It’s tricky to strike the right balance when penning a resume. It can be difficult to include all the relevant information in a concise resume without sacrificing quality.
Hiring managers care a great deal about the skills you bring to the table. Consequently, when making a list of qualifications for a resume, it is crucial to focus on those that are directly applicable to the position you are applying for. And it should go without saying, but we will anyway: make sure that the skills you list for a job application are ones you actually have.
How then do you choose which abilities to highlight in your resume? What if, however, you are interested in working from home?
Differentiating Your Resume Based on Your Hard and Soft Skills
There is a virtually infinite number of transferable skills that can be highlighted on a resume; the trick is to pick the ones that will have the greatest impact. All jobs require a combination of general, transferable skills and industry-specific, technical expertise.
Hard skills are technical competencies that are task- and role-specific and can usually be quantified. Programming languages are an example of a hard skill that can be acquired by software developers. Soft skills, also known as personal qualities or creative capacities, are those that a person either possesses inherently or can develop over time. Adaptability, self-motivation, people skills, time management, and the ability to work effectively under pressure are all examples of the “soft skills” that employers look for.
Let us examine your resume’s skills section in greater detail.
Top skills to put on your resume
Active listening skills
The skill of “active listening” is the capacity to pay undivided attention to the speaker, take in what they are saying, process the information presented, and respond intelligently. An active listener is someone who uses both verbal and nonverbal cues to demonstrate and maintain focus on the speaker. The ability to, and practice of, active listening can demonstrate to coworkers that you are invested in the success of the group and the project at hand.
Careers are always in flux, whether you’re a new hire learning the ropes, a long-time employee adjusting to shifting company priorities, or a manager adopting transformative technologies in the workplace. Staff members who are flexible in their work arrangements and open to trying new methods and tools are highly sought after by employers.
Basic Technical Skills
Any competent office worker ought to be well-versed in these areas. If you’re applying for a job in an office, whether as a secretary, a clerk, or in some other capacity, you can highlight these abilities.
In today’s competitive job market, the ability to communicate effectively in writing, orally, and in presentations is a must have no matter what your industry or job title. Candidates who can confidently present in front of any audience, from interns to C-suite executives, and who can converse with ease across all levels of experience are highly sought after by employers.
A proficiency in computers necessitates a willingness to study and experiment with new devices. Knowing how to physically turn on and off hardware is an example of a fundamental hardware skill. Having software proficiency allows you to make the most of your time spent in front of a computer. Use of spreadsheets and familiarity with a particular programming language are two examples of software skills that some employers may require as a condition of employment.
The ability to solve problems in novel ways is a valuable skill in almost any occupation. Maybe you’re really good at coming up with novel solutions to old problems. Your resume can showcase your creativity by highlighting a problem you solved or highlighting creative abilities like writing or design.
Analytical skills are in high demand, as is the ability to make sense of data and draw actionable conclusions from it, and there are many jobs available that require you to do so.
Giving employees some independence frees up management to concentrate on the big picture and has been shown to boost morale and productivity. That’s why it’s important to hire staff members who can take stock of a given situation and come up with a plan of action without constantly needing to be told what to do.
“Emotional intelligence” is defined as “the capacity to recognize and control one’s own emotions and those of others,” by Psychology Today. The ability to remain level-headed and professional through the inevitable ups and downs of the workplace. While this is useful in any field, it is especially relevant for those seeking managerial positions.
To interact and communicate effectively with others, you need interpersonal skills. They range from general situations requiring cooperation to more specific ones. To collaborate effectively, find solutions to problems, and take charge of projects or teams, it’s crucial to hone one’s interpersonal skills.
The ability to manage people and to motivate them is essential in leadership roles. Leaders don’t have to be managers, but good managers tend to be leaders.
The best leaders are those who can connect with their followers on an emotional level, articulate their ideas clearly, and inspire the people around them to follow their lead. As a result, they are able to inspire those around them to perform to their full potential and collaborate effectively to achieve shared objectives. That’s why leadership is such a valuable skill in so many fields today.
Management abilities allow you to exercise control over both tasks and people. If you want your team or project to succeed, you need a manager who is well-organized, considerate, and communicative. Managers also need to have a firm grasp of the technical and soft skills unique to their field.
The purpose of marketing is to increase product awareness and ultimately sales. Many businesses may still be interested in hiring you if you have this skill set, even if marketing isn’t your specialty. Speaking and writing fluently about the features and benefits of one’s company’s offerings is a skill that can be applied in a wide variety of settings. Experience in marketing or social media is a plus.
Math skills are essential in the fields of finance, business, engineering, construction, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and operations. If your job requires a lot of math, maybe you should break it down into more manageable chunks.
Employers place a higher value on workers who can handle a high volume of customers and clients. The most in-demand foreign languages vary by sector and location, but Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, French, and German are always safe bets. If you’re applying for a job that doesn’t involve communicating with foreign customers, you should still highlight your linguistic abilities. If you want to stand out from the crowd, your resume needs to highlight your unique set of skills.
Not “overly cheerful” or “overly optimistic,” though. Instead, demonstrate that you have a positive outlook in the face of adversity. The ability to bounce back from adversity and the will to see a task through are more important than a pessimistic outlook. It’s a desirable trait in an employee.
Almost no work is without its share of difficulties. What kind of business owner or manager wants to be responsible for helping their employees through difficult times? Conflict resolution and the ability to think outside the box when faced with a problem, no matter how big or small, are highly sought after abilities in a job candidate.
Companies want to hire people who are familiar with a variety of research methods and tools, including those used for eDiscovery, competitive intelligence, and internal data collection. Hard research skills include the ability to interview participants, organize and schedule research, and analyze and interpret results to guide stakeholders to a consensus. The resume should also include a section detailing the applicant’s experience with relevant technologies.
Search engine optimization
In today’s job market, candidates without strong soft skill sets won’t even be considered. Not strictly necessary for job success, but essential for maintaining harmony in the office.
If two applicants have equivalent technical qualifications, the hiring manager will always choose the one with superior soft skills.
Consequently, it is crucial to highlight your soft skills in your resume.
Able to be applied in a variety of contexts and situations, transferable skills are valuable to any potential employer. Soft skills such as adaptability, organizational prowess, and teamwork are examples of transferable competencies. When applying for a new job, especially one in a different field, you can highlight your transferable skills to highlight your relevant experience.
Having to write is a vital skill for many careers. Whether you’re communicating with clients or colleagues, the ability to put words on paper is an absolute must. The tone of an email can convey the wrong idea, and it won’t look good if there are lots of typos and grammatical errors. Include details about specific projects that required extensive writing and mention them in your cover letter and in any follow-up emails with the recruiter to show that you can write effectively.
What kind of skills should I include in my resume?
You should highlight both your hard and soft skills in your resume.
Hard skills are those directly applicable to a job, such as those learned in school or through on-the-job training, while soft skills are those that can help you get along with others and fit in at work.
Skills like copywriting, database management, graphic design, multilingualism, public speaking, search engine optimization, and so on are all applicable across industries.
Soft skills, on the other hand, include the ability to communicate, think creatively, lead others, work effectively in teams, manage time, handle conflicts, etc.
Where do skills go on a resume?
On a resume, abilities are detailed under the “Skills” heading and located either directly beneath or to the side of the “Work Experience” section.
However, you can bolster the claims you make in this section by incorporating additional evidence of your proficiency with relevant skills into other parts of your resume, like the summary and the list of your previous jobs.
What are good skills to add to a resume?
Because there are no such things as “universally good skills,” there is no clear solution to this problem. It is dependent upon your level of knowledge and ability, as well as the skills that are in demand by potential employers. To get the job, carefully read the description and underline relevant terms that you can use to tailor your resume.
A resume for a career change should emphasize transferable skills that are equally applicable to the new field. If this is your first resume and you don’t have much work experience, you should highlight a variety of impressive transferable skills instead.
How many skills should I include on my resume?
It’s entirely up to you how many abilities you list on your resume. Think about the skills that are most in demand in your field as well as those that a specific employer is seeking. In the skills section of your resume, it is recommended that you list no more than ten skills; however, you can include additional relevant skills in the summary and experience sections.
How do you organize skills on a resume?
Resumes are organized by placing the most relevant skills first. In most contexts, this indicates a bias toward developing one’s technical (hard) skills over one’s interpersonal (soft) abilities. Consequently, the skills most relevant to the advertised position will be displayed first. When writing a resume, it’s best to start with a list of your job-related skills and then move on to more general ones, like your personality traits and work ethic.
Inclusion of particular abilities in a resume is situational, depending on the job being sought, the applicant’s level of experience and education, and other relevant factors. The most important skills for a marketing manager will be different from those needed by a commercial truck driver. Before applying to a job, it’s a good idea to do some research on the company’s needs and priorities so that your resume can emphasize your relevant experiences.
Including a list of your relevant skills on your resume is a great way to demonstrate to a recruiter or hiring manager why you are the best candidate for the position and how you can contribute to their team in specific ways. You can quickly differentiate yourself from the competition by tailoring your application to the specific needs of each open position and highlighting relevant experiences and skills.