Welcome back, ! Your subscription has expired. RENEW SUBSCRIPTION

Top Skills to Put on a Resume in 2022

The resume skills section is more than just a list. It shows off your full repertoire of abilities, and when presented correctly, shows the employer that you have what it takes to succeed in the role.

To make sure you feature the skills that meet the demands of today’s top jobs and industries, pull from our extensively researched suggestions below, and follow our in-depth guide to write a resume with a skills section no hiring manager can turn down.

Gorgeous Positive Young Dark Skinned Female Blogger Keyboarding Generic Laptop Smiling Being Inspired While Creating New Content Her Travel Blog Sitting Desk With Diary Mug

Hard skills versus soft skills

The list of skills to put on a resume is long, and deciding which ones to highlight might be confusing. The general rule of thumb is that you should include a mix of hard and soft skills. But what’s the difference between them?

Hard Skills:

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

Soft Skills:

  1. Abilities that show how you approach work (e.g., time management, attention to detail)
  2. Intangible or interpersonal abilities
  3. 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, 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.

Top skills for a resume

Based on our research into skill searches online, these are the most in-demand job skills in today’s job market. It’s important to note that the right skills for the job you’re applying for will come down to the employer’s requirements (but more on how to identify these skills later).

While reading our list of potential skills to put on your resume, note those that apply to you and use our Resume Builder to create the right skills section.

10 hard skills to put on your resume

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 resume skills include data visualization, programming skills, statistics knowledge and programming tools.

Related jobs: database developer, data analytics manager, data management analyst

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 specialist, information security manager

3. Programming

Programming skills are valuable for working 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 in your resume skills section.

Related jobs: programmer, object-oriented programmer, mobile application developer

4. Marketing

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

Related jobs: media planner, campaign manager, communications specialist

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 skills in Microsoft Excel, big data analysis, QuickBooks and other accounting software.

Related jobs: accountant, external auditor, project accountant

6. Design

From multimedia to website layouts, companies have a high need for polished design work. Important skills to list on a resume include user experience (UX) design, proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), typography and photo editing.

Related jobs: graphic designer, freelance graphic designer

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 job skills you have in content strategy and management, editing, business report and proposal writing, and creative storytelling.

Related jobs: editor, technical writer, copywriter

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 list on a resume for this career include cloud architecture, networking, cloud middleware technologies and data management.

Related jobs: cloud computing engineer, Salesforce developer

9. Specialized machinery

Whether it’s being licensed to drive large transport vehicles or operating 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 operator, truck driver, class B CDL driver

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.

Related jobs: translator, teacher, customer service representative

 

10 soft skills to put on your resume

1. Communication

Whether it’s assisting a customer or interacting with your team members, 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 resume skills section.

2. Teamwork

Even if you’re working remotely, collaborating with and supporting 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.

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.

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 adapt to sudden changes by providing work experience examples that describe a time you handled an unforeseen change of plans.

5. Leadership

One of the surest ways to rise in your career is to demonstrate a talent for leading others towards success, whether 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.

6. Self-motivated

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

7. 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.

8. 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.

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, goal-oriented approach is a useful asset. Important skills for a resume that fall under this category include facilitation, mediation and active listening.

10. Organization

Keeping a firm handle on all your duties and turning chaos into order is a key job skill, 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.

5 steps to identify good skills for your resume

Being prepared will save you time. Follow our tips to organize your skills and have everything ready before writing your resume skills section.

1. Review the job posting and pick out skills.

Read the job description thoroughly to understand what the employer is looking for, and make a note of key skills. This can include personal qualities such as being a team player, problem-solver, or excellent communicator, and required skills like Photoshop, AutoCAD or budgeting, depending on the job and industry. You can also go to the company’s website to learn more about its mission and goals, and match them with your skills.

2. 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 for your resume that all of these jobs have in common. 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.

3. Make a list of your skills.

Put down skills that you’ve trained for (e.g., earning a first aid certification or completing a course in project management) and 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.

4. Match your skill set to the job.

Once you’ve got a good handle on your skills and what the company needs, create a master list of the 10 most important hard skills and soft skills. You can circle or highlight the skills you possess that align with the job requirements.

5. Focus on your relevant skills.

Not every skill you possess needs to be — or should be — listed in your resume skills section. Include only the ones that directly impact the job you’re applying for and will help you look like the best candidate for the role.

How to write skills on your resume (with examples)

1. Choose the right resume format.

There are three standard resume formats: chronological, combination and functional. They organize your information differently, so while they generally have the same key elements, they’re not interchangeable. Choosing the right format for you will come down to your years of experience and skills.

The functional resume format is an excellent ally of first-time job seekers or people with less than two years of experience. This format shifts most of its focus to your skills and abilities, highlighting everything you’re capable of doing for the employer despite your lack of work experience.

The functional format also features other sections where you can expand on your job skills and qualifications.

If you have extensive experience in the career field you’re interested in, go with a chronological resume format, which focuses on your work history and a list of key job 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.

As the name suggests, the combination resume format — also known as the hybrid resume — is the best of both worlds and best suited for mid-level job seekers with a couple years of experience. It combines the chronological and functional resumes to put equal emphasis on your work experience and skill set.

2. Include six to eight relevant skills.

List your most relevant hard, technical and soft skills in your resume skills section. If there are skills you feel merit a mention, consider using them in the writing of your work history section. 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).

In some cases, you’ll need to expand your skill set in a summary of qualifications. This consists of a couple of short sentences where you further explain the top set of skills you’ve acquired. This section is used only on functional resume and combination resume formats, for junior to mid-level job seekers.

3. Lead off with a top skill in 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 skills. What’s the one trait or area of expertise you want employers to know? 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.

4. Consider transferable skills.

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

Read the job description and see what skills you already possess that will be useful in this new potential role. You can also make a connection between past responsibilities and achievements to show that you have what it takes to be a great addition to the team.

5. Select skills that balance each other.

Put your best foot forward — or in this case, your best skills forward. Make sure your selection of skills is well-balanced and aligns with your summary statement and work history. Your resume should look and read like one cohesive piece, so don’t repeat skills.

Take a look at the following resume skills examples for different jobs:

Example skills section with 2 to 5 years of experience

Resume skills section with a summary of qualifications for an animal caretaker:

Summary of Qualifications:


  • Effectively communicates with staff and patients; maintains positive attitude with animals.
  • Experienced at handling bigger dogs, such as pit bulls, rottweilers, shepherds and other dogs that range from 60-120 pounds.
  • Understanding and ability to follow facility rules and regulations.

Skills:


  • Animal diagnosis
  • Surgical safety
  • Animal behavior knowledge
  • Emergency pet care
  • General anesthesia monitoring
  • Proper animal restraint
  • Systems monitoring

Professional skills section with a summary of qualifications for a materials clerk:

Summary of Qualifications:


  • Providing knowledge of coordination of all shipping and receiving and clerical tasks.
  • Proven responsible worker for issuing materials and data entry of inventory.
  • Good written and oral communication skills; general computer software familiarity including Excel, Word and Access.

Professional Skills:

Record-keeping


  • Conducted site visits and records reviews to investigate violations of planning regulations and ordinances and notified proper authorities of findings.
  • Worked on automated tracking systems, such as iCIMS, hard copy files, and records to enhance office workflows.
  • Completed 10+ daily logs and records detailing production data such as volume, materials used, and quality assurance results, helping administration make accurate operational decisions.

Typing and Filing


  • Organized material supply and equipment files with sales contracts, records of client interactions, client notes and other information.
  • Input data in ActiveReports to create updated status reports for quick reference of project progress and deadlines.
  • Checked prices and typed totals for accurate invoice processing.

Communication


  • Conferred with managers, shipping teams and engineering personnel to revise plans and achieve demanding targets.
  • Worked with three material managers and team members to understand supply needs and bring levels within desired tolerances.
  • Gauged production progress to inform leaders of performance concerns.

Resume skills section with a summary of qualifications for a studio intern:

Summary of Qualifications:


  • Proven ability in assisting in art workshops for students of all backgrounds.
  • Skilled in moving supplies weighing up to 30 lbs. and working in outdoor weather conditions.
  • Proactive and collaborative approach to digital art projects and jobs.

Skills:


  • Graphic design understanding
  • Concept development
  • Craft support
  • Adobe Creative Cloud expertise
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Digital art

Example skills section with 6+ years of experience

Resume skills section for a site engineer:

Skills:


  • Project management proficiency
  • Health and safety
  • Commercial awareness
  • Problem-solving
  • Strategic planning
  • Contract and finance supervision

Resume skills section for a construction expeditor:

Skills:


  • Process facilitation
  • Responsible
  • Analytical skills
  • Committed
  • Cost software proficiency
  • Communication
  • Automation understanding
  • Report writing and documentation
  • Negotiation

Resume skills section with a summary of qualifications for a CRM coordinator:

Summary of Qualifications:


  • Knowledgeable of outbound calling techniques and customer service measurements of success.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Strong drive for results and attention to detail; proficient in critical thinking to resolve customer and team requests.

Skills:


  • Competitive analysis
  • Interpersonal interaction
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Microsoft Office
  • Zoho CRM expertise

Example skills section with management experience

Resume skills section for a janitorial supervisor:

Skills:


  • Ordering cleaning supplies
  • Employee evaluations
  • Cleaning bathrooms
  • Dusting furniture
  • Team building
  • Excellent communication skills

Resume skills section for an art director:

Skills:


  • Visual communication expertise
  • Corporate identity branding
  • Complex problem solver
  • Mac OS X proficient
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Superior time management

Resume skills section for a marine technician supervisor:

Skills:


  • Preventive maintenance procedures
  • Computerized diagnostics
  • Electrical troubleshooting
  • Air and hydraulic brake repairs
  • Detail-oriented
  • Steering and suspension maintenance
  • Qualitative problem solving
  • Interpreting engineering blueprints

Top skills for popular industries

Looking for more skills to put on your resume? Use some of these top attributes for top industries, based on our research.

Accounting skills for a resume:

  • 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

Business operations skills for a resume:

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

Computer software skills for a resume:

  • 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

Customer service skills for a resume:

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

Data administration skills for a resume:

  • 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)

Finance skills for a resume:

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

Fitness and nutrition skills for a resume:

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

Food service skills for a resume:

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

Health care support skills for a resume:

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

Hospitality skills for a resume:

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

Human resources skills for a resume:

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

Information technology skills for a resume:

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

Inventory management skills for a resume:

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

Marketing skills for a resume:

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

Medical skills for a resume:

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

Nursing skills for a resume:

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

Production skills for a resume:

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

 Sales skills for a resume:

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

Teaching skills for a resume:

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

Web development skills for a resume:

  • 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

Resume examples to get inspired

We have an extensive library of resume examples created with our professional resume templates that you can use as a base to write yours. Search for examples with the same or a similar job title and in the same industry. They will help you see how you can present your skills and other key sections of your resume.

Entry-level resume example

Mid-level resume example

Experienced professional resume example

Use a cover letter to expand on your skills

When you create a cover letter to accompany your resume, it’s an opportunity to provide more detail on specific job skills that are important to the company and how you’ve used them. See our article on How to Write a Cover Letter to see the many ways you can highlight your top skills in your letter (and all the other benefits of a cover letter).

We also have cover letter examples for different industries and unique job scenarios created with our expertly-designed cover letter templates. Once you find one you like, you can use our Cover Letter Builder to create your letter.

Rate this article

Average Rating
☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
4.5/5 stars with 812 reviews

More resume resources