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2018’s Most Crucial Resume Skills: Are They on Your Application?

In 2018, the key to capturing the attention of recruiters is a balanced skillset. Even the most qualified jobseeker can be ineffective without the right emotional intelligence skills. Conversely, the friendliest employee can flounder without a basic grasp of technology.


Today, the ideal candidate has both soft skills, a classic need, as well as technological skills, a modern must-have. Read on to learn the value of each of these distinct abilities and how to incorporate them into your resume. Then, get a leg up on the competition by including the most in-demand skills for 2018.

Recruiters list the following as the highest-value soft and technological strengths to include as skills for a resume.

Top Soft Skills for ResumesTop Tech Skills for Resumes
Positive AttitudeSocial Media
Entrepreneurial DriveHTML
Student MentalitySales
Problem SolvingIndustry-specific Software
Project ManagementMS Office
Adaptability and AgilityAdobe Photoshop
CommunicationForeign Language
Active Listening
Emotional Intelligence

Soft Skills for a Resume

Social and personal capabilities are extremely valuable skills to put on a resume. It's a good practice to include a few of these soft strengths in your skills section. It's even more effective to insert them into your work experience section. In 2018, the following qualities will make you stand out to recruiters.

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.

"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 Education First. Magrath lists positivity as one of three non-negotiable soft skills for potential staff.

2. Entrepreneurial Drive

Modern recruiters often seek candidate with entrepreneurial drive. "When I see an entrepreneurial spirit in a jobseeker, I see someone who has ideas, wants ownership, and does not settle for the status quo. We need enterprising employees, otherwise there would be nothing to debate and no fuel to ignite positive change," says Magrath.

"Someone with the drive of an entrepreneur not only makes things more efficient and effective, but also feels empowered in his or her job."

3. Student Mentality

In 2018, the thirst to continue learning is an invaluable soft skill for a resume. In the advancing business world, according to Magrath, "We need employees to want to evolve as well. People with a student mentality tend to be more open to feedback and more likely to seek out advice. Everyone can improve, and I look for candidates with the drive to continue to grow themselves."

4. Problem Solving

Among the soft skills for a resume that never go out of style is the ability to solve problems. Do you use creative thinking, past experiences, and current resources to overcome obstacles?

Show off those problem-solving skills in your resume's work experience section. You can do this by sharing your accomplishments. Briefly note the stakes against you. Don't worry about painting the full picture. You can go into detail in your cover letter.

5. Adaptability and Agility

Do you handle change well? Do you remain calm when plan A doesn't work out, and make a smooth switch to plan B? If so, make sure recruiters know it. Show employers you can think on your feet and adapt to sudden changes.

In your work experience field, describe a time you handled an unforeseen change of plans. Relate this to a duty or accomplishment.

6. Communication

Excellent communication skills are more important than ever. These include flawless written, verbal, and presentation abilities. In 2018, recruiters are also looking for strengths in technical translation. If you can explain complex concepts to different audiences, let hiring managers know.

7. Active Listening

Excellent listening capabilities will take you far in any industry. When people focus too much on making a point — rather than listening and finding the root of a problem — conflict emerges and intensifies. If active listening is one of your skills for a resume, it signals that you take the time to think before you speak so you can reach the best outcome.

8. Teamwork

Do you excel at working in groups? Do you like to collaborate with others across departments to reach a common goal? Showcase those team-player skills in your accomplishments. A social approach and relating well with colleagues are highly-desirable skills for a resume in 2018.

You can also include this soft skill in your skills section as well.

9. Emotional Intelligence

People who have emotional intelligence tend to have excellent interpersonal skills and self-awareness. To recruiters, this means you will be effective at managing both yourself and others. It also means you recognize your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth.

You can state this in your skills section. You can also refer to it as you describe your accomplishments in your work history section.

10. Project Management

Project management skills perfectly complement an entrepreneurial drive. Not only are you a visionary who takes charge, but also someone who knows exactly how to get ideas off the ground. Project management experience also demonstrates your ability to organize, meet objectives, and lead colleagues.

Important Tech Skills for a Resume

In the ever-evolving global economy, technological abilities are more valuable than ever. Today, most positions have a technological component. A writer, for example, may rely on content management platforms. A chef may use Photoshop and social media to share culinary creations. Even if your industry has nothing to do with technology, you can optimize your resume for 2018 by including the following tech skills for a resume.

1. Social Media

No matter where you work, social media matters. Your tech skills for a resume should include familiarity with major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They should also include the ability to apply them for marketing, public relations, and customer service purposes.

Don't forget that 70% of employers screen applicants on social media before deciding to hire, so make sure to audit your digital reputation before you apply.


Many employers have mobile platforms and applications, but most all have websites. Even if your industry is not related to technology, naming a basic understanding of HTML, coding, and web development in your skills for a resume makes you an intriguing business prospect.

You can list HTML expertise outright in your skills section and elaborate in your work experience. Share a time you used coding to build, optimize, or troubleshoot a website, along with the results.

3. Sales

According to the Harvard Business Review, half of US college graduates are likely to work in sales at some point. Although soft skills are key in sales, technical skills in product pitching, overcoming obstacles, and closing techniques can put you ahead of the pack.

"Whether you're selling an idea to your boss or yourself in an interview, everything in business is a sale. When I see someone with basic sales training, I know he or she will be a valuable asset," says Magrath.

4. Industry-Specific Software

From lead-tracking programs such as SalesForce for account managers to C++ software for developers, every industry uses technology to streamline operations. Think about the software programs you have used in your career and name them in your skills section. Provide examples of your capabilities in your work history section.

When your field is very technical, such as engineering or computer programming, you may have experience using dozens of different technologies. A great way to determine the most important software skills for a resume is to peruse the job description. Pulling language from the job description also helps to appease applicant-tracking systems.

5. Microsoft Office Suite

Even though they have been around for decades, programs like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel remain highly relevant in 2018. Many types of roles will have to deliver presentations with the aid of PowerPoint, just as many will have to organize data or create financial models using Excel. Your skills for a resume should absolutely include command of these essential programs.

6. Adobe Photoshop

Excellent visuals are universally useful. If you think your Adobe Photoshop prowess is a waste of resume space, think again. The ability to create captivating visual content is extremely valuable to recruiters for many reasons. Anyone can stick a filter on an image, but not everyone has the savvy to create custom content using Photoshop's full array of tools and effects.

7. Foreign Language

As the global economy becomes more connected, employers increasingly need multilingual employees. Additionally, people who speak more than one language often have better memory and multitasking ability. If you are proficient or better in another language, this belongs among your skills for a resume. Don't be afraid to flaunt your Spanish or Mandarin skills, but don't exaggerate your strengths either.

What's Next?

A strong resume optimized for today's workforce is the ticket to landing an interview in your ideal industry. In 2018, it all starts with showcasing the right mix of soft skills and technical abilities. As you craft your professional portfolio, feel free to reference MyPerfectResume's easy-to-use and customized resume builder for guidance and inspiration.

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MyPerfectResume Staff Writer

MyPerfectResume Staff Writer

At MyPerfectResume, we are passionate about two things: sharing our knowledge about the workforce and providing exceptional tools to help jobseekers get ahead. Thanks to our well-rounded assemblage of experts, we offer industry-specific resume and cover letter writing tips and career advice for almost every job. MyPerfectResume culls detailed advice…

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