September 30, 2022    |    By

Are you searching for a new job or thinking about a career change? If so, it’s essential to update your resume and include all the skills and experience employers are looking for. However, figuring out what job skills to include on your resume can be tricky.

After all, you only have so much space. The last thing you want to do is exclude the skills that could help you get the job. Likewise, you don’t want to add irrelevant or unrelated skills.

With that in mind, the following is a guide to help you figure out which job skills to include on your resume.

The Importance Of Listing Relevant Skills On Your Resume

Employers will analyze the skills listed on your resume to determine if you’re a good fit for the position. Therefore, it’s critical to include relevant skills for the job you’re applying to. Otherwise, you run the risk of appearing unqualified or wasting valuable space on your resume.

In addition to being relevant, you should list skills that stand out. After all, you’re trying to get the employer’s attention and set yourself apart from the competition. Don’t be afraid to list any unique or special skills you have that could make you a valuable asset to the company.

Finally, make sure the skills you do include are accurate. It’s unwise to list a skill on your resume if you’re not proficient in that skill. If you do, the hiring manager will likely find you out during the interview, which could cost you the job.

Soft Skills Versus Hard Skills

When determining which skills to list on your resume, it’s important to distinguish your soft skills from your hard skills. Different employers will emphasize both differently when hiring new employees.

The following is a breakdown of the two skill types and some examples of each.

Soft Skills

Soft skills, sometimes known as “people skills” or “interpersonal skills”, are the qualities that make you a good fit for the job. They are obtained through experience, although can sometimes be innate, and are often hard to quantify.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Flexibility
  • Time management
  • Leadership

Hard Skills

Hard skills are specific, quantifiable skills that make you good at your job. They are often technical or expertise you can learn through training or education.

Examples of hard skills include:

  • Data analysis
  • Computer programming
  • Financial analysis
  • Project management
  • Website design

The Top Job Skills To Include On Your Resume

It’s important to note, the skills to list on your resume will depend on the position you’re applying for. For example, if you have a specific technical skill but are applying for a completely non-technical job, listing that skill won’t help your job prospects.

With that in mind, the following are 12 soft and hard skills you may want to list on your resume:

1. Effective Communication

Communication is arguably one of the most important soft skills you can list on your resume, no matter what position you’re applying for. Effective communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely, whether verbal or non-verbal. Good communication also requires active listening so that you can listen to others and their needs.

Communication is especially vital to your job performance if you engage with customers, co-workers, and managers.

2. Creativity

Suppose you’re looking for a job that requires design or artistic ability. In that case, creativity is an essential soft skill to list on your resume. Even if the job you’re applying for doesn’t require creativity, demonstrating that you have this skill can help set you apart from others.

After all, employers always appreciate employees who can think outside the box and come up with new ideas.

3. Problem-Solving

The ability to solve problems is a soft skill that employers value in their employees. Whether you’re troubleshooting a technical issue or resolving a conflict between co-workers, being able to find solutions to problems is a valuable asset. If you have experience solving problems in your previous jobs, list this on your resume.

4. Responsibility

Employers want to know they can depend on their employees to be responsible for their tasks and get the job done. Listing this soft skill on your resume will give employers confidence that you can do your job without needing constant supervision, and that you will likely be able to take on additional responsibilities over time.

5. Teamwork

Most require some degree of teamwork. Employers, therefore, value teamwork skills amongst their employees. Being able to work well with others shows that you’re not only capable of being a team player, but that you’re also flexible and adaptable to different personalities and work methods.

If you have any previous experience working on a team, whether from a previous job or a school project, be sure to list this soft skill on your resume.

6. Leadership And Management

Leadership and management skills are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two distinct soft skills.

Leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire others to achieve a shared goal. It’s a soft skill that not everybody has, which means that if you have leadership skills, it can stand out on your resume. Conversely, management involves the ability to organize and oversee people and resources to achieve specific objectives.

Both skills are valuable in the workplace, so be sure to include examples of how you had to demonstrate these skills in the past. For example, if you were the captain of a sports team at your high school or university, that would be an appropriate example of having leadership skills.

7. Time Management

Managing your time effectively is another soft skill that employers value. Time management is the ability to prioritize tasks, set deadlines, and complete work within the allocated time frame. Time management is similar to responsibility – if you can demonstrate one, you probably have the other.

Be sure to list examples of how you can manage your time effectively. For instance, include examples of how you met specific deadlines in a previous job or completed certain tasks ahead of schedule on a project.

8. Computer & Technical Skills

When applying for a technical job, listing your computer and technical skills that meet the job requirements on your resume is a must. Even if they aren’t strictly required, these hard skills can demonstrate your expertise and help you stand out from other applicants.

Computer and technical skills can still give you an advantage over other candidates. Employers always appreciate employees who can troubleshoot technical problems or use technology to their advantage.

9. Critical Thinking & Analytical Thinking

Critical thinking and analytical thinking are both crucial skills in the workplace. Critical thinking is a soft skill that allows you to evaluate information and make decisions based on that information. On the other hand, analytical thinking involves taking data and using it to solve problems.

Both skills are valuable throughout different industries. If you have experience with either one, list it on your resume and provide examples of how you applied it in the past.

10. Resilience & Perseverance

Bouncing back from setbacks and persevering even when things are tough is another essential soft skill that employers value. Resilience and perseverance show that you can handle difficult situations and are not afraid of a challenge. If you have examples of times when you’ve demonstrated resilience or perseverance, describe them on your resume.

11. Marketing Skills

If you have marketing skills, you can effectively promote and sell products or services. If you’re applying for a marketing job, this is a must-have hard skill. Examples of marketing skills you may want to list include copywriting, SEO, social media marketing, and lead generation.

But even if you’re not applying for a job in marketing, having some marketing skills can still give you an advantage. After all, employers often look for employees who can market themselves and their skills effectively.

12. Adaptability

The ability to adapt to change is another essential soft skill employers seek. With the ever-changing landscape of the business world, employers need employees who can adapt to new situations quickly and easily. Describe examples of times you’ve had to adapt to change on your resume.

How To Identify The Best Skills For Your Resume

You should keep a few things in mind when deciding which skills to include on your resume. Firstly, don’t list too many skills. Doing so can make your resume look cluttered and unfocused. Secondly, don’t list too few skills. Otherwise, it will make you seem underqualified for the position you’re applying for.

Instead, try to strike a balance. List enough skills to showcase your experience and abilities, but not too many that it just becomes a generic list. Generally speaking, five to ten skills is reasonable, depending on the job requirements.

Learn About The Job Requirements And Description

When determining which skills to include on your resume, it’s important to look at the job requirements and description. Remember, you should tailor your resume to the job listing you’re applying for.

By thoroughly understanding the job description, you’ll get a good idea of the specific skills the position requires. For example, suppose you’re applying for a job as a web developer.

In that case, the job requirements may list specific software programming languages you need to be familiar with. You’ll want to make sure you list these and any other hard skills relevant to the position.

Learnable And Transferable Skills

Learnable skills are skills that you can learn through training or experience. For example, the ability to code in HTML is a learnable skill. It’s not a skill that’s inherent, it’s one that you learn by taking a class or by having someone teach you.

Transferable skills are skills you can transfer from a previous job to a new one. For example, effective communication is a transferable skill. Although transferable skills may sound like soft skills, they are different. Transferable skills may include hard skills you learned at another job that can apply to multiple positions.

Adding both learnable and transferable skills will help improve your resume.

How To List Skills On Your Resume

Knowing what skills to add to your resume is only half the battle. The other half is knowing how to list those skills on your resume. After all, you’ll want to ensure that the hiring manager can find them quickly and also easily understand how they are relevant to the position. The following are a few tips on how to effectively list your skills:

  1. Include professional skills in the experience section: In the experience section of your resume, you can briefly mention the skills you used in each position. For example, include what skills you used in your previous jobs. If you’re a software developer, list what programming languages you coded in at your last job.
  2. Specify your proficiency: You should also specify your proficiency level for each skill you list. For example, if you’re listing a programming language, you can state whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert. Include any relevant certifications you have on your resume as well.
  3. Add a separate skills section: You may also want to create a separate section dedicated to your skills. Doing so is especially important if you’re applying for a highly technical job (like a software engineer position). A separate section for your skills will make it easier for hiring managers to scan your resume and find the relevant information.
  4. Highlight relevant skills in the summary: The summary is the first section that hiring managers will see when they look at your resume. So, it’s essential to make sure that you highlight your most relevant skills here. These should match the required skills described in the job listing you’re applying to.

What Not To Do When Listing Skills On Your Resume

Knowing what skills to list and how to include them will go a long way towards demonstrating your qualifications. However, it’s also important to know what not to do when listing your skills on your resume. The following are a few tips on what to avoid doing:

  1. Do not lie or exaggerate about your level of proficiency: Be honest about your skill level. You’ll likely be asked about your skills if you get called in for an interview. If it’s evident that you lied or exaggerated, you’ll not only get rejected for the position but also negatively impact your reputation.
  2. Do not be vague about your skills: If you’re vague about your skills, you might cause confusion. For example, if you write “proficient in coding” without listing the programming languages you know, the hiring manager won’t know if you’re actually qualified for the position or not.
    Even worse, they may assume that you’re trying to hide something. For instance, maybe you’re only proficient in an outdated programming language.
  3. Do not skip the proofreading step: This is important for all aspects of your resume, but it’s especially critical when listing your skills: you should always proofread anything you submit for a job. After all, you don’t want typos or grammatical errors to get in between you and your dream job.

Highlight Your Skills To Land The Job

One of the first things a hiring manager will do when reviewing a resume is to ensure you’re qualified for the position. If you don’t list your skills correctly, you may get passed over for someone who does. Use the tips mentioned above to ensure that you meet the requirements of the job you’re applying for and that the skills you list help you stand out from the crowd.

Interested in exploring more tips for your job seeking journey?

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This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.