Technical Skills List and Examples
Technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical, and often relate to mechanical, information technology, mathematical, or scientific tasks. Some examples include knowledge of programming languages, mechanical equipment, or tools.
While technical skills are often most important for jobs related to information technology (IT) and other fields in the sciences, many other industries also want employees with at least some technical skills.
Many technical skills require training and experience to master. They are also typically a type of hard skill. Hard skills are those that can be learned, and can be defined, evaluated, and measured (as opposed to soft skills).
Here's a list of technical skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Included is a detailed list of five technical skills that are most desired across industries.
How to Use Skills Lists
You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process. Firstly, you can use these skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these key words.
Secondly, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated those skills at work.
Finally, you can use these skill words in an interview. Make sure you have at least one example for a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.
Of course, required skills will vary based upon the job for which you're applying, so be sure to be specific when listing hardware, software, programs, applications, etc. Take the time to match your qualifications to the job, and review our other lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.
Top Five Technical Skills
1. Big Data Analysis
Nearly every industry today relies on data, whether it is data about their clients, or the success of their product. While it is easy for companies to get data, they need employees who can collect, organize, and then interpret that data. Here are some of the big data analysis skills it’s good to have:
2. Coding and Programming
Even if the job you’re applying for is not for a “coder” or “programmer,” most employers will look carefully at an applicant with some coding experience. Being able to code, and to understand multiple programming languages, will make you a strong candidate in many jobs. Several of the key technical skills sought in IT job candidates include:
- Solution Delivery
- Systems Analysis
- Technical Support
3. Project Management
This might seem to be more of a soft skill than a hard, technical skill, but project management is critical for all technical projects. Being a good project manager means being a good leader, delegating tasks, and measuring the success of each project. Being a good project manager means more successful projects, which employers always want.
- Budget Planning
- Following Specifications
- Performance Review
- Project Planning
- Quality Assurance
- Quality Control
- Task Delegation
- Task Management
4. Social Media Experience
Throwing a phrase like “experienced in social media” into your resume is no longer enough to impress most employers – today, so many people use social media. However, if you can explain your experience with certain media platforms, you will be able to get a leg up on your competition.
This skill is particularly useful if you are looking for jobs in PR, marketing, web development, or anything related to social media.
- Digital Photography
- Digital Media
- Social Media Platforms
- Web Analytics
5. Technical Writing
Many jobs that involve written communication require you to explain complex things in a way that is easy to understand. You might have to send messages to clients or manufacturers, or write press releases, web content, or manuals for clients. Being able to communicate complex ideas in a clear way will make you stand out in many jobs.
- Client Relations
- Requirements Gathering
- Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
- Technical Documentation
Job-Specific Skills to Use During a Career Search
In addition to the technical skills that are needed in the workplace, your command of job-specific skills can help ensure you get hired or promoted. These hard skills include the knowledge and expertise required to do a job, knowledge of specific software and hardware applications, and advanced design skills.