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Skills For Resumes

Top Skills For Your Resume

There are many skills you can choose to put on your resume, but how do you know which ones to include?

Before you start, it’s important to know that you will want to tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for because this underscores your relevancy and value to the hiring manager.

Therefore it is good to pick skills that are found in the job description to align with the needs of the employer.

That being said, some skills are so common for many jobs because of their importance in the workplace. These are the best skills you can include on your resume:

1) Data Analysis Skills

Most industries increasingly rely on data-driven decision-making. This means that is likely your job will require you to be comfortable working with data.

Data analysis is an important technical skill that incorporates statistics and other quantitative metrics to investigate problems and determine solutions. With good data analysis skills, you can be sure to add important value to your job responsibilities.

Examples of data analysis skills include:

        • Probability and statistics.
        • Competitive research.
        • Database management.
        • Retrospective reviews.

2) Communication Skills

Every successful relationship relies on good communication which is why it is such an important skill in the workplace. Whether you’re speaking with clients, fellow coworkers or business partners, how you communicate will help determine how well you will achieve your goals.

Good communication helps build clarity, resolve conflict, and share information effectively.

Examples of communication skills include:

        • Public speaking.
        • Written communication.
        • Conflict resolution.
        • Negotiation.

3) Project Management Skills

Project management involves setting goals, creating schedules, allocating resources, and managing budgets to deliver projects on time, within scope, and within budget.

Effective project management is essential in the workplace because it helps organizations achieve their goals, improves productivity and efficiency, and ensures that projects are completed successfully.

Examples of project management skills include:

        • Scheduling.
        • Event planning.
        • Task monitoring.
        • Feedback.

4) Teamwork Skills

There are many different roles to play within a company. Each one requires the ability to work with others to achieve mutual goals.

Employees love to see candidates who can show that they have exceptional teamwork skills because it means they can be integrated more easily into the company.

Examples of teamwork skills include:

        • Collaboration.
        • Decision making.
        • Accountability.
        • Mentorship.

5) Technical Proficiency & Computer Skills

Our global economy is tied to digital technology, which means even a basic proficiency in computer skills is required for most professions.

Your ability to use a computer is necessary for task management, communication, and research. Good computer skills keep an organization efficient and relevant among competitors.

Examples of computer skills include:

        • Email and e-chat communication.
        • Word processing.
        • Spreadsheet management.
        • Photo and video editing.

6) Interpersonal Skills

Regardless of your profession, at some point or another, you will have to work with others. It would be impossible to do business otherwise. Therefore, how you interact and work with others is critical to being a successful employee.

Your interpersonal skills help determine how well you fit within an organization or industry. Additionally, interpersonal skills affect how productive and engaged you are as a worker.

Examples of interpersonal skills include:

        • Active listening.
        • Empathy.
        • Collaboration.
        • The ability to give and receive feedback.

7) Organizational Skills

Many employers want their employees to stay organized. They need to rely on your ability to keep track of your tasks and resources.

Good organization makes it easier to answer questions, find new information, and keep track of important assets. Without proper organizational skills, you are at risk of slowing your team and your company down.

Examples of organizational skills include:

        • Inventory management.
        • Multitasking.
        • Attention to detail.
        • Data management.
software-developer-resume-example

8) Time Management Skills

Time management is the ability to organize your tasks effectively. It is very important to be able to have good time management skills, especially for any deadlines or time-bound projects, because it increases efficiency and reduces stress.

Examples of time management skills include:

        • Goal setting.
        • Scheduling.
        • Prioritization.

9) Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving Skills

You can’t always rely on others or computers to solve your problems. Employers need employees they can trust to figure out solutions for themselves.

Good critical thinking and problem-solving skills save valuable time and energy. Additionally, they are needed to solve the inevitable challenges that occur in any profession.

Examples of critical thinking and problem-solving skills include:

  • Brainstorming.
  • Experimenting.
  • Observation.
  • Analytical thinking.

10) Customer Service Skills

In one way or another, a company provides a good or service to someone else, which means many jobs require some level of client relations. Whether you deal directly with customers or work alongside business partners to satisfy clients, you must be able to provide excellent customer service.

Customer service is about understanding, accommodating, and providing for the needs of your customers. When done correctly, your customers will keep coming back.

Examples of customer service skills include:

        • Conflict resolution.
        • Patience.
        • Optimism.
        • Encouragement.

11) Empathy & Emotional Intelligence Skills

Empathy is the ability to feel what another person feels. Emotional intelligence acts on empathy and perception to effectively manage emotional situations. These are the crux of any healthy relationship.

Employees with high levels of empathy and emotional intelligence can be entrusted to behave accordingly under any circumstances. Additionally, they provide foundations to build up other skills such as problem-solving and communication.

Examples of empathy and emotional intelligence skills include:

        • Active listening.
        • Collaboration.
        • Conflict resolution.
        • Mindfulness.

12) Learning & Growth Skills

The dynamics of the economy mean employees need to grow and keep learning if they want to stay relevant. Employers want to see that you can take your current qualifications and expand upon them further.

Such behavior adds value to you and your employer because you develop more agency and competency as a worker. This results in personal satisfaction and professional productivity.

Examples of learning and growth skills include:

        • Research.
        • Experimenting.
        • Reflection.
        • Discipline.
        • Practice.

13) Adaptability & Flexibility Skills

Companies need to adapt to changes in their industry and the economy constantly. This means they need employees who can do the same.

Your ability to adapt and be flexible helps you remain efficient and effective regardless of your task. It makes you more valuable as an employee and opens up new opportunities of professional development.

Examples of adaptability and flexibility skills include:

        • Self-awareness.
        • Resilience.
        • Open-mindedness.
        • Focus.

14) Attention To Detail

Robust attention to detail is a proactive skill in the workplace. Not only do you ensure the quality of a good or service, you can catch errors and problems before they occur.

This skill is especially important in any work environment involving multiple people. Attention to detail helps ensure that the pipeline of productivity flows smoothly forward.

Examples of attention to detail include:

        • Content editing.
        • Quality assurance testing.
        • Cross-referencing and examination.
        • Peer review.

15) Creativity Skills

As powerful as computers have become, the human brain is still an excellent source of intuition and outside-of-the-box thinking.

Creativity drives innovation and problem-solving, so many employers want to hire creative individuals. Such skills can result in new effective approaches to projects and strategies.

Creativity skills include:

        • Abstract thinking.
        • Pattern recognition.
        • Idea generation.
        • Originality.
        • Synthesis.

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Examples Of Skills For Specific Jobs

Take a look at the following examples to get a better idea of how you will want to include skills on your resume.

Example Skills For Data Analyst Resume

A resume for a data analyst position should highlight a combination of technical expertise and problem-solving skills, among other important qualifications.

Professional Skills

        • Proficiency in programming languages Python, SQL, or R.
        • Experience with data visualization tools Tableau and Power BI.
        • Proficiency in database management systems MySQL and Oracle.
        • Strong Excel skills including pivot tables, VLOOKUPs, etc.
        • Graduate-level knowledge of statistical analysis and modeling techniques.
        • Ability to gather and analyze large datasets from multiple sources.

Example Skills For Software Developer Resume

A software developer must provide specific hard skills related to their profession, as well as soft skills that show they can work effectively with others when writing their resume.

Professional Skills

        • Proficiency in programming languages Java, Python, C++, and JavaScript.
        • Experience with Agile and Scrum software development methodologies.
        • Proficiency in MySQL or MongoDB database management systems.
        • Extensive knowledge of software testing and debugging techniques.
        • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment.
        • Ability to draft effective communication content, such as technical documentation.

Example Skills For Nursing Resume

A nursing resume can include a wide range of skills, depending on the specifics of the position.

Professional Skills

        • Effective communication with patients, families, and healthcare team members.
        • Assess and identify changes in patient condition and response to treatment.
        • Proficient knowledge and administration of medications, treatments, and procedures.
        • Knowledge of infection control protocols.
        • Empathetic emotional support and counseling to patients and families.
        • Experience with triage and first aid.
        • Understanding of HIPPA protocols to ensure patient privacy.

Example Skills For A Pharmaceutical Resume

Any pharmaceutical resume must list industry-specific skills and important interpersonal abilities to showcase their comprehensive value.

Professional Skills

        • Expert knowledge of GMP, GLP, and FDA regulations.
        • Proficient with aseptic processing and sterile manufacturing.
        • Expertise in analytical techniques such as HPLC, GC, and MS.
        • Knowledge of statistical analysis and experimental design.
        • Ability to work with controlled substances and hazardous materials.

Example Skills For Driver Resume

Commercial drivers, such as truck drivers, delivery drivers, and transportation drivers, all come with similar skill sets that should be underscored on their resumes.

Professional Skills

        • Commercial driver’s license (CDL) valid in United States and Canada.
        • Proficiency in driving tractor-trailers, buses, and delivery trucks.
        • Knowledge of federal and state regulations related to commercial driving.
        • Understanding of safety protocols and procedures including pre-trip inspections, safe loading and unloading, and accident response.
        • Familiarity with electronic logging devices (ELDs) and other transportation technology.
        • Ability to operate specialized equipment such as refrigerated trailers or hazardous materials transport vehicles.
        • Experience with loading and securing cargo to prevent damage during transit.

Tips For Your Resume’s Skills Section

  • Be honest: If you lie about your skills, you will set yourself up for failure in the future. Either the reader will tell you are lying due to inconsistencies, or they will find out in the interview.

  • Be confident: Just because you must be honest doesn’t mean you don’t need to be humble. Celebrate your skills and promote any and all that you have to help you land the job.

  • Reflect and diversify: You may think that you don’t have the right skills or enough of them. Don’t sell yourself short too soon! You likely have more skills than you realize. Take the time to seriously think about your past experiences and what type of skills they required.

  • Use the same language as the job description: This will help make your resume ATS-friendly and readable.

  • Be concise: Don’t go overboard in the skills section. Save details for the work experience section, cover letter, or potential interview.

How To List Skills On Your Resume

When you get ready to list your skills on your resume, you will want to carefully follow these steps to ensure you showcase your best qualifications.

  • Choose Relevant Skills.

    The reader does not want to spend too much time figuring out whether or not they want to learn more about you. They should be able to skim your resume and immediately decide you deserve further attention.

    Therefore, you do not want to clutter your resume with unnecessary information. This is especially important for the skills section. Only list skills that are relevant to the job.

    By tailoring your resume to the job you are applying for, you provide a better reading experience.

  • Use Job Description Keywords.

    Don’t just choose relevant skills. Make sure you use the same wording or phrasing as found in the job description. This helps you stand out to the reader.

    More importantly, this helps you make your resume more ATS-friendly. This is because applicant tracking systems (ATS) scan your resume and specifically look for target keywords from the job description.

  • Include Top Skills In Resume Profile.

    Your top three skills should be the ones that align best with the required qualifications for the job. Give these skills a boost by including them in your resume profile so that the reader immediately sees that you are a worthy candidate.

  • Demonstrate Skills In Work History.

    Listing skills is one thing, but providing evidence boosts your credibility with the reader. Most recruiters and hiring managers want evidence of your skills in action.

    Your work experience section is the best place to demonstrate:

    • What your skills are and how you used them.
    • How your skills resulted in some sort of quantifiable achievement.

    Combined, these details increase your value as a potential candidate for the position.

  • Be Concise In Skills Section.

    To avoid clutter, list your skills as bullets. Use as little wording as possible without being too vague. Strive for brief phrases or sentences that quickly get the point across.

  • Tailor Your Skills.

    It can’t be said enough, but your skills section should reflect the requirements found in the job description.

    Make it even easier for the reader and categorize these skills. Group together several related skills to provide a logical system of organization.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Professional skills can be divided into two categories:

        • Hard skills: Hard skills are specific, measurable and are often technical for a particular job or industry. Due to these, hard skills are acquired through some form of education or training.
        • Soft skills: Soft skills reflect an individual’s personality and ability to work effectively with others. They are difficult to measure because of their interpersonal nature and are developed through social interactions.

Should I pick hard skills or soft skills for my resume?

Every job requires some combination of hard and soft skills, which means your resume must reflect this balance.

However, when in doubt, it is better to prioritize hard skills over soft skills on your resume because they are easier to validate with your experience. Soft skills, while important, can only be inferred through your resume or cover letter.

For example, imagine you list “data analysis” as one of your skills.

Under one of your previous jobs, you provide an example of using data analysis, such as “Prepared monthly data analysis reports for sales team to increase productivity which resulted in a 15% increase in sales over a 12-month period.”

(Remember: It is always preferable to showcase your skills through a quantifiable achievement that added value to your company.)

Under this example, you could also list “teamwork” as one of your skills. However, it is harder to prove to the reader.

What’s the difference between hard skills and soft skills?

The difference between hard skills and soft skills is that hard skills are specific and measurable technical abilities learned through education or training.

In contrast, soft skills reflect personal traits and the ability to work effectively with others, developed through social interaction.

Hard Skills

  • Specific, measurable abilities.

  • Learned via education or training.

  • Generally technical in nature.

  • Can be tested for proficiency.

  • Employers desire hard skills in candidates to perform specific job tasks.

Soft Skills

  • Personal qualities.

  • Learned through experience and observation.

  • Interpersonal or social in nature.

  • Difficult to quantify or measure.

  • Employers desire soft skills in candidates to ensure a healthy, productive work environment.

Best Hard Skills For Resumes

The best hard skills for your resume will greatly depend on the type of job you apply to. However, there are some commonly sought hard skills that almost every applicant will want to consider on their resume:

          • Basic computer proficiency: Basic computer proficiency is increasingly important in all jobs because of the prevalence of digital technology used to increase productivity.
          • Coding and programming languages: A general knowledge of coding and programming languages can be useful in many fields, such as research, analysis, design, and automation.
          • Data analysis: With more companies making data-driven decisions, data analysis is a useful tool for many candidates.
          • Marketing and SEO: Knowledge of digital marketing strategies, SEO practices, and tools like Google Analytics is important for marketing and media professionals.
          • Financial Management: Abilities in budgeting, financial analysis, and accounting software like QuickBooks or SAP can be useful for anyone dealing with business strategy.
          • Sales and CRM: Experience with customer relationship management (CRM) software, sales strategies, and client management will be crucial for those looking to break into the sales industry.
          • Foreign Languages: In our highly globalized economy, the ability to speak a foreign language is an important tool in effective business relations.

Best Soft Skills For Resumes

Soft skills can be applied to almost any job, and there are several that can help make a stronger resume:

        • Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills help develop strong relationships with colleagues and clients to create a more productive work environment.
        • Communication: Sharing information, coordinating tasks, building trust among other stakeholders, and many other important tasks rely on successful communication skills.
        • Teamwork: People need to be able to work together to accomplish a common goal. In the workplace, this skill is vital to the success of any organization.
        • Customer service: An employee with excellent customer service skills helps a company’s reputation and solidifies its retention of clients.
        • Time management: Employees with time management skills maximize their productivity and can be entrusted with important deadlines or other time-sensitive tasks.
        • Critical thinking and problem-solving: Critical thinking and problem-solving skills help effectively analyze complex problems and develop solutions for any situation.
        • Creativity: Creative employees can develop new ideas that spark innovation or provide unique solutions that help an organization differentiate itself from its competitors.

Key Takeaways

        • Top skills for your resume include communication, organization, teamwork, data analysis, and computer proficiency.
        • Hard skills are measurable, require specific training and are generally technical, while soft skills are personal qualities that are unquantifiable and developed through experience.
        • To list skills on a resume make sure to choose only relevant skills that are concise and bulleted.
Pro Tip:

Employers want skills that add value to their organization, so consider how your skills make you a much needed asset.

Updated: May 29, 2024

You should put any relevant skills found in the job description on your resume. However, some general skills sought by many employers include:

  • Communication.

  • Interpersonal skills.

  • Organization.

  • Teamwork.

  • Time management.

  • Data analysis.

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving.

  • Customer service.

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence.

  • Project management.

  • Computer proficiency.

  • Learning and growth abilities.

  • Adaptability and flexibility.

  • Attention to detail.

  • Creativity

Use concise phrases or sentences to list your skills on your resume in bullet form. Make sure to list only relevant skills to the job. Tailor these skills with exact wording from the job description and categorize them into groups.

A job skill is any ability or trait that helps you accomplish tasks while at work. Job skills can range from extremely technical, such as computer programming, to broadly interpersonal, such as teamwork. The importance of a job skill varies with every job based on requirements and responsibilities.

Hard skills are specific, quantifiable, and usually technical, abilities that require training to accomplish certain tasks. 

Soft skills are personal qualities that determine work behavior with yourself and others. They can be applied to multiple fields, are learned through experience, and are harder to measure.

Hard and soft skills are very important in the workplace because they help determine the success and productivity of employees.

Employers want skills that effectively and efficiently accomplish responsibilities. The types of skills vary for every employer, but the end result should always be the same, that is, they can trust their employees to get the job done successfully.

There are many ways you can learn new skills for your resume. You can:

  • Take online courses.

  • Enroll in continuing education programs.

  • Find volunteer opportunities that offer training. 

  • Shadow other professionals.

  • Create projects on your own.

Ultimately, how you learn new skills for your resume depends on your persistence and interests.

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Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor McMahon, CPRW

Content Writer

Conor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) for Hloom.com. He has over three years of professional writing experience as well as experience in professional development training. As a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) Conor has written on career development topics ranging from resume and cover letter best practices, employer/employee communication, job seeking help, and more. He received his degree in Music Industry at Northeastern University and plays guitar in his free time.

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