The Best Skills to Include on Your Resume
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 strengths and abilities.
Different Types of 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.
How to Include Skills on a Resume
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.
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.
Top Skills Employers Want
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.
- Top 10 Communication Skills
- Top 10 Customer Service Skills
- Top 10 Information Technology (IT) Soft Skills
- Top 10 Leadership Skills
- Top 7 Professional Skills
- Top 7 Soft Skills
- Top 7 Skills Employers Seek in Job Applicants
- Top 10 Skills Employers Want College Grads to Have
- Best Skills for the Knowledge Economy
Skills Listed By Type
Review these comprehensive lists that include both hard and soft skills for each category.
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 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.
Industry Specific Skills
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.
Match Your Skills to the Job
Take the time to make a match and 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.
Review a Resume Example
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.
Resume Example (Text Version)
Street Address • City, State Zip
email@example.com • 123.456.7890 • linkedin.com/in/first-lastname
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
Tools: WPF, XAML, UWP, Cloud (AWS/Azure)
RISING SUN TECHNOLOGIES, Renton, Washington
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, 6/20XX-Present
Developed and delivered website solutions by utilizing wide-ranging technologies and frameworks.
- Created e-commerce sites integrated with PayPal and other payment gateway APIs.
EDUCATION AND CREDENTIALS
Bachelor of Science (20XX); GPA 3.75
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY, Malibu, California
Major: Computer Science
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer (RHCJD)
Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
Get Started on Writing a Resume: How to Build a Resume in 7 Easy Steps