Essential Resume Skills: Key Examples for Various Professions

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 16, 2024

Our customers have been hired at: *Foot Note

You have the skills to perform the role you’re seeking. Now get the attention of hiring managers by choosing the right skills for your resume. A great resume must feature the right skills for the job. 

Understanding how to list skills on your resume and deciding on good skills to put on the resume does not have to be complicated. 

Wondering how to make a great resume? We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of skills for resume, including the best hard skills and soft skills to put on your resume in 2024.

We’ll cover: 

  • The best skills for a resume 
  • Hard skills vs soft skills for your resume
  • Top hard skills and soft skills examples for a resume
  • Best resume skills for popular industries
  • How to list skills for a resume and on a cover letter
  • How to learn skills for a resume

Looking for specifics industry skills to put on your resume? Use our clickable Table of Contents on the left to find the right skills to include on your resume.

Best skills for a resume

Our research into skills searches online shows these are the most in-demand skills for a resume in today’s job market.

It’s important to note that the right resume skills for the job you’re applying for will come down to the employer’s requirements (but more on identifying these skills later).

While reviewing our list of potential skills to put on your resume, note those soft, hard and technical skills that apply to you and set them aside to include on your resume skills list.

  1. Communication skills
    Effective communication skills are a prerequisite for most jobs. Ensure that the skills section of your resume includes achievements that involve interacting well with others and highlights “verbal and written communication.
  2. Teamwork skills
    Great candidates know they are part of a larger group and can support their fellow team members to achieve goals. Teamwork is an excellent skill to put on your resume. Provide examples of how you’ve worked alongside others and contributed to overall team success to let recruiters know what you can bring to the team.
  3. Digital literacy
    Understanding how to effectively use technology, protect your privacy and master basic computer skills can make you a great candidate. Digital literacy is a good skill for your resume. It sets you apart from other candidates and demonstrates your ability to adapt to changing work environments and technological advancements.
  4. Attention to detail
    Catching mistakes and fixing them, ensuring all your job duties are handled correctly and delivering accurate, high-quality work are all hallmarks of great employees — and all stem from great attention to detail, making it a good skill to put on a resume. Give evidence of work responsibilities and achievements that depend on this trait.
  5. Adaptability
    A rapidly changing job market needs candidates who can handle ever-shifting demands and continue to excel at their jobs. Your ability to adapt to new surroundings is a plus in your resume skills section. Add examples of how you’ve been able to go with the flow and adapt to what companies need.
  6. Time management skills
    Employers need workers who can work efficiently and manage their time. To show recruiters you have this skill, provide work examples that show you can successfully and consistently meet deadlines or juggle multiple tasks without delay using this skill to list on your resume.
  7. Work ethic
    How you approach your work is as important as the technical skills you add to your resume skills section. 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 are going above and beyond and demonstrate how you’ve put time and energy into your work.
  8. Customer service skills
    Include customer service skills on your resume by listing work experience where you’ve successfully assisted others, facilitated customer satisfaction and management, and delivered measurable results for the company.
  9. Creativity
    Personal skills such as creative problem-solving skills and out-of-the-box thinking are great to add to your resume skills list. Creativity is a good skill to put on a resume, especially for industries that rely on innovation to maintain a competitive edge. Give an example from your work history that shows you can bring an inventive, original approach.
  10. Project management skills
    Advancing your career relies heavily on showing you can oversee and manage work projects. Be sure to mention any familiarity with Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, and project management software, such as Trello and Zoho, in the skills section of your resume. Give specific details on projects you’ve led that had positive results.

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What are hard skills and soft skills?

The list of skills for a resume is long, but deciding which ones to highlight isn’t as confusing as you might think. The general rule of thumb is to choose a mix of hard and soft skills. But what’s the difference between them?

Hard Skill

Hard skills for a resume:

  • Abilities you learn on the job (e.g., inventory management).
  • Abilities 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).
  • Learn more about hard skills.

Soft Skill

Soft skills for a resume:

  • Abilities that show how you approach work (e.g., time management, attention to detail).
  • Intangible or interpersonal abilities (e.g., reliability, relationship building).
  • Personal attributes that come naturally or can be developed over time (e.g., multitasking, leadership).
  • Learn more about soft skills.
Including hard skills on a resume is crucial — after all, if the job requires specific knowledge or training, you need to feature those abilities in the skills section of your resume. But don’t underestimate the power of including many soft skills. Studies show that 75% of U.S. employers are more likely to accept a candidate with the right soft resume skills and zero hard skills than the other way around.

Top 10 resume hard skills examples for popular jobs

1. Data analysis

The world runs on data and the ability to analyze it, draw intelligent conclusions, and use your findings to improve business operations. Essential related resume skills include:

  • Data visualization
  • Programming
  • Skills statistics
  • Knowledge programming tools
  • MATLAB
Data Analysis

Related jobs:

2. Cybersecurity

Nothing is worse for a business than stolen data, and cybersecurity professionals are the first vital line of defense against hackers. In addition to cybersecurity certifications, other highly sought-after computer skills for resumes include:

  • Knowledge of security across different platforms
  • Computer forensics skills
  • Risk identification and management
  • Scripting
  • DevOps
Cyber Security

Related jobs:

3. Programming

Programming skills are valuable for working with websites, internal networks and mobile apps. Feature your knowledge of specific programming languages and other related skills in your resume skills section, such as:

  • Java
  • HTML5
  • Cloud computing
  • Web development
  • Object-oriented programming (OOP)
Programming

Related jobs:

4.Marketing

Marketing helps businesses reach out to consumers and increase sales, subscriptions and overall engagement. Related job skills for a resume include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Email and social media marketing
  • Copywriting
  • Google Analytics
Marketing

Related jobs:

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. Skills to add to a resume in this field include:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Big data analysis
  • QuickBooks
  • Tally
  • Financial statements
Accounting

Related jobs:

6. Design

Companies have a high need for polished design work, from multimedia to website layouts. Important skills to put on a resume for this type of job include:

  • Knowledge of security across different platforms
  • Computer forensics skills
  • Risk identification and management
  • Scripting
  • DevOps
Design

Related jobs:

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. Good skills to put on a resume for this ability include:

  • Content writing
  • Editing
  • Business report and proposal writing
  • Creative storytelling
  • Planning and outlining
Writing

Related jobs:

8. Cloud computing

Jobs in cloud computing will only increase as more companies move important data to the cloud or use it to manage employee tasks. Related skills to add to a resume for this career include:

  • Cloud architecture
  • Networking
  • Cloud middleware technologies
  • Data management
  • Application programmer interfaces (APIs)
Cloud Computing

Related jobs:

9. Specialized machinery

Whether licensed to drive large transport vehicles or operate heavy equipment, having training or certification in machinery operation is something you can add to the skills section of a resume to open doors to jobs in many industries, from inventory to construction. These include:

  • Forklift operation
  • Backhoe
  • Certified Equipment Manager (CEM)
  • Loaders operation
  • Physical stamina and strength
Specialized Machinery

Related jobs:

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. Make sure to highlight your multilingual abilities in your resume skills section, such as:

  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • German
  • French
Foreign Languages

Related jobs:


Top 10 soft skills for a resume

Soft skills are highly valuable to employers and can improve job performance while increasing your career advancement opportunities. The demand for soft skills is expected to continue to grow as the workplace evolves. These are the top 10 sought-after soft skills to include in your resume.

1. Communication

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

Communication

2. Teamwork

Even if you’re working remotely, collaborating with and supporting other team members remains an essential soft skill for your resume. Ensure you describe yourself as a team member by providing examples of how you’ve successfully worked alongside others and contributed to the successful operations of your team.

Teamwork

3. Problem-solving

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

Problem Solving

4. 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 handle changes by including this in your resume skills section and providing work experience examples that describe a time you dealt with an unforeseen change of plans.

Adaptibility

5. Leadership

One of the surest ways to advance in your career is to demonstrate a talent for leading others toward success, whether by 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 job skills in these areas.

Leadership

6. Self-motivation

An employee who can be successful without constant guidance and direction will cause fewer headaches for an employer — hence why self-motivation is a good skill to put on a resume. Give examples in your resume of when you carried out tasks and projects without close management or created your own projects.

Self Motivation

7. Active listening

Focusing when interacting with and getting instructions from others will help you better connect with colleagues and clients and more quickly pinpoint work problems and solutions. Show that you’re present by including this ability in your job skills list.

Active Listening

8. Critical thinking

Employers don’t want automatons — they want employees who can make reasoned choices and adjustments depending on the situation, making this a great soft skill for your resume. Show you’re a critical thinker by giving examples of times when you had to use good judgment to complete a project, improve a process, or achieve the desired result.

Critical Thinking

9. Conflict management

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

Conflict Management

10. Organization

Keeping a firm handle on all your duties and turning chaos into order is a crucial job skill, especially for positions requiring 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.

Oranization

 


What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are skills and abilities that you acquire in one job or situation that can be applied to another job or situation. These skills are considered valuable to employers because they can be used across different industries or job functions. 

Some examples of transferable skills include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, time management, leadership, adaptability, and customer service. These skills are often developed through work experience, education, or personal life experiences.

Transferable skills are essential in today’s job market, where many people change careers multiple times throughout their working lives. Having a strong set of transferable skills can make it easier to transition between jobs and industries. They can also make you a more attractive job candidate, as employers value employees who can bring diverse skills and experiences to their organization.

Top resume skills for popular industries

Accounting skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Organization
  • Time management skills
  • Critical thinking

Hard skills:

  • CRM systems
  • Knowledge of tax regulations
  • Proficiency with specific software (e.g., Intuit QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks)
  • Financial reporting and budgeting

Related jobs: Cost Accountant Resume, Staff Auditor Resume

Business Operations skills to list on a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Communication
  • Motivational
  • Organizational abilities
  • Problem-solving

Hard skills:

  • Project management
  • Negotiation skills
  • Compliance and oversight
  • Financial analysis and reporting

Related jobs: Business Management Resume, Enterprise Management Trainee Resume,

Computer Software skills for a resume:

Hard skills:

  • AWS
  • Project management
  • Knowledge of programming languages (e.g., Java, Python)
  • Software testing and debugging

Soft skills:

  • Problem-solving
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Adaptability

Related jobs: Remote Software Engineer, SQL Developer

Customer Service skills to add to a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Positivity
  • Active listening skills

Hard skills:

  • Product/service knowledge
  • Point of sale
  • Customer management
  • Digital awareness

Related jobs: Banking Representative Resume, Call Center Manager Resume

Data Administration skills for resume:

Soft skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

Hard skills:

  • Data collection and management
  • Knowledge of database applications (e.g., DB2)
  • Troubleshooting
  • Database administration certification (e.g., Oracle MySQL)

Related jobs: Backup Administrator, Solutions Architect

Finance list of skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Analytical ability
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving

Hard skills:

  • Financial reporting
  • Data collection and management
  • Proficiency in accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks)
  • Project management

Related jobs: Credit Manager, Venture Capital Analyst

Fitness and Nutrition skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Communication skills
  • Empathy

Hard skills:

  • Personal training techniques
  • Knowledge of physiology
  • Knowledge/certification in dietetics
  • Assessing nutritional needs

Related jobs: Fitness and Personal Trainer, Nutritionist

Food Service job skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Multitasking
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Flexibility

Hard skills:

  • Customer service
  • Menu memorization
  • Knowledge of food safety standards/procedures
  • Inventory management

Related jobs: Bartender Resume, Catering Server Resume

Health Care Support skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Excellent communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability

Hard skills:

  • Analyzing medical information and data
  • Certification in first aid/CPR
  • Specialized medical knowledge (e.g., occupational therapy)
  • Knowledge of regulatory practices

Related jobs: Assisted Living Coordinator Resume, Home Health Aide Resume

Hospitality skills and abilities for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Communication
  • Multitasking
  • Conflict resolution
  • Teamwork

Hard skills:

  • Customer service
  • Human resource management
  • Maintenance and cleaning
  • Marketing skills

Related jobs: Guest Relations Executive Resume, Guest Services Representative Resume

Human Resources special skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Multitasking
  • Time management

Hard skills:

  • Performance management
  • Legal knowledge
  • Project management
  • Knowledge of HR-related software (e.g., BambooHR, OpenHR)

Related jobs: Change Management Specialist Resume, HR Coordinator Resume

Information Technology list of skills for resume:

Soft skills:

  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Critical thinking

Hard skills:

  • Coding skills
  • Computer networking
  • Project management
  • Troubleshooting

Related jobs: Assistant Project Manager Resume, Global Project Manager Resume

Inventory Management professional skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Verbal and written communication
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork

Hard skills:

  • Inventory control
  • Warehouse operations
  • Supply chain management
  • Knowledge of inventory software (e.g., NetSuite)

Related jobs: Inventory Manager, Warehouse Manager

Marketing skills to include on a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Organizational skills
  • Excellent time management
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Collaboration

Hard skills:

  • Copywriting
  • Social media
  • Project and campaign management
  • Data analysis

Related jobs: Strategic Accounts Manager, Product Manager 

Medical skills to put on a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Problem-solving
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Interpersonal skills

Hard skills:

  • Patient preparation
  • Taking vital signs
  • Administration
  • Expertise in specific medical fields (e.g., phlebotomy)

Related jobs: Anesthesia Technician Resume, Clinical Trial Associate Resume

Nursing skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Empathy
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Strong work ethic

Hard skills:

  • Basic life support
  • Patient records maintenance
  • Critical care nursing
  • EHR proficiency

Related jobs: Labor and Delivery Nurse, Operating Room Registered Nurse

Production key skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Dependability
  • Strong work ethic
  • Teamwork
  • Attention to detail

Hard skills:

  • Quality management
  • Computer-automated technologies
  • Knowledge of continuous improvement processes
  • Internal purchasing

Related jobs: Apparel Production Manager, Pipeline Welder

Sales top skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Communication
  • Active listening
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management

Hard skills:

  • Product knowledge
  • Negotiation
  • Prospecting
  • Buyer research

Related jobs: Automotive Assistant Manager Resume, Automotive Salesperson Resume

Teaching good skills for a resume:

Soft skills:

  • Patience
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Enthusiasm

Hard skills:

  • Subject-matter expertise (e.g., social studies, science)
  • Mentorship
  • Creativity
  • Lesson planning

Related jobs: Adjunct Professor Resume, Early Childhood Teacher Resume,

Web Development work skills examples:

Soft skills:

  • Verbal and written communication
  • Analytical abilities
  • Problem-solving
  • Detail-oriented

Hard skills:

  • Coding and programming skills (e.g., HTML/CSS, Java, Python)
  • Knowledge of web platforms and browsers
  • Testing and debugging
  • Back-end or front-end knowledge

Related jobs: Dot Net Architect, Full Stack Developer

How to list skills on your resume

Now that you know which are the best skills to put on a resume, use our advice to put together a great work skills list:

1. Review the job posting and choose what skills to put on your resume.

Read the job description thoroughly to understand what the employer is looking for, and note which key skills to add to your resume accordingly.

Depending on the job and industry, required skills may include personal qualities such as being a team player, a problem-solver or an excellent communicator, and hard skills like Photoshop, AutoCAD or budgeting. You can also visit the company’s website to learn more about its mission and goals, which are great places to discover the qualities its culture embodies and the goals they’re working toward.

Administrative Assistant Job Description Desk 1

2. Match your skill set to the job.

Match Your Skill Set To Job

Once you’ve pinpointed your skills that match the company’s needs, create a master list of the 10 most critical hard and soft skills for your resume. Ensure you include a good mix of soft and hard skills.

Not every skill you possess needs to be — or should be — listed in your resume skills section. Instead, target your resume to the specific job by including only those directly impacting the job you’re applying for and will help you prove to be the best candidate for the role. Use the resume summary to highlight your strongest job-related skills. 

If you’re making a career change, focus on transferable skills for your resume: qualities and abilities that can be transferred from one job to another and help you align your past experiences with your potential new job. For example, good soft skills for a resume like communication, teamwork and adaptability, are universal — all employers want to hire people they can depend on.

3. Choose the right resume format.

There are three main resume formats you can choose from, each one highlighting a different aspect of your career profile. Let’s dissect each resume format to help you understand which one is ideal for shining a light on your unique career level.

Functional format resume skills list

Functional format: If you’re short on work experience but can feature skills and training that fit the job, go with a functional resume. This functional resume skills section example shows how you can provide a detailed snapshot of your best abilities by categorizing them.

Professional Skills:

Administration

  • Scheduled 10+ visitors daily and greeted them upon arrival at the reception.
  • Validated insurance credentials and ensured claims complied with the office’s policies.
  • Reordered stock in short supply with enough time to restock the item before it ran out entirely.

Interpersonal

  • Interacted with 10+ vendors, professional services personnel and contractors to receive orders and communicate instructions.
  • Collaborated and organized weekly staff meetings with teams of 20+ personnel.
  • Organized conference rooms with appropriate materials and distributed notes for personnel.

Technical

  • Composed internal memos and external correspondence for four senior executives using MS Office.
  • Coordinated bookkeeping activities in QuickBooks and AdvancedMD medical billing software.
  • Managed multiline telephone and directed internal and external phone calls to senior executives.

Skills

  • Medical records management
  • Medical office administration
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Patient-doctor communications
  • Appointment scheduling and followup
  • Visitor services and support

Chronological format resume skills list

Chronological format: If you have extensive experience in the career or field you’re interested in, go with a chronological resume. In the chronological format, your work history is followed by a list of eight to 10 key skills. Focus on your top soft and hard skills for your resume, and give examples of how you’ve applied your skills in past jobs under your work history entries.

Use this chronological resume example skills section to understand how to list your skills:

Skills

  • Medical administration
  • Knowledge of HMOs and Medicare
  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software
  • Insurance and billing processes
  • Patient services
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Multitasking
  • Leadership
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong work ethic

Combination format resume skills list

Combination format: If you have years of experience in your field or are switching careers and want to display your most relevant skills alongside your experience, go with a combination resume.

This resume format blends a skills list (including a summary of qualifications, as seen in the example below) with work history details showing how you’ve applied your skills (similar to a chronological resume). It combines the chronological and functional resumes to emphasize your work experience and skills section of your resume in equal measure.

Look at this combination resume example’s skills section to see how skills are listed and organized.

Summary of Qualifications:

  • Well-versed in records management and maintenance.
  • Researches and resolves claims on time.
  • 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

 4. Show how you’ve used your skills in your work history.

Don’t limit your skills to just your resume skills section. Use examples in your work experience section to show how you’ve used 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 good skills to put on a resume based on their experience: Microsoft Office knowledge, training and mentoring others, and facility for IT work.

Here’s another example:

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

This example shows that you know how to multitask (servicing a large team), and can handle administrative duties (such as phone call management), along with good communication abilities (receiving visitors and answering calls). All of these are excellent skills to put on a resume.

5. Select the best skills for your resume summary.

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

“Organized patient service representative with 10 years of health care experience. Adept at patient advocacy and education, coordinating busy offices and maintaining professionalism in stressful situations.”

You’ve outlined your strengths in just a few sentences: office coordination, patient advocacy and a professional approach. Be sure to read the job description well to determine the best skills to put on a resume summary statement for the job you’re applying to.

 6. Emphasize your skills with a cover letter

Cover Letter To Highlight Your Skills

Don’t just ask yourself, “What skills should I put on my resume?” but also consider what skills to include or expand upon in your cover letter.

Each paragraph of your cover letter should include job-relevant skills. 

  • In the introduction paragraph, include your strongest job-relevant skill.

“For the past six years, I have been working as a sales executive. Every year, I have leveraged my product knowledge, customer service skills and business acumen to exceed our sales goals by at least 8%, while also building strong relationships with clients to ensure their satisfaction and encourage referrals. I am excited about the possibility of joining your startup as a Sales Manager and contributing to its growth with a solid foundation.”

  • In the body paragraphs, offer examples of your accomplishments to highlight. 

Throughout my career, I have been committed to creating engaging and interactive learning environments that foster student growth and development. My teaching style is rooted in a student-centered approach that encourages critical thinking, active participation and collaborative learning. I am confident that my ability to assess student needs and differentiate instruction will enable me to create an inclusive classroom where all students can succeed.

  • In the closing paragraph, reiterate your strongest skill and how it could be an asset to the potential employer. 

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to discussing how my collaboration and data analysis skills in Python can help your company stand out from its competitors. 

If you’re unsure about how to choose your most marketable skills for a cover letter, our Cover Letter Builder can help you with this and all steps to create a compelling letter.

7. Highlight your skills in a job interview with examples

Mention Your Skills In Your Job Interview

What better time to give in-depth job skills examples than in a job interview? Here are some ways to do it when you’re talking to the recruiter or hiring manager:

  • Describe when your active listening skills paid off: As mentioned above, active listening is a key soft skill, so demonstrate it here.
  • Describe a moment when your coping skills were tested: An excellent example of succeeding under pressure will always impress an employer.
  • Give an example of using research skills to solve a problem: Knowing how to find the correct answers is a valuable ability to put on a resume and explain during your job interview.
  • Describe your leadership skills: Leadership ranks high as a soft skill for a resume, so be prepared to discuss how you’ve displayed it.
  • Describe a time your leadership skills failed you: Failure isn’t a problem as long as you can prove you’ve learned something from it.
  • Describe the skills you’ve learned from previous work: The ability to pick up on new skills is a skill.

How to learn skills for your resume

Hard skills are acquired through education and job experience.

  • Experience: Every employment opportunity or volunteer experience will give you skills. For example, a cashier’s job will give you Point of Sales (POS) system skills, a role as a teacher’s aide will give you a background in Montessori, and working as a marketing assistant will help you highlight your SEM and SEO knowledge.
  • Education: Learning from professionals who have experience in your field. Education encompasses the traditional school, trade school, colleges and also:
    • Apprenticeships
    • Certifications
    • Trainings
    • Workshops
    • Conferences

Soft skills work differently as these are habits and innate behaviors. However, you can still learn soft skills through different methods.

  • Self-evaluation: Consider what you need to work on as a person. Is your time management an issue? Could you improve as a team player? Be honest with yourself and research tips on how to improve your weaknesses.
  • Work on your habits: How you manage your daily life has an effect on your work. After your self-evaluation, improve your daily work behaviors and slowly incorporate new ones.
  • Requesting feedback: Ask a trusted colleague, manager or mentor about your work performance, where you succeed and what to improve. Create a plan to succeed in your improvements, and touch base with them every so often to reevaluate what’s working and what isn’t.
  • Traditional learning resources: Find resources on your own or through your employer to improve your soft skills. Consider online courses, workshops provided by organizations and conferences tailored to the needs of your industry.

Tips to list your resume skills

  • Save the job description and use it to guide your targeted resume writing. Include all the job-relevant skills. 
  • Always customize your resume or CV to the position you’re seeking. You’ll have a higher chance of catching the hiring manager’s attention by including the skills they’re seeking. 
  • Use bullet points for easy reading and to guide the recruiter’s eye to your skills section. 
  • Quantify your achievements. Whenever possible, include numbers to showcase how you have successfully used your skills.
  • Include hard and soft skills. A great candidate is balanced between their expertise and ability to work with others. 
  • Separate your technical skills into categories to highlight your knowledge.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a balanced mix of hard skills and soft skills for your resume.
  • The skills must highlight your strength as a candidate and showcase your abilities to perform the job.
  • The best skills for a resume are those presented in the job description and your strongest job-relevant skills.
  • Choose a resume format that highlights your strengths as a candidate. Functional for entry level candidates, chronological when you have over ten years of experience, and combination when you have some experience or are changing industries.
  • The professional summary will highlight your strongest job-relevant skill.
  • Use the work history section to showcase how you used your skills and, if applicable, add numbers to create quantifiable achievements.
  • The skills section should be a balanced mix of soft skills and hard skills.
  • A cover letter will help you expand on your skills. Use storytelling to expand on accomplishments that use a mix of hard and soft skills.
  • Prepare for your interview by practicing possible answers that include your skills and how you’ve successfully used them.

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