The top 20 most important skills to include on your resume
Writing a good resume is a tough balancing act. It can sometimes be a challenge to keep your resume short and sweet while still including enough quality information to make a lasting impression.
Hiring managers will also be very interested in your skills. This means knowing what’s right for the job is especially important when considering the skills to list on your resume.
And while it goes without saying, we’ll say it just in case: any professional skills listed on your resume should be skills you actually possess. So how do you know what skills are best to include on your resume? And what if you are find a remote job?
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills on Your Resume
There are many skills you can incorporate into any resume and you need to decide which ones are the most effective. There are hard, industry-specific skills as well as soft skills that every job requires.
Hard skills are technical skills that are specific to a particular job and can often be measured. Software developers, their hard skills include specific programming languages. Soft skills are personal skills or creative abilities that come naturally or can be strengthened over time. Some examples of soft skills are adaptability, self-motivation, people skills, time management, and the ability to work under pressure.
“Some of the great skills employers want to see on your resume when looking for remote work are written and verbal communication, ability to work independently, time and task management, organization, comfort with technology, and specialized knowledge of remote communication tools. Such as Zoom, Skype, Dropbox, Google Suite, and others,” shared Toni frana, Flex jobs’ expert career coach.
Let’s take a closer look at the skills section of your resume.
Top Skills to List on Your Resume
Best soft skills for your CV (example)
There are many soft skills (personal skills) you can include on your resume, but how do you know which ones to include? Here is a short list of examples of soft skills to include on your resume. (Be sure to read the job description carefully and determine what soft skills you have that are best suited for the job.)
– Problem-solving skills
No matter what the job, things will go wrong at some point, and employers want to know that you can find a quick and effective solution. In fact, there are jobs that do nothing more than solving problems for the company, the customer, or both.
– Critical thinking skills
The ability to think rationally and considerately is the basis for critical thinking. Employers want employees who can think through a problem or project and determine the best course of action to take. Critical thinkers create new and better ways of doing things, making resume writing an invaluable skill.
Many organizations and industries want employees who are dynamic and adaptable to any situation, or who have a natural ability to apply different methods and approaches in different situations to achieve the best end result.
– communication skills
Whether written or verbal, it is invaluable to be able to communicate with your boss, colleagues, and customers/clients in all situations. The better you do, the better results you will get.
– Joint activities
Most jobs sometimes require you to work with other people at some point, and employers want to know that you can thrive in a team environment. Some jobs will value these skills more than others.
– Organizational skills
It’s not just about a tidy desk, it’s about organizing tasks and projects for your colleagues, management, and last but not least for yourself! If you want to show off your organizational skills, a tightly structured resume will definitely help.
Thinking outside the box and finding creative solutions can be a real asset in any role. Maybe you’re good at thinking things through in a way you’ve never been before. Creativity can be demonstrated on your resume through problems you solve or creative skills like writing or designing.
– Emotional intelligence
According to Psychology Today, “emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions as well as those of others.” At work, this means being rational, balanced, and able to handle the ups and downs without losing control. While this is important for everyone, including these skills on a management resume, is a must.
– Attention to detail
While you are working, you must ensure that you follow all instructions to complete your work. This can be especially important when working with other people. Attention to detail will be required in whatever role you have. Think of times when you saw or fixed a potential bug because of your attention to detail.
Part of being a good employee is taking responsibility for your duties and even admitting mistakes. Most managers don’t want to screen their employees to make sure every piece of their job is done. Responsibility means doing what you have to do to get things done.
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Top Hard Skills for Your CV (Examples)
Hard skills tend to be more technical in nature, and each industry or type of job usually has its own requirements. Figuring out what range of hard skills to expect in your field may take some research. The following are examples of hard skills that are generally in demand in many industries. (Be sure to read the job description carefully and determine what hard skills you have that are best suited for the job.)
– Knowledge of computer software and applications
The list of professions that do not require you to use a computer and certain types of software is very short. You may be able to divide “computer skills” into two or three technical skills specific to your field.
In addition to obvious careers like graphic or web design, there are jobs in marketing, advertising, branding, engineering, and construction that require design skills—even if it’s just presentation.
– Data analysis
Understand that data is very popular today and there are many jobs that will require you to analyze metrics and estimate their practical value of them, so it is invaluable to include analytical skills on your resume.
There are many jobs that involve selling products or services, buying stock or raw materials, arranging manufacturing or transportation deals, building promotional or investment partnerships, etc.
Finance, economics, engineering, construction, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and operations all require some level of proficiency in mathematics. If you have a more mathematical job, consider breaking it down into more specific skill areas.
– Project management
Many jobs require project management skills. The ability to control the flow of tasks and complete tasks on time is part of project management. You may have used project management software in the past or completed projects early – all of these indicate good project management.
Marketing involves selling and promoting products and services. Even if you’re not a marketer, many companies want this hard skill. Knowing the essentials and benefits of your company’s products and services and the ability to talk or write about them can be beneficial in many jobs. If you have a certain marketing or social media experience, even better.
Even if your job is non-administrative, chances are its part of your role. Administrative skills include the things you do to manage your role: organize, plan, schedule, send an email, manage files, etc. Employers want to know that you can handle the details.
– writing skills
Many jobs involve writing. Whether for clients or colleagues, basic writing skills are a necessary and absolute requirement for your resume. An email full of spelling and grammar mistakes won’t look good on you, and a bad tone can send the wrong message. Demonstrate these skills through your cover letter and email to recruiters, listing specific projects in writing.
– Foreign language
Being bilingual can be a big hard skill and set you apart from the competition. Even if the job or company doesn’t initially require bilingual employees, they can rate your skills positively. It’s common to need someone who speaks a foreign language to help a client or customer, so use these skills on your resume.
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How to list skills on your resume
Sort skills by relevance
If you are applying for a sales position, your previous experience as an auto mechanic was not the best. You should emphasize an experience that can be applied to a sales role. However, if you lack experience, look for skills relevant to your current position.
For example, if you are in charge of customer service as a mechanic, it could transfer this to a sales role.
Add the highlight section
Modern resumes are values-based, requiring the delivery of information that is performance-based rather than task-based. If you have held several positions with varying levels of achievement, select the top four positions that you are most proud of and include them in the Career Highlights section.
Try to avoid adding more than four as these sections are meant to highlight your achievements and you don’t want to create sections with long bulleted lists that create a very boring way of reading content.
Categorize by Expertise
As you get higher up in your career, you may have multiple responsibilities spanning multiple platforms or departments. If you are a manager or company operations manager, your responsibilities may include: managing people, keeping the day-to-day business running, communicating with key stakeholders and/or suppliers, developing and managing projects, and hiring and training employees.
With your information by task or achievement, you can categorize content into sections to reflect the diversity of your responsibilities.
As an example:
Process Improvement: Information on responsibilities and/or achievements related to the creation and implementation of processes to improve operational efficiency.
Customer Service Skills: Content that demonstrates how to maintain or improve the customer experience in your organization.
Change Management: Information that may relate to staff restructuring, development of employee training programs, and individual or group training on company best practices.
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Your soft skills and hard skills are the things that qualify or disqualify you for a job. Be sure to include some of these top skills on your resume for maximum results.