Which Skills to List on Resume? Expert Tips with Examples

skills to list on resume

The nature of the job market has changed. With the increase in unemployment, the competition has increased and the dynamic of job seeking has shifted. Job seekers are facing fierce competition and to get the attention of the hiring managers it is essential to crafting an impressive resume.

The resume must be well-thought and tailored specifically for the job you are applying for. Every job has different requirements and responsibilities even the jobs with the same title. The way you report your skills is vital for standing out from other applicants during the hiring process. The skills section of the resume influences the salary figure you will be offered in case you are hired. 

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What are the best skills to list on resume ?

Hiring managers do not spend much time reading the resume. They mostly just skim through it before deciding to shortlist a candidate. Employers look for soft and hard skills. You may find the following requests in almost every job posting. 

  • Organizational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • People skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Time-management skills
  • Collaboration skills

The mentioned attributes and skills are essential in workplaces. Hard skills comprise of technical skills needed for accomplishing responsibilities and tasks that come with the job. These attributes are acquired with education, training, and practice. It is easy to advertise and is measurable. The certifications and work history are going to speak for you. 

Soft skills are also known as interpersonal skills and they reflect a candidate’s attributes and personality. They show that the candidate can effortlessly into the work culture of the organization. Do not be fooled by the term ‘soft’ because these skills are crucial for creating an impressive resume. Putting them under skills section will set you apart from other applicants.

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Examples of soft skills for a striking resume:

The hiring managers are going to check the soft skills while checking out the resumes. Smart managers understand the importance of hiring people with the right skills. A good hire must be able to fit into the culture of the company seamlessly. The resume and the job interview assure hiring managers that you have the caliber to do the job.

To put the relevant soft skills on the resume it is essential to carefully read the job application so you can tailor it accordingly. Take a close look at the duties of the position you are applying for. 

If you are having difficulty in deciding which soft skills will make the resume stand out from the competition then here are a few suggestions that will add value to the resume.

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Adaptability:

It is not easy for new hires to get used to new management and workplace. There is always some disruption in the career when you switch jobs so the hiring managers want to hire people that can quickly adapt to new things. Ideal candidates are willing to embrace new technologies and processes. 

Detail-oriented:

Mistakes are not good for business as they cost money and time. Hiring managers want to hire people that are deliberate in everything they do. Resume skills should showcase the candidate’s caring nature. 

Collaboration:

The ability to work well with others is crucial for fitting in the workplace. Presentation and verbal skills are essential soft skills in almost every job. Good employees must be able to communicate with interns and different audiences. They must be able to explain technical things without using difficult jargon. 

Creative:

Every business wants to grow and it is impossible without a balanced infusion of new approaches and fresh ideas. To stay ahead of the competition businesses have to think out of the box. The resume must mention achievements the candidate has managed to achieve by being creative. 

Customer service:

The career prospects of an employer and that of the company are directly proportional. The prosperity of both these parties is tied to the quality of customer service. Employers want a dedicated team that meets the expectations of external clients and stakeholders. 

Decision making:

Most managers are in favor of giving their staff some autonomy. Autonomy gives the leadership a chance to focus on bigger tasks. Employers prefer employees that can quickly assess situations and make a plan to move forward instead of waiting for guidance. 

Empathy:

It is essential to understand and be respectful of the emotions of other people. It is helpful in engaging coworkers, customers, and managers. The ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes is a valuable soft skill.

Leadership:

Good leadership skills are not just for managerial roles because even if companies are not hiring for a managerial role they want someone who has a strategic mindset. The resume must highlight the skills and professional experience that showcases your leadership qualities. 

Multitasking:

The workplaces have become busier and complicated with time. The resume must show that the candidate can handle multiple tasks at a time. 

Positive attitude:

The resume must show that always approach challenging situations with a positive attitude. Adding positivity to the soft skill list will let the employers know you are determined and resilient. 

Problem-solving:

Every job has challenges and issues and it is the responsibility of the employers to come up with the best solutions. Employers want to hire people that can offer creative solutions for all types of problems.

Self-motivation:

Employers do not want to constantly nag employees to do their best. They are looking for employees that can take initiative and get the job done without anyone telling them to. 

Managing time:

Time management is a vital skill for every role in the workplace. It must be a prime soft skill because employers want to know the potential candidates can meet deadlines, avoid distractions, and make the best of the workday. 

Work ethic:

Reliability, responsibility, honesty, and punctuality are a crucial part of a reliable work ethic. Make sure that the resume showcases strong work ethic qualities. Give examples in resume skills and work history to make a good impression. 

Technical skills to list on resume:

The technical or hard skills of the resume must include certifications and proficiencies. A financial controller must mention the strong foundation of SEC reporting or GAAP, Frontend developers need to mention the level of expertise in CSS or HTML and other technologies mentioned in the job description.  

Here are a few technical skills that are essential for some of the in-demand fields.

Bookkeeping or accounting:

Some basic hard skills for these jobs include payments, collecting, account reconciliation, proficiency, and invoicing in software like Xero, QuickBooks, and FreshBooks. 

Data analysis:

Businesses require employees who can gather and interpret technical data to different stakeholders. The hard skills from the data analyst’s job range from knowledge of relational database theory and have strong verbal and writing skills.

Data privacy:

Cybersecurity is crucial nowadays and a priority for all organizations. Protecting proprietary client information and sensitive data is a top priority. The specific in-demand hard skills depend on the field and the position you are applying to. 

Enterprise resource planning:

Employers manage their business using ERP systems like NetSuite, SAP, and Oracle. These systems help companies automate functions and manage their affairs. The resume must mention their experience in coding and project management. 

Human resources:

Human resources are an integral part of an organization. Companies rely on HR to assess and hire the right people for the job. Human resources also help in establishing retention efforts. They are responsible for developing training, establishing wellness initiatives, team building programs, and employee engagement. The resume must show that you have exceptional management and communication skills.

Mathematics:

There are a lot of professions that need employees that are good at figuring out percentages, creating accurate data charts, and calculating margins. Copy editors and marketing professionals are responsible for working with survey results so they must be good at mathematics.

Multilingualism:

Employers value employees that can bring in more customers and help in establishing a wider clientele. They sought a second language depends on the city and the industry you are applying to. Some of the languages that are in high demand include Chinese, German, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and French. Even if the job description does not require interacting with an international clientele, fluency in other languages is always a plus on the resume.

Process automation:

Successful businesses can keep their expenses to a minimum without compromising quality. They can save resources and improve efficiency with the help of artificial intelligence and smart software. The employees are required to set up these systems so make sure that the resume highlights your professional experience dealing with such systems.

Product design:

The field is a mixture of function and form. It optimizes visual appeal as well as user-friendliness. Apart from mentioning your degree in product designing, you should also mention relevant specific skills.

Project management:

The work history on your resume and section of skills must mention your ability to see a project to the end. If you have a PMP (project manager professional) from a Project Management Institute then make sure you highlight it as it will set your resume apart from all the others.

Research skills:

Employers want to hire people that are good knowledge of research tools and methodologies. The hard skills list must include scheduling, interviewing, analyzing, planning, and interpreting data. These skills help allow stakeholders to find solutions. Proficiency in relevant technologies is vital for getting shortlisted.

Software proficiency:

Nowadays candidates must have baseline knowledge of G Suite and Microsoft Office. They are important because they help in creating spreadsheets, sending emails, collaborating, presentations, and word processing. Tech proficiency is not just a required hard skill in IT-related jobs. It is highly valued in almost every sector and role.

Search engine optimization:

Search engine optimization and marketing are essential aspects of dealing with online content. Writers, publicists, HR professionals, and editors need to add it to the list of their hard skills. The work experience should also highlight good knowledge and experience of Google Analytics, keyword optimization, data analysis tools, CSS/HTML, JavaScript, and keyword planner.

Typing skills:

Fast and accurate typing is an essential skill for a lot of jobs. Transcribers, data entry specialists, schedulers, administrative professionals, and clerks required exceptional keyword capabilities. The ideal pace for a job depends on the nature of the industry and the job. The job description offers a clue. Some websites offer free tests for typing speed.

Writing and editing skills:

Well-polished presentation and verbal skills are highly valued by employers. These skills are required in almost every field. Focused emails, persuasive memos, and clear internal communication are essential to keep an organization running. No organization wants its website text, blogs, or press releases to be full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. 

The resume must include examples of ways you have used hard skills in your professional life. Shine extra light on skills that are most suited to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a project management position then mention projects you have completed. 

Tips for matching skills on the resume to the job description:

The applicant tracking system (ATS) is used by companies as a tool to collect, sort, rank, and scan resume. It allows them to shortlist applicants and finds the best for the company. If you want to get noticed by the ATS then customizing the resume is essential. 

Take a close look at the words used in the job description so that you can identify phrases and words that you can use in your resume and get noticed by the ATS. You must tailor the skills on the resume according to the description otherwise it will not be visible and the chances of getting called for a job interview. 

How to identify skills a company values?

You can customize skills on the resume and work history using the job description. But it is not the only option. You can improve the customization of the resume by researching the employer. It will offer insight into the company’s values and culture. It can also assist in discovering additional qualities that might increase the chances of standing out from the competition. 

If you have an acquaintance who works for the company or has worked there in the past then you can ask them about the work culture. Company reviews can also offer valuable information. The website has an about us page that has all the essential information about the company. 

If you are applying for a position at IBM then you should visit their website and check out the “living our values” section. You will find that the company prefers candidates that are:

  • Dedicated to ensuring customer’s success
  • Innovative approach
  • Responsible and trustworthy

The soft skills you add must be tailored to the company’s goals and job description. It is vital to pay special attention to the ways a company operates and its work environment. Emphasizing your relatable strengths is crucial to avail professional opportunities. 

Tips to create skills section:

An impressive resume has organized content as it makes it easy to read. Adding a table of technical and soft skills above professional experience makes it easier for hiring managers to determine that you are a suitable candidate for the job. The skills section tells them that you have all the required qualifications and it is the perfect place to add relevant keywords. 

Instead of writing all the skills in form of a paragraph, it is better to create a bulleted list. It will make it more readable. 

Here are some professional examples of skill lists from several industries:

Accounting jobs:

The accountant’s job is to crunch numbers but it is not their only responsibility. Their responsibilities also include communicating with other departments and making data-driven conclusions. 

The best skills to add in these areas are:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Verbal skills
  • Writing skills
  • Problem solving and analytical
  • Data analytics
  • Leadership and business
  • Risk and compliance
  • GAAP (Generally accepted accounting principles)
  • Revenue recognition

Customer service jobs:

Keeping the customers happy and satisfied is essential for a company and the customer service department is responsible for it. The department is responsible for solving customer’s problems. 

A profession in customer service requires the following skills:

  • Empathy
  • Attentive listening
  • Diplomacy
  • Data entry
  • Research
  • Troubleshooting
  • Time management
  • Positive attitude
  • Communication skills
  • Speed and efficiency

Business analyst jobs:

Business analysts have to play several roles like problem-solving, data specialist, and finance professional. A business analyst must include the following skills to the list:

  • Data mining
  • Business Acumen
  • Project management
  • Strategic thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Verbal skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Client relations
  • Collaboration
 

Marketing jobs:

Marketing jobs are versatile and range from product managing, brand managing, email marketing specialist and social media specialists. Candidates must show a mixture of hard and soft skills to showcase their analytical and creative nature. Here are some skills you should add to the list:

  • Web analytics
  • Content creation
  • Creativity
  • Project management
  • Market research
  • Critical thinking
  • SEO
  • Social media (campaigns, strategy, etc.)
  • SEM

Web developer jobs:

Web developers require both soft and tech skills. The tech skills are for accomplishing their tasks and soft skills are essential for working with internal stakeholders and customers. Whether you apply for a back-end or a front-end position you will need to carefully check the job posting so you can tailor the resume accordingly.

Here are some skills that are an excellent addition to the resume of web developers.

  • UX design
  • UI design
  • Coding languages
  • Teamwork
  • Testing skills
  • Troubleshooting skills
  • API design
  • Database software
  • Project management
  • Operating systems
  • Web frameworks

Graphic design jobs:

Graphic designers must have the technical knowledge and creative sense. Here are some soft and hard skills that deserve to be on the list:

  • Storytelling
  • Time management
  • Brand development
  • Project management
  • Design principles
  • Presentation skills
  • Verbal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Commitment
  • Collaboration

If you are a part of a specialized field like technology or legal then you can create a column of skills on the side of the page. It will offer more space to resume skills and enhance the chances of getting hired. The skills section must be prominent enough to grab the attention of the hiring managers.

How to incorporate skills in the resume?

Writing skills engagingly is essential but you also need to emphasize things like volunteer activities and certifications because they help highlight specific skills. You can add sentences like you completed a team project instead of writing you have leadership or management skills. 

The resume must give clear examples of the impact you made on your previous or current job. Impressive skills will help in getting the attention of the hiring managers and the results will guarantee you an interview. 

Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate skills in the resume. 

Communication:

It is important to focus on writing, presentation, and verbal skills to show you are a good communicator. You should also mention customer service and collaborative skills. The work history must show a track of excellent communication with clients, colleagues, or managers and delivering solid results.

Example:

  • Increased traffic of the website by 35 % by writing a monthly email newsletter to the clients
  • A presenter in eight company webinars and it reached an average of 5000 audiences every session

Multitasking:

It is not easy to show quantifiable results when it comes to multitasking. But with the right words, it is possible to give an idea of competing situations and tasks you have managed to handle perfectly. 

Example:

  • Efficiently prioritizing multiple design projects for a team comprising of 20 people in a competitive and fast environment
  • In charge of managing competing editorial deadlines for annual reports of the company along with corporate citizenship report, delivering new content weekly to keep the email marketing fresh, and as result click rates were increased by 20 %.

Leadership:

It is possible to show leadership qualities in any role you serve. Taking charge of a big team project, diving deep into a problem and coming up with a solution, and working independently from a team can help in demonstrating leadership qualities. Doing volunteer outside of your professional capacity also helps in showcasing leadership skills

Example:

  • Led a task force and managed to successfully reduce operating expenses of the company by 15%

Dependability:

Employers want to hire people who are good at following orders. Dependability is a vital trait if your job requires you to work with an outside client. Missing a deadline while working with outside customers can cause serious damage to the company. 

Example:

  • Completed every project on time and some even before the set deadline and it led to a promotion and I was made an account manager after a year of service.
  • Was awarded ‘perfect attendance’ commendation twice at the annual employee recognition ceremony

Problem-solving:

It is essential to highlight the role you played for your past or current managers to show you are a valuable candidate. 

Example:

  • Managed to close 90% of desktop support tickets on the very first call and avoided escalation

Technology:

The technology skills must be suitable for the job you are applying to. If you are applying for an administrative role then you do not need to squeeze in coursework in data logic. 

Example:

  • Creating monthly PowerPoint presentations to support the manager’s report of client management, social media campaigns, and conversion rates, and email campaigns. Successful presentations resulted in requests to be a part of the training team and teaching other managers key aspects of a good presentation. 
  • Increased organic traffic by 30% by optimizing over 300 blog posts

Skills that do not belong on a resume:

Here are some skills that should not be a part of the resume as they will bring down their value. 

Avoid lying and exaggeration:

It is tempting to add skills just because they look good on the resume. Never add false skills or certifications because they do not leave a good impression. No employer wants to hire people that lie on their resume as it shows they are not reliable. 

Make sure all the references you provide are genuine. If a company carries out background checks then they must be able to do so. 

Do not ignore numbers:

The resume must never be vague. It is essential to clearly show that you are an excellent choice for the job. Vague statements are not going to help employers in seeing your potential. Make sure you share solid numbers to show your contributions and accomplishments. 

Never misuse words:

Double-check the wording of the resume because it should not have any wordiness. Flowery language may sound good but resumes must be precise and short. No employer is going to read through six pages. Make sure there are no formatting, spelling, and grammar mistakes. 

Conclusion:

A resume and the skills on it must be accurate and truthful. Make sure that you show your abilities and work history in the best light. Highlighting your skills makes it easier for recruiters to find the best candidates for their company. It is essential to be meticulous and thoughtful, and you will be able to avail the best job opportunities.

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