Top 10 Most Valued Skills in Today’s Job Market

These are the top attributes job recruiters are looking for — make sure you include them in your resume skills section. You can also use our Resume Builder and suggestions below to create the right skills section for specific jobs. Our top 10 skills are:

  • Communication Skill

    1. Communication

    Whether it’s assisting a customer or interacting with members of your own team, employers count good communication skills as a prerequisite for most jobs. In your resume, include achievements that involve interacting well with others, and stress “verbal and written communication” in your skills section.

  • Teamwork Skilll

    2. Teamwork

    Even if you’re working remotely, being able to collaborate with and support other team members remains an essential skill for most job seekers. Provide some examples of how you’ve successfully worked alongside others, and contributed to the successful operations of your team.

  • Computer Skill

    3. Computer Proficiency

    Computers are used for everything from medical records to warehouse invoicing, so knowing software and your way around computers counts for a lot. If a job requires the use of specific software or apps, get yourself up to speed on them, and list them on your resume. If the job doesn’t mention a specific computer skill, mention software you’ve used that could apply to the job (e.g., Microsoft Office for an office administration position).

  • Attention Skill

    4. Attention to Detail

    Catching mistakes and fixing them, making sure all your job duties are handled correctly, and delivering accurate, high-quality work are all hallmarks of great employees — and all the result of great attention to detail. Give evidence of work responsibilities and achievements that depend on this trait.

  • Flexibility Skill

    5. Flexibility

    During your career, you may be asked to wear many hats at work, or be adaptable to working odd hours and performing varied tasks. Those who can handle ever-shifting demands and continue to excel are in high demand by recruiters. Show off examples of how you’ve been able to go with the flow, and adapt to what companies need.

  • Time Management Skill

    6. Time Management

    Employers need workers who can work efficiently, and in a timely manner. To show recruiters you have this ability, come up with some work examples where you successfully and consistently meet deadlines, or juggle multiple tasks without any delays.

  • Work Ethic Skill

    7. Work Ethic

    How you approach your work is as important as the technical skills you bring to the table. Employers will always appreciate a work ethic that shows you’re dedicated and committed to the job. List tasks and work achievements in your resume that show you going above and beyond, and demonstrate how you’ve put time and energy into your work.

  • Customer Serivice Skill

    8. Customer Service

    From greeting guests to dealing with dissatisfied customers, many companies depend on superior customer service to reinforce company quality and branding. List work experiences where you’ve successfully assisted others, gained recognition for superior customer satisfaction and management, and brought about good results for the company as a consequence.

  • Creativitivity Skill

    9. Creativity

    The ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions is highly valued by many employers, especially those in industries that rely on innovation and keeping ahead of the competition. Give an example or two from your work history that shows you can bring inventive, original approaches that benefit a company.

  • Project Management Skill

    10. Project Management

    Advancing in your career relies heavily on showing you have the ability to oversee and manage work projects. Be sure to mention any familiarity you have with Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, and project management software, such as Trello and Zoho. Give specific details on projects you’ve led that had positive results.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Your resume should include a mix of hard and soft skills. What’s the difference between them?

HARD SKILLS:

  • Abilities you learn on the job (e.g., inventory management)
  • Abilities that are specific to the job (e.g., knowledge of mortgage processing for a loan officer position)
  • Abilities you learn through formal education and training (e.g., certification in specific software)

SOFT SKILLS:

  • Abilities that show how you approach work (e.g., time management, attention to detail)
  • Intangible or interpersonal abilities
  • Personal attributes that come naturally or can be developed over time (e.g., multitasking, leadership)

Including hard skills on a resume is crucial — after all, if the job requires specific knowledge or training, then you need to feature your abilities in these areas  in your resume. But don’t underestimate the power of including a good number of soft skills. Studies show that 75% of American employers are more likely to accept a candidate with the right soft skills and zero hard skills than the other way around. In keeping with that advice, you’ll notice that most of the skills in our “top skills” list above are soft skills.

Best 20 Hard and Soft Skills for Your Resume

Based on our research into skill searches on the Internet, these are the most in-demand hard and soft skills in today’s job market:

Best 10 Hard Skills

  • 1. Data Analysis

    The world runs on data and the ability to analyze it, draw intelligent conclusions from it, and use these conclusions to improve business operations. Important related skills include data visualization, programming skills, statistics knowledge, and programming tools.

     

    Related jobs: database developerdata analytics managerdata management analyst

    Data Analysis Skill
  • 2. Cybersecurity

    Speaking of data, nothing is worse for a business than stolen data, and cybersecurity professionals are the first important line of defense. In addition to cybersecurity certifications, feature knowledge of security across different platforms, computer forensics skills, and risk identification and management.

     

    Related jobs: cybersecurity specialistinformation security manager

    Cybersercurity Skill
  • 3. Programming

    Programming skills are valuable for work with websites, internal networks and mobile apps. Feature your knowledge of specific programming languages such as Java or HTML5, and your ability to work with databases.

     

    Related jobs: programmerobject-oriented programmermobile application developer

    Programming Skill
  • 4. Marketing

    Marketing helps businesses reach out to consumers and increase sales, subscriptions and overall engagement. Related hard skills include search engine optimization (SEO), email and social media marketing, copywriting and Google Analytics.

     

    Related jobs: media plannercampaign managercommunications specialist

    Marketing Skill
  • 5. Accounting

    Handling financial matters is an essential part of any business, and the ability to parse numbers, analyze budgets, and provide detailed, accurate account management is a crucial component of finance. Feature your knowledge in areas such as Microsoft Excel, big data analysis, and QuickBooks and other accounting software.

     

    Related jobs: accountantexternal auditorproject accountant

    Acconting Skill
  • 6. Design

    From multimedia to website layouts, companies have a high need for polished design work. Important areas of focus in this category include user experience (UX) design, proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), typography and photo editing.

     

    Related jobs: graphic designerfreelance graphic designer

    Design Skill
  • 7. Writing

    Even in today’s tech-heavy world, good writing skills are still necessary for communication, executing marketing campaigns, assembling documentation, and creating presentations. Highlight any skills you have in content strategy and management, editing, business report and proposal writing, and creative storytelling.

     

    Related jobs: editortechnical writercopywriter

    Writing Skill
  • 8. Cloud Computing

    Jobs in cloud computing are only going to increase as more companies move important data to the cloud, or use the cloud to manage employee tasks. Related skills in this area include cloud architecture, networking, cloud middleware technologies, and data management.

     

    Related jobs: cloud computing engineerSalesforce developer

    Cloud Computing Skill
  • 9. Specialized Machinery

    Whether it’s being licensed to drive large transport vehicles or operate heavy equipment such as a backhoe or forklift, having training or certification in machinery operation can open the door to jobs in many industries, from inventory to construction.

     

    Related jobs: certified crane operatortruck driverclass B CDL driver

    Machinery Skill
  • 10. Foreign Languages

    As the global economy becomes more integrated, employers increasingly need multilingual employees. People who speak more than one language also often have better memory and multitasking ability.

     

    Related jobs: translatorteachercustomer service representative

    Foreign Language Skill

Best 10 Soft Skills

  • Postive Attitude

    1. Positive Attitude

    Don’t underestimate the value of seeing the glass half-full. Positive people see setbacks as feedback and aren’t intimidated by difficult situations — attributes that employers value. “When the brain is operating in positive mode, we find employees are more productive, more resilient, and less afraid of a challenge,” says Brian Magrath, who works in training and staff development at EdChoice.

  • Problem Solving

    2. Problem-Solving

    Another soft skill that never goes out of style is the ability to solve problems: using creative thinking, experience and resourcefulness to overcome obstacles. Show off problem-solving skills in your resume’s work experience section by sharing accomplishments in which you had to work through a challenge.

  • Adapibility

    3. Adaptability

    Do you handle change well? Do you remain calm when plan A doesn’t work out, and make a smooth transition to plan B? Show employers you can think on your feet and adapt to sudden changes by providing work experience examples that describe a time you handled an unforeseen change of plans.

  • Leadership

    4. Leadership

    One of the surest ways to rise in your career is to demonstrate a talent for leading others towards success, whether it’s taking charge of a project, mentoring junior employees, or providing positive direction for a team or company. Always emphasize work history achievements which show your abilities in these areas.

  • Self Motivated

    5. Self-Motivated

    An employee who can be successful without the need for constant guidance and direction is one that will cause fewer headaches for an employer. Give examples in your resume in which you were able to carry out tasks and projects without close management, or even had a hand in creating your own projects.

  • Active Listening Skill

    6. Active Listening

    Being able to focus when interacting with and getting instructions from others will help you better connect with colleagues and clients, and pinpoint work problems and solutions much more quickly.

  • Critical Thinking

    7. Critical Thinking

    Employers don’t want automatons — they want employees who can make reasoned choices and adjustments, depending on the situation. Show you’re good with critical thinking by giving examples of where you had to use good judgment to complete a project, improve a process, or achieve the desired result.

  • Conflicit Management Skill

    8. Conflict Management

    Let’s face it, not everything will run smoothly at work all the time. When friction arises with co-workers, with a boss, between departments, or with clients, an even-keeled, calm, goal-oriented approach is a useful asset. Important abilities that fall under this skill include facilitation, mediation and active listening.

  • Pateince Skill

    9. Patience

    Whether you’re a teacher who needs to deal with large groups of kids, or an office administrator who has to continually remind colleagues to send in important forms, exercising patience in trying situations is a valuable ability that hiring managers appreciate.

  • Organistaion Skill

    10. Organization

    Keeping a firm handle on all your duties and being able to turn chaos into order is a key trait, especially for jobs that call for coordinating large amounts of paperwork or data, or managing large events or groups. Call out any experiences you have in which your ability to organize made a difference.

Identify Skills for Your Resume in 5 Steps

Every job is different, so it’s important to update the skills you feature in your resume for each job opportunity. Just follow these steps to assemble the right skills.

  1. 1. Review the Job Posting and Pick Out Skills.

    The first place to start is with the job description itself. Note all phrases and descriptions that emphasize a specific skill, particularly if the posting has a “Requirements” or “Key Skills” section. Make lists of hard and soft skills that address these phrases.

    Example: Finding Skills in a Job Posting

    Job: Administrative Assistant

    Job Tasks:
    • Schedule appointments, make travel arrangements, complete expense reports and create presentations.
    • Review executives’ inbox to proactively follow up or bring attention to time sensitive or urgent matters.
    • Maintain financial reports or other business information that is updated regularly for executives.
    • Order office supplies, equipment and the processing of invoices/ purchase orders.
    • File maintenance, process mail, copying, etc.
    • New hire on-boarding (Technology set up, Introductory meetings scheduled, iProcurement, iExpense and travel training).
    Who you are:
    • Strong verbal and written communication skills
    • Strong organization skills
    • Proficient computer skills (e.g. Microsoft Office)
    • Ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks and deadlines; time management skills
    • High degree of professionalism and confidentiality
    • Normally receives little instruction on daily work, general instructions on newly introduced assignments.
    • A demonstrated team player with ability to resolve conflict
    • Attention to detail
    • Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information
    • Positive attitude

    Hard Skills

    Skills
    • Scheduling management
    • Expense reports
    • Presentation creation
    • Office inventory management
    • Administrative software
    Example of related software
    • iProcurement, iExpense
    • Outlook, Google Mail
    • Powerpoint, Google Slides
    • inFlow, Odoo
    • Microsoft Office

    Soft Skills

    Skills
    • Proactive
    • Ability to prioritize
    • Organization
    • Verbal and written communication
    • Multitasking
    • Time management
    • Professionalism
    • Confidentiality
    • Self-starter
    • Strong work ethic
    • Team player
    • Conflict resolution
    • Confidentiality
    • Positive attitude
  2. 2. Research the Company You’re Interested In.

    The company’s website will include information on its mission and goals — look to match them with your own skills. For example, if you’re looking at a job at Ford, you can visit the company’s news section to get insight on major projects, and note skills you have that can help fulfill project objectives, such as app development or production line management. Pay close attention to intangible skills, too. For example, Oracle’s code of conduct places emphasis on qualities such as teamwork, customer satisfaction, and work ethic.

  3. 3. Pinpoint Skills That Are Valuable for Your Profession.

    In addition to researching the specific job posting and the company, take some time to research other postings for similar jobs. You’ll likely find some skills that all of these jobs have in common, and should be added to your own resume. For example, if you’re looking at a teaching position, you’ll find phrases such as “problem-solving,” “solution oriented,” or “good judgment” across several teacher job postings. Make sure you find some space in your resume for these skills.

  4. 4. Assemble a List of Your Own Skills.

    Put down skills that you’ve trained up for (e.g., earning a First Aid certification, or completing a course in project management), as well as skills you’ve learned on previous jobs, or through extracurricular activities or volunteer work. If you’re having trouble coming up with skills, use this method:

    • Think of particular tasks or challenges you’ve faced.
    • Think of actions you took to solve these tasks.
    • What were the traits or knowledge you needed when you took action?

    For example, if you’ve worked in retail and dealt with dissatisfied customers, you can include “conflict resolution,” “communication,” and “customer service” in your repertoire of skills

  5. 5. Put it All Together.

    Once you’ve got a good handle on your own skills and what the company needs, create a master list of the 10 most important hard skills and soft skills, matching skills you have with what’s required by the job, company and industry. For jobs that demand technical know-how or expertise in specific areas, you can even create separate categories. For example, for a nursing position, you could create three skill categories: Medical Skills, Organizational Skills, and Soft Skills.

How To Add Skills to Your Resume

1. Find the Right Resume Format for Your Skills Section.

If you’re short on work experience but can feature skills and training you already have that fit the job, go with a functional resume, which emphasizes skills over job history. The functional resume skills section example shows how you can provide a detailed snapshot of your best abilities by categorizing them.

  1. Functional Resume: Skills Section Example

    Professional Skills:

    Administration

    • Visitor scheduling and reception
    • Insurance validation and compliance
    • Office administration, including management of supply inventory

    Interpersonal

    • Verbal and written communication
    • Problem-solving
    • Collaboration, with experience working with teams of 10+ personnel

    Technical

    • Proficient in MS Office
    • AdvancedMD medical billing software
    • Managing multi-line telephones

    Skills

    • Medical records management
    • Medical office administration
    • Billing and invoicing
    • Patient-doctor communications
    • Appointment scheduling and follow-u
    • Visitor services and support
  2. If you have extensive experience in the career field you’re interested in, go with a chronological resume, which focuses on your work history and a list of key skills. Focus on your top 8-10 soft and hard skills for the skills section, and give examples of how you’ve deployed your skills in past jobs (see the section “Feature skills in your work history” details for more).

  3. Chronological  Resume: Skills Section Example

    Skills
    • Medical administration
    • Knowledge of HMOs and Medicare
    • Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software
    • Insurance and billing processes
    • Patient Services
    • Verbal and written communication
    • Multi-tasking
    • Leadership
    • Attention to detail
    • Strong work ethic
  4. If you have a few years of experience in your field, or are switching careers and want to show off your most relevant traits, go with a combination resume, which blends a skills list (that includes a summary of qualifications) with work history details that show off your skills (similar to a chronological resume).

  5. Combination Resume: Skills Section Example

    Summary of Qualifications:
    • Well-versed in records management and maintenance
    • Researching and resolving claims in a timely manner
    • Specializes in quality assurance and auditing
    Key Skills:
    • Financial reporting
    • Payment processing
    • ERP software
    • Completing insurance forms
    • Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
    • Account reviews and assessment
    • Proficient in Quickbooks
    • Attention to detail
    • Verbal and written communication
    • Project Management
  6.  2. Show How You’ve Used Your Skills in Your Work History.

    Don’t limit your skills to just your skills section. Use examples in your work experience section to show off how you’ve utilized your skills to accomplish a project or address a critical task. For example:

    Offered office-wide MS Office software support and training, including troubleshooting issues and optimizing usage.

    This work example demonstrates three skills: your Microsoft Office knowledge, your ability to train and mentor others, and your facility for IT work.

    Here’s another example:

    Assisted 10-member executive team with visitor reception and phone calls.

    This example shows that you know how to multitask (servicing a large team), can handle administrative duties (such as phone call management), and also have a professional approach, along with good communication abilities (receiving visitors and answering calls).

  7.  3. Lead Off With a Top Skill in Your Resume Summary.

    Your resume summary is the first thing recruiters should look at, so start it off with a bang — a mention of your top qualifications and or skills, What’s the one trait or area of expertise you want employers to know about? Mention it right off the bat in your summary. For example:

    Organized Patient Service Representative with 10 years of healthcare experience. Adept at patient advocacy and education, as well as coordinating busy offices and maintaining professionalism in stressful situations.

    In just a few sentences, you’ve outlined your strengths: office coordination, patient advocacy, and a professional approach.

How Our Resume Builder Helps You

  • Step-by-step instructions and suggestions for filling out your document.
  • A wide range of customizable templates for all types of jobs.
  • Create, save and use different versions of your resume for different jobs — as many as you want.
  • Our tools check your resume for common spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes.
  • Our Chrome extension matches your resume with the right jobs, helps you update your resume, and auto-fills job applications.

Top Skills for Popular Industries

Need some skills to add to your resume? Use some of these top attributes for top industries, based on our research.

  1. Accounting

    • Attention to detail
    • Analytical skills
    • Organization
    • Spreadsheet proficiency
    • CRM systems
    • Knowledge of tax regulations
    • Proficiency with specific software (e.g., Intuit QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks)
    • Financial reporting and budgeting
  2. Business Operations

    • Communication
    • Customer service
    • Motivational and leadership skills
    • Project management
    • Negotiation skills
    • Compliance and oversight
    • Organizational abilities
    • Financial analysis and reporting
  3. Computer Software

    • Presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint, Keynote)
    • AWS
    • Project management
    • Knowledge of programming languages (e.g., Java, Python)
    • Software testing and debugging
    • Problem-solving
    • Written and verbal communication
    • Attention to detail
  4. Customer Service

    • Communication
    • Flexibility
    • Product/service knowledge
    • Conflict resolution
    • Positivity
    • Active listening skills
    • Organizational abilities
    • Efficiency
  5. Data Administration

    • Attention to detail
    • Problem-solving
    • Communication
    • Data collection and management
    • Knowledge of database applications (e.g., DB2)
    • Troubleshooting
    • Collaboration
    • Database administration certification (e.g., Oracle MySQL)
  6. Finance

    • Analytical ability
    • Communication
    • Financial reporting
    • Data collection and management
    • Attention to detail
    • Proficiency in accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks)
    • Problem-solving
    • Project management
  7. Fitness and Nutrition

    • Motivation
    • Patience
    • Communication skills
    • Personal training techniques
    • Knowledge of physiology
    • Coaching
    • Knowledge/certification in dietetics
    • Assessing nutritional needs
  8. Food Service

    • Customer service
    • Attention to detail
    • Multitasking
    • Teamwork
    • Communication
    • Knowledge of food safety standards/procedures
    • Flexibility
    • Inventory management
  9. Healthcare Support

    • Communication
    • Attention to detail
    • Analyzing medical information and data
    • Empathy
    • Teamwork
    • Flexibility
    • Certification in First Aid/CPR
    • Specialized medical knowledge (e.g., occupational therapy)
  10. Hospitality

    • Customer service
    • Communication
    • Multitasking
    • Attention to detail
    • Maintenance and cleaning
    • Conflict resolution
    • Teamwork
    • Problem-solving
  11. Human Resources

    • Performance management
    • Teamwork
    • Communication
    • Attention to detail
    • Project management
    • Training
    • Multitasking
    • Knowledge of HR-related software (e.g., BambooHR, OpenHR)
  12. Information Technology

    • Organizational skills
    • Problem-solving
    • Coding skills
    • Computer networking
    • Project management
    • Analytical abilities
    • Troubleshooting
    • Attention to detail
  13. Inventory Management

    • Verbal and written communication
    • Organizational skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Problem-solving
    • Teamwork
    • Leadership
    • Multitasking
    • Knowledge of inventory software (e.g., NetSuite)
  14. Marketing

    • Creativity
    • Copywriting
    • Social media
    • Project and campaign management
    • Organizational skills
    • Knowledge of design and design software
    • Data analysis
    • Storytelling
  15. Medical

    • Interpersonal skills
    • Stress management
    • Attention to detail
    • Administration
    • Problem-solving
    • Expertise in specific medical fields (e.g., phlebotomy)
    • Empathy
    • Flexibility
  16. Nursing

    • Empathy
    • Time management
    • Communication
    • Attention to detail
    • Flexibility
    • Patient records maintenance
    • Strong work ethic
    • Teamwork
  17. Production

    • Quality management
    • Dependability
    • Strong work ethic
    • Quality management
    • Teamwork
    • Computer-automated technologies
    • Knowledge of continuous improvement processes
    • Communication skills
  18. Sales

    • Product knowledge
    • Communication
    • Active listening
    • Problem-solving
    • Negotiation
    • Time management
    • Prospecting
    • Buyer research
  19. Teaching

    • Subject matter expertise (e.g., social studies, science)
    • Patience
    • Communication skills
    • Mentorship
    • Creativity
    • Enthusiasm
    • Conflict resolution
    • Time management
  20. Web Development 

    • Verbal and written communication
    • Coding skills (e.g., HTML/CSS)
    • Analytical abilities
    • Knowledge of web platforms and browsers
    • Testing and debugging
    • Problem-solving
    • Back-end and programming knowledge (e.g., Java, Python)
    • Detail-oriented
x