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The Best Skills to Put on a Resume: Examples for All Jobs

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This is how you put skills on a resume for the greatest impact. Hint: it goes beyond just dumping skills in the skills section. In this guide, you’ll also get a comprehensive “master” list of the most in-demand skills in different industries.

The best skills to put on your resume are those that were listed as requirements in the job ad. Match your competencies with what the employer is looking for, but don’t claim skills you don’t have. On your resume, include up to ten key skills. Divide the skills list into “hard” or “technical” skills and “soft” or “transferable” skills. Also, make sure your skills shine through other key sections of your resume, especially the resume summary and the work history section.

Understanding which skills to highlight and how to effectively pepper them throughout your resume can open the doors to MANY more interviews.

But it’s not about copying and pasting the job description and listing skills you don’t actually have.

In this guide, I’ll show you critical skills for every career stage and for all the most popular industries. We’ll then go through how to add these skills to all resume sections—from the opening summary, through the detailed work history, to the actual *skills* list.

Get your resume done immediately with Rezi AI Resume Builder. It will draft the perfect bullet points, a powerful resume summary, and suggest skills tailored to the job you're after. And the design and layout? It will always stay perfect. Just pick one of the 15+ resume templates and see your resume write itself.

Why Putting the Right Skills on a Resume Is Key

Placing the right skills on your resume directly influences your chances of getting noticed and eventually hired. Hiring managers and recruiters scan resumes for specific skills that match the job description—after all, your skills determine if you’ll be able to do the job well. By tailoring your skills section to align with the requirements of the position, you also increase the likelihood of your resume passing applicant tracking systems (ATS) and reaching the actual human hiring manager.

Think of your resume as a sales pitch. 

You wouldn’t sell a smartphone by just saying it makes calls. You dive into features like the camera, the processor, the display, and so forth. 

Similarly, just saying you’ve held job titles isn’t enough. 

Your skills are your features. They persuade recruiters that you’re worthy of an unboxing (that is, an interview).

A good skills list shows that you have what it takes to do the job

Including core competencies shows the hiring manager that you’ve got the essential tools needed to get the job done right from the start. 

Having a list of skills aligned with the job requirements makes it super easy for the hiring manager to see you’re a great fit. Without these clear markers, your resume might be passed over. 

Basically, when you intentionally highlight your skills on your resume, you’re making the hiring manager’s job easier by helping them quickly see why you should move to the next round.

Skills are important keywords that help pass ATS scans

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) work like robot bouncers for resumes. They’ll only accept candidates who speak their language. 

ATS is programmed to scan and evaluate resumes based on specific keywords, often those mentioned in the job description.

So listing your skills isn’t just about flexing your professional muscles, it’s about speaking in tongues the ATS can comprehend.

For instance, if the job ad lists skills such as “JavaScript” and “React” as requirements, ensure these are explicitly mentioned in your resume’s skill section. 

Do not just assume the ATS will figure out your knowledge of these technologies because you mention “building dynamic and responsive web applications.” Spell out “JavaScript” and “React,” verbatim! This increases your chances of having your resume flagged as a match.

As Tim Elliott, President and COO of Mr. Moxey’s explains:

The skills list section is one of the main areas the ATS scans to identify keywords related to the advertised job. Without the skills list, your resume might never be presented to the hiring manager. It doesn’t matter if the hiring manager pays attention to this section. Admittedly, some don’t. But if you want the resume to even reach them, you have to get past the ATS. The only way to do it is with a good skills list.

Bottom line: skills listings are keys to unlocking the ATS gate. (Welcome to the club!)

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills for a Resume

Imagine your resume as a toolbox. Your hard skills are the specific tools themselves, like your knowledge of programming or design software. You learn these through formal training or experience. Soft skills, on the other hand, are more like your tool belt. They help you use these tools effectively. Examples of soft skills include creativity and adaptability. 

Both hard skills and soft skills are essential to show employers you’re an ideal fit for the role. 

I’ll dive into these in a bit more detail below.

Hard skills

These are your technical abilities developed through education or training. Think of them as your hardware—without them, well, you wouldn’t function well in your job role. 

Coding languages for developers, financial modeling for finance pros, or SEO tools for marketers—these are all hard skills.

Soft skills

If we’re sticking to the “hardware” metaphor, “soft skills” are like apps installed on the hardware. They enhance the performance and functionality. Soft skills include things like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving—talents that will help you thrive in any work environment.

Why the division?

It’s simple. Employers need to check quickly if you’ve got the necessary technical knowledge (hard skills) to handle the tasks at hand, and the soft skills to adapt and thrive in their workplace culture.

Your resume should blend the best of both worlds—the precision of hard skills and the transferability of soft skills.

The Best Types of Resume Skills by Seniority Level

Here are the best types of resume skills based on your career level: 

  • Entry-level: focus on foundational skills like communication and technical literacy, and demonstrate adaptability and teamwork through specific examples.
  • Mid-level: detail advanced technical capabilities, analytical skills, and leadership experiences to show your capability in managing more complex roles.
  • Senior: emphasize strategic leadership, change management, and the ability to influence and network effectively, ensuring each skill is backed by concrete instances demonstrating real-world application.

As you progress through your career, the skills you emphasize on your resume evolve. 

Below, you’ll find general guidelines for listing skills that are particularly important at different career stages.

Above all, your resume must showcase skills relevant to the position you’re targeting. Obviously, the specific desired skill sets will depend on your industry. (If you’re more interested in seeing a full list of good skills across the most popular career fields, scroll through to the next section.)

Entry-level positions

Core competencies

Include foundational skills such as effective communication, time management, and technical literacy (e.g., proficiency in Microsoft Office, basic HTML).

Adaptability and quick learning

Stress your ability to quickly adapt to new environments and learn new systems. Mention experiences where you learned new tools or adapted to new processes on the go.

Teamwork and collaboration

Highlight experiences involving team collaboration. This could include group projects in college, sports teams, or volunteer experiences. Emphasize your role and the outcome of these collaborative efforts.

Mid-Level Positions

Advanced technical skills

Specify technologies and tools you’re proficient in that are relevant to your industry, such as advanced CRM software for sales roles, or special certifications like PMP for project managers.

Project management and leadership

Detail your experiences in leading projects or teams. Mention the scope of the projects, budgets handled, and the number of people you managed. Skills such as delegation, motivation, and conflict resolution are valuable here.

Analytical thinking and innovation

Show how you’ve used analytical skills to solve complex problems or improve processes. Examples could include streamlining supply chain logistics, developing a new testing protocol, or designing a customer feedback system that led to improvements in service delivery.

Senior-Level Positions

Strategic leadership

Highlight your involvement in strategic planning and execution. This might include expanding a business into new markets, leading major strategic partnerships, or spearheading product innovations.

Change management

Emphasize your role in managing transitions or disruptions. Examples could be leading a merger or acquisition, driving digital transformations, or implementing major organizational changes.

Influencing and networking

Senior roles often require influencing others without direct authority and leveraging professional networks. Describe scenarios where you’ve successfully advocated for your ideas and strategies, or how your networking led to substantial benefits for your organization.

Top Skills for the Most Popular Jobs and Industries

Generally speaking, the top skills to list on your resume include:

  • Software skills
  • Job-specific “hard” skills and methodologies
  • Data analysis skills
  • Customer service
  • Time management skills
  • Soft skills like adaptability, active listening, creative problem-solving
  • Cultural intelligence

That said, the most important thing is to focus on skills relevant to this particular job. Ideally, you want to combine industry-specific technical skills with key soft or transferable skills.

Perhaps the easiest way to get that done quickly is to use the Rezi AI Skills Explorer tool.

Inside the Rezi dashboard, head over to the “Skills” tab:

How to find the "Skills" tab inside the Rezi dashboard.

Next:

  1. Select the category of skills you want to browse.
  2. Enter your field of profession.
  3. Click on the “AI skills explorer” button.

Here’s an example of this for an accounting job:

An example of how an AI Skills Explorer tool from Rezi works with a list of sample skills for an accountant position.

This way, you basically cannot set a foot wrong. Take Rezi for a spin and see how it works. It’s free!

Here’s a list of top skills for the most popular industries, divided into “hard” and “soft” skills:

Tech

Technical skills:

  • Programming languages: Python, Java, C++
  • Web development: HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Database management: SQL, Oracle
  • Software development methods: Agile, Scrum, Kanban
  • Cybersecurity protocols
  • Cloud technologies: AWS, Azure

Soft skills:

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Team collaboration
  • Adaptability to new technologies
  • Effective communication

Healthcare

Technical skills:

  • Patient assessment techniques
  • Medical coding: ICD-10, CPT
  • Surgical assisting
  • Health informatics systems: Epic, Cerner
  • Compliance: HIPAA regulations

Soft skills:

  • Empathy and compassion
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Stress management
  • Teamwork
  • Attention to detail

Finance

Technical skills:

  • Financial modeling: Excel, SAP
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Investment analysis tools
  • Risk management
  • Accounting software: QuickBooks

Soft skills:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Ethical judgment
  • Decision-making
  • Client relations
  • Negotiation skills

Marketing

Technical skills:

  • SEO/SEM tools: Google AdWords, Moz, Ahrefs
  • CRM systems: HubSpot, Pipedrive
  • Social media management: Hootsuite, Buffer
  • Content creation: blogging, video production
  • Data analytics: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Plausible

Soft skills:

  • Creativity
  • Persuasive communication
  • Strategic thinking
  • Adaptability
  • Team collaboration

Education

Technical skills:

  • Lesson planning
  • Classroom technology integration
  • Educational software proficiency
  • Student assessment methodologies
  • Special education strategies

Soft skills:

  • Patience
  • Effective communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leadership
  • Motivational skills

Sales

Technical skills:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software: Salesforce, Zoho CRM
  • Data analysis: understanding sales metrics and KPIs
  • Product knowledge expertise
  • Sales forecasting

Soft skills:

  • Persuasive communication
  • Negotiation
  • Relationship building
  • Resilience
  • Adaptability
  • Goal-oriented focus

Retail

Technical skills:

  • Point of Sale (POS) systems
  • Inventory management
  • Merchandising techniques
  • E-commerce platforms, like Shopify

Soft skills:

  • Customer service
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Flexibility

Legal

Technical skills:

  • Legal research and writing
  • Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations
  • Document drafting and review
  • Case management software, such as Clio

Soft skills:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Discretion and confidentiality
  • Persuasion
  • Stress management

Engineering

Technical skills:

  • CAD software: AutoCAD,SolidWorks
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Project management
  • Engineering principles

Soft skills:

  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Team collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking

Customer service

Technical skills:

  • Customer service software: Zendesk, Freshdesk
  • Financial transaction handling
  • Knowledge of products or services
  • Record keeping

Soft skills:

  • Empathy
  • Active listening
  • Patience
  • Effective communication
  • Conflict resolution

Design

Technical skills:

  • Design software: Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • UX/UI design
  • Graphic design fundamental frameworks
  • Web design

Soft skills:

  • Creativity
  • Visual communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Receptiveness to feedback

Warehouse and manufacturing

Technical skills:

  • Warehouse machinery: forklifts, pallet jacks
  • Supply chain management
  • Safety management and regulatory compliance
  • Inventory control systems: Oracle SCM Cloud

Soft skills:

  • Physical stamina and strength
  • Teamwork
  • Efficiency
  • Problem-solving
  • Observational skills

Each subsection lists industry-specific abilities along with the versatile soft skills that support them. Blend these, and you’ll illustrate your readiness for the role’s technical demands as well as your capability to flourish in their work environment.

And just in case you weren’t entirely convinced about the importance of a targeted skills list, see what Vit Koval, HR expert and Co-founder of Globy had to say about this:

A lot of hiring managers begin with a quick look through your resume to find skill-related keywords. Having a good skills section makes it more efficient. This is particularly true for roles that require technical skills in various domains or highly-specialized knowledge.

How to Showcase Skills Strategically on a Resume

In your resume summary, highlight key skills with quantifiable achievements relevant to the job you’re targeting. In the work experience section, focus on achievements over duties, using action verbs and quantifiable results serving as proof for your skills. Then, include a dedicated “Skills” section categorized into “Technical” or “Hard” skills and “Soft” skills for clarity and readability. Throughout each resume section, tailor your bullet points to mirror job requirements and use industry-related keywords to pass ATS filters and provide the hiring managers with what’s most important to them.

Skills alone won’t land you the job. Presenting them on your resume the right way will.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to positioning your skills strategically throughout different sections of your resume.

Header and resume summary

  • Start with a compelling headline that outlines your professional title. For example, “Senior Graphic Designer.”
  • Follow this with a concise professional summary that highlights key skills relevant to the job you’re applying for. Include quantifiable achievements to add credibility.

Let’s see how that works in practice. 

Imagine you’re a front-end developer applying for a job that listed HTML, CSS, React, and Angular as key requirements. The job ad also suggests you’ll need strong collaboration skills to thrive.

Here’s what your resume summary could look like.

Sample resume summary showcasing strong skills

Dynamic Front-End Developer with over 5 years of experience in designing and developing user-friendly, responsive websites and applications. Proficient in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and modern frameworks such as React and Angular. Proven track record in collaborating effectively with multi-department teams involving 10+ team members. Passionate about optimizing user experience and continuously exploring innovative front-end development techniques.

This summary concisely encapsulates the candidate’s technical skills, experience level, and professional strengths. It sets the tone for the rest of the resume, inviting potential employers to read further.

More on writing impactful resume summaries here: Resume Summary Examples + How to Write Yours

Work experience section

  • When writing bullet points for previous roles, don’t just list duties. Instead, focus on achievements that demonstrate your skills. Use action verbs and quantify results wherever possible.
  • For instance, rather than saying “Responsible for managing a team,” specify: “Led a team of 10 in a project that increased efficiency by 20%.”

Again, let’s see how that works in practice.

There’s a job opening for a Senior Customer Service Rep. The most important skills listed in the job ad are advanced technical support, project leadership, and process optimization.

Notice how the candidate below makes sure each bullet point in the description of their most recent job proves their proficiency in those areas.

Skills showcased in the work history resume section

Customer Service Representative  
ABC Tech Solutions, San Francisco, CA  
March 2022–Present

• Demonstrated deep product knowledge and complex problem-solving abilities by successfully resolving technical issues for over 500 customers, leading to a 30% increase in customer satisfaction scores.

• Orchestrated and led a pivotal customer feedback initiative using CRM software Salesforce. Enhanced the feedback collection mechanism, leading to a robust 25% growth in customer insights, which helped shape service improvement strategies.

• Authored and implemented a comprehensive training program for new hires focusing on advanced CRM functionalities and customer interaction techniques. This initiative reduced the learning curve by 40% and increased adherence to best practices.

• Analyzed and upgraded customer service workflow by integrating a new ticketing system, Zendesk, which cut down average issue resolution times by 35% and improved service delivery efficiency.

• Recognized with the “Customer Service Star” award quarterly for exceptional use of technology in service delivery and consistently surpassing performance benchmarks.

This work experience entry not only highlights the candidate’s ability to handle routine tasks but also emphasizes their proficiency with technical tools and software. It illustrates how the candidate effectively integrates technical skills with their role to deliver great results.

In your work experience section, it’s particularly important to provide evidence for your soft skills. 

As Tim Elliott of Mr. Moxey’s told us:

Just listing soft skills in a bulleted list doesn’t cut it. Instead of saying “Great communication skills,” show what makes you “great” in this area. For example, you can briefly describe how you’ve been involved in facilitating teem meetings or seminars in your previous position.

Want to learn more about writing a pitch-perfect work experience section? See: How to Describe Your Work Experience on a Resume

Skills section

  • Create a dedicated “Skills” section for a quick reference. List skills in bullet points and categorize them under “Technical Skills” and “Soft Skills” to enhance readability and impact.
  • Prioritize the listing order based on the job description. The most relevant skills come first, immediately catching the hiring manager’s attention.

Example time again.

This time, let’s take a look at a skills section written by a Product Manager. See how well the candidate below organized their key skills into easily readable categories.

Sample skills section for a resume

Product Management

• Roadmap strategy and execution
• Agile & Scrum methodologies
• Product lifecycle management

Technical Skills

• Prototyping tools: Sketch, InVision
• Analytics tools: Google Analytics, Tableau
• Project management software: Jira, Asana

Soft Skills

• Strong communication and presentation skills
• Critical thinking and problem-solving
• Decision-making

To save space on your resume, you can also list the skills horizontally. The Rezi AI Resume Builder gives you this option, too. 

Here’s what your skills section might look like:

resume skill example for Customer service position: Microsoft office, slack, digital marketing, computer knowledge,  relationship building, management

By separating the technical and soft skills under clear headings and using bullet points, this format enhances readability and ensures that key skills stand out effectively.

The resume summary, work history, and the dedicated skills section are the most important parts of a resume to highlight your skills. But you can reinforce your core competencies in other resume sections, too.

Education and certifications section

  • Under your degrees or certifications, include information about relevant coursework or projects that have equipped you with essential job-specific skills.
  • If you attended workshops or seminars that are pertinent to the job or industry, list them here to show ongoing learning and commitment to your field.

More info here: How to List Your Education on a Resume

Additional Sections

  • If relevant, add sections like “Projects,” “Publications” or “Conferences” to highlight practical applications of your skills.
  • For example, under Projects, detail any personal or academic projects that showcase your skills in action, particularly those that align closely with the prospective job.

Once finished, revisit your resume to make sure the skills you list and highlight are customized to match the requirements of the job. I can’t stress this enough—tailoring your resume to each specific opening is the single most effective strategy to boost your interview rate.

For more information, see:

Tailor each resume and use the right keywords

  • Scrutinize the job listing and add keywords that relate to required skills in your industry. Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan for these keywords, so aligning your resume accordingly can help pass initial screenings.
  • Custom-fit your resume for each job application. This might be time-consuming, but modifying your resume to highlight the most relevant skills for each position vastly improves your chances of getting noticed.

In every section of your resume, the goal is to not just list your skills, but to present compelling evidence of how you used them. This immediately shows you’re qualified.

Summary

Here’s everything about how to list skills on a resume:

  • Highlighting the right skills on your resume is crucial for catching the attention of hiring managers and passing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which scan for specific keywords related to the job description.
  • Hard skills are technical abilities gained through education or training, essential for specific job functions. Soft skills, like communication and teamwork, enhance your ability to perform and adapt in the workplace.
  • Align your listed skills with the job requirements to increase your chances of being noticed by both ATS and hiring managers.
  • For entry-level positions, focus on foundational and adaptability skills. For mid-level jobs, advanced technical skills and some leadership acumen are must-have entries. If you’re a senior candidate, highlight strategic and change management.
  • Place your skills strategically across various sections of the resume, especially the summary, work experience, and a dedicated skills section.
  • In the work experience section, rather than just listing duties, highlight achievements and positive outcomes you were responsible for to show how you effectively used your skills.
  • A clear and organized skills section with categories like “Technical Skills” and “Soft Skills” helps hiring managers quickly assess your capabilities.

Thanks for reading! Got questions? Concerns? Still not sure what skills to list on your resume? Shoot me a line on LinkedIn, I’ll gladly help. (Or check out the FAQs first, maybe your question is already answered.)

FAQ

How many skills to list on a resume?

Limit your skills list to about six to twelve key abilities. Include a mix of hard and soft skills tailored specifically to your target job. This ensures your resume remains concise and relevant.

How to list skills on a resume when changing careers?

Highlight transferable skills applicable to the new industry. Focus on universal competencies like leadership, project management, and communication. If you have a lot of experience in your “previous” field, use a combination resume format to emphasize these skills over your previous job-specific expertise.

How to list skills on a resume if I have little to no professional experience?

Look back at academic projects, volunteer work, internships, and relevant coursework. Specify any relevant skills these experiences have taught you, making sure to emphasize how they relate directly to the job you are applying for.

What are the most in-demand skills in 2024?

Today’s top skills include data literacy, digital and coding literacy, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, cultural intelligence, emotional intelligence, and cybersecurity skills.

Can I lie about having a skill on my resume just to get my foot in the door?

No. Misrepresentation can lead to job loss and damage your professional reputation when the truth comes to light. This can seriously hamper your career in the long run. Instead, honestly invest time to develop the necessary skills.

I don’t have some of the skills the job ad requires. Can I still apply?

Apply if you meet at least 70% of the job requirements, especially if you have key skills critical to the role. Use your cover letter to address any gaps and highlight how you plan to quickly close them.

How to develop new job-related skills?

Actively pursue learning through online courses, workshops, webinars, and professional seminars. Consider volunteering or freelance work to gain practical experience. Engage in self-directed learning projects and leverage resources from industry leaders and educational platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning. Regular practice and application of new skills will cement your competence in these areas.

Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley


Michael Tomaszewski

Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW, is a resume and career advice expert with 7+ years of experience in the hiring industry. He has helped millions of readers and dozens of one-on-one clients create resumes and cover letters that *finally* do their talents and accomplishments justice.

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