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How to List Skills on Your Resume

Hiring managers are usually looking for a defined skillset. The way you list your skills on your resume can pave your way in getting your dream job.

How to List Skills on Your Resume
Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
7 min read

Considering the fact that there are very few job vacancies in the market and there are more candidates, it’s critical to have the right skills to ensure you get a suitable job. Most HR professionals believe that employees today don’t possess the relevant skills needed to land a job.

So if you’re wondering why you didn’t get an interview call or why you weren’t considered for the position after acing the interview, it was probably your skills—or lack thereof. But before we move on to them, it's crucial to define what we mean by skills.

What Are Skills?

Skills are the expertise and natural talents you need to perform a job or a task. Life skills give you the opportunity to deal with everyday tasks and areas of life. On the other hand, professional skills make it possible for you to do work-related duties. Moreover, there are several other types of skills that your employer is interested in—hard skills, soft skills, domain-specific skills, and domain-general skills, to name a few.

But here’s the thing: how do you list your skills on the resume to ensure it makes it to the interview? If you’re confused, don’t be. We got you covered. Let’s begin:

Additional Skills

You should list down additional skills on your resume as most employers demand it. In fact, it's so essential that most resume templates have them online. While it’s an important part of the resume, it never should be placed above your work experience as that’s considered more valuable than these skills. If you want to work as a cashier, social worker, dental assistant, or construction worker, you should list your additional skills.

Technical Skills

Now, your work experience doesn't need to be the deciding factor. In some cases, your skills will hold more value for your employer. In such situations, be sure to have the 'technical skills' section on your resume to impress the hiring committee.

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If you’re venturing into positions such as graphic designs, information technology, engineering, technical writing, manufacturing, marketing, or executive-level positions, you're sure to benefit by listing these positions.

Relevant Skills

This section of your resume allows you to explain how your past achievements helped you develop particular skills. The good thing about this section is that you can elaborate your skills and prove your core skills.

Soft Skills

Now, let’s move on to the next section of this article and explore the lesser-known but more important skills that every employer looks for in their candidates—soft skills. These are skills that you have to list down on your resume, and they are outlined bellows:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Public speaking skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Accounting
  • Negotiation skills
  • Listening skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Creative skills
  • Management skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Administrative skills
  • Customer service skills
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The soft skills given above are also transferable. This means they’re not restricted to one industry or job. Every employer values them, so it's crucial to list them in your resume for whichever job you’re applying to. Soft skills are even more important for people who are fresh out of college, seeking an entry-level job position, and just have a GPA to put on their resume.

Difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

To create the best resume, you’ll have to put in both hard skills and soft skills. Just in case you don’t know, hard skills are typically learned on the job or through formal training and education. They’re measurable, teachable, and for a specific job. For instance, if you’re working in customer service, your hard skills should be data entry, scheduling, and more.

Essentially, hard skills include what you can do, while soft skills indicate how you plan to carry out the duties. It’s crucial to list down both skills because they balance out each other. Look at it this way; if you list only soft skills on your resume, the employer will just see you as a friendly person…not as someone capable of doing a job.

On the other hand, if you put it only hard skills listed above, it would show that you are a robotic person who lacks the social skills or the empathy to work with other people. You will be just as replicable to your employer.

How to Put Skills on Your Resume

If you’re wondering how to put skills in your resume to ensure you have a balanced approach, you have come to the right section.

1. Keep Skills Relevant

The first thing you will do is to include only those skills that are relevant to the job. But how do you know what they are? Well, it’s simple. Just look at the job description and tailor the skills set accordingly.

You can look for keywords such as time-management, ABC software, and other terms, match them against your skills and then list those down on your resume. However, just be clear not to exaggerate your resume because the hiring manager will find out and ban you from the company.

2. Include Key Skills

When you include key skills, be sure to be precise. Use a combination of soft and hard skills but don’t overdo it. Even if you have several skills, limit the total number to 10 as anything above would send a wrong impression to the hiring manager. You can also go into detail about the proficiency level of your skills to allow the managers to get a better idea.

For instance, you can say that your teamwork collaboration skills are advanced while negotiation skills are basic. You can also say that your ABC software skills are advanced. This would give a clearer picture of your skillset and determine if you are a good fit.

3. Add Work-Related Skills

Now, let’s assume that the hiring manager has gone through your skills section and decides that you are a good fit. What’s the next step that they will take? Go through your employment history, of course. The hiring manager will see if you have the relevant experience and also go through your job description. So be sure to list down the skillset you needed in this job to have an impact.

4. Show Relevant Skills in Your Summary Profile

While you have listed all the right skills in all the right places, one place requires your attention—the resume profile. Be sure to input the relevant skills in your resume summary. That will help determine if you are the right candidate. If you are a fresh graduate, you can put that in your objective. However, if you are a career-level expert, you can add it in the summary section. Be sure to make it precise, catchy, and easy to understand. Remember, the hiring manager has many resumes on their desktop and can't spend a lot of time on one.

5. List In-demand Skills

According to LinkedIn, these are the most heavily demanded skills by employers today.

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  1. Analytical Reasoning
  2. Video Production
  3. Mobile App Development
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Analytical Reasoning
  6. UX Design
  7. Computing
  8. Animation
  9. Journalism
  10. Social Media Marketing
  11. Translation
  12. Sales Leadership
  13. Digital marketing
  14. Data Science
  15. Software Testing
  16. Game Development
  17. Competitive Strategies

So be sure to become proficient in at least one of these and list them down on your resume to get the job!

How to Identify Your Best Skills

If you are unsure which skill set you should put on your resume, here are some ways.

Your Achievements and Awards

If you have ever received an award for meeting a particular objective or goal for a company, or if you have been recognized for your efforts, be sure to put that into your resume. That’s because your skills helped you to get there. It would help if you also considered what attributes and personal talents allowed you to meet these goals, as HR managers will be interested in this.

Ask Around

You can ask your fellow students or colleagues about your skillset. Sometimes, it’s not very clear to use what we’re good at. By talking to a former manager or a colleague, we have a better idea about our strengths and weaknesses. You can also reach out to form teachers or those you considered a mentor to help you. You will be surprised by what you encounter.

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Speak to the Professionals

If you are still drawing a blank, it might be time to bring out the big guns. You can talk to the professionals in the industry you are aiming for and see what they prefer in the candidate. Find out what skills are needed and work on them. If you feel that you lack some skill, don't list it down on the resume. If it comes up during the interview, you can always discuss it calmly and work on it even if you don’t get the job.

So, folks, congratulations! You now know how to list down the relevant skills on your resume. Follow the above guidelines, and you are sure to get the job of your dreams. Good luck!