Top Skills To Put on Your Resume, With Examples
How do you make your resume stand out in a highly competitive marketplace? Whether you’re just starting your career or a seasoned professional, this is a common question as you begin to craft your resume, eager to land a coveted position.
In addition to the basics, such as being concise and ensuring your resume is error free, it’s crucial to feature your accomplishments and recognitions, as well as tailor your resume to the industry and the job you’re applying for. It’s also important to highlight your key, job-specific skills. We’ve created a list of 100 hard and soft skills to review and consider as you write your resume that will grab the attention of HR professionals, hiring managers, job placement agencies, and headhunters.
Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, make up your personality and personal attributes. They are always present but more difficult to prove, unlike hard skills, which are quantifiable and teachable. Soft skills may not necessarily make you qualified for more jobs. Still, they help you perform the job more effectively and are valuable for team contribution and management.
Others may have the same required hard skills as you, so it’s critical to draw attention to your soft skills and achievements on your resume as well. This is what will help to set you apart from the competition.
The most sought-after soft skills include:
- Adaptability: The marketplace, workplace, and customer expectations are constantly changing in today’s environment. The ability to quickly adjust and acclimate to new conditions and requirements, versus being inflexible, is valued by employers.
- Attention to detail: Even jobs that require creativity and the ability to see the big picture involve details. Paying attention to detail improves time management, increases efficiency, and helps you avoid making mistakes.
- Collaboration: Collaboration in today’s workplace is vital to success. There are times to put your head down and get the job done and times to work collaboratively to accomplish a common goal, solve problems faster, pool skills to make a project more successful, and accelerate productivity and innovation.
- Empathy: The ability to understand other people’s feelings and sense their emotions keeps negative energy at bay. Showing empathy and kindness in the workplace enhances collaboration and engagement, builds trust, and decreases conflict.
- Compassion: Compassion is similar to empathy, but it includes the desire to help others. A vital aspect of a productive work environment, compassion for others reduces stress, supports work-related motivation, and even increases job satisfaction.
- Leadership: Good leadership qualities are undeniably valuable to an organization and can contribute to your upward mobility. People with notable leadership skills inspire and motivate others and bring out the best in people and teams. They also communicate effectively, delegate responsibilities, and empower their employees.
- Coaching/mentoring: Mentoring and coaching are essential parts of the learning and development strategy of many organizations today and are useful in terms of engaging, developing, and retaining talent. They are an invaluable tool for any manager or leader.
- Multitasking: Most jobs, especially in our digital age, require juggling several things at once. Managing multiple tasks, priorities, and projects is a must, increasing efficiency and productivity.
- Positivity: Having a positive attitude, practicing positive thinking, and exuding genuine positivity at work will reflect on what you do and how others perceive you. It will also make you a more productive employee and a role model for co-workers and subordinates.
- Problem-solving: Issues and challenges are bound to arise at work. An employee who is solution oriented and adept at problem-solving is an asset to any organization.
- Communication: Possessing strong communication skills that include active listening, speaking, observing, writing, and emphasizing are essential at every career level. The ability to convey information in an easily understood and open manner gets things done, supports smooth and productive operations, and builds trust and commitment.
- Creativity: More businesses are seeking creativity in their employees than ever before. Creativity does more than bring fresh ideas and new approaches to new and old problems; it encourages teamwork and bonding, increases problem-solving, and leads to greater productivity.
- Customer service: Research indicates 70%of people will spend more money with a company that has excellent customer service. Employees that are customer service-focused are an asset to any company.
- Decision-making: Have you ever met a smart and skilled but indecisive person? The ability to make wise decisions versus always asking for guidance is paramount.
- Ethical: This almost goes without saying, but there is no place for unethical behavior in the workplace.
- Self-motivation/autonomous: Include these key skills on your resume and highlight examples of how you’ve taken the initiative, been self-motivated, and worked autonomously to solve problems when they arise and get the job done.
- Time and project management: Effective, efficient employees have the discipline to prioritize their time to meet deadlines without compromising quality.
- Work ethic: Every employer seeks employees who are punctual, reliable, and who will work hard to get the job done efficiently and effectively.
- Team player: Achieving goals in the workplace today usually requires collaboration and teamwork.
Technical skills (hard skills) by industry
Technical skills, also known as hard skills, require specific training and education and are easier to prove, unlike soft skills. You either have experience with Google Analytics, for example, or you don’t. You either have experience performing financial modeling or not. Each job comes with a different set of possible skill requirements. Below, we’ve outlined several job types and the skills you may need for it.
From software developers to network engineers and IT strategists, information technology jobs are booming right now. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% growth rate in IT jobs from 2019 to 2029. Adding the appropriate keywords, such as those listed below, as skills to your resume helps you attract the attention of hiring managers in a competitive marketplace. Remember to highlight any IT certifications you have completed, too.
- Programming languages
- Web development
- Machine learning
- QA & testing/debugging
- User experience
- User interface design
- Data structures
- Open source experience
- Front-end and back-end development
- Cloud management
- Amazon web services (AWS)
- Agile development
- Server maintenance
Engineering and technical jobs
Carefully assess your essential skills and highlight keywords such as those below in your resume to outshine the competition and score the best technical and engineering jobs, including computer engineering, civil engineering, and electrical engineering jobs.
- STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills
- CAD (computer-aided design)
- Workflow development
- Computer skills
- Project launch
- Lean manufacturing
- Technical writing
Advertising and marketing jobs
A company’s success, brand image, and the ability to generate revenue and boost return on investment (ROI) hinge on several crucial functions, including advertising and marketing.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay per click (PPC Google Ads)
- Display advertising
- Content marketing
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
- A/B testing (set up and analysis)
- Analytics tools Google, Adobe, etc.
- Social media marketing
- Paid social media advertising
- Sales funnel management
- Content management tools
- Email marketing
- Traditional media
- Email automation
- Branding and design principles
- Role-specific software and tools
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General and project management jobs
Project managers and project schedulers are in high demand. According to the Project Management Institute, employers will need nearly 88 million individuals in project management-oriented roles by 2027. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for general managers, who help enterprises operate successfully, will grow at a rate of 6% through 2029. Below are examples of key skills in these job categories sought by hiring managers.
- Managing cross-functional teams
- Ideation leadership
- Feature definition
- Performance tracking
- Financial modeling
- Meeting facilitation
- Scope management
- Project lifecycle management
- P&L (profit and loss)
Administrative positions require training and education and play a critical role in the success of an enterprise.
- Data entry
- MS Office
- Calendar management
- Vendor management
- QuickBooks and other accounting software
- Inventory management software
Sales and customer service jobs
Sales professionals are the revenue lifeblood of many companies, and the most desirable sales job candidates possess a combination of hard and soft skills. Individuals who excel as customer service representatives require soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and active listening, as well as hard skills, such as using CRM software.
- Product knowledge
- Lead qualification
- Lead prospecting
- Customer needs analysis
- Referral marketing
- Contract negotiation
- Vendor relations
- Scope and contract negotiation
- Reducing customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- CRM software (e.g., Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, Freshworks CRM)
Accountants, financial analysts, and financial reporting specialists perform critical business functions that involve hard skills, such as those listed below, and soft skills such as multitasking and attention to detail.
- Analytical and problem solving
- Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets
- Enterprise resource planning software
- Data analytics
- Revenue recognition
- Risk and compliance
- Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
- Business and leadership
- Verbal and written skills
Customizing and perfecting your resume takes forethought, creativity, and expertise. Your resume can make or break your ability to get the job you want. An experienced resume writer will help your resume stand out, and Upwork has the largest pool of proven, remote resume writers available to help you get noticed and land a job interview.