When you apply for a job, one of the first things employers look for is that you have the right skills to do that job properly.
The skills you highlight and the way you structure the skills section of your resume can make or break your job application. It’s essential you clearly and effectively communicate your skills on your resume if you want to land work soon.
To help you write the best resume possible (one that showcases your most relevant job skills), this article will:
- Highlight some of the best resume skills for 2023
- Explain the difference between hard and soft skills
- Show you how to list skills on your resume the right way
- List some essential industry-specific skills
- Answer your most frequently asked questions about resume skills
The best skills to put on a resume in 2023
The best skills to list on your resume are the skills you have that are relevant to the job you want. For example, if you’re applying for a position in marketing, you should clearly showcase your marketing-related technical skills and any personality traits that make you well-suited for the job.
However, while it’s important to tailor your resume to the job, there are some skills that are universally valued by employers.
The following skills are strong additions to any resume, no matter the industry:
- Analytical skills – Your ability to think critically about problems and analyze information to find data-driven solutions will make you a more attractive candidate to any employer.
- Communication skills – No matter what job you’re applying for, you’ll need to communicate with others in some form – whether in giving presentations, writing emails, or listening to coworkers in meetings. Employers are always looking for good communicators.
- Computer skills – As technology becomes an increasingly integral part of how we work, and hybrid and remote models of work continue, employers want to know that you have the technological skills you need to do the job well.
- Customer service skills – Even if you’re not working in a customer-facing position, understanding the customer and possessing these skills can make you a better employee.
- Interpersonal skills – Employers want to know that you’ll be able to engage and interact with others in a positive way and make social contributions in the role.
- People skills – If you’re good with people and adept at building strong relationships with others, employers will be able to count on you to help foster a positive work environment.
- Leadership skills – Being able to motivate, guide, and inspire others is a valuable trait in any employee, and ultimately makes the employer’s job easier.
- Management skills – If you’re looking for career advancement, you need to be able to show employers that you have the skills to manage others.
- Organizational skills – Organization is a critical skill in any job, even if you’re just using it to manage your own schedule and workload.
- Technical skills – For any position, there will be specific technical skills that make you more qualified. Employers definitely want to see these on your resume.
- Time management skills – If you can manage your time well, you’ll be a much more productive and efficient employee, which is what hiring managers want to see.
- Language skills – Your language skills set you apart from other candidates by giving you the unique ability to tap into global markets and connect with a wider audience or customer base.
Hard skills vs soft skills
There are two types of job skills for a resume that hiring managers are looking for on your application. They’re called hard skills and soft skills. It’s important to include both skill types if you want to come off as a well-rounded candidate.
Your hard skills are the abilities required to do the basic tasks of your job. On the other hand, soft skills help you interact with customers and your colleagues more effectively, and make you a stronger addition to any team.
12 examples of good hard skills for your resume
Employers like to see hard skills on your resume because it tells them you already have a solid foundation of industry knowledge and experience to draw from, and won’t require as much in the training and onboarding process.
Here are twelve of the most in-demand hard skills to list on your resume that’ll help get you hired:
Companies in nearly every industry need creatives with a strong sense of design to help them develop attractive products and content. Whether you specialize in graphic design, UI/UX design, or illustration, you should clearly list your design expertise on your resume to attract the attention of employers.
Specific examples of design-related hard skills include:
- UI/UX design
- Web design
- Graphic design
- Industrial design
- Interior design
An employee with strong marketing skills can take a struggling product and make it successful. That’s what makes marketing one of the most sought-after skills across nearly any industry.
Even if you don’t work in marketing, knowing how to pitch products and promote services effectively is a valuable skill for many different careers.
Here are some specific examples of marketing-related hard skills for your resume:
- Campaign management
- Consumer research
- Social media outreach
- Email outreach
Data is more valuable than ever – more valuable than oil according to some experts – and with all that data comes the need for people experienced in data analysis. Candidates who are able to inspect, model, and pull useful insights from data are in high demand right now, especially in the tech industry.
If you have strong data analysis skills, you should list your expertise on your resume to grab the attention of employers. Additional examples of data analysis-related skills include:
- Microsoft Excel
- Data visualization
- Data cleaning
- SQL & NoSQL
Computer technology & software
Today nearly every job requires some level of computer literacy. Companies highly value candidates who have a range of technical skills relevant to their profession.
However, being tech-savvy in general is also valuable for many different jobs because it helps you adapt to new software as it’s introduced.
Here are some specific examples of basic computer skills to list on your resume:
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Microsoft Office Suite
- G Suite (Google Docs, Drive, & Google Sheets)
- Knowledge of operating systems (MacOS, Windows, Linux)
- Communication platforms (Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams)
- Team management software (Jira, Trello, Monday)
Knowing how to guide a project from conception to completion effectively is essential for nearly any position. Even if you’re not seeking a job as a project manager, strong project management skills are still valuable for many different careers and should be highlighted on your resume.
Some examples of project management-related skills are:
- Methodologies like Scrum, Agile, and Waterfall
- Kanban boards
- Risk assessment
- Budget management
Whether you work in software development or retail, having at least a basic understanding of math is a valuable hard skill for most industries. Even in more traditionally “creative” fields like marketing, strong math skills can help with specific tasks like A/B testing or running surveys.
If math is highly relevant to the job you’re applying to, go into detail about the types of mathematics you have experience with.
Here are some specific math-related skills to put on your resume:
- Mental arithmetic
Knowing how to conduct research efficiently and find information (no matter how obscure) is an important hard skill for many different jobs. Especially if you work in journalism, market research, or business analysis, you’ll want to prominently display your research skills on your resume.
Some specific research-related skills include:
- Data collection
- Scientific experimentation
- Survey tools (Pollfish, Qualtrics, Toluna)
- Critical thinking
- Data analysis
- Data interpretation
Writing & editing
Being a strong writer isn’t only helpful if you work as an editor. Being able to write clear, effective emails, papers, presentations, and messages is a valuable skill for many different jobs, especially those in business and marketing.
Here are some writing-related skills to include on your resume:
- Grammatical knowledge
- Style guides (APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style)
- Email drafting
- Blog writing
If you work as a lab researcher or another field in the hard sciences, your resume needs to highlight your relevant scientific skills. The skills you need will differ depending on your position, but they should always be displayed prominently because they’re one of your key qualifications for the job.
Here’s some general scientific expertise that you might list on your resume:
- Experimental design
- Qualitative observation
- Data analysis
- Scientific software (e.g., sequence analysis tools, image processing software)
Social media has become an essential method for companies – both big and small – to promote and market themselves. Today, employers are always on the hunt for applicants with strong social media skills — hoping to find effective brand ambassadors to cast their businesses in the most positive light.
- Social media management software (Hootsuite, Sendible)
- Video editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro, Movavi Video Editor)
Foreign language skills
Whether you work in retail or in finance, knowing how to speak multiple languages makes you a valuable asset to any company. Being able to fluently communicate in a foreign language helps you immediately connect with people from other countries, and gives you an advantage over other similarly qualified candidates when applying for a job.
Some of the most in-demand languages (aside from English) include Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, French, and German.
Here are some specific resume language skills to highlight when applying to jobs:
- Verbal fluency
- Written fluency
- Conversational skill
- Language proficiency level (based on formal test scores for that language)
Accounting & finance
Companies always need employees who can handle their finances and perform accurate bookkeeping. Even if you don’t work as an accountant, being able to handle basic finance tasks is helpful for a variety of jobs in business and fundraising.
Some accounting and finance-related skills include:
- Microsoft Excel
- Advanced modeling techniques
- Microsoft Visual Basic
- General business knowledge
12 of the best soft skills to list on your resume
While hard skills are what make you qualified for a job, your soft skills are the qualities that set you apart from other candidates. For many jobs, having strong soft skills is essential, particularly in customer-facing positions.
Here are some of the most valuable soft skills to include on your resume:
Verbal and written communication
Being able to convey your ideas clearly is an important skill for nearly any job. Even if you don’t regularly work with people face-to-face, having strong communication skills can help you present your ideas to colleagues and even negotiate for raises or promotions.
If you have good communication skills, you should highlight them prominently on your resume, especially if you’re writing a resume for a customer service job.
There are very few jobs that don’t require you to work with other people. Even remote work usually requires some form of online collaboration. Employers want to be sure that you can function effectively on a team before hiring you.
Show them you’re able to thrive in a team setting on your resume. Showcase examples of work you accomplished thanks in part to your excellent teamwork skills, and employers will be more confident in hiring you.
Since a massive shift toward remote and hybrid work, adaptability has become one of the most valuable soft skills for candidates to possess in 2023.
It’s increasingly important to show employers that you can keep up with rapid changes and be flexible in the way you work. Impress potential employers by demonstrating how you’ve adapted to new situations or work requirements and managed to thrive amidst these changes.
No matter your industry, problem solving skills are useful to tackle any obstacles you face while working. If employers know you’re a good problem solver and capable of handling issues on your own (whether small or large), then that’s less for them to worry about.
Emphasize your problem solving skills on your resume by including points in your work experience section that discuss issues you encountered at work, and how you solved them.
Patience is a desired soft skill in a wide range of contexts. From interacting with customers and training new employees to performing long and complex tasks like video editing or negotiating business deals, being patient simply makes work easier.
Demonstrate your patience on your resume by showcasing projects or tasks that require a high level of persistence, consideration, or understanding.
Creativity isn’t only a useful skill for people working in creative fields. The ability to think creatively will make you a more effective problem solver and allow you to offer innovative ideas at work.
Employers are looking for creative solutions to new challenges, so candidates who can bring fresh perspectives are highly valued.
Showcase your creativity on your resume by highlighting instances at work where you spearheaded a new project, innovated a method, strategy, or product, or discovered a creative solution to a company problem.
Strong work ethic
If there’s one thing all employers prize, it’s a strong work ethic. Candidates with a strong work ethic are more likely to excel in their role, achieve highly, and grow into managerial positions. Employers can also rest easy knowing that you’re doing your work without the need for much supervision or micromanagement.
Show employers your strong work ethic by mentioning extra responsibilities you took on at work, projects you directed, or how you achieved a specific goal.
Interpersonal skills help you build positive relationships with colleagues and the people you encounter at work. Your interpersonal skills determine your ability to cooperate within a group and contribute to a healthy and productive workplace.
Interpersonal skills include many different social skills, such as:
- Emotional intelligence
- Openness to feedback
By demonstrating these skills on your resume, you show employers that you have the interpersonal skills needed to be a successful employee.
Having good time management skills helps you complete your work effectively, meet deadlines, and stay organized. Employers love to see that candidates have time management skills because it means you’ll be able to contribute to the smooth operation of the business.
Show employers you have good time management skills by demonstrating your:
- Flawless track record of meeting deadlines
- Ability to multitask effectively
- Effective organizational skills
Being able to handle multiple tasks at once is a valuable soft skill to have for many different jobs. From office work to food service, employers are always interested in candidates who have strong multitasking skills.
To grab the attention of employers, list your ability to multitask clearly on your resume. You should also show them you’re able to handle tasks efficiently and juggle the demands of a busy day with examples in your work experience section.
Whether you work in management or just want to be a valuable member of your team at work, good conceptual skills such as leadership skills are essential for advancing your career.
Candidates who demonstrate their ability to lead others are highly valued by companies because they can help guide the whole team to success. Plus they make ideal managers.
If you have experience leading people, make sure to highlight these skills on your resume to help your job application stand out.
Attention to detail
Having an eye for detail is a skill you can apply to nearly any job. Employees with strong attention to detail produce reliable work and require less micromanagement, which makes your coworkers’ lives easier.
If you have exceptional attention to detail, you should highlight it with examples on your resume to strengthen your application.
How to list skills on a resume
Now that you know some of the most in-demand job skills, we’ll show you how to put them on your resume.
In the video below, our career expert Eva breaks down how to put skills on your resume with a stand-out skills section:
When adding skills to your resume, make sure to follow these 6 steps:
1. Identify what skills employers are looking for
Before you begin writing your resume, familiarize yourself with the hard and soft skills associated with the job you want.
The best way to identify these important job skills is to analyze job openings in your industry. Take this job ad for a nursing position, for instance. For your convenience, we’ve highlighted soft skills in green and hard skills in yellow:
In this ad, you can quickly pick out several good skills to put on your resume. For instance, there’s a range of technical skills needed for the position in the bullet points, as well as many soft skills that help define the ideal candidate.
Once you’ve looked at several job ads, you’ll have a clearer idea of what job skills hiring managers are looking for.
If you still need some ideas, it can help to do some research on the company you’re applying to. Start by checking out the company website for its mission and vision statements as well as goals. Here’s an example from the Meals on Wheels About page:
If you’re applying to work with Meals on Wheels, you’ll want to highlight the skills that tie into its values, mission, and strategy.
For example, are you skilled at creating community, building strong relationships, hospitality, or advocacy? Are you compassionate, or is empathy one of your key strengths?
Highlighting relevant skills like these on your resume can help employers see what makes you a great match for the role.
2. List your skills in a dedicated skills section
Your resume skills section is the most important place to list your relevant skills. This section is one of the first places on your resume employers will look to make sure you’re qualified to do the job, so make sure you’ve listed the appropriate job skills here.
If you have a mix of hard and soft skills and no advanced technical expertise, simply title your section “Skills” or “Additional Skills” and list your skills using bullets.
Here’s what a basic skills section looks like:
However, if you have numerous technical skills, it’s better to use a technical skills section that organizes each skill into a general category.
Here’s an example:
This is most applicable if you’re applying for work in tech or engineering because it makes your skills section easier to read and allows you to highlight a wide variety of software and coding languages.
If you have a blend of technical skills and other relevant skills to highlight, you can use a section like the following, taken from our Fresh resume template, which divides skills into categories:
3. Specify your level of proficiency (when appropriate)
Employers want to know how experienced you are with certain skills before they interview you. To communicate this information, you should specify how proficient you are in the skills you list on your resume.
For example, if you list Spanish as a skill on your resume you should include a metric that indicates your level of proficiency, such as “Intermediate”, “Fluent”, or “Basic.”
Here’s an example of a resume skills section that includes proficiencies:
Additionally, if you want to give your resume a more creative look, you can list your proficiency using skill bars (or skill levels).
Here’s an example of skill levels on a resume:
4. Highlight your skills in other parts of your resume
If you really want to highlight certain skills on your resume, just listing them in a skills section isn’t enough. You also need to provide concrete examples of how you put your skills to work.
The first thing employers look at is your resume summary, so you should use this section to showcase your top skills for the job.
Here’s an example of a resume summary that effectively highlights the candidate’s relevant skills:
Senior Customer Service Representative with 7+ years of experience communicating with customers and maintaining customer records. Adaptable professional recognized by peers for my effective analytical and communication skills. Looking to apply my experience with sales force automation software and Oracle PeopleSoft in your office. CompTIA Network+ certified.
In this example, the candidate highlights their customer service hard skills (sales force automation software, Oracle PeopleSoft, CompTIA Network+ certification) as well as their relevant soft skills (communication, adaptability, analytical skills). This resume summary lets employers know that the candidate is qualified for a senior customer service position.
Once you’ve introduced your most relevant skills in your resume summary, you should demonstrate them in your work experience section.
Here’s an example of a work experience section that demonstrates customer service skills:
- Answer 60+ customer calls a day, responding to inquiries, complaints, return requests, and providing product information
- Received a 93% customer satisfaction rate, 10% higher than the company average
- Effectively use PeopleSoft CRM to resolve 95% of customer issues
- Transitioned to hybrid work model while maintaining productivity levels and integrating new communication software including RingCentral and Zoho Meeting
These bullets are effective because they demonstrate the skills the candidate mentioned in their resume summary (communication, adaptability, Oracle PeopleSoft, and analytical skills) using specific context.
5. Demonstrate your skills by quantifying your experience
One of the best ways to showcase your skills on a resume is by writing resume work experience bullet points that feature your professional accomplishments. To write an effective skills-focused bullet point, focus on your accomplishments and back up your achievements with hard numbers.
For example, here’s a bullet point that highlights the candidate’s skills in SEO. Notice how they cite an achievement and use hard numbers to provide extra context:
- Increased conversion rates by 47% on a client’s web-based service offering through SEO/SEM campaigns
This example works because it not only shows that the candidate knows SEO/SEM — it provides a concrete demonstration of what they were able to accomplish with those specific skills.
Writing your bullet points with quantified achievements shows that you possess relevant skills and proves you’ve used them to produce results for previous employers.
6. Use your transferable skills
If you don’t have professional experience that’s directly related to the position you’re applying for, then you should focus on showcasing your transferable skills. These are skills you’ve developed that you can apply in the role to boost your performance.
For example, if you’re applying for an entry-level position as an office assistant, some good transferable skills to highlight are:
- Time management
- Computer skills
Including these skills on your resume will show employers that you’re equipped to perform the duties of an office assistant effectively.
If you’re applying for a customer-facing or service industry position, be sure to highlight any interpersonal skills that will help you excel at work, like the following:
- Emotional intelligence
- Active listening
- Verbal communication
Lacking professional experience doesn’t mean you don’t have any skills to include on your resume. Including your transferable skills like these can help convince employers that you’re the right candidate for the job.
Top job-specific skills to put on a resume (by industry)
The best skills for your resume are always the ones that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re not sure what kind of skills to list on your resume, here are some of the top hard and soft skills for a variety of industries:
Administration and office support
Admininistrative Skills to Include on Your Resume
(Spanish, Arabic, Persian)
|Project management software
(Microsoft Project, Confluence)
If you work in a call center or handle customer issues, you can add these customer service skills to your resume. CSR skills show hiring managers you’re good at dealing with clients and know how to use software to track customer issues:
Customer Service Skills to Add to a Resume
(LiveChat and Blazedesk)
(Kayako and Zendesk)
(Spanish, French, Pennsylvania Dutch)
Add some of these skills to your delivery driver resume to demonstrate your skill at handling packages and keeping to a schedule:
Delivery Skills for Your Resume
|Customer service skills
|Working under pressure
|Time management skills
Marketing skills such as the ones listed below are perfect for marketing resumes because they show you’re comfortable using industry-specific tools:
Marketing Skills to List on a Resume
|Social media platforms
(Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram)
(HTML, CSS, and CRM tools)
(SEMRush, WordPress, and Ahrefs)
Here are some common nursing skills to note in your application to prove you can effectively care for patients:
Nursing Skills for a Resume
|Performing diagnostic tests
You’ll also need great cashier skills if you’ll be ringing up items:
Sales Skills for a Resume
|Point of sales (POS) systems
Include these skills in your teacher resume to show you’re capable of teaching people new skills and information:
Teaching Skills to Add to a Resume
Add some of these skills to your server resume to show you’re great at looking after customers and keeping orders straight:
Server Skills to Include on Your Resume
|Point of sale (POS) system operation
|Customer service skills
Here are some skills for your business analyst resume to show employers that they can count on you to collect and interpret data to inform important business decisions:
Business Analyst Skills For a Resume
|Jira and Confluence
|Data mining and analysis
Include these skills on your web developer resume so employers know you have the technical and soft skills it takes to be a pro developer:
Web Developer Skills For a Resume
|Attention to detail
|Testing and debugging
|Version control systems (Git)
|Libraries and frameworks
Frequently asked questions about resume skills
Here are answers to some of the most common questions job seekers have about resume skills:
What are the best skills for resumes in 2023?
The best skills for resumes in 2023 are skills that make you look qualified for the specific job you’re applying for. However, it also helps to take into account recent changes to how companies operate.
Showcasing your knowledge of remote working software and emphasizing that you’re self-sufficient is a great way to prove to employers that you’re ready for the modern workplace.
What skills should I put on my resume if I have no work experience?
You most likely developed some hard skills in school, such as research or presenting. You can also put soft skills on your resume. For example:
- Critical thinking
- Positive attitude
- Time management
Additionally, listing language skills on your resume (if you have any) is a great way to set yourself apart from other more experienced applicants in the U.S.
How do you organize skills on a resume?
You organize skills on a resume by listing your most job-relevant abilities at the beginning of your skills section.
You can also feature your best skills in your resume introduction to help catch the attention of employers right away.
- How many skills should you list on a resume?
- How do I describe my skills on a resume?
- What are secondary skills on a resume?
- What do you put in the skills section of a resume?
- How do you categorize skills on a resume?
- How do you list hard skills on a resume?
- How do you write technical skills on a resume?
- How do you list computer skills on a resume?
- What computer skills should I put on my resume?
- How do you list Microsoft Office skills on a resume?
- What is a soft skill on a resume?
- How do I describe my management skills on a resume?
- How do you list soft skills on a resume?