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Skills You Need for Your Resume to Secure a Job

Wondering what good skills to put on your resume? Wonder no more! You’ll find a list of the right skills for your resume, regardless of your job or experience.

Olga Ber
Olga Ber
Career Expert
Skills You Need for Your Resume to Secure a Job

A list of well-crafted skills for your resume doesn't just impress the recruiter. It makes them invite you to the job interview right away. So, let’s see what skills they are looking for and start drafting the best resume you can have.

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • Examples of best skills for your resume and what they mean in a workplace setting
  • Tips on how you can find what skills your employer wants to see in your resume
  • Where you should include the skills you’re targeting for maximum success
  • And a list of top skills for all fields

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Here’s a list of 15 skills you should definitely consider for your resume:

Critical Thinking

Employers will look for your ability to analyze, draw the right conclusions, and come up with creative solutions that align with set strategies. Make sure your resume mentions examples of critical thinking skills showing how you handled a crisis, boosted efficiency, or resolved a conflict.

Collaboration

Collaboration is your ability to work with others as a team. It means you can appreciate different perspectives, put your faith in others, and support them when needed. Prove to your future employer that you can through examples of active participation in projects and meetings or contributing to your colleague’s or team’s success.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills speak to your overall people skills that involve building rapport with others. Let the hiring manager see those skills on your resume by including examples of understanding and respecting diversity, active listening, sharing constructive feedback, and receiving it with an open mind.

Communication Skills

This skill is the most desired by every employer in every business sector. The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, ensures your stakeholders understand you and your ideas. Highlight your communication skills through examples of adjusting your communication style according to the audience and achieving success through clear communication.

Technical Skills

Knowing how to handle a certain software is a needed skill for many jobs out there. So, having a few technical skills up your sleeve and on your resume can get you closer to an interview invite. Show your employer that you are tech-savvy using examples of product knowledge, how you optimized a code, or how quickly you learned a new functionality.

Organization

Letting your employer know you’re organized is sometimes a must-have. Especially when you’re working in management. Organizational skills show you can handle multiple tasks at once, which is very often the case in such jobs. Let the employers know that you are reliable thanks to your ability to meet deadlines or lead successful projects.

Time Management

You read time management skills, but what the employers really mean is managing workload. Show them you know how to do that by demonstrating effective prioritization or overcoming obstacles on your way to achieving goals.

Negotiation Skills

Employers want applicants who can work towards and get closer to the best solution, which oftentimes is demonstrating your communication and persuasion skills. So to get a chance at an interview, prove you can clearly express your thoughts and actively listen to others.

Adaptability

Adaptability means you can adjust to incoming changes that may, but not always, come along with a challenging situation. If your employer requires you to have that adaptability, highlight how you adapted to a new role or changed your approach to get better results.

Flexibility

Flexibility is something a bit different from adaptability, and it doesn’t mean it’s less important. Flexibility means you’re actually willing to adapt; it’s your willingness to compromise. In a workplace setting, you can prove your flexibility by taking over greater responsibilities, control over your own schedule, or achieving a better work-life balance.

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Creative Thinking

It’s not only a type of skill that creative industries seek after. Creative thinking allows you to drive innovation and become an original thinker, which is valued among all employees. To prove that, you can write about the time you made sense of a big set of data, reflected on what you’ve learned and applied that knowledge later, or simply, when you questioned the status quo to improve how things are.

Leadership Skills

Again, not a type of skill that only leaders should have. Having experience in leading teams helps you understand how to help others achieve their goals. So to show your leadership skills prove on your resume that you created a safe environment for your coworkers and demonstrated an ability to delegate.

Perceptiveness 

Every employer looks for a candidate who knows how to avoid making mistakes. And attention to detail can help you achieve that. Demonstrate your ability by including examples of when you troubleshot problems, reduced distractions to focus on all areas of a project or task, or gave a thorough review that led to new insights.

Analytical Skills

With the technological advances, data analysis is becoming more and more desirable in many industries. Showcase you can collect and analyze data, but most importantly, draw the right conclusions and act on them.

Project Management Skills

Today most of the work is being done as part of bigger projects, especially in agile frameworks that are being adopted even more frequently. Share examples if you have experience in leading projects from A to Z. Try to weave them in among your communication, collaboration, and management skills.

How to Decide What Skills Are Right for Your Resume

To secure yourself an interview, the best thing you could do is pick’n’mix some soft and hard skills. Because the skills on your resume can be divided into two main types: hard and soft.

Hard skills are the technical skills and abilities that you need to do your job. You can learn them through practice, repetition, and education. Hard skills are easy to measure, and you can often prove them with a certificate on your resume. They can be coding, data analysis, project management, or information security.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are a reflection of your personality. They’re personal attributes and habits that enable you to work well with others, cope with stress, solve problems, and so on. Some examples could be adaptability, conflict resolution, or negotiation skills.

Expert hint: Employers pay more attention to soft skills than hard skills. Mainly because soft skills cannot be easily taught, it’s part of the so-called hiring-for-attitude approach.

Now, here’s how to eliminate the guesswork and find out exactly what skills your dream employer is looking for.

Use the Power of Keywords

Your first step is to read the job ad carefully. Most job ads have skills-related resume keywords scattered throughout the entire text. Here’s an example job ad for a personal banker:

  • Delivers exceptional customer experience by acting with a customer-first attitude
  • Ability to make personal connections, engage customers, always be courteous and professional in a team environment, and proactively collaborate with others to help customers
  • Exudes confidence with clients when sharing product knowledge and solutions
  • Partnering with your branch team and Specialists to connect them to experts who can help with specialized financial needs
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

In this example, you can see highlighted skills-related keywords. Do the same with the job ad you’re going to apply for. And later, stick to those keywords as much as possible in your entire application. 

Your resume will probably go through an applicant tracking system (ATS), and these systems automatically filter out resumes that don’t contain the same keywords as the job ad. So, while it might be tempting to paraphrase the skills in the job ad, it’s better to stick to the original wording.

To go even further, here are a few other tricks you can try to match your employer’s needs:

  • Research other ads for similar jobs. It’s likely other employers have the same expectations about candidates’ skills.
  • Look up other job offers from your employer of choice and note any skills that apply to your desired position.
  • Visit the company’s website to learn more about its values and culture. Watch out for keywords to describe your core qualifications and key skills (both technical and personal).
  • Do some research on LinkedIn. Look at the people who already work in the company and those who hold similar positions elsewhere. Pay attention to the job skills they list on their profiles.

Pick the Skills That Speak to Your Strengths

When you find every single skill in the job ad and on the company’s website, you might end up with a huge list of 20+ skills. That’s too many, so it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Have you heard of the so-called presenter’s paradox? In short, listing low-ranking skills does not add any value to your resume. More than that, it takes value from it. 

So, if you feel like some of your technical skills, management skills, or computer skills are basic, keep them to yourself. Let your resume highlight your best professional side.

Where to Put Your Skills on a Resume

There are quite a few sections on your resume that will welcome a skill or two.

Skills Section

The resume skills section is just a bulleted list of the skills-related keywords you’ve extracted from the job ad and other sources. Continuing with the example of a personal banker, this section could look like this:

  • Customer service
  • Rapport-building
  • Communication
  • Collaboration/teamwork
  • Problem-solving/analytical skills
  • Sales
  • Product knowledge
  • Mentoring/teaching
  • Tech-savvy

Do the above skills ring any bells? Yes, they were in the job description you could see in the previous chapter. 

Revisit the job posting to make sure you didn’t miss any important skills the employer expects. That way you’ll be on the right track to creating a targeted resume that almost guarantees success.

Work History

Having a separate list of skills may not always be enough. For better results, sprinkle your skills all over your resume, no matter if you’re writing an entry-level resume or applying for a senior position.

Here’s how you do it when writing your experience section:

  • Delivered exceptional customer experience by displaying a customer-first attitude. Consistently scored 90% and above in customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Made personal connections with 50+ customers to help them with specialized financial needs and partnered with the branch team to better identify cross-sale opportunities. Over 80% of referred prospects converted into clients.
  • Gained expert knowledge of 20+ banking products and solutions in the first 3 months.
  • Educated 50+ customers about the bank’s technological solutions, e.g. online banking apps for stock exchange tracking and trading and VIOP transactions. 70% became regular users.

The above statements are the so-called resume achievements. To create such, grab a skill that fits, combine it with an impressive number, and you’ve crafted an irresistible bullet point.

Profile

What are your top skills? You know, those 2–3 skills that should catch the recruiter’s eye within a second of looking at your resume?

These are the skills that go into the resume profile of choice. They can be a resume summary (if you’re a seasoned pro) or your resume objective (if you’re just starting out).

Adaptable and well-organized personal banker with 10+ years of experience. Eager to take on new professional challenges at JP Morgan Chase. Thanks to excellent communication and follow-up skills diversified the client portfolio by adding 20+ high net-worth individuals. Increased the branch revenue by 30% in Q4 2018.

Your profile is where you can supplement the skills with some power words and action words to maximize impact.

Top Skills for Almost Every Field

Now, let’s look at sample skills lists for resumes in different fields:

Marketing

  • SEO/SEM
  • CRO
  • Social media
  • Digital marketing
  • Analytics tools
  • Email marketing
  • Communications
  • Branding
  • SaaS marketing
  • B2B/B2C marketing
  • Content management
  • Copywriting
  • HTML and CSS
  • A/B testing
  • Agile project management
  • Storytelling
  • Visual design
  • Creative thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Problem-solving

For better skills targeting, see our Marketing Resume Example.

Sales

  • CRM
  • Account management
  • Client acquisition
  • Pitch creation
  • Team management
  • Dealing with objections
  • Cold-calling
  • Active listening
  • Negotiation skills
  • Lead generation and qualification
  • Presentation skills
  • Product knowledge

Learn more about sales skills in our Guide to Writing a Sales Resume.

Nursing

  • CPR
  • ACLS
  • Emergency room care
  • Bedside monitoring
  • Medical software
  • Pain management
  • Medication administration
  • Accuracy
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Observation
  • Decision-making skills
  • Teamwork

If you’re looking for more advice on nursing resumes, take a look at our step-by-step Nurse Resume Writing Guide.

Customer Service

  • Cross-selling
  • Upselling
  • SAP ERP
  • Communication skills
  • Self-control
  • Stress management
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Active listening
  • Product knowledge

Don’t forget to check out our Step-by-Step Writing Guide for a Customer Service Resume for more clues.

Retail

  • Attention to detail
  • POS
  • Cash management
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Decision-making skills
  • Multitasking
  • Self-management skills
  • Awareness of business processes

If you get stuck crafting your resume skills section, take a look at our Guide to Writing a Retail Resume.

Teacher

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Project management
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Class management
  • Active listening
  • Research
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Smart blackboard skills
  • Digital literacy

Need more? Check out our Full Guide to Writing a Teacher Resume that’s top of the class. 

Information Technology

  • Programming languages
  • DevOps
  • API
  • CRM
  • Machine learning
  • Technical writing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Continuous delivery
  • System administration
  • Data analysis
  • Front-end and back-end development

To see a wide range of technical skills you might need, check our Resume for an IT Job.

Design

  • Figma
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • RDP
  • UX design
  • Typography
  • Storyboarding
  • Creativity
  • Ad design
  • Communication
  • Color theory
  • Photo editing
  • HTML and CSS
  • Ideation

To help you come up with the best skills list, see Web Design Resume Example.

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Key Points

Things to remember when putting skills on your resume:

  • The skills you put on a resume are important for the ATS and recruiters alike.
  • You must always tailor your resume skills to a particular job offer, so read the job ad carefully and extract all skills-related keywords from it.
  • Weave these skills-related keywords into all the sections of your resume.
  • Your resume should only mention your top skills. Leave out the ones you only have a basic grasp of.

What do you think are the best skills to put on a resume? Have you recently landed a job because of a unique set of skills? Are you an employer looking for specific skills and talents? We’d love to get to know your opinion. Give us a shout in the comments below.

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

Frequently Asked Questions about Skills to Put on a Resume

What are good skills for a resume?

Here’s how to decide which skills would look good on your resume:

  • Re-read the job ad and highlight any skills-related resume keywords you come across.
  • Decide which of these skills you’re actually good at (be honest here)!
  • Put these skills on your resume.

Check out the ResumeLab resume builder for professional resume templates and more expert tips for writing a job-winning resume.

What are the 7 essential soft skills?

These are the 7 soft skills that employers are particularly looking for:

  • Communication (both verbal and non-verbal)
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability (being curious, open-minded, and able to deal with change)
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership (even if you’re not applying for a management position)
  • Work ethic
  • Time management

Make sure you include at least some of these key skills on your resume.

Should I list computer skills on my resume?

These days, almost any job requires computer skills. So if the job ad mentions specific hardware or software skills, make sure you add them to your resume. Some common computer skills are:

  • MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • G Suite (Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Gmail etc.)
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases
  • Email tools
  • Web development skills (HTML, CSS, JavaScript etc.)
  • Enterprise resource planning software (SAP, Oracle)
  • Network administration
  • Cybersecurity

Avoid adding any irrelevant computer skills and make sure you’re honest about your skillset.

To learn more, check out our guide to putting computer skills on your resume.

Why is it important to include soft skills on your resume?

Soft skills define how you manage your work and how you interact with other people.

This is why employers want candidates with strong soft skills like communication, teamwork, time management, and so on.

So, even if you’re applying for a highly technical job, always include at least a few soft skills on your resume—like the ones you’ll find in our guide to interpersonal skills.

How many skills should you have on your resume?

Shoot for a list of 5–10 skills on your resume. In most cases, 8–10 bullet points are ideal.

When you’ve prepared your list of resume skills, make sure to weave the relevant keywords into the other sections of your resume like your resume summary, resume objective, and resume work experience.

What skills to put on a resume if you have no experience?

First, study the job ad to find what skills the employer is looking for.

These are the relevant skills that go on your resume. But make sure you only include the skills that you can prove by giving examples of life events where you used them.

You can find real-life examples of skills for a beginner resume in our full guide to writing a resume with no experience.

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Olga Ber
Olga Ber
Olga is a career expert with a background in teaching. At ResumeLab, she writes actionable guides to help job-seekers highlight their unique strengths and unlock their career potential.

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