100 Good Skills to Put on a Resume [Complete Guide]

Jeff Gillis 0 Comments

learning skills on resume

By Jeff Gillis

Updated 6/4/2022.

learning skills on resume

When you’re adding skills to a resume, you don’t just want to focus on what you’re good at. Instead, relevancy has to be part of the equation. After all, every job you’re trying to land requires a very specific skill set, one that you need to show that you have.

Choosing the skills to put on a resume when you’re applying to a role isn’t something you should do haphazardly. Instead, you want to use the job description, company mission, and company values as a guide, creating a sense of alignment.

Additionally, it never hurts to have a handy list of skills by your side, making it easier to explore your options. So, if you’re on the hunt for good skills to put on a resume, here’s what you need to know.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

There are two basic types of skillsets that a job seeker can have and include on their resume: hard skills or soft skills.

Hard skills are the skills or abilities for a resume that are easily quantifiable…that can be learned through classroom work, apprenticeships, or other forms of learning. These include things like operating tools, computer programming, speaking foreign languages, or different kinds of technical prowess.

Soft skills are more subjective and harder to quantify and are often grouped together by what we know as “people skills.” Some examples of soft skills include communication, relationship building, self-awareness, and patience.

Which Skills Are More Important?

The debate rages on about which of these two types of skills is more important.

According to executive consultant and Forbes contributor Naz Beheshti , “…There is an ongoing debate about the relative importance of soft and hard skills that imply a competition between the two. However, they are both necessary and complementary to one another.”

On the one hand, job seekers with proficiency in a specific hard skill may get hired more quickly. Many employers want to hire people that can deliver value with fewer resources (ex., the need for training, etc.), making hard skills their priority.

However, we are also seeing that many hiring managers are choosing to hire candidates with highly developed soft skills.

In the end, as Indeed puts it, “soft skills are necessary to create a positive and functional work environment.” Plus, hiring managers feel that they can always train the candidate in the hard skill that is required to complete the job, but soft skills are often skills that cannot necessarily be taught.

So, what does this mean for you? Mainly that you can’t simply just pick one or the other and cross your fingers. Instead, the best strategy is to take a balanced approach and make sure that your resume contains both hard and soft skills.

How Do You Choose the Skills to List on a Resume?

Here’s the deal; there’s a good chance you know what you’re good at in a professional sense. Often, you can use your experience, duties, training, and education as a guide, giving you a strong foundation. Then, it’s about diving a bit deeper, looking at traits that could help you stand out, and comparing it all to the job description.

By using a simple process, you can make progress faster. Here’s a quick way to get started.

1. Make a List of the Skills You Know You Have

As mentioned above, the easiest way to get a grip on your current skills is to reflect on your academic and professional experiences. Consider the tasks you’ve taken on, the training you’ve completed, and the courses you had in school. In most cases, that’ll give you some solid ideas about your hard skills.

After that, it’s time for soft skills. Here, you want to think of traits or capabilities that help you engage with others and navigate professional relationships. Often, these are reflections of your personality, so use that as a jumping-off point.

2. “Mine” the Job Descriptions for Must-Have Skills

The next step is to take a look at the job description for the position you are applying for and make a list of the required skills it includes. Then, compare it to your capabilities. Are any of the skills on both of the lists you just created? If so, these are must-haves for your resume.

Now, notice if there are any skills on the job description that you don’t have. If there aren’t any, great!

But if there are…don’t panic. There are things you can do, which we’ll dig into shortly.

If you’re dealing with a vague job description, you aren’t stuck either. Here is a link to a ton of job descriptions that can give you an idea of the skills needed.

3. Tailor Your Skills to the Company/Position

As you may have read in our other blog articles, it is always very important to “tailor” your resume to the company and position you want to land. For an in-depth look into how to make that happen, check out our Tailoring Method article. 

If you want a quick overview, the idea is to focus on capabilities the company wants to find. Every job requires a unique skill set, and you want to show you have it. As a result, it is absolutely essential that skills from the job description make an appearance on your resume.

However, you also want to dig deeper. Spend some more time researching the company, including going through all of their various web properties, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

Why? Because they will leave clues about the types of people they hire. That gives you more ideas about the best skills to put on a resume to land a job there, particularly when it comes to soft skills you may not find in a job description.

100 Resume Skills Examples

If you’re struggling with coming up with a list of skills based on your past experience, it can be easier if you have existing resume skills lists to work with. You don’t have to think up every possible skill; you can simply review the list and find the matches.

Here is a list of resume skills examples, divided into hard skills and soft skills, that you can use when applying for a job.

Hard Skills for a Resume

  • Advanced Bookkeeping
  • Appointment Setting
  • Automotive Repair
  • Cold Calling
  • Computer Programming
  • Conversion Testing
  • Copywriting
  • Customer Engagement
  • Customer Service
  • Data Analysis
  • Digital Marketing
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Cleanup
  • Forklift Operating
  • Graphic Design
  • Heavy Machinery Operation
  • Installation
  • Landscaping
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Coding
  • Paid Online Traffic
  • Patient Care
  • Photo Editing
  • Picking and Packing
  • Project Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Server Maintenance
  • Social Media
  • Spanish Fluency
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Systems Analysis
  • Technical Support
  • Telecommunications Systems
  • Travel Booking
  • Video Editing
  • Website Design
  • Word Processing

Soft Skills for a Resume

  • Accountability
  • Active Listening
  • Adaptability
  • Brainstorming
  • Business Etiquette
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Contextualizing
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Flexibility
  • Goal-Setting
  • Handling Pressure
  • Influencing
  • Insightfulness
  • Interpreting
  • Negotiation
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Organization
  • Prioritization
  • Problem Solving
  • Relationship Building
  • Reliability
  • Resource Management
  • Responsibility
  • Self-Confidence
  • Strategical Thinking
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Time Management

What If I Don’t Have the Required Skill?

Whether you need to possess a specific skill depends on the job and the skill in question. Usually, here’s where you have to be honest with yourself. If the skills required are part of the core competencies of doing the job, you may want to reconsider your application.

For example, if a golf course posts a job posting for a golf pro, you probably shouldn’t apply if you’ve never swung a golf club.

However, you will come across situations where what you bring to the table is close. In this case, moving forward might be okay.

You need to be able to demonstrate, using examples from your past, that you are capable of doing the required skill, even if you haven’t specially done it. So, go over your work history with a fine-tooth comb and try to come up with a few examples of you doing something in the right ballpark.

They are going to ask about it in your interview, so don’t think you can just wing it, and everything will be fine.

Also, many job descriptions have “nice-to-have” skills on the list. If you happen to possess them, great. But if not, don’t assume you shouldn’t apply if you have the must-have skills. In the end, those capabilities aren’t outright requirements, so don’t screen yourself out based on them.

How To List Skills on a Resume

There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to deciding where to put (or how to list) the skills on your resume.

According to our friends over at online resume-builder Zety.com , “…skills are so very, very important that they should show up all over your resume. Not just in the resume skills section.” In other words, it is imperative that there are elements of your skills throughout your resume, including your resume objective/summary and experience sections.

In addition, there isn’t one right answer for where to include your skill section because that depends on the industry, company, and position you’re trying to land. For example, for a job where technical competencies are of the utmost importance, it is often beneficial to list the skills closer to the top of the resume, right underneath the resume objective or resume summary statement.

However, if through your research you determine that the hiring manager will put more weight into your experience, you may want to lead with your experience. Then, put the skills section further down your resume.

At the end of the day, the selection of the skills themselves is the most important thing. After all, most hiring managers will easily find your skill section regardless of where it is on your resume.

What About Skills for My Job Application?

When you’re looking for skills to put on a job application, you do have to treat it a little differently than skills for a resume. Usually, you’re working with a finite amount of space on an application, not just in an overall sense but in each applicable section.

Since that’s the case, you need to lean heavily on the job description. Look for any capabilities that are listed as must-haves or that are repeated through the job ad. Then, make sure those skills are featured prominently in several areas, including in work history descriptions and skills areas.

If you have to answer essay questions, discuss those skills there, too, whenever possible. Use any other relevant capability as a supplement, treating it as supporting information instead of the primary point you’re sharing.

However, if an essay question asks about a skill that’s not in the job description, feel free to dig in a bit. It’s a capability that’s clearly on the hiring manager’s mind, so touch on it occasionally to show you shine in that area.

Putting It All Together

If you were wondering, “What are some good skills to put on a resume?” you should now have a solid answer. The most important thing to remember is to select skills that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for and, more important than that, skills that your company puts a tremendous amount of value in.

Once you get your skills straightened out, you should make sure that the rest of your resume is congruent with the skills you just selected, namely, that your experience shows that you both used those skills in a work environment and developed the skill with on-the-job tasks.

learning skills on resume

Co-founder and CTO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site , with his work being featured in top publications such as INC , ZDnet , MSN and more.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Jeff gillis.

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Co-founder and CTO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site , with his work being featured in top publications such as INC , ZDnet , MSN and more. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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learning skills on resume

How to List Skills on a Resume (Real Skill Examples)

This essential resume writing article is about how to list skills on a resume. For more resume writing help, visit our job seeker resource center .

EdgeWater Pharmacy just posted an opening for a Sales Associate right down the street from your home. You think you are the perfect fit for the job, so you submit your resume, but so do 30 other candidates.

Do you know who is going to get called in for an interview? 

The job seeker who looks like they have the most relevant skills for the job.

Make sure you’re getting the callback for an interview from a hiring manager by reading how to list your skills on a resume.

This essential job seekers’ guide will walk you through how to add the skills a hiring manager wants to see on your resume, along with 50+ real resume examples of skills you can use.

This article on how to include key skills on a resume covers:

  • What are professional skills?
  • Why are skills important on resumes?
  • Different types of skills for job seekers
  • Where and how to incorporate skills on a job application
  • Top 50+ skills hiring managers want to see on your resume
  • Fastest ways to gain new skills to get hired

What Are Skills? Why Are Skills Important?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a skill is:

“the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance”

“a learned power of doing something competently : a developed aptitude or ability”

When it comes to job hunting, your skills are what set you apart. Every human on earth has a set of skills that is unique to them. Likewise, every professional position has a unique set of skills that is required for performing the job.

Finding the perfect alignment between these two ideas is the key goal for every hiring manager.

If a hiring manager finds someone that already possesses the skills needed for their job, they won’t have to spend so much time and money on training. It also means that their new employee will be able to pull their own weight more quickly, providing a quicker return on their hiring investment.

But how do hiring managers know who has what it takes to perform well on the job?

The first and most important place hiring managers look is at your resume. On average, a hiring manager spends 6 seconds reviewing a resume and during that time they are scanning the pages to see if the skills required for the job jump out at them.

If they find what they are looking for, you get called in for an interview. If they don’t quickly see what they are looking for, your resume will most likely be discarded.

As a job seeker, it is your responsibility to make sure you know what skills hiring managers are looking for.

Once you identify those skills, it is also your responsibility to make sure those relevant skills are incorporated into your resume in a way that stands out.

If you do these two things accurately, you will be the one getting called in for an interview and will be that much closer to landing a new job.

Types of Professional Skills (Real Resume Examples)

Skills can be broken down into four main categories:

  • Hard skills
  • Soft skills
  • Transferable skills
  • Job-related skills.

Before you start writing your own list of skills, let’s go through each of these skill categories to see what the difference between them is.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

Hard skills are specific, teachable, and tangible. They can be measured and tested using assignments and assessments. Hard skills are learned, either through on-the-job training or through school, rather than coming naturally.

Examples of hard skills for a resume:

Soft skills are intangible and are harder to measure. They are personality traits and interpersonal skills that come naturally to humans, rather than being learned through school.

People are born with soft skills. These soft skills grow and develop over time from your upbringing, education, and experiences.   

Examples of soft skills:

Contrary to popular belief, hiring managers often care more about soft skills than hard skills, though both hard and soft skills contribute to your appeal as a candidate.

Hard skills, such as computer programming or accounting, can be taught using a combination of curriculum and hands-on practice. Whereas soft skills, such as a positive attitude or punctuality, are harder to teach.

Regardless of your background, hiring managers are usually flexible with teaching you the hard skills needed for their job, as long as you already have the right attitude along with the aptitude to learn.

Transferable Skills vs Job-Related Skills

Transferable skills can be carried with you from one job to the other. These skills can be a hard skill or soft skill, as long as they can be used in any type of role, regardless of the industry, company, or position.

Examples of transferable skills:

Job-related skills are usually always hard skills.  These job-related skills are specific to a certain type of role or position.

Examples of job-related skills:

How And Where To List Skills On Your Resume

Skills should be included throughout your resume, rather than confined to one area.

While scanning your resume, hiring managers will be looking over each resume section, starting with the top. Because of how people read resumes, you need to make sure they see your skills immediately.

Guarantee hiring managers will see your skills by listing them in four key areas of your resume:

  • Resume header
  • Professional summary
  • Summary of skills
  • Work Experience section

If you are writing a resume from scratch, try using this free and easy-to-use resume builder from Resume.com. The sections and formatting are already created for you, so all you need to worry about is filling in the blanks to finish a free printable resume.

1. Resume Header

At the top of your resume, directly below your name, write your job title along with the three most relevant skills you have as a candidate.

This is the first section hiring managers will be reading, so it is important to draw their attention using bold and large lettering.

If you’re using this resume builder , the ‘ Blue Skies ’, ‘ Three Blocks Digital ’, and ‘ van Deco ’ resume templates already have a header section included, which will make finishing your resume easier.

When writing your header, it is crucial that you customize the job title and skills to each job you’re applying for. Your job application needs to be consistent – you can read more about consistency in this article .

For example, if you write Java Developer in your resume header, but are applying for a .NET Developer position, a huge red flag will go up for the hiring manager.

When writing your top three skills in your header, make sure they align with the required skills listed in the job posting.

If you’re applying for a job at a large company or corporation, or you’re applying through a job board, it’s helpful to keep applicant tracking systems (ATS) in mind. Make sure your resume makes it past ATS software by listing your skills using the same wording as the job posting.  

Example of skills in the resume header: 

skills in resume header example

2. Professional Summary

Below your header and contact information, you will have a professional summary section. A professional summary used to be called an ‘objective’, but the modern resume writing approach is to replace your objective with a professional summary section.

Your professional summary should give an overview of your background, years of experience, and the top skills that set you apart. The skills in your professional summary should be written in sentence form, rather than listed out.

If using the resume builder , the ‘ My Employment ’, ‘ Apple Green ’, and ‘ Side Panel ’ resume templates have professional summary sections that are sure to draw attention to your most relevant skills.

Example of skills in the professional summary of a resume:

resume example of skills in professional summary

3. Summary of Skills

Below your professional summary, include a ‘summary of skills’ section. Alternative titles for this section could be ‘core competencies’, ‘key skills’, ‘professional skills’, or ‘relevant skills’.

If you have less than 10 skills, you can list them out in columns. 

Summary of skills resume example (less than 10 professional skills) :

resume example of skills in summary of skills

Summary of skills resume example (more than 10 professional skills) :

professional skills resume example

For your skills section, your skills should be listed, rather than written out in sentence form. This formatting choice helps hiring managers to pick out the key words quickly, which they can read about in more detail in the experience section after.

4. Experience Section

The ‘experience’ section usually comes after your summary of skills on a resume. Depending on your background, this could also be called ‘professional experience’, ‘work experience’, or ‘relevant experience’.

Your experience section is the perfect place to back your skills up with real-life examples of when you have used your skills, in addition to the results you have achieved.

When writing your experience section, give specific details about where, when, and with whom you have used your skills. When possible, use numbers and metrics to quantify your achievements.

Example of how to list skills in the experience section of a resume:

how to list skills in work experience resume example

How to List Skills On A Resume – Finding Relevant Skills For You

To figure out what skills you should include on your resume, follow these three simple steps.

Step #1: Create a master list of skills

Go through each category and create a master list of the skills in your toolbox. Don’t be afraid to list things that seem obvious, like computer skills or customer service.

Although they might seem like a given in your profession, many hiring managers still want to see these skills listed.

Never include skills that you are no longer familiar with. If you write a skill on your resume, hiring managers will be expecting that you can deliver on that activity.

If you are worried that a hiring manager will over or underestimate your level of proficiency, feel free to write ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’, or ‘proficient’ next to each skill listed.

Step #2: Figure out the skills needed for the job

When applying for jobs, it is important to identify the set of skills that are needed. Picking out the needed skills will help you determine if you are a good fit for the role. It will also help you tailor your resume skills to the specific job you are applying for.

There are two main ways to determine the skills needed for a job.

The first is to dissect job descriptions and job postings that are posted on career websites and job boards. To do this, go through a job description and highlight each quality that describes the candidate the company is looking for.

For example, here is a job posting for a cashier position: 

how to find relevant skills in job posting for resume

Then create a list of all the qualities described, making sure to write each skill using the same wording that is used in the job posting.

The second way to figure out what skills are needed for a job is to search for people on LinkedIn who are already performing the role.

By searching for a certain job title in the search bar, you can find a list of professionals who are already in that job and then search through their profile to see what skills they have listed, both in their summary and experience sections.

Step #3: Match your master list with the skills needed for a job

The skills you write on your resume should be whatever overlaps between your master list and the list of skills you created from researching jobs.

By using this technique, you will be making sure that the skills you have listed on your resume are relevant to the jobs you are applying for.

A general rule of thumb is to never include skills that aren’t important for the job you are applying for.

For example, if you are applying for a project manager position, there is no need to list that you know yoga or CPR.

Top 50+ Skills Hiring Managers Look For On Resumes

A lot of research has been done as to what hiring managers look for on a resume. Many of the skills they seek are job-specific, while others are transferable.

To increase your chances of getting called in for an interview, include these top skills throughout your resume.

These professional skills are divided by category to help you find the skills that are relevant to you.

Soft Skills

Basic computer skills, customer service, project management, art & design, human resources, fastest ways to obtain new skills.

Are you looking for your first job? Are you missing some of the required skills on a job posting? If so, don’t worry. There are a range of ways for you to obtain the needed skills quickly.

If you are in need of a hard skill, this task is much easier. Hard skills are learned, so you can typically find an online resource, school, or curriculum to pick up the needed skills.

If you don’t have enough time to attend class in person, there are a number of online learning platforms with courses that you can take online, in your spare time. Some examples of popular eLearning platforms include Lynda, Udemy, and Skillshare.

Learning soft skills are a little trickier. These interpersonal and personality traits are hardwired into humans, so the only way to get better at them is to practice, practice, practice.

If you can’t practice soft skills while on a job, try to find some day-to-day activities that you can practice these skills during.

For example, if you need to work on punctuality, set a goal to arrive 5 minutes early wherever you need to be, no matter if it is for class or for coffee. Or if you need to work on your professionalism, pick up a volunteer job based in a professional, office setting.

More Skill-Related Articles For Resume Writing:

  • How To List Hard Skills On A Resume (50+ Technical Skill Examples)
  • How to List Computer Skills on a Resume (50+ Computer Skill Examples)

learning skills on resume

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How To Demonstrate Willingness To Learn on a Resume

Having the right skills and experience isn’t always as important as being willing to learn. But how do you put that on a resume? Get the answers in this guide.

a year ago   •   5 min read

“Experience not necessary, but must be willing to learn …”

Have you ever seen that on a job description and thought, “that’s me?” Or stumbled across a posting for a job you know you can do well, even if you don’t quite meet all the requirements?

The good news is, that job doesn’t have to be out of reach. The bad news? It takes a little finesse — and no, that doesn’t mean writing “I’m eager to learn” on your resume.

Here’s what it does mean.

How to say you’re willing to learn on a resume

  • Take a good look at the job description. What skills or experience are listed on the posting that you don’t already possess?
  • Now be realistic — are those absolutely essential (like legally mandated qualifications) or are they things you could easily pick up on the job?
  • Even if you don’t have that exact skill, you may have done something similar before. Brainstorm any skills or experience you have involving a similar role, industry, or skill set, even if it’s not an exact match.
  • Think about other times you’ve learned something new, picked up a new skill, or hit the ground running without any experience . These are the key to proving your willingness to learn!
  • Now frame that experience in terms of accomplishments by starting with a strong action verb and ending with clear numbers or metrics (scroll down for resume bullet point examples to get you started).
  • Add in a section for skills, projects, or extracurricular activities for more evidence of times when you’ve learned something new.
  • Check your resume against an ATS resume scanner for feedback on soft skills like willingness to learn as well as suggested bullet points and essential keywords.

Example of how to structure your bullet points to show soft skills like willingness to learn on a resume

Where to put eagerness to learn on a resume

You can showcase your willingness to learn in a few different ways on your resume. Some of the best places are:

Work experience bullet points

Projects and extracurricular activities.

The best way to demonstrate any soft skill — like willingness to learn — is in your bullet point accomplishments . This is a great way to show the impact of what you’ve learned, which is what recruiters care about the most.

Essential Tip: Quantifying your accomplishments is the key to making them stand out. It’s fine to include a rough estimate even if you don’t have exact figures.

Example of work experience bullet points that show your willingness to learn on a resume

I’d recommend uploading your resume to the tool below to find out if your bullet point accomplishments highlight your willingness to learn and other soft skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Another great way to show that you’re willing to learn new things is by including examples from outside of work. This could mean extracurricular activities, volunteer work outside your area of expertise, or personal projects where you had to learn a new skill.

Essential Tip: Everything on your resume needs to add value. Only include projects and activities if they add something that’s missing from your main work experience section .

Use projects and extracurricular activities to demonstrate your willingness to learn by emphasizing new skills you picked up

How do you show that you’ve learned a skill? By putting it in your skills section ! Including things like foreign languages , programming skills , or short courses is a great way to show your willingness to learn at a glance.

Essential Tip: Your resume skills section is for hard skills only. Don’t ever list soft skills like “willingness to learn” in your skills section (or anywhere else on your resume).

Example of including technical skills, languages, certifications, and awards on a resume to show your willingness to learn new things

If you’re wondering which skills belong in your skills section, use the tool below to search for the job you’re applying for and it’ll give you a list of relevant hard and technical skills.

Do’s and don’ts of putting willingness to learn on a resume

Before we dive into some resume examples, here are some key takeaways for putting eagerness to learn on a resume.

DON’T: Say it outright. The phrase “I’m willing and eager to learn” has no place on your resume.

DO: Stick to the facts — that is, accomplishments that show how you’ve handled learning new things in the past.

DO: Apply for jobs you’re not 100% qualified for. In general, aim to meet around 80% of the job requirements listed.

DON’T: Expect to impress recruiters solely with your eagerness to learn. Hiring managers expect everyone to be willing to learn! Someone who doesn't want to learn anything probably isn’t applying for a job in the first place.

DON’T: Include every skill you’ve ever picked up in your skills section just because it shows that you’re willing to learn new things.

DO: Curate relevant skills, projects and activities to round out your resume and fill in any blanks that aren’t covered by your professional work history.

“Willing to learn” synonyms for your resume

So, how can you say you’re eager to learn on a resume without coming right out and saying it? With clever action verb synonyms like:

  • Interviewed
  • Investigated

These action verbs all focus on your willingness to investigate new concepts, evaluate and improve your own understanding, and seek out help when needed, which are all essential components of being willing to learn.

Willingness to learn resume examples

If you really want to show that you’re willing to learn new things on your resume, don’t just stick to showing off your skills. What hiring managers are really looking for is evidence of how you’ve applied that learning to the company.

Here are some examples for you to follow that will help you do exactly that.

Implemented crash reporter and used findings to fix three biggest causes of crashes; reduced customer support calls by 30%.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t know, provide examples of things you’ve learned in the past and how you did it. This shows recruiters that you’re willing to learn new things and provide solutions to problems.

Designed merchandising strategies for grocery retailers based on regression analysis identifying key store attributes to increase traffic and conversion; resulted in a 25% sales lift.

Don’t provide a list of new skills you’ve learned — show the steps you took to learn them. By walking a hiring manager through the steps you took to find something out, they have a better understanding of how you’d learn new things in this role.

Translated business questions into use cases and data model requirements with emphasis on anticipating future ad-hoc needs.

Learning new things isn’t just about being reactive — it should be proactive, too. Don’t just include examples of when you learned something new in response to a problem — show how you’ve anticipated future needs and been willing to learn in advance.

Designed and implemented 50+ E2E tests using Selenium & Protractor, simulating each user group's actions.

Sometimes, being willing to learn new things is about changing the way you think. Understanding different perspectives and thinking outside the box are important transferable skills that will serve you well in nearly any role.

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learning skills on resume

Thank you for the checklist! I realized I was making so many mistakes on my resume that I've now fixed. I'm much more confident in my resume now.

learning skills on resume

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17 Best skills to put on your resume to stand out


Ace your job search

Explore effective job search techniques, interview strategies, and ways to overcome job-related challenges. Our coaches specialize in helping you land your dream job.

The best resume immediately answers a hiring manager's most pressing question: “Does this person have the necessary skills?” 

You don’t have much time to answer this question, either. Recruiters scan a resume in just seven seconds to form a first impression and decide whether they’ll offer an interview. 

You must understand the key skills for each job application and express your proficiency quickly to get ahead. We’ll discuss how to choose skills for a resume and add them effectively.

What is a resume skill?

A professional skill is a knowledge, ability, or competency to perform specific tasks or respond to challenges. Each skill is either a hard or soft skill . Hard skills or technical skills refer to our ability to perform knowledge-based tasks, like proficiency with a graphic design program. 

Interpersonal skills , or soft skills, refer to our interactions with others, like our ability to tap into our emotional intelligence to manage a team or our leadership communication skills . 

Learning new skills relevant to your job or reskilling to start a new career is crucial preparation. Every industry and job role requires proficiency in a wide range of job skills, so it's critical to know the most relevant ones for your profession and target the company and highlight them in your resume.

Hard skills for your resume

Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities or knowledge that are often quantifiable and job-specific. Hard skills are gained through experience, practice, and education. They can be measured straightforwardly by our ability to perform a technical task. Hard skills are crucial for performing tasks and functions within a particular field or industry. 

Here are a few hard skills you could include on your resume:

  • Foreign languages 
  • Project management 
  • Marketing fluency, like SEO or SEM
  • Computer skills
  • Software management, like CRM
  • Coding languages, like CSS or Python
  • Design, like Photoshop or Illustrator
  • Data analysis 

Soft skills for your resume

Soft skills are non-technical abilities that relate to how individuals interact with others and navigate social situations. These skills encompass qualities and attributes that shape one's emotional intelligence, communication style, and overall interpersonal effectiveness. They inform how we approach a task or challenge and are unique personal attributes that make us stand out and succeed as employees and leaders.

Unlike hard skills, soft skills are not job-specific but are universally valuable across various roles and industries. Soft skills play a critical role in building strong relationships, collaborating effectively with colleagues, and enhancing overall workplace dynamics.

Here are a few soft skills you could include on your resume:

  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration

Soft and hard skills often complement one another. Speaking a foreign language is a hard skill requiring specific vocabulary, diction, and grammar knowledge. The communication skills needed to speak this language effectively — knowing how to work through a concept, tell a story, and keep an audience engaged — are soft skills.

How many skills should you add to a resume?

In general you'll want to have 10 to 15 skills listed on you resume. But this varies depending on your level of experience, the specific job you're applying for, and the resume format you're using . Here are some general guidelines to help you determine how many skills to include:

  • Relevance : Focus on skills that are directly relevant to the job you're applying for. Tailor your resume by carefully reviewing the job description and identifying the skills and qualifications the employer is seeking. Highlight the skills that align with the job requirements.
  • Balance : While it's important to include relevant skills, it's equally important not to overwhelm your resume with an excessively long list of skills. Aim for a balance that showcases your key strengths without making your resume too lengthy .
  • Prioritization : Prioritize the most important and sought-after skills . Place the most relevant and impressive skills towards the top of your resume, particularly in the skills section. This ensures that the hiring manager sees your strongest qualifications early in the document.
  • Quantify : Where possible, quantify your skills or provide context. For example, if you are proficient in a programming language, you can mention the number of years of experience you have with it or highlight specific projects where you applied that skill.
  • Quality over quantity : It's better to emphasize a few highly relevant and valuable skills rather than listing a wide range of skills that may not be as important for the job. Hiring managers often appreciate depth and expertise in key areas.
  • Consider resume length : If you have many years of experience and a lot of relevant skills, you may have a longer resume. However, for most applicants, a one-page or two-page resume is typically sufficient. Ensure that your skills section doesn't dominate the entire document.
  • Group skills : You can group similar skills together to save space. For example, you might create categories like "Technical Skills" and "Soft Skills" to organize your skills more effectively.
  • Keep it honest : Only list skills that you genuinely possess and can confidently discuss in an interview. Exaggerating or fabricating skills can lead to problems during the hiring process.


Types of skills to add to your resume and cover letter

To show your versatility, try including a diverse set of skills on your resume. Choose a couple from each of the three main categories below:

1. Transferable or functional skills

This covers your competency to perform an action and apply that skill to different tasks, job roles, and industries. Your aptitude to perform a transferable or functional skill is measured by your ability to optimize this skill to various situations.

Transferable or functional skills include:

  • Organization and time management skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Writing 
  • Project management
  • Active listening and communication
  • Customer service skills

2. Personal skills

This covers personality traits, behaviors, or perspectives that guide your approach to a task or situation. These are likely interpersoanl skills you’ve developed since childhood through different life experiences.

Personality skills include:

  • Assertiveness
  • Independence
  • Detail-orientedness
  • Strong emotional intelligence
  • Ability to perform under pressure
  • Relationahip-building skills

3. Knowledge-based skills

This includes a theoretical or practical understanding of a specific task or process learned through consistent work experience or education. These are often industry or career-specific and, depending on the expertise required for a particular position, the most in-demand.

Knowledge-based skills include: 

  • Computer skills, including programming languages, web development, or experience with specific programs like Microsoft Office, Excel, or Quickbooks
  • Analytical skills, including data analysis, strategy, or economic forecasting
  • Industry-specific skills, including a content creator with social media apps or marketing skills or a software engineer with specific expertise in Python or HTML

Top 3 skills to put on a resume

We recommend choosing transferable, knowledge-based, and personal skills relevant to the job description and the company’s values. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong using these three top skills on your resume:

1. Managerial skills

If you have any managerial experience, add it to the relevant job description. Good managers can see the bigger picture, organize their teams around a common goal, and demonstrate effective communication techniques.

This experience also shows you’re willing to take on more responsibility and can handle different personalities. 

Expressing your management skills might look like this:

  • 15 years of experience developing multiple teams to [name accomplishment]
  • Ideated and managed [project] and increased revenue by [percentage]
  • Certified in Conflict Resolution from [institution's name]

2. Communication skills

Strong communication skills are essential at every professional level. These skills include actively listening, speaking effectively, observing people and situations, and empathizing and supporting our co-workers, colleagues, and managers.

Expressing your communication skills might look like this:

  • Thrives on constructive criticism
  • Four years of public speaking experience
  • Certified in Non-Verbal Communication at [institute name]

3. Computer skills

Expertise in various technologies or the ability to learn new ones are great hard skills to advertise. These include knowledge of hardware, software, work platforms, or coding languages.

Computer skills might include:

  • Type 145 words per minute
  • Fluency in CRM and CSM
  • Knowledge of Python, Javascript, and HTML
  • Experience with project management softwares like Monday, ClickUp, and Notion
  • Adobe Photoshop


17 of the best skills to add to your resume

In addition to the three above, here are some of the most important skills to add to your resume skills section. When updating your resume, be sure to include the most relevant skills for the job you're applying to. Social media marketing, for instance, is more of a must-have skill across various marketing roles but fewer project management roles.

1. Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution involves mediating disputes and finding mutually acceptable solutions. This skill is crucial for maintaining a harmonious work environment and productive relationships among team members.

2. Adaptability

Adaptability is the ability to adjust to new circumstances and challenges. In today's rapidly changing world, individuals who can quickly learn and adapt to new technologies, work processes, or environments are highly valuable.

3. Negotiation

Negotiation skills are essential for reaching agreements that benefit all parties involved. Whether in salary negotiations or business deals, effective negotiation can lead to favorable outcomes.

4. Creativity

Creativity involves thinking outside the box to generate innovative ideas and solutions. It's particularly valuable in roles that require problem-solving and innovation, such as marketing or product design.

5. Strategic planning

Strategic planning is the process of setting long-term goals and developing a roadmap to achieve them. This skill is crucial for leaders and managers responsible for guiding an organization's direction.

6. Public speaking

Public speaking is essential for presentations, pitches, and effective communication with large audiences. Confidence and clarity in public speaking can enhance your professional image.

7. Mentoring and coaching

The ability to mentor and coach others in their professional development is valuable for leadership roles and fostering a positive workplace culture.

8. Crisis management

Crisis management involves responding effectively to unexpected and high-pressure situations, minimizing damage, and maintaining business continuity.

9. Risk management

Identifying and mitigating risks is vital in fields such as finance, insurance, and project management to protect against potential losses.


10. Data privacy and security

With increasing concerns about data breaches and privacy, knowledge of data security measures and compliance with regulations is essential, especially in IT and healthcare industries.

11. Foreign language proficiency

Proficiency in a foreign language can open up opportunities in international business, diplomacy, and global organizations, enhancing your marketability.

12. Sales and marketing

Sales and marketing skills involve promoting products or services and persuading customers to make purchases. These skills are vital in sales and business development roles.

13. Conflict management

Conflict management focuses on identifying, addressing, and resolving conflicts within teams or organizations to maintain a productive and harmonious work environment.

14. Research and data analysis

Strong research and data analysis skills are valuable in fields like market research, academia, and policy analysis, enabling evidence-based decision-making.

15. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing skills, including SEO, social media management, and online advertising, are crucial for businesses looking to expand their online presence and reach.

16. Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills are vital for identifying, analyzing, and creatively resolving challenges. They enable individuals to make informed decisions, find innovative solutions, and adapt to changing circumstances. 

17. Project management skills

Project management skills involve planning, organizing, and coordinating resources and teams to achieve specific goals within set constraints. Effective project managers excel at goal-setting, task breakdown, and timeline management. They ensure projects stay on track, meet deadlines, and stay within budget, making them highly sought after across industries.


How to add skills to your resume 

There are endless resume templates to choose from when designing your resume, and most offer a skills section. We’ve outlined four tips for adding skills to catch a recruiter's attention with resume skills examples to help you get started.

1. Choose wisely

Study the company by visiting its website, LinkedIn profile , and other public sources. What values do they promote? Which team members do they highlight and why? 

Read through the job ad and take note of the responsibilities, job requirements, and skills listed by the employer. Use this research to choose skills for your resume. It’s a good idea to list skills the job posting specifically seeks. 

Here’s an example of how to translate a job responsibility into skills when describing work experience on your resume:

Responsibility: Fact-check, proofread, and edit content for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

Skill on resume: 

  • Eight years of copy and content writing experience with brands and PR agencies
  • Wrote objective-oriented, SEO-driven content for brands
  • Versed in workflow apps, Google Office, and grammar platforms

2. Include a skills section

If a hiring manager spends just seven seconds on a resume, make sure yours is readable. Design the resume to direct the reader's eye to critical information, and include a skills section close to the start. Use relevant action verbs to sell your experience and describe your skills from the beginning.

Don't over-clutter — insufficient white space will deflect the eye rather than attract it. This section should include bullet points with concise information.

3. Subtly mention skills in other sections

Sneak skills throughout your resume, including in the summary and work experience sections. Frequently referencing them will help show the hiring manager you really do possess the skills. 

Here are two examples of a writer's position:

Resume summary with a mixture of transferable and personal skills:

  • Curious, creative, and self-motivated journalist and content writer with six years of experience working independently for agencies and publications.

Work experience section with a mixture of technical and interpersonal skills:

Digital Content Writer, [Company name], [time frame]

  • Experience in Google Workspace, Surfer SEO, and workflow platforms
  • Responsible for writing 10 1500-word SEO and keyword-driven articles weekly
  • Detail-oriented and personable — never missed a deadline and facilitated feedback calls with clients directly

4. Be specific about your proficiency level

Always be clear about your level of expertise. You’ll likely be asked to showcase some of your skills in an interview, so it’s best to be upfront. 

Here are a few examples:

Languages spoken: 

  • English, native
  • Spanish, fluent
  • Japanese, intermediate conversation and listening comprehension, beginner written
  • High-level expertise in Python and Java
  • Mid-level expertise in CSS

Feel confident about the skills on your resume

Building a good resume takes a lot of work. You have to read through the job description and tailor resumes to each post to make sure your profile best aligns with what the recruiter is looking for.

But the effort is worth it. You've spent your entire career learning and nurturing new skills — show them off in your resume and you'll be one step closer to getting the job. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and listing the right skills will help hiring managers see that.

Maggie Wooll, MBA

Maggie Wooll is a researcher, author, and speaker focused on the evolving future of work. Formerly the lead researcher at the Deloitte Center for the Edge, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Maggie is passionate about creating better work and greater opportunities for all.

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  • 17 Best Skills to Put on Your...

17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume (with Examples)

20 min read · Updated on March 27, 2024

Marsha Hebert

Everything you need to know about adding the right skills to your resume

Whether your resume has been through 19 revisions lately or you're just revisiting it for the first time in years, spending some time taking stock of your skills section can generate more interest in your candidacy and be the key to winning interviews. 

However, there's a lot of conflicting information online and in books about maximizing the effectiveness of this section. 

Do you simply list all of your key skills on the resume? 

What are the right skills to put on a resume? 

What order is best? 

How will a jumble of technical qualifications help you stand out? 

And what about those  soft skills ?

Let's tackle those questions one at a time and learn the 17 best skills to put on your resume – starting at the beginning. 

Why is the resume skills section there in the first place?

The number one reason to spend a fair amount of time crafting your skills list is employability. Being employable means that you have the right skills – academic skills, applied knowledge, technology skills, vertical and lateral thinking abilities, and interpersonal skills – that employers value and are willing to pay you for. 

When the hiring manager picks up your resume to determine whether you're a fit for the role they have open, one of the first things they'll look at is your skill level. Having the right skills on your resume is also important to ensure your CV pops up in recruiter searches. 

There are three key reasons to include the skills section in your resume and to organize it well:

To list your skills and abilities in one place for easy reference and scanning

To highlight the match between your background and the job requirements for the position you're interested in

To get your well-crafted resume through keyword screening by applicant tracking systems

The right mix of resume skills will get you past the first hurdle and towards a conversation. Here's a blueprint for making the most out of your skills section:

Relevancy is critical

Including a jumble of skills on your resume, beefed up with some basics that pretty much everyone knows (like Microsoft Office, as an example) won't help you to stand out. In fact, listing out skills that are considered to be a common baseline can actually hurt your candidacy by making you look like you're scrambling to establish credibility. 

PRO TIP: As a general rule, basic user-level proficiency with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and email applications is  assumed to be a given . However, if you have advanced Excel skills (expert-level proficiency with macros and advanced analysis capabilities, for example), you should list those.  

Rather than go back to basics, you'll want to focus only on skills that look good on a resume.

So how can you tell that a skill is relevant? That's easy! Read the  job description . 

Interpret the job description

As you dissect the job description to learn what will be required of you if you're hired for the position, pay special attention to the “requirements” and “qualifications” bullets, as that's where you'll find the majority of the keywords your resume will need. Again, the goal is to ensure that your resume speaks to that particular job so you can impress the hiring manager. 

Let's say you're applying for a job as an Account Manager. You may see these bullets under the “requirements” part of the job description:

Build lasting relationships with new and existing clients

Maintain client records, including contract renewals 

Develop sales plans to meet key performance indicators

Understand product offerings to meet customer needs and upsell when available

The keywords you need to focus on in each bullet are:

Client relationships

Client records and contract renewals

Sales plans and KPIs

Product offerings, customer needs, and upsell

The question you then need to ask yourself is, “Do I have the skills to back up these keywords?” If the answer is “Yes,” then these skills should appear on your resume. 

This is called  tailoring your resume  and should be done with every job that you apply to. For example, if you are applying to be a Floor Manager at a store that sells musical instruments, your proficiency with inventory management and your ability to play guitar would both be relevant for the job.

The four main types of skills for your resume

As a human being, you have technical and interpersonal skills in a broad range of areas. You might be an expert whitewater rafter, or maybe you have advanced a World of Warcraft character all the way to level 80. Both of those accomplishments require dedication, practice, and technical proficiency, but they're probably not going to help you land a job. 

The general recommendation on standout skills for a resume is to only list skills that will, directly or indirectly, help you to be more effective in your job. 

To do this, you have to understand the different types of skills that employers look for. 

1. Hard skills for a resume

These are learned abilities that you've picked up during your career, either through education, training, or experience. They can be honed over time. When you add hard skills to your resume, you'll want to include numbers –   measurable accomplishments  – as often as possible. 

2. Soft skills for a resume

Soft skills are characteristics you possess that improve your ability to get along with others, solve problems, and communicate effectively. You'll find that hiring managers love soft skills. 

No matter how technical your position is, it will require interacting with people, dealing with deadlines, and adapting to change. It's not as easy to quantify soft skills as it is hard skills, but employers still want you to prove that you possess these traits.

While most skills can be categorized as hard or soft skills, there are other types of skills, too!

3. Transferable skills for a resume

In addition to hard and soft skills, you might consider whether you have any transferable skills. This becomes especially important if you're changing careers, as they allow you to provide tangible proof of your ability to adapt to new circumstances and use lateral or vertical thinking to apply knowledge about one thing to something else. 

When you're leaning on  transferable skills to sell your qualifications  to the hiring manager, you must take the time to relay how those skills will benefit them and their new team. So, rather than saying that you have good time management skills, prove it by demonstrating what you do to manage time and how this has benefitted previous employers. 

4. Adaptive skills for a resume

You can also show resiliency through skills in your resume if you're not changing careers. Let's face it, if there's one thing that's certain in life and work, it's that things change. If you're the type of person to leverage change as a learning opportunity, then you should definitely be highlighting your adaptability on your resume. 

When you talk about adaptive skills on your resume, be sure to provide specific examples as they can be the powerhouse statements that  win you an interview .

The 17 best skills to put on your resume

Now that we've defined what types of skills you can use on your resume, let's explore some specific examples of different skills you can include.

1. Computer skills and programming languages

When the job description wants you to prove that you possess programming skills, you can add “ Proficiency in Python, Java, or HTML, ” for example. This signals to employers that you can do everything from coding to automation and makes you a valuable candidate in the tech space.

Some roles that require an understanding of computer languages include:

Software Engineer

Computer Scientist

2. Data analysis

Saying that you possess data analysis skills allows you to demonstrate that you can interpret raw data and draw actionable insights to fuel change. It's adaptable across industries and can be easily backed by quantifiable data. 

Some roles that require an understanding of data analysis include:

Data Scientist

Marketing Consultant

Senior Accountant

3. Project management

You don't have to be a Certified Project Management Professional to include an ability to manage projects on your resume. If you're good at leading, organizing, and delivering successful outcomes, then you should add that you know how to manage projects. 

Some roles that require an understanding of project management include:

Construction Contractor

Industrial Engineer

IT Project Manager

4. Creativity

Creativity is one of the most highly sought-after skill sets. Not only can you leverage it to create tangible marketing pieces that connect with target audiences, but it can also be used to solve problems and bring fresh perspectives to projects. Creativity also signals that you're adaptable to dynamic environments. 

Some roles that require you to be creative include:

Graphic Designer

Digital Marketing Manager

Brand Manager

5. Languages

The world gets smaller every day, so being able to speak more than one language is a skill that you should definitely include on your resume. Adding multiple languages to your application makes you highly valuable in a globalized, connected working world.

Some roles that require you to be speak other languages include:

International  HR Director

Foreign Exchange  Investment Banker

Some  Teacher  roles

6. Communication

Every job everywhere requires employees to have good communication skills. But instead of simply saying that you are a good communicator, be prepared to demonstrate that you understand the value of everything from active listening to properly articulating complex concepts. 

Some roles that require great communication include:

Sales Representative

Public Relations

Nurse Practitioner

7. Teamwork

A lot of people will throw the word “teamwork” into the skills list on their resume without giving it much thought. However, given the vast amount of hybrid and remote working environments, teamwork is more important than ever. A happy team that works together reduces burnout and increases morale. 

Some roles that require good teamwork include:

Sports Fitness Coach

Product Manager

Scrum Master

8. Leadership

If you're applying for a role that will involve guiding others, then including leadership skills is a must. When you add leadership to your resume, you highlight that you're not afraid to take the initiative to make decisions that drive outcomes. 

Some roles that require you to be a leader include:

Director of IT

Sales Manager

9. Critical thinking

When you're known for making well-informed decisions by analyzing information and evaluating situations objectively, you possess critical thinking skills. You may see this pop up in job descriptions where the employer is seeking someone with high emotional intelligence. Basically, if you can navigate your way logically through problems, then critical thinking is probably something you should add to your resume.

Some roles that require critical thinking include:

Data Engineer

Telecommunications Professional

10. Cultural competence

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have become buzzwords in today's workforce. People want a voice and value having a psychologically safe place in which to get things done. This is even more true when you have people coming together from different cultures. 

Some roles that require you to have cultural competence include:


11. Quality assurance

Quality assurance has implications across a number of fields, including software development and cybersecurity. There is an emphasis on quality assurance in roles that require you to maintain compliance with regulations or particular guidelines and best practices. 

Some roles that require an understanding of quality assurance include:

Aviation Mechanic

Cyber Security Specialist

12. Time management

Ranking right up there with creativity as far as top-rated skills go, being able to properly manage time is critical in today's workforce. It's not only something that's found in professional settings, but across industries and jobs worldwide. A simple search of job descriptions will reveal that the majority of them want people who can meet deadlines, at the minimum. 

Some roles that require good time management include:

Administrative Office Assistant

Finance Director

Project Manager

13. Conflict resolution

Being able to de-escalate situations with irate clients by demonstrating empathy and clearly defining options for a resolution means you're probably good at conflict management. However, conflict management isn't only demonstrated in client interactions. You may also be able to showcase conflict resolution skills if you've solved problems within team environments, too. 

Some roles that require conflict resolution skills include:

Retail Merchandising

Insurance Agent

Information Technology

14. Sales and upselling

Sales is all about employing active listening to ascertain customers' needs, to sell the right product or service at the right time. Whether you're connecting with target audiences to get them to buy something through a digital marketing campaign or you're trying to sell someone a product, meeting client needs is critical to demonstrating that you're good at sales and upselling. 

Some roles that require you to be able to sell and upsell include:

Marketing Manager

Consulting Manager

Real Estate Manager

15. Data entry

As you progress in your career, showcasing that you're good at data entry will become less and less important, however, there are still some roles that value candidates who can quickly and accurately input data into a system. 

Some roles that require data entry include:

Recent Graduate

Mid-Career Professionals

16. Tech-savviness 

Being tech–savvy means that you're always on the cutting edge and consistently keep up with emerging technologies. It helps you to deliver innovative solutions that help your company remain competitive in the ever-changing IT landscape.

Some roles that require candidates to be tech-savvy include:

DevOps Engineer

Technical Project Manager

Senior Software Engineer

17. Continuous learning

Today's employers value job seekers and employees who are fastidiously committed to ongoing education and skill development. Most even provide some sort of knowledge bank or in-house professional development courses to allow you to engage in continuous learning. 

Some roles that value a commitment to continuous learning include:

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Electrical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer

How to add skills to your resume

Keep your skills specific and clear.

A common pitfall when it comes to resume skills is to list broad categories of abilities without going into sufficient detail. The problem with that approach is that it won't get your resume found in keyword searches, because they are looking for specific proficiency statements.

So, instead of writing “familiarity with accounting software,” list “Quickbooks, Quicken, Sage, and Xero.” 

Use numbers and descriptive words where appropriate – 

How many projects have you managed using Teamwork Projects? 

How many people have you trained to use Salesforce? 

A few well-placed quantifiers can position you as a serious candidate with supported qualifications.

Organize your skills list

When creating a long list of skills for a resume, consider how you organize everything. Ordering your skills strategically will make your resume easier to read and call the right attention to the right skills in the right place. 

This is especially true considering that our brains look for patterns. A well-organized skill section on your resume will improve the aesthetics and help the hiring manager to skim through it to find just what they're looking for. 

PRO TIP: There isn't a hiring manager alive who is reading your resume. They're  scanning through it in just a few seconds . This makes keeping things organized all the more important.

Another organizing tip is to list the most important skills for the job first. Specifics will vary by industry, but think through the critical technical skills that will drive your effectiveness and success in the role and put them at the top.

When you're starting to group your skills list together, deciding which is most important depends on the job description. While most employers want employees who are good communicators and can solve problems, you have to take the industry and employer preferences into consideration. 

Job relevance: This goes back to tearing the job description apart to find the relevant keywords

Industry trends: Stay on top of things that may be changing in your industry and highlight any new skills that come into demand

Employer preferences: Take some time to research the company and learn what they do, why they do it, and for whom – this will help you to get a feel for their company culture, so you'll know which soft skills will impress them the most

The best place to put skills on your resume

The placement of the resume skills section itself on the page is up to you. Many people prefer to have it positioned near the top of their resume, but it works at the bottom too.

PRO TIP: If you have a lot of skills to list, consider breaking them up (for example, technical skills at the top and additional skills at the bottom).

No matter where you place the skills section, the layout is critical in catching the eye of hiring managers and showcasing your qualifications in a way that helps you to stand out from the crowd. 

At the top of your resume

Technically speaking, your skills list shouldn't be at the top. The first things on your resume should be your  contact information ,  headline , and  summary paragraph . So, when we say “at the top of your resume,” we mean beneath the summary paragraph. 

When you put your skills list at the top of your resume, you call immediate attention to some key selling points. It's an effective technique if you have a strong set of skills that directly align with the job requirements. 

Here's what a skills list at the top of your resume would look like:


City, ST 12345 • LinkedIn URL • [email protected] • 111-222-3333


Operations Management | Project Management | Sales Management | Business Analysis

Innovative and ambitious executive-level management professional offering extensive experience and an accomplishments-driven career in sales, marketing and operations, and key account management. Leverages an entrepreneurial spirit to orchestrate tactical business plans that challenge the status quo, allowing for reformation of process. Intuitive business acumen and skilled strategist who uses the most up-to-date business practices to create, implement, and oversee business continuity. Naturally assumes leadership roles to oversee and achieve organizational success.

Business Development • Executive Leadership • Strategic Business Planning • Data Analysis • Team Training & Development • Policy & Procedure Development • Marketing & Territory Expansion • Procurement, Sourcing, & Negotiation • Relationship-Selling • Customer Relations

This resume example actually has two skills lists. One just beneath the title and then the regular one beneath the summary paragraph. It's an effective way to separate out the skills that are most important – the specialized abilities that you want to call immediate attention to. However, if you do it like this on your resume, the skills listed beneath the title should only be one to two lines max!

At the bottom of the resume

If you've reached a point in your career where your work history and career achievements outshine your skills, then it's a good idea to place the skills list at the bottom of your resume. 

Here's what your skills could look like at the bottom of your resume:


[List your career history in reverse-chronological order, starting with the most recent and working backward about 10 years]

[List the degrees you've earned and the schools where you obtained your degrees. You can also mention any professional development classes you've taken and certifications or licenses you possess]

Core proficiencies:

Project Management | Lean Management | Change Management | Operations Management | 3PL | Inventory Management | Inventory Control | Inventory Planning | Logistics Management | Distribution & Processing | Budgeting | Procurement | Purchase Orders

Soft skills:

Team Leadership | Coaching | Persuasion | Creative Problem Solving | Negotiation

Technical skills:

Epicor | PeopleSoft | XAL(Concorde) | HighStage | Deltek (Costpoint) | KBM | Syteline | Kinaxis | Glovia (Oracle-based) | Oracle | Adept | Workflow | Data Vault (Oracle-based) | Intralink

English |  Spanish |  French

Throughout your resume

Since your resume is more than a list of skills, you should know that your master list of abilities and the keywords you've culled from the job description aren't limited to being placed only in a skills list. You can – and should – include hard, soft, adaptive, and transferable skills throughout your entire resume. 

After your contact information, the first thing that should appear on your resume is a headline. A lot of people will simply put a title, but if you take a moment to spruce it up and turn it into a headline, you'll be able to inject a few keywords on the top line of your resume. 

For example, if you're applying for a role as a Real Estate Broker, here's the difference between a title and a headline:

Title: Real Estate Broker

Headline: Real Estate Broker with Expertise in Property Valuation and Team Management

Put yourself into the shoes of a hiring manager and ask yourself, which of those would give you more information about the job seeker? The headline not only indicates which role you want, but also includes two keywords – property valuation and team management. 

Summary paragraph

As you move on to write your career summary, that appears just beneath the headline, you'll want to continue adding relevant skills from your career that are mirrored in the job description. Doing this will ensure that your resume presents a cohesive and powerful message that your experience and achievements will serve the new company well. 

In sticking with the example of Real Estate Broker, perhaps you find that the new company wants you to coordinate marketing events and client activities, write weekly reports, and have a solid understanding of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) platform for listing properties. 

The keywords to include in your profile paragraph would be:

Marketing events

Client activities

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Thus, your profile paragraph could look like this:

Veteran real estate professional with a strong background in orchestrating impactful marketing events for single and multi-family residences. Specializes in managing client activities that turn passive consumers into active clientele. Proficient in maximizing MLS to enhance property visibility and streamlining documentation and reporting processes. Known for creating a culture of excellence and client satisfaction by maintaining an open-door policy that encourages communication among team members.

As you can see, the profile paragraph isn't a long and drawn-out diatribe of things you've done in your career. Rather, it's a short paragraph that matches your skills to the job you're applying for. 

Work experience

Let's move on to the meat of your resume - the part the hiring manager is going to spend the most time on – your  career history . You may be wondering how you can put future-facing keywords into the historical part of your resume, but all it takes is a bit of finesse. 

For example, if you have a history of closing multi-million-dollar deals in high-end neighborhoods, you could work a few keywords into an achievement bullet like this:

  • Closed 5 multi-million-dollar property sales per month by leveraging MLS for property exposure

While you could stop after you say how many multi-million-dollar deals you closed, because that's a great achievement statement, expanding the bullet to include a keyword makes your overall resume all the more compelling. 

TopResume wants to do more than write your resume. We want to give you the tools you need to succeed in your job search and career. Click on the following link for more  resume and career advice .

Stand out from the crowd

When you master including the best skills in your resume, you reach a level of job search preparedness that propels your resume to the top of the pile. The whole idea is to make it easy for potential employers to see how you'll fit within the folds of their organization and team. That's where tailoring the skills on your resume comes in – wherever you include them. 

Want to see how your resume stacks up? Try out our  free resume review  today!

Recommended reading:

How to Write a Powerful LinkedIn Summary

How to Format a Resume for Multiple Jobs at One Company

The Best Resume Format to Get Hired  

Related Articles:

7 Signs Your Resume is Making You Look Old

Don't “Snowplow” Your Kids' Job Search — Set Them Up for Success Instead

Why a Simple Resume Layout is a Successful Resume

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