While the resume summary and work experience section are essential parts of a resume, so are the skills you include on the document. Resume writing has to take into consideration the top skills a hiring manager will be impressed to see. It’s another way to share why you’re a great candidate for a position with people at the company.
Even knowing that it is essential to include your skills, it can be challenging to decide which to add, which to exclude, how many to incorporate, and more. This guide will delve into each of those topics to help you build the best resume possible. In addition, we’ll share position-specific skills, general skills, and more.
Why Add Skills to Your Resume?
Are you wondering, “Why do I need job skills for a resume?” There are several reasons that it’s a common practice on modern resumes. First, if nothing else, it’s considered best practice, so most hiring managers expect to see it. However, it isn’t always required to follow all the rules, so you may want to know what other reasons skills are helpful.
One of those reasons comes down to the use of an applicant tracking system for resumes. What this means is that you send in a resume digitally and it is processed by a machine. The machine looks for specific keywords, including skills related to the job. Before a human sees the resume, the computer determines if it is relevant.
Even after the resume hits a hiring manager’s desk, skills are helpful. If you include skills related to a job description, it shows that you have the abilities for the job. In addition, items that might not fit in other sections of the resume can be added to skills to make you come off as well-rounded and show precisely what you are capable of.
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: Understanding the Difference
Recruiters and hiring managers want to see both hard and soft skills in the skills section. Hard skills for a resume are skills gained through education, experience, and practice. A few examples include reading, writing, and coding. Hard skills are essential since they show how efficient, productive, and satisfied you may be in a position.
Soft skills for a resume, on the other hand, are based on personality and may not be easy to learn. These skills are what make someone perform well in a specific position or do better at a job than someone else. A few soft skills include adaptability, communication, and other social skills.
Deciding What Skills to List on Your Resume: How to Choose the Right Ones?
Even knowing you need to list skills, you may wonder exactly what skills to put on your resume. This section will help you better understand the best skills to put on the professional document. You can go through all your skills to determine which are good resume skills and which are not. Below are a few tips to help you decide which skills to include on a resume.
Consideration #1: Ensure Your Skills are Relevant to the Position
Of the skills to list on a resume, you want only the most relevant. After you make a list of skills and put them on paper – you need to go through them. Think about each one and how it pertains to the job. If the skill has nothing to do with the position, you should not add it. Instead, add something in its place that has a bit more relevance.
For example, someone working in finance might prioritize number skills and time management skills. However, someone applying to be a teacher might focus on teaching-related soft skills, certifications, and related things. After you make sure the skills on your list relate to the job, you can move forward.
Consideration #2: Group Skills into Categories
When you’re questioning what skills to put on a resume, make groupings for them so you can think about them by category. This can help you ensure you only add skills that matter and don’t state something several times in the process. For example, you can group the skills in terms of soft skills vs. hard skills or categorize them by type of skill, such as communication skills, technical skills, etc.
Start by writing down the relevant skills you have, whether on paper or in Word or Google Docs. Then, organize them into categories so you have an idea of where all the skills fit. When you choose the final skills for the resume, select some from each category to show how versatile and capable you are.
Consideration #3: Pay Attention to the Job Listing
Another tip when it comes to creating an excellent skills section is to read through the job listing. Read it a few times and choose skills that are mentioned in the job description and/or relevant to what you would be doing if you were hired. Many skills will be stated explicitly in the ad, but sometimes you may need to look for hints about skills, too.
So look for comments about the duties and determine what skills are related to them. Then, search your list of professional skills to see what matches up. Both explicit and hidden skills are essential to show that you can handle the rigors of the position. It also shows that you can read between the lines and understand the position well.
Consideration #4: Speak with Industry Professionals
If you still aren’t sure which skills to put on a resume for a particular job, it may be worth speaking to a professional in the same field. Talk to someone who has or is working in a position similar to the one you are interested in. This person can likely tell you which skills are the most essential. See which you have and make sure to use them.
At the same time, even if you know a skill is valuable, you shouldn’t place it on a resume unless you are experienced with it. If you’re starting to learn the skill, you don’t have to add it simply because it’s on the job description or a professional mentions it. If you move on to an interview and the skill is brought up, you can explain where you are in the learning process and how you are improving your abilities.
How to List Skills on a Resume
The number of skills you choose to add to your resume will vary. If you have a considerable number, make sure you spread them out in places like the experience section and resume summary. (Check out these excellent resume summary examples to help with that!) The other specific skills should be listed in the resume skills section. But remember that you will have limited space to do so.
All of your skills should be relevant and will typically be listed through bullet points. You can also choose a type of skills list, such as additional skills, relevant skills, or additional skills as a heading. Below is a resume skills example that you can use to get an idea of how this section is typically designed and placed on the page.
15 Must-Have Resume Skills for Most Common Jobs
When it comes to examples of skills for a resume, a lot of it comes down to the type of job and industry the role is based in. For instance, you wouldn’t list the same skills on an engineer resume as you might for a marketing resume. However, in some cases, there are good skills to have on a resume for any job, which we’ll delve into later.
Below, you’ll find skills for resume examples based on common positions. You’ll learn more about good skills to have on a resume so you can make a list that you’re sure fits the position. Each of the examples below will highlight examples of skills for a resume and why those skills are vital.
Advertising and Marketing
If the resume is for a job posting in advertising and marketing, you must show that you can take a product and make it seem like the best thing in the world. Many skills are helpful in marketing, but a few are extra relevant. Of course, the actual position will dictate the right skills to include, whether graphic design, research, or something else.
Calendar Management Skills
Whether you do marketing on social media like LinkedIn or your skills lie somewhere else, advertising and marketing are time-sensitive positions. Knowing when things have to be done and making sure they are completed is crucial. You should be organized and capable of flipping between tasks as needed based on priority.
Data Analysis Skills
Data analysis is vital in several jobs, but none is more essential than marketing. A considerable part of a marketing job involves analyzing metrics and determining how to make changes based on that data. Having knowledge of data analysis is something employers want to see for this specific job. It’s a valuable skill to include.
SEO & SEM Skills
Depending on the type of job, you may be expected to have SEO skills, SEM skills, or both. SEO focuses on ensuring a site gets lots of organic traffic, while SEM looks at improving traffic through paid and organic means. If you already know how to add keywords and optimize a website for Google, make sure you include that to the skills section.
Technical & Engineering
If your job search involves the technical or engineering fields, you want to show that you can handle that work without a problem. In addition, you’ll want to show that you understand the technology used in the position, are capable of making good decisions, can troubleshoot, and have some writing skills to stand out.
Programming Languages Skills
Troubleshooting & Decision Making Skills
Another of the required skills for a tech or engineering work environment is troubleshooting. This also leads to the ability to make decisions on your own using logic. In addition, the work experience in these jobs often involves making changes based on new information, so these types of skills make it clear you can excel in the position.
One of the most crucial skills for tech and engineering is adaptability. In tech and engineering, you have to be capable of flexibility. Problem-solving and a dynamic nature play into this type of skill. Showing you can use different approaches to reach a goal is something that can make you stand out from other applicants.
Nursing & Healthcare
Having a work history that speaks to a great work ethic is essential for nurses or other healthcare providers. However, the right skills are also going to be essential, and you want to be sure you show those on your resume. Of course, medical skills are the most important, but other things can be more vital than you might expect.
Everything from general nursing or medical skills to the ability to carry out wound dressing and work on patients with urgent needs is vital in healthcare. Whatever medical skills you’ve earned from education or work experience are something to focus on when you create a resume in this kind of position.
Many healthcare providers will also expect nurses and other professionals to have technical skills. You may need to do record-keeping on a computer, look up information for patient education, and take down the medical history of a patient. Being capable with computers and healthcare software is a huge benefit.
Patient Care Skills
While this falls under general nursing skills, you do need to provide evidence that you can care for patients well. This could simply be through knowing how to take vital signs and perform phlebotomy, or it could mean you have experience with medication administration, use of scans, glucose checks, and more.
Retail, Customer Service, and Sales
Sales, retail, and customer service are all different jobs – but many of them make use of the same kinds of skills. All of these jobs involve working with customers, so anything related to that will be a boon for your resume. There are also other skills that might be less obvious that you should include on your resume.
When you fill out a job application, a hiring manager wants to know you can work well with others. Many retail, sales, and customer service jobs involve working with others on a team, even if it’s only part of the time. Showing that you can collaborate and work with others is a soft skill that is worth noting on a resume.
As you might guess, an immense skill set not to ignore is people skills. You should highlight any customer service skills you have for this sort of position. Focusing on interpersonal skills is an excellent way to ensure you show you’re qualified for one of these positions. Try to weave these abilities throughout the entire resume.
In a sales job, clearly, skills related to getting people to buy things are essential. However, these skills can also be helpful for retail or customer support positions. There will be chances to get sales in these positions in many cases, and a manager who knows you have experience in that may be more likely to contact you.
Administrative & Office Jobs
The final common positions that we want to go over are office and administrative jobs. You need to have the skills employers want to get the best positions with top pay and excellent benefits. Offices may all be slightly different, but most jobs in them will be working with the same things. Make sure you note those on your resume.
Microsoft Office Skills
Microsoft Office skills, such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, are often needed in administrative positions. However, placing these abilities on your resume can also show that you have general computer skills and won’t need that kind of training. An alternative is listing similar skills, like knowledge of Google Docs, Sheets, and other items.
Project Management Skills
Depending on the office job you choose, some relevant skills will be used more or less than others. For example, a large number of those in administrative positions will be in the place of needing to handle project management, whether that’s heading up a company’s party planning or doing something in a specific department.
Time Management Skills
One of the skills that fit office jobs and many others is time management skills. When you have a variety of projects to get done with different timelines and deadlines, you need to have a method of organizing things so they are completed. Therefore, listing time management skills shows you could be an asset to the job.
Looking for Other Good Skills to Put on a Resume in 2023? Consult the Full List of Skills for Resumes
Now that you’ve seen our resume skills list for specific jobs, we want to look at transferable skills. These are the top skills that managers want to see on a resume of any kind. This section of our guide will focus on the major categories of skills and which skills are the most desirable by employers. We’ll delve into special skills for a resume that you might not think of yourself.
- Foreign languages (Spanish, French, German, etc.)
- Public speaking
- Interpersonal communication
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Active listening
- Constructive criticism
- Nonverbal communication
- Corporate communication
Active Listening Skills
- Asking questions
- Verbal communication
- Nonverbal communication
Time Management & Organizational Skills
- Task delegation
- Goal setting
- Email management
- Word processing
- Coding language knowledge
- Systems administration
- Team leadership
- Time management
- Ability to mentor and teach
- Team building
- Stress management
- Conflict resolution
Customer Service Skills
- Active listening
- Interpersonal skills
- Critical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Analytical skills
- Team leadership
- Team communication
- Project planning
- Task delegation
Final Points About the Best Skills to Add to Resume
Creating the best resume possible takes work, whether you work with a resume template, a resume builder, or build it on your own in word processing software. Learning how to make a resume is a good start before looking at templates, choosing a resume format, adding skills, and writing up a cover letter.
When it comes to the skills you should add, this article provides you with some great information to ensure your resume looks fantastic. After that, you can finish the resume and send it to an employer, knowing you did the best you could. Good luck out there!
FAQs Related to the Skills Section of a Resume
What skills should you not put on a resume?
The skills you should avoid adding to a resume are those that don’t pertain to the job description. If the skill isn’t valuable, avoid adding it. Try to list only skills that you are the most experienced with. It’s also intelligent to have soft and hard skills on your resume.
What are individual skills?
Individual skills are often referred to as soft skills or personal skills. These skills cannot be taught or require a considerable investment to see any change. This includes things like core values or social skills. Examples include analytical skills, dependability, problem-solving, motivation, and adaptability.
What are employability skills for students?
For students going into a first job, there are essential core skills. Some of these include communication, conflict resolution, resume writing, accepting criticism, and interviewing skills. Other valuable skills include working with a team, proper use of electronics in the workplace, and workplace etiquette.