The Best Job Skills to List on Your Resume

Image shows a woman typing at her computer. On the screen is a resume. The resume reads:

Image by Theresa Chiechi © The Balance 2019

What are the best skills to include on your resume? Which skill set will help you get hired? Do you know the difference between hard skills and soft skills? How can you share your skills, expertise, and accomplishments with prospective employers? As well as providing a history of your experience, your resume is the perfect place to highlight your skills, strengths, and abilities.

Best Skills to Put on Your Resume

Review examples of the top skills employers look for when evaluating job applicants, and the best skills to put on your resume to help you get hired.

There are some skills that are applicable to almost every job and type of company. If you've got these general skills, you'll enhance your marketability. Review these lists of the most in-demand skills employers seek.

Hard vs. Soft Skills

When you're adding skills to your resume or reviewing the skills required for a job you're interested in, there are two types of skills that are relevant. 

  • Soft skills are the skills that apply to every job. These are your people skills - interpersonal skills, communication skills, and other qualities that enable you to be successful in the workplace.
  • Hard skills are the qualifications required to do the job. For example, computer skills, administrative skills, or customer service skills. Find out more about the difference between hard and soft skills.

An increasing number of jobs require hybrid skills, which are a combination of soft and technical skills. Candidates with these skills are very competitive and can boost their earning power.

​Skills Listed by Job

As well as highlighting the general skills you'll need for most jobs, it's important to show employers that you have the job-specific skills required for success in the workplace. Review this list of employment skills listed by job for information on the skills and attributes required for many different occupations.

Skills Listed By Type

Review these comprehensive lists that include both hard and soft skills for each category.

Thought Processes
Thought processes are the soft skills that enable you to think, reason, and problem solve. These are skills which are in high demand across all industry sections.

Administrative, Business, and Finance
Administrative, business, and finance skills keeps offices and businesses running efficiently and effectively at all types of companies, from small businesses to large corporations.

Communication and Interpersonal
The ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing, is a job requirement for most positions. Employers seek applicants with the ability to communicate well with others, regardless of their role at the organization.

Leadership and Management
These are the skills that enable you to be an effective manager and lead a team or run a company.

Personal Skills
Personal skills are the attributes that uniquely qualify you as a candidate for a job. An individual's skill set is comprised of a variety of personal skills that they have acquired through education and employment.

Sales and Marketing
You'll need a variety of skills to be successful in a sales role, and you will need to be able to demonstrative those skills to prospective employers.

Teamwork skills, the ability to work as part of a team, are a requirement in almost every industry and job. 

Employers seek candidates with strong technical skills, even when hiring for non-tech roles. 

General Skills

Industry Specific Skills

Which Skills to Include on Your Resume

Not sure which skills to include on your resume? The employer's job posting is a great guide for what employers want to see in candidates. Spend a few minutes decoding the job ad, then tailor your resume to fit the job requirements. As well as job-specific skills, there are several much-prized general skills that nearly every employer wants - you can browse these skills below, as well as reviewing skills by category. 

Match Your Skills to the Job

Taking the time to make a match will show the hiring manager why you're qualified for a job, and worth interviewing. Employers want to see that you have what it takes to succeed on the job. The skills you list on your resume will be used to match your qualifications to the job for which you're applying. 

When you include skills on your resume be specific.

The better a match you are for the job, the better chance you will have of being chosen for an interview. Depending on the job for which you're applying, there are some skills you don't need to include. Here's a list of skills you shouldn't put on your resume.

How to Include Skills on a Resume

Screenshot of a resume
©TheBalance 2018 

For every role you apply to, tailor the skills section of your resume so that the information included matches the skills mentioned in the job description.

You can also weave in your skills in the experience section, as you describe the tasks and responsibilities of roles you've held in the past. 

The “keyword” skills that you include in your resume and cover letters will help your job application materials get selected by the automated parsing systems employers often use to select applicants to interview. You should also be prepared to mention your most relevant skills during job interviews.


Watch Now: 6 Skills That Set You Apart In Any Industry

Resume Example With Skills

This resume example focuses on the skills, competencies, and certifications that qualify the applicant for the job. Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or read the example below.

 © The Balance, 2018

Resume Example (Text Version)

Megan Applicant
123 Main Street
Boston, MA 02770

Innovative, detail-oriented Software Engineer offering 8 years’ experience developing exciting new programs and apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.


• Project Management

• Unit Testing / TDD Expertise

• Technical Specifications & Documentation

• Software Engineering Best Practices

• Source Code Design & Review

• Jenkins Continuous Integration

• Agile Scrum Team Methodologies

• Time Management


Platforms: UNIX, .NET, QT, Linux, Docker

Frameworks: MVC, MVVM, MVP

Languages: C#, C++, HTML, Java, Javascript, PHP, UNIX Shell Scripting

Tools: WPF, XAML, UWP, Cloud (AWS/Azure)


Software Engineer I & II, 6/20XX-Present
Skillfully contribute to all stages of product development lifecycles. Create code and automated test scripts, collaborating closely with team members to evaluate feasibility of new design approaches.  

  • Served as Java team lead for 20XX release of BinaryNEW 6.0.
  • Utilized C++ and Java to design company’s award-winning “Geosearch” software and related apps.
  • Instructed and coached new team members in Agile methodologies.

TECHNOLOGY INC., Seattle, Washington
Freelance Programmer
Developed and delivered website solutions by utilizing wide-ranging technologies and frameworks.

  • Generated back-end programming using LAMP stack, Linux, CSS, JavaScript/Queryand MySQL.
  • Created e-commerce sites integrated with PayPal and other payment gateway APIs.


Bachelor of Science (20XX); GPA 3.75
Major: Computer Science


  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
  • Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer (RHCJD)
  • Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)