Welcome back, ! Your subscription has expired. RENEW SUBSCRIPTION

20 Best Skills for a Resume (+ How to Write Skills on Your Resume)

Maria Correa by Maria Correa, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: September 26, 2022Rated 4.5/5 Stars

Top Skills For A Resume How To Write Skills For ResumeYou can’t have a good resume if you don’t feature the right skills for the job. Understanding how to list skills on your resume is critical to how employers will see you.

From the best soft skills for your resume to creating an attention-grabbing hard skills section and an impressive technical skills list, we’ve assembled the top skills needed for a variety of jobs, as well as the tips you need to sharpen your resume skills section.

Start with hard skills and 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 to choose a mix of hard and soft skills. But what’s the difference between them?

Hard Skill

HARD SKILLS FOR 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).

Soft Skill

SOFT SKILLS FOR RESUME

  • 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, you need to feature those abilities in the skills section of your resume. But don’t underestimate the power of including a good number of 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 skills for a resume

Based on our research into skills searches online, these are the most in-demand skills to add to a resume in today’s job market.

It’s important to note that the right resume skills section 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 skills, hard skills and technical skills that apply to you and use our Resume Builder to create the best resume skills section.

Top 10 soft skills for a 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.

Communication Skill

2. Teamwork Even if you’re working remotely, collaborating with and supporting other team members remains an essential soft skill for your resume. Provide some examples of how you’ve successfully worked alongside others and contributed to the successful operations of your team.

7 professionals pounding fists over work table

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 adapt to sudden changes by including this in your resume skills section and providing work experience examples that describe a time you handled an unforeseen change of plans.

Adaptability

5. Leadership One of the surest ways to rise in your career is to demonstrate a talent for leading others toward 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 job skills in these areas.

5 Common Questions For Hr Team Leader 1

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 where you carried out tasks and projects without close management or even had a hand in creating your projects..

Self Motivated

7. Active listening Focusing 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. Show that you’re present by including this ability in your resume skills section.

Female smiling while listening to potential employer

8. Critical thinking Employers don’t want automatons — they want employees who can make reasoned choices and adjustments, depending on the situation, so this is a great soft skill for your resume. 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.

Leadership

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.

Conflict Management

10.Organization Keeping a firm handle on all your duties and turning chaos into order is a key 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.

Organistaion Skill

Top 10 hard skills for a resume

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

Related jobs:

Data Analysis Skill

2. Cybersecurity Nothing is worse for a business than stolen data, and cybersecurity professionals are the first important line of defense. In addition to cybersecurity certifications, other highly sought-after computer skills for resumes include knowledge of security across different platforms, computer forensics skills, and risk identification and management.

Related jobs:

Cybersecurity

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
Programming Skill

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), email and social media marketing, copywriting and Google Analytics.

Related jobs:

>Marketing

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

Related jobs:

Accounting

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

Related jobs:

Design

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 soft skills for a resume you have in content strategy and management, editing, business report and proposal writing, and creative storytelling.

Related jobs:

Writing

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 and data management.

Related jobs:

Cloud Computing

9. Specialized machinery Whether being licensed to drive large transport vehicles or operating heavy equipment such as a backhoe or forklift, having training or certification in machinery operation and the right skills section of a resume can open the door to jobs in many industries, from inventory to construction.

Related jobs:

Specialized Machinery

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:

Foreign Languages

5 tips to identify skills for your resume

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

1. Review the job posting and pick out good skills for your resume.

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

Example: Finding skills in a job posting

Administrative Assistant Job Description

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. Pinpoint skills 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 skills section.

3. Make a list of your job skills for a resume.

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. Write down a mixture of soft skills and hard skills for your resume. 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, some skills to put on a resume include conflict resolution, communication and customer service.

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 for your resume. You can circle or highlight the skills you possess that align with the job requirements.

  5. Focus on the most relevant skills to add to your resume.

Not every skill you possess needs to be — or should be — listed in your resume skills section. Include only those 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 in 3 Steps

Once your resume skills list is organized, it’s time to get them into your resume. Just follow these steps:

1. Use the right resume format.

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.

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-up
  • Visitor services and support

Chronological format: If you have extensive experience in the career field you’re interested in, go with a chronological resume, including a list of key skills. Focus on your top 8-10 soft and hard skills for your resume, and give examples of how you’ve deployed your skills in past jobs.

Use this chronological resume example skills section as a base to list your skills.

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
  • Multitasking
  • Leadership
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong work ethic

Combination format: If you have a few years of experience in your field or are switching careers and want to display your most relevant skills, go with a combination resume. This resume format blends a skills list (including a summary of qualifications) with work history details that show off 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.

Just take a look at this combination resume example skills section to see how the skills are listed and organized.

Combination resume skills section example

Summary of Qualifications:

  • Well-versed in records management and maintenance
  • Researching and resolving 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

2. 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 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 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 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). All of these are excellent skills to put on a resume.

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 job 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 the top qualifications and resume 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 health care 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. Be sure to read the job description well to figure out what are the best skills to put on a resume summary statement.

4 Tips to help you get started on your resume skills section

Now that you know how to write skills for a resume, follow these pointers to organize your skills and show them to your best advantage.

1.  Focus on your relevant skills.

Not every skill you possess needs to be — or should be — listed. The skills section of your resume should only include those that directly relate to the job you’re applying for and help make you the best candidate for the role.

2.  Be concise.

Use bullet points so the employer can easily scan through your resume skills section. The goal here is to deliver a strong impression in a matter of seconds, as job recruiters don’t usually spend that much time reviewing a resume.

3.  Consider transferable 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.

Learn how your current skills transfer to different industries.

4.  Feature a balanced mix of skills.

Put your best foot forward — or in this case, your best skills forward. Make sure the skills section of your resume section is well-balanced. For instance, for every technical skill (such as knowledge of specific software), list an important soft skill, such as attention to detail or verbal and written communication.

Top 10 skills to put on a resume

As mentioned at the top, these top soft skills and hard skills are in demand by most employers, no matter what the job is. Look to include these skills in your resume skills section, and remember to feature examples from previous jobs or activities that show you know how to use them.

Communication

1. Communication skills

A recent corporate study shows that communication tops the list of skills most valued by employers. Whether it’s assisting a customer or interacting with your own team members, employers count good communication skills as a prerequisite for most jobs. Make sure your resume includes achievements that involve interacting well with others and stress “verbal and written communication” in the skills section of your resume.

Teamwork

2. Teamwork skills

Even if you’re working remotely, collaborating with and supporting other team members remains an essential skill to add to a resume. Provide examples of how you’ve successfully worked alongside others and contributed to overall team success

Proficiency

3. Computer proficiency skills

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

Attention

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, making it a good skill to put on a resume. Give evidence of work responsibilities and achievements that depend on this trait.

Flexibility

5. Flexibility

You may be asked to wear many hats at work, work odd hours, or perform tasks that go outside your job description during your career. Those who can handle ever-shifting demands and continue to excel are in high demand by recruiters, hence why they search for this soft skill in the resume skills section. Show off examples of how you’ve been able to go with the flow and adapt to what companies need.

Time

6. Time management skills

Employers need workers who can work efficiently and on time. To show recruiters you have this ability, don’t just include this soft skill in the skills section of your resume, but come up with some work examples that show you can successfully and consistently meet deadlines or juggle multiple tasks without delays.

Work

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 going above and beyond, and demonstrate how you’ve put time and energy into your work.

Customer

8. Customer service skills

Many companies depend on superior customer service to reinforce company quality and branding, from greeting guests to dealing with dissatisfied customers. Include customer services skills on your resume by listing 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.

Creativity

9. Creativity

New approaches to solving problems or applying “out-of-the-box” thinking to drum up new clients or start fresh initiatives can elevate a company. Creativity is one of the top skills to put on a resume, especially in those 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 an inventive, original approach.

Project

10. Project management skills

Advancing in your career relies heavily on showing you can 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 in the skills section of your resume. Give specific details on projects you’ve led that had positive results.

Top resume skills for popular industries

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

What Makes Our Resume Builder Great?

1 Professional, customizable templates

Stand out with My Perfect Resume’s eye-catching templates! Building an impressive resume has never been easier or faster.

2 Expertly crafted phrases

Don’t get stuck writing about your work experience. Our Resume Builder has pre-written, industry-specific bullet points to create an impressive resume.

3 Popular format downloads

Need your resume in PDF, word, or an image file? You’re in control with multiple export and download options.

4 Optimize your resume

With resume score and resume check, we’ll rate the strength of your resume and guide you through actionable steps to make a resume that showcases your best professional self!

5 Customize your resume to the job

Copy and paste a job description from any listing and get a job-specific resume match score. We’ll guide you through tailoring your resume for the job!

6 Up your application game

With Smart Apply, we’ll help you find an opportunity, customize your resume, create a matching cover letter, and download your documents. We’ll even send you to the web page where you can apply!

Other Ways to Highlight Your Skills

Your cover letter: When you create a cover letter to accompany your resume, it’s an opportunity to provide more detail on specific soft and hard skills that are important to the company and how you’ve used them. See our article on choosing your most marketable skills for a cover letter, and use our Cover Letter Builder to help you create your own letter.

Your job interview: What better time to explain your best skills than in a job interview? Follow our advice on how to accentuate your skills best:

Describe when your active listening skills really paid off: As mentioned above, active listening is a key soft skill, so demonstrate it here.

Describe a time when your coping skills were tested: A good 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 right answers is a useful skill 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 in itself.