
- Python programing – Programming entails a range of abilities and is utilized in a variety of sectors. From information technology to web development, programming has been growing in demand steadily. Python in particular is used primarily for recent AI software and future-forward projects, making those with an understanding of the programming language extremely valuable on the job market.
What skills are employers looking for on a resume?
To make sure that your skills section will impress the hiring manager, you should always tailor your skills to the job. However, you can go a step further if you want to stand out. By researching the employer, you can find out more about the company culture and values. Then, you can reflect on these throughout your resume and link them to your own values and experience.
Another great way to find out what truly matters to the employer is by networking. If you know someone who has worked for the company, don’t hesitate to reach out to them to learn more. You could discover what the employer considers important and valuable in potential employees. If you don’t have any connections within the company, try networking online through sites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor.
Overall, make sure to go the extra mile to get a deeper understanding of what the company stands for and values. To present yourself as a well-rounded candidate, you should showcase your finest hard and soft skills. It’s also a good idea to think about how the two types of skills relate to one another and the job so you can bring it up in your next interview. Demonstrating that you share the company’s principles can easily make you stand out amongst a sea of qualified applicants.
Top skills to put on a resume by industry
Here are examples of what skills professionals from different industries may list on their resumes. However, keep in mind that these do not apply to every position within the given sector. Always tailor your skills section to the specific job.
Customer Service – Here are some of the best and most common skills to put on a resume for a customer service position:
- Communication skills
- Product knowledge
- Positive attitude
Cashier – These are the most essential cashier abilities. Remember to include a good mix of hard and soft skills on your resume to ensure success:
- Product knowledge
- Point of sale systems (POS)
- Selling skills
- Computer proficiency
- Conflict resolution
- Mathematical skills
Teaching – Now, let’s look at ten common teaching skills to put on a resume. These might include:
- People skills
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
- Computer proficiency
- Critical thinking
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) – Here’s a list of common Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA resume skills you should consider including:
- Medical knowledge
- Work prioritization
- Receptive approach
- Attention to detail
- Patient care
- Stress management
Retail – If you’re applying for a position in retail, make sure to mention some of these top retail resume skills to stand out:
- Sales abilities
- Active listening skills
- Decision-making skills
- Time management
- Organizational skills
- Product knowledge
Frequently Asked Questions – What Skills to Put on Your Resume
In short, you should include as many as you can. Ideally, try to incorporate all the skills that the company is searching for. That is, of course, if you possess each one. Include your skills throughout your resume rather than simply in a separate section. When picking out the skills to include, limit yourself to 9 to 12 core abilities in the skills section. To make this part orderly and simple to read, use bullet points, text bars, or columns.
Just because you haven’t held the same position in the past doesn’t mean you don’t have the necessary qualifications. Make a list of the applicable skills you’ve gained through school, volunteer activities, and internships. If you lack soft skills, you might try to draw on similar experiences or transferrable skills. You may not have managed a department, but you may have managed a project. In short, make every effort to connect your soft skills to the work experience you lack.
While it is best to include as many relevant skills as possible, not all skills will increase your chances of landing the job.
- Irrelevant skills – When creating your list of skills, avoid including skills that are irrelevant to the job. These will only take up valuable space that you could fill with relevant facts. Similarly, avoid listing basic skills that have become obsolete. Skills such as typing, knowledge of Microsoft Word, or document creation are considered normal to possess nowadays. As such, they are unlikely to set you apart from the other applicants or impress the hiring manager.
- Skills that you don’t possess – This should be a no-brainer but lying about your skills on your resume is never a good idea. It’s most likely that the recruiter will soon find out the truth and you will be eliminated from the hiring process. And, if you do end up getting the job, lacking the necessary skills could result in you being fired. So, stay away from including skills that you don’t have at all costs.
- Too many skills – While you may have a big list of qualifications for the role, be careful not to overwhelm the hiring manager with it. Focus on your most relevant and significant skills in the skills section, and highlight those mentioned in the job description. As for the rest of your skills, try and sprinkle those in throughout the resume if you want to include them. Otherwise, you might end up with a resume that’s too long, full of irrelevant qualifications, and hard to navigate.
The best skills to put on a resume differ depending on the job, career level, education, and other criteria. So, take the time before applying for any job to evaluate the skills that are most useful to the business. Then, tailor your resume depending on which of your unique skills meet their needs. Remember that the purpose of your skills section is to demonstrate to the recruiter that you are the ideal candidate and will make a valuable employee. You can easily distinguish yourself from the competition by paying attention to the sort of applicant a company is searching for. Then, with the help of the tips and examples we’ve gone over, you can draw links to your own skills and demonstrate why you’re the perfect fit.