How do you determine the skills an employer is looking for in a resume? Learn everything about good resume skills!

Crafting an effective skills section in your resume is crucial for persuading recruiters that you’re the ideal candidate for the job. While you may possess various talents, the challenge lies in selecting the most relevant skills for your resume. Conversely, if you believe you have only a few skills (which might be incorrect), deciding which skills to highlight on your resume becomes essential to showcase your suitability for the position.

This guide covers:

  • Essential skills for all resumes
  • Noteworthy soft and hard skills to attract attention
  • Effective ways to list skills and secure interviews for your dream job.

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What Kinds of Skills Are Employers Seeking in Resumes?

A skill is the proficiency to perform a task effectively, often acquired through practice. Employers value different types of skills in job applications, with the common categorization being into soft and hard skills.

Soft and Hard Skills 

  • Soft skills encompass personal traits that define your interactions with others, such as active listening or adaptability. On the other hand, hard skills are teachable capabilities that enable you to carry out specific job-related tasks, like data analysis or product knowledge.

    A balanced combination of both soft and hard skills is essential when crafting an effective resume. In the following sections, you’ll discover how to select the most pertinent skills for the position you are targeting.

Employability Skills

According to the research, employability is a extensively studied aspect concerning workers, functioning as a comprehensive term encompassing a collection of skills that elevate you as a highly sought-after candidate for any recruiter. These are known as employability skills, comprising a blend of soft and hard skills along with character traits that employers value, rendering an individual a compelling candidate.

Various studies outline diverse employability skills, making it impractical to include and substantiate all of them on your resume. Hence, when compiling a list of skills, it’s advisable to categorize them into three distinct types:

Transferable Skills

Termed as portable or functional skills, these competencies are transferable from one job to another. Grounded in ability and aptitude, they outline the actions required to execute a task, making them applicable to diverse positions and industries. Transferable skills encompass both hard and soft skills, and their adaptability makes them appealing to recruiters across various industries.

Self-Management Skills

These are qualities or attributes that enhance workplace performance, developed through life experiences. Soft skills, such as patience, independence, or active listening, are examples of these learned traits.

Knowledge-Based Skills

These stem from your education, training, experience, and comprehension of particular subjects, procedures, guidelines, and essential information needed to proficiently execute specific tasks. Examples of hard skills include language proficiency, computer skills, or technical expertise.

 

What soft and hard skills to include on a resume to get noticed

Optimal skills to include on a resume comprise a combination of both soft and hard skills. The upcoming sections will outline the top skills and hard skills. The distinction is based on research, which indicates that soft skills are in demand four times more frequently than hard skills.

Top  Soft Skills for a Resume

The soft skills mentioned below are highly transferable, representing universal abilities not tied to a specific job or industry—making them valuable employment skills across various job titles. However, certain workplaces may prioritize these skills, hence a brief list of associated jobs is provided under each entry.

Regardless of the job you’re applying for, it’s advisable to include some of your most pertinent soft skills on your resume. This is particularly crucial for recent graduates crafting entry-level resumes.

Research indicates that the critical elements for entry-level candidates to include on a resume are soft skills:

  • The essential skills highly valued by employers for entry-level candidates include problem-solving (83%),
  • Teamwork (83%),
  • Written communication (80%), 
  • Leadership (72%).

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Communication

Communication skills encompass the ability to receive, comprehend, and convey various forms of information. Beyond this, these skills involve respecting others’ perspectives, articulating thoughts and ideas, and actively listening to others. Proficiency in communicating with superiors, colleagues, and customers, whether through verbal, nonverbal, written, or visual means, is crucial in any workplace.

Which resumes necessitate excellent communication skills?

  • Resume for Sales Representatives
  • Resume for Customer Service
  • Resume for Education & Teaching
  • Resume for Human Resources
  • Resume for Public Relations

Organizational Skills

Possessing exceptional organizational skills implies the ability to stay concentrated while handling various tasks. It also involves adeptly managing multiple responsibilities and coordinating work not only for yourself but also for others. Demonstrating organizational prowess sends a clear message to recruiters: you are efficient and effective, qualities highly valuable in any job.

Which resumes demand strong organizational skills?

  • Resume for Project Manager
  • Resume for Personal Assistant
  • Resume for Management Positions
  • Resume for Housekeeper
  • Resume for Event Planner

People Skills

Commonly referred to as interpersonal skills, these abilities revolve around effective and amicable interaction with others. People skills encompass mediating conflicts, embracing differences, building trust, and persuading others to align with your ideas. According to a survey, 81% of recruiters deem interpersonal skills essential, making it advantageous to showcase them on your resume.

Which resumes benefit from strong people skills?

  • Resume for Teacher
  • Resume for Social Worker
  • Resume for Journalist
  • Resume for Personal Trainer
  • Resume for Hospitality Positions

Creativity

Based on the research, creativity stands out as one of the most coveted skills for an employee. Engaging in creative thinking enables you to perceive things from a fresh perspective, potentially resulting in unexpected insights and entirely novel approaches for accomplishing familiar tasks.

Which resumes benefit from strong creativity skills?

  • Resume for Writer
  • Resume for Graphic Designer
  • Resume for UX Designer
  • Resume for Social Media Coordinator
  • Resume for Brand Ambassador

Active Listening

Active listening involves attentively responding to others in a way that aids progress in tasks, problem-solving, and overall work improvement. Devoting full attention to what others express and responding effectively is beneficial in various situations, showcasing your concern during a job interview. Demonstrating active listening skills is a compelling way to convey that you are genuinely invested, making you an excellent candidate for the position.

Which resumes benefit from strong active listening skills?

  • Resume for Hairstylist
  • Resume for Consultant
  • Resume for Nurse
  • Resume for Academic Advisor
  • Resume for Constructor

Time Management

Were you aware that, as per the study, 89% of workers confessed to daily time-wasting at work? This underscores why possessing effective time management skills is highly esteemed by employers. The ability to concentrate on tasks without succumbing to distractions is an excellent way to demonstrate that you are the ideal candidate for the job.

Which resumes benefit from strong time management skills?

  • Resume for Production Manager
  • Resume for Entrepreneur
  • Resume for Business Owner
  • Resume for Freelance Writer
  • Resume for Scrum Master

Adaptability

Navigating unforeseen changes with minimal stress can be challenging. However, possessing adaptability skills enables you to remain flexible, regardless of the number of changes you encounter. Adaptation to new situations proves highly beneficial in both the workplace and everyday life, whether it involves project schedules, objectives, or unexpected obstacles.

Which resumes benefit from strong adaptability skills?

  • Resume for Marketing
  • Resume for SEO Specialist
  • Resume for Buyer
  • Resume for Substitute Teacher
  • Resume for Charge Nurse

Top Hard Skills for a Resume

Hard skills refer to abilities acquired on the job through formal education or additional training. These skills are teachable, measurable, and specific to a particular job. For example, in customer service, hard skills may encompass Zendesk proficiency, data entry expertise, and product knowledge.

On resumes, hard skills highlight your capabilities, showcasing what you can do. In contrast, soft skills illustrate how you approach and carry out your responsibilities.

Language Skills

Having effective communication skills is beneficial, but possessing the ability to communicate in multiple languages is truly remarkable. Proficiency in various languages proves valuable in diverse situations, making it a noteworthy addition to your resume. Employers benefit from having individuals with multilingual capabilities, especially as the company expands.

Which job applications necessitate strong language proficiency?

  • Resume for a Translator
  • Resume for an Event Coordinator
  • Resume for a Flight Attendant
  • Resume for a Hotel Front Desk
  • Resume for a Hostess

Technical Skills

Specialized skills are essential for executing specific job-related duties and are acquired through hands-on experience and formal training. These skills vary widely depending on the nature of the job, encompassing various types. Technical skills frequently involve the utilization of specific tools and the mastery of the technologies associated with those tools.

Which job applications demand strong technical expertise?

  • Resume for a Java Developer
  • Resume for an Automotive Technician
  • Resume for a Mechanic
  • Resume for a Plumber
  • Resume for a Computer Technician

Computer Skills

Various computer skills are highly crucial in today’s modern world, as almost every aspect of our activities is interconnected with computers. These skills encompass both knowledge and proficiency, enabling efficient and effective use of computers. The umbrella term “computer skills” includes a range of competencies such as MS Office, Google Drive, Spreadsheets, Web, Software, Hardware, and more.

Which job applications demand strong computer expertise?

  • Resume for a Help Desk
  • Resume for a DevOps professional
  • Resume for Data Entry
  • Resume for a Web Designer
  • Resume for a Programmer

 

How to Showcase Skills on a Resume

Possessing an impressive set of skills is valuable, but effectively organizing and presenting them on your resume is equally crucial. Now that you are well aware of the skills that hold significance for your prospective employer, it’s time to learn how to showcase your talents in a way that leaves a lasting impression!

1. Tailor Your Resume Skills to the Job Description You’re Targeting

One key message to remember:

Tailor the list of skills on each resume to align with the specific job requirements.

By doing so, you demonstrate to recruiters that you are a perfect fit for the particular job, effectively outsmarting resume-screening bots that analyze resumes for pertinent keywords.

How to create a customized skills list for your resume based on the job advertisement?

  • Begin with compiling a comprehensive master list encompassing all your professional skills, encompassing both hard and soft skills that contribute to your job proficiency.

  • Thoroughly review the job description, focusing on the “Requirements” or “Key Skills” section. Identify keywords and phrases related to skills, such as “meticulous time-management,” “knowledge of XYZ software,” “proficient in Lean management,” etc. Take note of these.

  • Cross-reference the identified skills in the job ad with your master list. Include all matching skills on your resume.

  • Extend your effort beyond this step. If the job description highlights additional skills that you possess but may have overlooked in your master list, incorporate those into your resume as well.

  • However, honesty is paramount. Avoid exaggerating your qualifications on your resume, as recruiters are likely to uncover any misrepresentation at some point.

Observe the highlighted keywords in yellow? These represent the essential skills and qualifications that successful candidates must include and substantiate on their resumes.

Job Summary:

  • Maintain a professional and positive demeanor consistently.
  • Proactively start customer interactions and interact with potential clients.
  • Educate customers on our clients and the significance of their products.
  • Offer assistance and resources to strengthen customer interest.
  • Build rapport to identify customer preferences and adjust accordingly.
  • Develop expertise in the features of the products and services provided.
  • Work collaboratively with the Customer Service Team to achieve objectives.

2. Include Relevant Skills in a Separate Skills Section

In doing so, you’ll assist recruiters in quickly identifying strengths on your resume. Create a dedicated skills section to showcase your most vital qualifications. Be sure to:

  • Be specific (“Written and verbal communication” instead of “good communicator”).
  • Categorize the skills into “Hard Skills” and “Soft Skills.”
  • Limit the total number of skills to no more than 10.

See how it should look in an example below:

Hard Skills:

  • Delivering customer assistance
  • Familiarity with products
  • Proficiency in JIRA
  • Competence in Zendesk
  • Knowledge of Salesforce

Soft Skills:

  • Decision-making skills
  • Communication, both written and verbal
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Demonstrating empathy

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    3. Add Your Work-Related Skills to the Experience Section

    Certainly, your employment history section containing details of previous roles serves as validation of the skills you’ve outlined. This is the segment where you substantiate your ability to apply your skill set in practical professional scenarios.

    4. Weave the Most Relevant Skills Into Your Resume Profile

    Indeed, as you might have anticipated, to craft an outstanding resume, it’s essential to include some of your most pertinent skills in the profile section as well. After all, you’re not merely informing recruiters about your skills; you’re demonstrating them.

    Let’s continue with the illustration of a customer service position. The job advertisement requires proficiency in:

    • Assisting customers in technical roles
    • Problem-solving
    • Utilizing support tools and software

    Observe how this applicant demonstrates their skills in the following resume summary:

    Customer service professional with over 2 years of experience assisting clients in highly technical roles (1), pursuing a Customer Service Associate position with ABC Company. Implemented Agile frameworks to streamline problem-solving procedures (2) for new complaints, reducing ticket resolution time by 40%. Proficient in JIRA, Zendesk, and Salesforce (3).

     

    What is your English level?

    Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.