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Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume

Are you trying to impress an interviewer and secure your dream job?

Writing a good resume is the first step to getting a foot in the door and gaining an interview. And an essential part of any good resume is the skills section.

most important skills to put on a resume

When a company advertises an attractive position, they usually receive stacks of resumes to sort through. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure that your resume stands out from the crowd.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at the most important skills to put on a resume.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Most employers are searching for employees that have a blend of both hard and soft skills. Before you start listing your skills, you need to work out which category they fall into. You need to present a good mix of both hard and soft skills to grab the attention of employers.

What is the main difference between hard vs. soft skills?

Hard skills are skills and abilities that are specific to the job and industry. These are usually technical skills that are learned through training programs, experience, and manuals. Hard skills can include foreign languages, software, and operating specific types of machinery.

Soft skills are skills and abilities that can be applied to any type of job. They are usually social skills or people skills that allow people to relate to each other. Soft skills include customer service, communication, time management, problem-solving, and leadership.

Which of these are employers more focused on?

While hard skills are usually teachable, soft skills are more challenging to develop because they are personality traits. Therefore, soft skills are generally more valuable to employers. While most employees can be sent on a training course to pick up hard skills, soft skills require patience and introspection.

In many cases, soft skills can actually enhance hard skills. Therefore, it is essential to highlight your best hard and soft skills when writing your resume. Consider how these two types of skills relate to each other and use this as an interview topic.

How To Identify Your Best Skills?

Trying to work out what your best skills are can be a challenge. It is crucial to pick a handful of skills that you can talk about during an interview. So, here’s how to work out the best skills to put on your resume.

Your Awards and Achievements

Think about any special awards or prizes that you have been given. Ideally, these should relate to your professional career or your studies. Think about the personal skills or attributes that helped you to gain these accolades.

Ask Former Coworkers or Fellow Students

It can be difficult to recognize in ourselves the things that we are best at. If you have colleagues or a manager that you work closely with, seek their advice and input. If you’re just starting out in your professional career, seek input from teachers and other students.

Talk to Professionals in The Field

Trying to work out the type of skills that specific employers will value most can be tricky. If possible, consider contacting a professional who is already working in the industry. They should be able to reveal the types of skills that are most valuable in their regular work.

most important skills to put on resume

How to List Skills on Your Resume?

It is critical to make sure that the skills you list are relevant to the job you are applying for. The first step is to review the job description and review the company carefully. You may have several skills that you want to present, but make sure you pick those that are applicable.

Make it brief but impactful…

Recruiters usually have a large stack of resumes they need to review and limited time to do it. Therefore, you need to keep your skills section concise and to the point. Once you gain an interview, you can talk about some of your additional skills if you wish.

When reviewing the job description, make a note of the required skills and abilities that match your own. It’s advisable to also consider the company description and the company culture.

For example…

If you are applying for a job as a medical assistant, you may need to be proficient in scheduling programs. The description may also reveal that the company values patient satisfaction and teamwork. Therefore, you will need to tailor the skills that you put on your resume to match this.

Hard skills to highlight include knowledge of patient scheduling software and electronic medical records systems. Now it’s time to turn your attention to your soft skills. These can consist of interpersonal communication, customer service, and team leadership.

Deciding on a Skills Section Format

Now that you understand more about the most important skills to put on a resume, it’s time to look at your formatting.

There are a variety of formats to choose from when writing your skills section on your resume. The specific format you choose will depend on the number and types of skills you wish to highlight. Let’s take a good look at the most popular skill format options.

Listing Your Skills on a Functional Resume

This option is ideal for those changing careers or those with limited professional experience. If you do not have a lot of professional experience, you can lead with your skills by placing them at the top. This type of resume is mostly referred to as a functional resume.

List Your Skills in a Separate Skills Section

This option is best if you have extensive career experience. It allows you to clearly highlight specific skills or qualifications so that they are easily recognizable.

Weave Your Skills Into Your Professional Experience Section

Regardless of the format you decide on; it is crucial to indicate that you have read the job description. An excellent way to achieve this is to scatter the relevant keywords from the job description throughout your resume.

most important skills to put on your resume

Functional Resume Format

If you are adopting a functional resume format, you need to create a separate skills section. This section will highlight specific relevant skills and then go into details about how they apply to your work. So, let’s take a look at a few examples of how to do this with specific skills.

Complaint Resolution

Give a specific example of the average number of calls you answered each day from unsatisfied customers. Work out and state your exact customer service rating. Explain how this relates to both your team and personal goal.

Process Streamlining

Give specific examples of work that you have done in this field, highlighting personal achievements. If you went above and beyond the call of duty, this is the time to mention it. Try to give a specific example and note how that improved the company in some way.

Service-Based Selling

Mention examples of how you exceeded your personal targets and the goals of your team. Give a specific example of how you applied an individual skill to the work in order to improve it. If possible, provide specific facts and figures to illustrate the point.

Listing Your Skills in a Separate Skills Section

A separate skills section allows you to support your professional experience with skills that the employer requires. If you have a substantial amount of professional experience, this should go at the top of the resume. Additional skills can be added in a separate section close to the bottom of your resume.

Weaving Your Skills into Your Professional Experience Section

In addition to including a separate skills section, it is also important to weave the skills into your work experience descriptions. The relevant keywords are sure to jump out at potential employers as they read through your resume. And this will indicate to employers that you have gained the required skills through your previous employment positions.

Example Skills to Put on a Resume

Identifying the relevant hard skills to include on your resume is generally fairly straightforward. However, working out the right soft skills to highlight and expand on can be more difficult. Here are some top soft and hard skills that most employers value and actively look out for.

Active Listening Skills

This is the ability to entirely focus on a speaker, take in their message, and respond to them thoughtfully. Active listeners use both verbal and nonverbal techniques to indicate and keep their attention on the speaker. When working closely with colleagues, demonstrating active listening skills shows that you are interested in both them and the project.

How to demonstrate active listening skills?

Related listening skills include the ability to ask relevant questions and take notes. Other critical active listening skills include verbal and nonverbal communication, punctuality, and organization.

Communication skills

Strong communication skills are not only desirable, but they are also essential for many types of employment positions. This is the ability to explain information clearly and express your thoughts and feelings on a topic.

Some examples…

Related communications skills include written communication, public speaking, verbal and nonverbal communication. It’s also important to demonstrate that you have active listening skills, as mentioned, and interpersonal communication. The ability to deliver constructive criticism is also a communication skill that employers value highly.

Computer skills

These days, many jobs require basic computer skills such as emailing, being able to search for information, and using spreadsheets. Depending on the position you’re applying for, more advanced and specific computer skills may be required. Even if you don’t currently possess the desired computer skills, indicate interest and a willingness to learn.

What should be included?

Related computer skills can include systems administration, the ability to make spreadsheets, typing or word processing, and email management. This is also the place to add specific computer skills such as fluency in coding languages.

Customer Service Skills

In many industries, there is a need to be able to interact with customers to a certain extent. It is ideal to demonstrate that you have strong problem-solving and communication skills in this regard. These skills can also be helpful when it comes to working with difficult team members or even a project manager.

Related customer service skills include actively listening to customers, problem-solving, and empathy. Other associated skills to mention include interpersonal skills and reliability.

most important skills to put on the resume

Interpersonal Skills

These skills are the traits that you rely on when you communicate and interact with other people. Few employees work entirely alone, and it is essential to highlight that you can work well as part of a team. Employers look for candidates who can think and work independently while also being able to do the best things for the team.

How to highlight this?

Related interpersonal skills include strong communication skills, empathy, and patience. It is important to demonstrate that you are comfortable in leadership roles and are also flexible.

Leadership Skills

Even though you may not be interviewing for a managerial role, employers like people who can show initiative. There could be times that you need to lead a project or motivate other workers to work harder. Being able to relate to other workers and inspire them to get the job done is a valuable skill.

Related leadership skills include the ability to teach and mentor other people as well as team building. Other possible skills could be risk-taking, delegation, and time management skills.

Management Skills

It is an excellent idea to highlight the ability to manage both other people and tasks. Good managers need to be organized and clear communicators while also displaying empathy. People who are interested in management positions need to show a range of hard and soft skills.

Related management skills include the ability to perform under pressure, decision making, project planning, team leadership, and team communication. Managers also need to be flexible enough to adapt to different situations and be able to delegate tasks.

Problem-solving Skills

The ability to solve problems in the workplace is a valued skill in all types of industries. It indicates that you’re interested in the company and want everything to run as smoothly as possible. When highlighting problem-solving abilities, make sure to connect them to the industry you work in.

Related problem-solving skills can include attention to detail and collaboration skills. You may also want to include communication skills, research skills, and patience.

Time Management Skills

Maintaining a work-life balance is essential in order to be happy at work and to avoid overlap. Rather than completing projects minutes before the deadline, it is best to complete them well before the deadline. Indicating that you have good time management skills is sure to impress employers and make them want to know more.

Keywords they’re looking for…

Related time management skills include the ability to delegate tasks and the ability to focus on specific tasks to completion. Organizational skills are also an important part of time management as well as goal setting and prioritization.

Transferable Skills

Last but not least, transferable skills are skills that can be applied to just about any type of job. In general, these are personal skills that you will have put time and effort into developing. When several candidates have the same hard skills on paper, strong transferable skills could win you the interview.

Related transferable skills are ambition, leadership skills, teamwork, and strong communication skills. Employers are likely to value candidates that highlight they have empathy and are creative.

Besides The Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume

We also recommend looking into which Hobbies Interests to Put on Resume.

Then, once you’re confident your resume is perfect, we can also assist with full details on specific application processes according to the company. We have everything from The Ritz Carlton Application to ABF Freight System Application, Aerotek Application, Cintas Application, FYE Application, Vans Application, and Seaworld Application. Simply type your potential employer into our search box; you’ll most likely find it!

However, regardless of which company you’re applying with, our top recommendation would be to start to prepare yourself right now for potential questions that will likely come up in almost any interview. Check out our in-depth coverage of Answering Tell Me About Yourself in Interview, responding to Why We Should Hire You? and Why Do You Want to Work Here?

You also cannot go far wrong by owning a resource like Interview Like A Pro, Answering Tough Interview Questions For Dummies, and How to Create Positive Impressions.

Back to today’s topic…

Now You Know The Most Important Skills to Put on a Resume

The most important skills to put on your resume will depend on the job that you are applying for. Therefore, it is essential to read the job description carefully and work out the industry’s specific requirements. You can then tailor the skills that you include according to the demands and expectations of the job.

However, it is also essential to be able to grab the attention of recruiters and stand out from other applicants. Therefore, it is good to add a couple of unusual skills that help set you apart. These skills can also serve as a conversation starter to break the ice during the interview.

Happy job hunting!

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About Eugene Casey

Eugene works in a busy employment agency in Chicago and has nearly 20 years of experience in finding clients the perfect job. His philosophy is simple, the right match for the right position is nearly always a win-win for both the employee and the company.

When he isn't working or writing for us, he enjoys cooking and exploring the United States, one state at a time.

He lives with his wife Lisa and their two German Shepherds, Wilber and Gus.

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