130+ Skills to Put on a Resume (List)

a picture of business person and skills list for the resume

What are the best skills to put on a resume? Placing soft skills and hard skills into a skills section is a great technique for entry-level resume builders. And job candidates who want to fill out a complete professional resume. Emphasizing a key skill, specific skill, or set of skills in a resume can be a good way to attract a potential employer. And that the job application is fitting to the job description. And the needs of the role.

As a job candidate, there are a few places where skills can get referred to. The most useful place to refer to a skill set is in a resume's work experience section. When listing accomplishments on a resume, you naturally describe a relevant skill to the job title.

chronological or hybrid resume skills example

The second place to put skills is in the resume objective (or sometimes referred to as a professional summary, resume summary, or career objective). It’s best to place a list of career accomplishments in this section rather than listing the desired work environment's qualities or job function. When listing relevant career accomplishments, skills naturally get displayed to the hiring manager or prospective employer reading the resume.

As a job seeker, it’s best to reference skills in all these places: a cover letter, “skills” resume section,” career objective, and previous work experience. The way to reference the skill is to explain how it was part of creating a career accomplishment. For example, “Reduced 38% of the sales team's overhead utilizing Salesforce” indicates technical skills, automation skills, and more.

Determining skills to put on a resume

To determine the “right skills” to mention on a resume or cover letter. Refer to the job description or perform an informational interview with a professional who is already employed at the desired company. An informational interview is an opportunity for a job seeker to ask career advice questions to an employee. This can be a helpful platform for a job candidate to learn about the organization's desired skills and for a particular role.

Professional skills can get incorporated into any resume format. For example, there may be a "resume skills" section in a functional resume. That lists professional skills when the candidate has minimal prior work experience. In a reverse chronological resume or hybrid resume, resume skills will get integrated into the previous professional experience. And in the resume summary.

A job candidate should avoid mentioning personal skills, like the ability to “play the piano.” These are hobbies and interests, which are less important on the resume. When a hiring manager or recruiter reads a resume. It’s easier for the reader to feel confident about the job applicant's skills when they read accomplishments. This puts a job skill “in motion” rather than convincing the reader of its truth by listing the resume skill directly.

Tip: As a job seeker, if performing an informational interview isn’t a possibility. Scanning the company's social media accounts and the company website or an "about us page" can provide helpful insight into what the company values. Especially in terms of its work environment. For example, when a company refers to innovation and technology advancement. Or collaboration and teamwork. Then those are going to be the general skills the hiring manager looks for. And can increase the odds of landing a first job interview.

Resume Skills Example

Below is an example of referring to skills in three parts of a resume. In the career objective, resume skills section, and in previous professional experience. For a full resume example, refer to resume examples.

Career Objective Example

In a career objective, it’s best to refer to a career accomplishment. Like the following:

  • Reduced 38% of the overhead in the sales team utilizing Salesforce.

Resume Skills Section Example

In a resume skills section, it’s best to list the resume skill bullet by bullet point:

  • Oversight Skills
  • Reporting Skills
  • Strategic Business Management Skills

Job seekers have the option of listing their proficiency level along with these skills—beginner, intermediate, and advanced. To include proficiency level, add the level next to the skill. For example, "Oversight Skills: Intermediate"

List skills at the bottom of the resume. List skills underneath education, work history, certifications, and licenses.

Listing skills on a resume is best for entry-level positions. Or job seekers who are changing industries. Or job seekers filling gaps in a resume. And lastly, recent graduates or academic professionals who rely on special skills.

Be sure to use a resume template that provides a skills list as part of the resume format. Like a hybrid resume format or combination resume format.

Previous Work Experience Example

When listing a skill in previous professional history, it’s best to state career accomplishments, similar to the career objective. But specific to the job title.

  • Reduced 38% of the overhead in the sales team utilizing Salesforce.

When a job seeker has additional skills to mention, it’s advised they save those skills for the job interview. And refer to them in that setting. It can be a great step to start preparing for a job interview.

Top Skills to Put on a Resume for 2021

Below are the most desired top skills employers value in 20201. Include these in a resume to stand out from other job applicants.

  • Adaptability Skills
  • Remote Work Skills
  • Video Conferencing Skills
  • Remote Time Management Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Comprehension Skills
  • Active-listening Skills
  • Team Participation Skills
  • Integrity Skills
  • Customer Appreciation Skills
  • Customer Empathy Skills
  • Blockchain (as added by LinkedIn Learning)
  • Persuassion
  • Cloud Computing
  • Analytical Reasoning

General Skills for the Resume

Below is a list of transferable skills for any resume.

  • Verbal Communication Skills
  • Instruction Following Skills
  • Conceptual Skills
  • Self-motivation Skills
  • Empathy Skills
  • Attention to Detail Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • People Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Advisory Skills
  • Sales Skills
  • Customer Service Skills
  • Listening Skills
  • Influence Skills
  • Comprehension Skills
  • Multi-tasking Skills
  • Strategic Skills
  • Financial Skills
  • Reporting Skills
  • Oversight Skills
  • Collaboration Skills
  • Planning Skills
  • Tax Preparation Skills
  • Cost Reduction Skills
  • Supervisory Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Motivational Skills
  • Problem-solving Skills
  • Strategic Management Skills
  • Strategic Planning Skills
  • Executive Support Skills

And more skills

  • Operational Skills
  • Coordination Skills
  • Directional Skills
  • Detail-oriented Skills
  • Safety Skills
  • Procedure Following Skills
  • Precautionary Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Team Development Skills
  • Adaptability Skills
  • Research Skills
  • Quantitative Skills
  • Stamina Skills
  • Flexibility Skills
  • Written Communication Skills
  • Presentation Skills
  • Client Interaction Skills
  • Client Success Skills
  • Customer Service Skills
  • Customer Empathy Skills
  • Compliance Skills
  • Efficiency Skills
  • Public Speaking Skills
  • Patience Skills
  • Time-Management Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence Skills
  • Creativity Skills
  • Mediation Skills
  • Team Collaboration Skills
  • Management Skills
  • Team Leadership Skills
  • Team Planning Skills
  • Instruction Giving Skills
  • Instruction Following Skills
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Nonverbal Communication Skills
  • Persuasion Skills
  • Body Language Skills
  • Storytelling Skills
  • Proposal Development Skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Critical Observation Skills
  • Design Aptitude Skills
  • Innovation Skills
  • Logical Thinking Skills
  • Resourceful Skills
  • Tolerance Skills
  • Troubleshooting Skills
  • Deal Making Skills
  • Delegation Skills
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Feedback Giving Skills
  • Coaching Skills
  • Talent Management Skills
  • Project Management Skills
  • Confidence Skills
  • Cooperation Skills
  • Enthusiasm Skills
  • Honesty Skills
  • Respectability Skills
  • Disability Awareness Skills
  • Diversity Awareness Skills
  • Intercultural Skills
  • Selling Skills
  • Team Building Skills
  • Teamwork Skills
  • Office Politics Skills
  • Attentiveness Skills
  • Business Ethics Skills
  • Devotion Skills
  • Dedication Skills
  • Dependability Skills
  • Scheduling Skills
  • Resilience Skills
  • Punctuality Skills
  • Business Etiquette Skills
  • Training Skills
  • Self-direction Skills
  • Rule Following Skills
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Process Improvement Skills
  • Emotional Management Skills
  • Technology Skills
  • Work Ethic Skills
  • Stress Management Skills
  • Technical skills
  • Analytical Skills
  • Marketing Skills
  • Computer Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Teachable Abilities

Technical Skills

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, Teams)
  • Google Suite (Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, Forms)
  • Excel Spreadsheets
  • Microsoft Open Office
  • Quickbooks
  • Quicken
  • Trello
  • Jira
  • Dropbox
  • Flowdock
  • Skype
  • Slack

Soft Skills for Nurses, Teachers, Lawyers

Here would be some examples for a teacher:

  • Curriculum Development Skills
  • Child Development Skills
  • Learning Disability Skills
  • In-classroom Planning Skills
  • Classroom Direction Skills
  • Instruction Giving Skills
  • Digital Marketing Skills

Soft Skills for Cashiers

  • Cash Handling Skills
  • Check Cashing Skills
  • Debit Card Management Skills
  • Till Organization Skills
  • Computer Skills
  • POS System Skills
  • Customer Service Skills
  • Customer Appreciation Skills
  • People Skills
  • Retail Sales Skills

Soft Skills for HR Professionals

  • Process Management Skills
  • Human Resource Skills
  • Interview Scheduling Skills
  • Contract Review Skills
  • Employment Benefits Skills
  • Employment Law Skills

How to Choose the Right Skills

To determine the right skills or career accomplishments to share with the interviewer or to list on a resume. Read through the job description or job advertisement. Sometimes referred to as a job ad or job posting.

Here's an example job description for a cashier position. In strong are the points in the job description that would align with the sample skills below it.

Job description sample

  • Ensure customer satisfaction by greeting customers and creating a healthy work environment near the checkout area.
  • Process credit card, cash, automatic debits, charge payments, and other forms of payment.
  • Ensure each transaction gets completed before the customer leaves the store.
  • Work closely with other team members on the sales floor to assist customers with merchandise questions and selection.
  • Be a multidisciplinary team member and assist customers and colleagues with various needs.
  • Ensure a balanced till and register at the end of each workday.
  • Strive to become a great cashier and provide excellent customer service at all times.
  • Handle customer returns and ensure customers receive receipts on all return transactions.
  • Assist with questions regarding each customers' purchases.

From the sample job description above, it's clear that customer service is a key skill. Meaning, the cover letter and resume should both include work experiences and skills that allude to having strong customer service abilities.

Pulling skills from the job description

Based on the job description above, these skills would be applicable:

  • Customer Appreciation Skills
  • Customer Empathy Skills
  • POS Skills

If unclear on how to choose the right skill for the job description, ask a friend or colleague. Or decide to use a backup skill based on the most desirable skills for 2020.

For some jobs, there is a required skill. Some refer to this as a hard skill rather than a soft skill, for example, in a software engineering role. A software engineer is going to need to list programming skills. But instead of doing that, they should list programming languages they are proficient in.

For example, a software engineer job description might state, "A degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics or related fields is essential. Some companies may require expertise in particular high-level programming languages such as C++, Java, or Scala."

When this is the case, the job seeker should list skills as "programming languages." Or "proficient programming languages." Rather than listing "programming skills" under the skills list.

Those applying for positions like executive assistant should not follow the same software engineer methods. It's common for an executive assistant role to require "software skills." The employer is looking for computer proficiencies, including Microsoft Office, Excel, and other digital tools as job skills. These pieces of software would get listed under the skills section. Like the following example:

Skills

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, Teams)

What if there's no job listing or job description?

There are a few solutions for a job seeker.

  • Search common job descriptions online or job description templates to get an idea of what skills are required for the position.
  • Search the job title at The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which includes certifications, licenses, and other job duties.
  • Use LinkedIn to get an idea of what the company stands for, what the company goals are, and overall company culture.
  • Ask a friend or previous colleague what the greatest skills they might list if writing a resume for you.

Go above and beyond other candidates

Consider the skills other candidates might refer to. Reference special skills that other candidates might not have on top of each transferable skill. Or on top of job skills that are required for the position (based on the job description).

Tip: Wondering what a transferable skill is? A transferable skill is defined as "an ability or expertise which may get used in a variety of roles or occupations. Examples include communication, problem-solving and self-control."

Hybrid or Combination Resume Format

Below is a basic resume format for building a hybrid or combination resume. Job seekers and job applicants need to notice where the resume skills list should get placed. After work experience, certifications, licenses, education, and community involvement.

Contact Information:
The job applicant’s phone number, email address, LinkedIn profile, and other pertinent information.

Resume Objective:
Often referred to as a resume summary, resume objective, career objective, or other. This summarizes a professional's career achievements in less than 200 words.

Work Experience:
A majority of the document will contain relevant professional history (relevant experience) for the potential employer. Includes previous job titles, years employed, and achievements.

Education:
Displays high school, bachelor, and graduate school degrees or information. Includes years in attendance, Latin honors, and other pertinent information.

(Optional) Certifications:
For positions like a Registered Nurse (RN), Paralegal, Paramedic, Teacher, or other certified roles a certification section should be present.

(Optional) Skills:
List relevant hard skills and soft skills that align with the job description and company culture.

Resume Sample Including Soft Skills and Hard Skills

Below is a resume sample for a graphic design position. This position is unique because it requires listing hard skills and soft skills. Notice how the combination of hard skills and soft skills can be placed on the resume.

Ann Kendra • [email protected] • 222-498-9584 • kendra.com

Career Accomplishments
  • Assisted with marketing XYZ Company’s major launch, creating more than 10,000 marketing assets. And other pieces of marketing material.
  • Increased our lead generation pipeline by more than 23% utilizing tools like Optimizely.
Work Experience
Mays & Co.
Graphic Designer
2010 - 2019

  • Assisted with all marketing material development.
  • Assisted with the increase of our lead generation by more than 20%.
  • Communicated cross-functionally with multiple teams.
  • Acted as an internal design consultant.
Willy & Co
Graphic Designer
2019 - Present

  • Increased customer satisfaction by more than 18% by designing a new customer service portal.
  • Assisted with all event graphic design needs.
  • Produced our first iOS application.
Technical Skills
  • Adobe Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and more)
  • Microsoft (Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel)
  • Sketch
  • Framer
  • Moqups or Invision App
  • Other HTML tools
  • Typography
  • Branding
  • Logo Design
  • Information Architecture
Skills
  • Adapatbility skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Coordination skills
  • Comprehension skills
  • Versatility skills
Education
Rhode Island School of Design
Bachelors of Arts in Graphic Design
2000 - 2004
Magna Cum Laude

graphic design resume with soft skills

Resume Skills Tips

Below are the best practices for job seekers to follow.

Keep the list concise

A skills list shouldn't be 20+ skills. It should be 5 to 10 key skills that speak to the employer. And provide the employer potential to see core competencies or proficiencies that the potential employer can ask about in a job interview.

Don't mix up hard and soft skills

If the employer wants to see soft skills, mention them. But if the employer wants to see hard skills, like software skills. Then don't list "software skills" as part of the skills. Mention which software proficiencies are available. And ensure the hiring manager is clear on what the applicant can bring to the company..

Ask around

Don't assume; talk to professionals in the field and ask what key skills they feel should be put on the resume. Find out what skills are most important to them. Ask about work experiences and decipher if particular skills stand out based on those work experiences.

Ask former coworkers and fellow students what strengths can be seen in each other. From there, try to determine the appropriate skills to mention in the resume. If new to the professional work, ask a student that has worked closely with the job applicant.

Don't forget awards and achievements

Awards and achievements are great skills. And can be balanced out with hard skills and soft skills. Mention conferences that have been attended, community service, fellowships, and memberships. Or other accolades that make a unique and compelling job application.

Don't guess

Read through the job description. Or online samples of the job description. And other job listings posted online. To get an idea of the definitive requirements for the role. From there, determine the appropriate skills to list. Don't list skills that don't apply to the job.

What if the job requires hard and soft skills

This isn't uncommon. For example, in a software engineering manager role. The role would require technical skills and programming skills. Meaning the candidate should list proficient programming languages. But in addition to this, it requires management skills. Which would mean the candidate would need to list "SCRUM, Agile Development, Time Management, Prioritization, and Adaptability" as skills.

The key is to balance out hard skills and soft skills in the same list. It would look something like the following:

Skills

  • C++
  • Ruby/Ruby on Rails
  • Scrum
  • Agile Development
  • Time Management
  • Prioritization

Another option is to format the skills like the following:

Skills

  • Programming skills (Ruby, HTML, CSS, C++, Java, Analytics, MS Office)
  • Data analysis (Google Analytics, Google Studio, R)
  • Agile development
  • SCRUM methodology
  • Project Managment
  • Priortization

How do I know what soft skills are in contrast to hard skills?

It should be pretty clear on the job description. Soft skills will be placed in the job duties and job responsibilities. And most hard skills will be in the job requirements section.

Indeed.com helps describe the difference between hard skills and soft skills. Saying, "Hard skills are related to specific technical knowledge and training while soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, communication or time management. Both types of skills are necessary to perform and advance in most jobs successfully."

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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