Most people don’t know this: but when it comes to looking for a job, it is your skills that single you out from everybody else.

Did you know that you have a set of skills that are unique to only you? Likewise, every job position has a unique set of skills required to qualify for it.

If the hiring team finds that there’s someone who already has the skills they’re looking for, they will hire them right away. This is because they won’t have to spend too much time and money on training, and their new employee will provide a much faster return on investment.

It goes without saying that the first and most important thing hiring managers look at is your resume. It is believed that a hiring manager uses at most 6 seconds to scan your resume to see if you have the kind of skills they’re looking for.

If they find them, they’ll call you in for an interview. If they don’t, your resume will certainly be thrown out. As a job seeker, it is in your best interests to ensure you know what skills hiring managers look for. Once you identify them, you should make sure those specific skills are listed on your resume.

If you do these, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start preparing your best outfit for an impending interview in your dream company.

Important Skills to Put on a Resume

Table of Contents:

  1. Type of Skills to use in Resume?
  2. What are Hard skills?
  3. What are Soft Skills?
  4. Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills: Which is more important?
  5. How to Identify Your Best Skills.
  6. How to List Skills on Your Resume
  7. Here Are Five Example Skills to Include On a Resume
  8. How to Write Impressive Resume Skills?
  9. Key Takeaways

1. Type of Skills to use in Resume:

A Resume Skills can be divided into two main categories

  1. Hard skills
  2. Soft skills

Both are very important to include in your resume.

Additionally, there are two other categories of skills to consider in a resume: job-specific skills and transferable skills.

Just as the names suggest, job-specific skills are those skills that are specific for a certain job or role. They are usually hard skills.

Transferable skills, on the other hand, are skills that are relevant in different jobs and can be carried with you from one job to the next. They can be hard or soft skills.

We’ll give you an example- an animator has the following skills: 3D modeling skills, communication skills and time management skills. If he/she decides to change their career, 3D modeling skills won’t be useful anymore.

Before we continue, let’s first look at the differences between hard skills and soft skills.

2. What are Hard Skills?

You may think ’hard skills’’ are those skills that are hard to learn. Not at all, these skills are the technical skills you need to do the job you’re applying for.

I’ll give you an example; say you are applying for a head chef position. Being able to actually cook is the top hard skill you need to have for this particular job.

Hard skills to include on your resume include things like computer skills or cooking variety of foods.

The following list contains examples of hard skills that you can include in your resume:

  • Data analysis
  • Bookkeeping
  • Graphic design
  • Accounting

3. What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are often described as social skills or people skills. They are the skills that define a person’s personality and social intelligence.

So, they include communication skills, leadership skills and creativity. They are often harder to learn or even demonstrate.

Here is how to include soft skills in a resume. Keep in mind that you should demonstrate and not just tell.

Teamwork and time management

Worked with 3 programmers to successfully complete coding projects before deadline

Communication and leadership skills

Manages a team to pack items, organize activities and conduct a successful giving back campaign

4. Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills: Which is more important?

Logic dictates that hard skills are more relevant. Wrong.

Research shows that most hiring managers favor soft skills as opposed to hard skills when hiring new employees.

The difficulty of teaching and learning soft skills is the reason why most hiring managers value employees with proven soft skills.

In fact, if you have a great combination of soft skills on your resume, you may do better than a candidate who only has the required hard skills.

Likewise, an employer who must choose between two applicants with identical technical skills will likely choose the one with more soft skills.

5. How to Identify Your Best Skills

If you are not sure what skills to put on your resume, consider reviewing your past experiences? What do you think you excelled at the most? What would your previous employer say you are adept at?

Below are a few ways to find out what skills to put on your skills resume.

1. Did You Have Any Awards Or Achievements?

Ask yourself if you ever received an award for something you did in your previous job? If so, your skills are certainly around this achievement. Consider which skills helped you win that award.

2. What Would Your Employer Or Former Colleagues Say About You?

We know that it can be difficult to recognize the skills you have on your own. That’s why reaching out to your former colleagues or even your former employer may help you know what specific skill set you brought to the place of work.

3. Consider Talking to Professionals in Your Field

If you’re still having a difficult time finding what your skills are, consider talking to professionals in the industry you’re in. Ask them which skills they consider most important for that type of job, and identify the ones which align better with your own.

When identifying a list of key skills to include in your resume, only include those that you are sure you’re adept at. If there’s a skill that you’re still learning, don’t feel pressured to include it in your resume just because it is needed in the job. If the hiring manager asks, you can let them know that you’re still learning or working on improving that specific skill.

Resume Skills

6. How to List Skills on Your Resume

There are many ways to come up with a list skills resume:

  1. On a functional resume
  2. Under a section on their own
  3. Under the professional experience section

We talk about each of these in detail below:

1.On a Functional Resume

This option is perfect for people with little to no experience. It is also the best option for those who are changing careers.

To list your skills on a functional resume, simply create a small section with relevant key skills. Here is an example of how to do it:

Process Streamlining: Reduced average customer call time by 1 minute with in-depth online training.

Complaint Resolution: Achieved an average customer satisfaction rate of over 90%, exceeding the set goal by 10%.

Service-based selling: Consistently surpassed targets by 10% with unique up-selling methods.

2. Under A Section On Their Own

This is for those people who have several years of experience and are looking to clearly emphasize their skills

You can come up with a separate section where you highlight your skills using keywords from the job listing. If you have extensive experience, this section should be the first thing a potential employer sees.

Here is an example of how to do it:

Relevant Skills: Mastery of bookkeeping, multi-state payroll, employee benefits administration, new employee on boarding and employee relations.

3. Under The Professional Experience Section

While most people list their skills under a section of its own, it is also recommended to intertwine your skills into the professional experience section. This helps you strengthen your skills by adding specific jobs you completed using those skills.

Here is an example of how to do it:

If you have time management or project management as a soft skill, you could showcase this by providing examples like: ’successfully managed three teams across six departments during my time as a manager. We completed all tasks before deadline.’’

Communication Skills

7. Here Are Five Example Skills to Include On a Resume

1. Communication Skills

This is definitely one of the most important skills at any job or career level. Communication skills include speaking, listening and empathizing skills.

Others skills that fall under this category include:

  • Public speaking
  • Written communication
  • Constructive criticism
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication

2. Customer Service Skills

This is another valuable skill that helps in addressing customer needs to create a good customer experience. It is very much tied with communication skills and includes traits like active listening, speaking, reading and both verbal and non-verbal communication.

Other skills that fall under this category include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Empathetic skills
  • Problem solving

3. Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are useful whether you are looking for a management position or not. It is the skill that helps you motivate your team members to reach a certain goal.

Other skills that fall under this category include:

  • Team building
  • Time management
  • Risk-taking
  • Flexibility

4. Problem-solving Skills

This is a skill that many employers look for when on-boarding new employees. It is useful because it helps people identify a problem and solve them in the fastest way possible.

Other skills that fall under this category include:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Research
  • Attention to detail

5. Time Management Skills

This skill helps you finish any pending job tasks before the deadline. It also helps maintain a work-life balance. Most hiring managers look for people with proven time management skills.

Other skills that fall under this category include:

  • Goal setting
  • Organizing
  • Prioritization
  • Punctuality

Recommended reading:

Impressive Resume Skills

8. How to Write Impressive Resume Skills?

Skill section is the most important section of a resume that a potential employer looks to get a better understanding of you in electing you as an employer for his/her company. The structure of CV or resume skills will depend upon the format that you are using for your resume. This section describes your abilities that are related to that specific type of job that you are applying for. Most of the people get confused in making a difference between soft or personal and hard or professional skills and in their confusion they end up in bombarding so many irrelevant skills that are totally opposite to the required job position. However, one can perfectly write their skill section with the right tips and tricks. If you are also looking for writing a perfect and meaningful skill section for your resume, then keep reading.

1. Be relevant

Make your resume custom-tailored to the specific need of each position of the job. Read the job description and figure out what type of skills that the relevant company is looking for. If the job description is not making sense of what type of skills that the relevant company is looking for then ask the hiring manager by yourself.

2. List the strongest skills   

There is two type of resume skills: soft or personal skills and hard or professional skills. Soft skills include skills like communication, teambuilding, motivational and leadership skills that are harder to quantify. However hard skills are those that can be quantified and executed like programming, typing speed etc.

3. Use Bullet points

The addition of bullet points makes the text easy to read and interesting. By using bullet points, you can present your skills in less space on the paper while providing critical information quickly — also, this way the reader will get access to the most relevant skills that he/she is looking for.

4. Use Keywords

There are some keywords that are presented in the job description and in the qualification requirement section. As so many people apply for the same job, employers need to filter candidates. So, they use a scanning method that counts upon a number of keywords. Note keywords from the job description and use them in the skills part of your resume. This will let your resume to pass through the filtering process and your resume will move forward for further processing.

5. Divide skills into headings and subheading

Pick 4 to 5 skills or categories them with headings and subheadings. Then explain them with precise words. Headings and subheadings will make your skills section looks nice and organised. Also, it will locate and lead the reader for what he/she is looking for or interested in.

6. Do not claim, show them

Do not just claim what type of skills you acquire support your skills with specific examples. Such as if you have negotiated any kind of important business deals then do not just write it gives specific examples related to it.

7. Be truthful

There is no need to exaggerate or embellish the skills that you do not have in reality. If you get an interview call then at some point of your interview, you would be asked to demonstrate those skills and if you don’t really have those skills believe it or not that day will be the most embarrassing day of your life. So, be honest in writing your skill section. However, if you are learning some kind of new skills, then you can write them in the skill section, but it is important to mention that you are currently learning that particular type of skills.

9. Key Takeaways

The most important skills to include on a resume vary from one person to another because of education level, job type, career and many other factors.

Before applying for any job, take time to review the specific skills the employer is looking for and then tailor your resume to cover the exact skills based on your experience.

Your goal should be to show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job and that you’ll be a great asset to the company. By paying attention to the type of skills the employer is looking for and listing those specific skills as your strengths, you can be sure you’ll stand out from everyone else.