Top Skills for Resume Writing
( + Resume Skills Examples)

Maria Correa by Maria Correa, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: November 29, 2022Rated 4.5/5 Stars

Good Resume And Right Skills

A good 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 is critical to your job-hunting success.

To help you determine the best hard, technical and soft skills for your resume, we’ve compiled the top skills needed for various jobs and tips to sharpen your resume skills section.

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Top 10 skills to put on a resume:

1. Communication skills

Employers consider effective communication skills as a prerequisite for most jobs, whether you’ll be assisting a customer or interacting with your team members. Ensure your resume includes achievements that involve interacting well with others and stresses “verbal and written communication” in the skills section of your resume.

2. Teamwork skills

Even if you’re working from home, collaboration and supporting other team members remain essential to add to a resume. Provide examples of how you’ve successfully worked alongside others and contributed to overall team success.

3. Computer proficiency skills

Computers are used for everything from medical records to warehouse invoicing, so being proficient in certain software and adept at 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).

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. 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 at their job 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

What skills to put on a resume

The list of skills to put on 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).

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).

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 to put on your 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.

Top 10 soft skills for a 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

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 your findings to improve business operations. Essential related resume skills include:

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

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

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

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

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

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:

  • UX design
  • InDesign
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Typography
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. 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

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

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

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

How to write 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 pick out good skills for 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 their culture its embodies and the goals they’re working toward.

Administrative Assistant Job Description

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.

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.

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 multi-line 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

Choose Right Resume Format

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

Chronological Resume Skill List

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

Combination Resume Skill List

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.”
Skills In Your Work History

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.”
Skills In Your Work History

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.”
Skills In Your Work History

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. Consider a cover letter to highlight your skills.

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.

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 show how you’ve used them. 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. Mention your skills in your job interview.

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.

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

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

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

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

Data Administration skills for a 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)

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

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

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

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

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

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)

Information Technology skills for a resume:

Soft skills

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

Hard skills

    • Coding skills
    • Computer networking
    • Project management
    • Troubleshooting

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)

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

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)

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

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

Sales top skills for a resume:

Soft skills

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

Hard skills

    • Product knowledge
    • Negotiation
    • Prospecting
    • Buyer research

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

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

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