The best resumes have comprehensive lists of desirable key skills to make employers look twice and choose one candidate over another.
If you want to ace your next job interview and make your job application stand out from other candidates, you need to put the best details possible on your resume to impress a prospective employer right from the get-go.
But what job skills should you write down? This article will break down 19 of the best skills for a resume that any hiring manager will love.
Soft skills employers love to see
So-called “soft skills” are usually people-focused, generalized or applicable to various industries and situations. Nevertheless, employers like to see plenty of soft skills in their candidates.
Related: How to Make a Resume That Gets You the Job
Leadership skills have always been in demand, and that’s even truer today. Anyone can be a good worker, but only a few employees can successfully run and manage teams, especially when the time comes to knock out complex projects.
If you have successfully led teams in the past, note those experiences on your resume and explain what exactly you did, your responsibilities and other relevant factors.
The more leadership skills you can mark down on your resume in the skills section, the more attractive a candidate you will be, even if you aren’t expected to lead anyone soon. This is true even if a job description requests more technical skills.
Leadership skills make you a better choice for potential management positions or promotions in the future. Because many companies hire long-term candidates, not just short-term workers, listing leadership skills can make you stand out relative to your competition in a big way.
Communication skills are also critical. You need to be able to communicate with your fellow team members and workers to get along well at your new company. This might seem like a waste of space to put down, but don’t discount it.
Noting that you have communication skills tells your employer two things:
- You are confident about your ability to be a team player, which says a lot about your personality.
- You know that employers are looking for this skill, which means it’s something you think about.
Both can indicate that you are an excellent potential hire for an open position. Good interpersonal skills, like demonstrated emotional intelligence or active listening skills, are even more critical if you apply for an administrative or management job posting.
Sometimes, they’re better than computer skills or other specific skills, such as graphic design.
Related: 9 Best Practices to Improve Your Communication Skills and Become a More Effective Leader
Writing skills are an essential subcategory of communication skills, which are in demand for many new jobs.
Specific jobs in marketing and communications value writing skills highly, and (an added plus) you can explicitly demonstrate your capabilities in your resume writing. Using polished, engaging and succinct language in your resume will support your inclusion of writing in your list of skills.
General problem-solving skills can also be good to put down on any resume. In most jobs, you’ll need to solve complex problems at one point or another, either because you run into an unexpected situation or because employer policies and procedures don’t cover all possibilities.
Good problem-solving, therefore, is seen as a must-have skill for many organizations and industries. Be sure to put this on your resume no matter the job or industry you apply.
It shows that you can think critically (and critical thinking skills are just as essential) and that you’re not afraid to face a challenge. It’s also an indicator of adaptability: another relevant skill ideal for any job search.
Try not to put down problem-solving and critical thinking skills simultaneously. There’s a lot of overlap between these two types of skill sets, so just put one or the other.
Organizational skills reflect your ability to handle lots of resources and moving pieces. It’s an important skill to put on your resume when applying for a leadership or management position, but it’s good to put it down regardless just because it shows you are a hard worker and won’t be overwhelmed by many things on your plate.
Time management skills
Time management skills are wise to put on your resume, whether you are applying for an entry-level or management position.
Good time management is a much rarer skill than you may think, particularly in this day and age where there are ample digital distractions in people’s pockets at all times.
By them noting that you have good time management skills, your employer will feel more confident about letting you work on your own and unsupervised. This is important since it means they can focus on other aspects of running a business instead of worrying about your productivity.
Solid teamwork skills are must-haves for most positions and workers these days. Being able to work with others is crucial if you are to become a part of any new team, so be sure to note that you have strong teamwork skills regardless of your prior work experiences.
If you need to be specific, write down some anecdotes about how you were an excellent team member on your cover letter. You should tie that experience into a moment when you overcame a challenge or solved a problem.
Add people skills to your resume skills section, and you’ll be a more successful job seeker overall.
Related: How to Acquire Soft Skills and Measure Them Successfully
Customer service skills
Good customer service skills are necessary for any industry — especially if you apply to a service industry or entry-level position. Basically, if your job requires you to interact with the general public frequently, you must have good customer service skills.
Mention any specific skills or tools you may have used to this effect.
For instance, if you previously worked at a call center, note that your customer service skills came from learning to speak to dozens or hundreds of people over the phone and provide meaningful assistance, no matter their problems.
It is also wise to put down any marketing skills on your resume. Good marketing skills are highly desirable for specific marketing positions and general employees.
Marketing skills can involve using particular tools or tactics or just understanding how to phrase things to make products seem more appealing to customers.
This is closely related to sales experience; put down either sales experience or marketing experience if you are applying to a sales or commission-based job.
Related: 5 Skills Every Marketer Should Have on Their Resume When Applying to Startups
Hard skills employers seek
Hard skills are technical, specific and usually related to a specific skill or talent instead of being generalized. Here are some of the most in-demand hard skills to consider putting on your resume.
Related: Technical Skills Interviewers are Looking for in Job Candidates
Project management skills
Project management skills are incredibly in demand and closely tied to leadership skills. Many organizations have complex projects they need to be headed by talented individuals.
If you can accurately claim that you have successfully led other projects through your management style, you’ll be well-positioned to take open job positions from other candidates.
Project management skills can be particular and reflect proficiency in specific programs and processes. For instance, scrum project management may make you a perfect choice for an IT company.
Data analysis skills
Data analysis skills are also highly in demand these days and for good reason. Many companies must analyze the data they collect from their customers and clients.
You’ll be a desirable candidate for many industries and companies if you can do this, both generally and with specific programs and equations.
Be sure to reference specific data analysis experience and techniques you are familiar with when listing this on your resume. The more specific you can get, the better; most hirers and recruiters will know what exactly to look for if they are trying to fill a data management or data analyst spot.
Enterprise resource planning skills
Enterprise resource planning skills, or ESP skills, are good to put on any resume, especially if you’re applying for a closely related position. ERP is crucial for large-scale organizations to not waste valuable equipment, time, people or other resources.
As with many other hard skills, be specific regarding your prior work experience and whether you know certain tactics, tools or techniques.
Generalized computer proficiency is now expected in a majority of positions. After all, everyone should know how to use computers to a basic degree.
However, you can take this a step further and break down other types of computer proficiencies, such as
- Programming proficiency
- Computer repair or hardware maintenance proficiency
This skill can be beneficial both in non-computer-related industries and in the computer industry itself.
Related: Coding in the Classroom: Learning the Future Language of Business
However, keep in mind that mere computer proficiency will only be desirable to employers in the IT industry if you can get more specific about what exactly you do and the value you can provide to a company.
Program proficiency is any proficiency you can list with a specific program. Don’t be humble or think too little of yourself; even proficiency with Microsoft Office 365 is valuable, particularly when many people don’t know how to use those collected programs to their maximum effectiveness.
If you are applying to a job that requires the use of specific programs, such as AWS, mention that. Be clear about your proficiency and mention times when you have used the tool or program effectively for business goals.
Programming language proficiency
Also nice to put on your resume are programming language proficiencies in languages like C++, CSS, Python and HTML.
The more language proficiencies you can list, the better positioned you’ll be to take a job in the IT or programming and web development industries. It may be wise to research what programming languages are most in demand for a specific position before listing them on your resume.
SEO or search engine optimization proficiency is highly valued in many professions, especially social media and marketing managers.
Note that this proficiency doesn’t just mean you understand what SEO is or how it works. It also means you know how to use related SEM tools, like SEMrush, to research keywords and understand how to leverage them for maximum content effectiveness.
Related: 7 Reasons Why SEO Matters for Every Startup
Customer relationship management (CRM) software proficiency means you’re proficient in using popular CRM software platforms like Salesforce. This skill is most desirable and essential for marketing and customer relationship positions or fields.
If you have experience using budgeting software or running budget teams — mention it, and, as always, be specific about the kinds of tools or software platforms you previously used to get the job done.
Like the above, if you have bookkeeping skills using programs like FreshBooks, QuickBooks and similar platforms, mention that on your resume.
Note any educational accounting experience or licenses you may have acquired, like certificates or degrees. You can list these experiences and certifications in a dedicated section, usually toward the bottom of your resume. This is most important if you apply for a financial or accounting-related position.
Related: Why Skills Shouldn’t Be Just a P.S. on a Resume
Web development skills
Specific web development skills, such as using web development tools to outline pages, make frames and place widgets, are vital for many jobs in the IT sector.
However, it’s desirable in any field because most companies have online sites. They may want to know whether you can help them improve those websites and experiences for their customers.
Now you have 19 top skills to put on your resume, provided you have the real-life aptitude to back them up. Remember to tweak the description of each skill based on the job or industry you’re applying for to make them seem as relevant as possible.
Check out Entrepreneur’s other articles to present yourself as effectively as possible the next time you sit for an interview