50 Best Skills to List on a Resume: Show Your Strengths

  • When crafting your resume, there are three important sections to keep in mind. They are your objective, your professional background, and your relatable skills. In an age where we scan virtually everything before deciding if a deeper dive is worth our time, featuring your job skills is very wise indeed.

    Which skills should you focus on? Read on to explore the best skills to list on a resume, along with a few samples that will help you start building your future today.

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Types of Skills

We should begin by dividing the best skills for a resume into two broad categories. There are soft skills and hard skills.

Soft Skills

Soft skills include generic skills that apply to an array of disciplines. Sometimes referred to as transferable skills, soft skills often relate to your interpersonal skills. Examples include communication skills, interpersonal skills, and team-building skills. These skills are slightly harder to prove; they're not something you demonstrate with a course certificate, but you can still speak to them in the interview.

Other examples include:

  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • Decision making
  • Strong work ethic
  • Time management

Hard Skills

Hard skills, sometimes called key skills or technical skills, are related specifically to the job you're applying for. This is why it's important to read through your resume before submitting an application. You might be able to add specific eye-catching details with each application.

Look at the job posting. Do any of their requirements stand out as a skill you possess? Then, be sure to earmark that for your resume and be prepared to share with the employer how this is a specific skill of yours. Do you have specific training or a certificate?

Don't lie about any of your skills on your resume. First, there's the moral issue. Second, any of these skills may be called into question during the interview and you want to be able to answer with detailed honesty.

Examples include:

  • Ability to speak another language
  • Copywriting
  • Data analysis
  • Event planning
  • Food preparation
  • Graphic design
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Typing speed
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What Types of Skills Are Employers Looking For?

Two of the top skills employers are looking for are leadership and teamwork. They want to know you can get the job done, whether working alone or on a team. In truth, you should be able to list one of the two skills.

If you have managerial experience, bring on the leadership skills. If you're fresh out of college, feel free to list teamwork skills. If you've ever had an internship, a part-time job, were a member of the debate team or any other society, then you should have a grasp on the mechanics of a successful team.

Key skills employers are looking for include communication skills, computer skills, customer service skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are invaluable. It's one thing to have a promising idea to share with the team and another to be able to communicate it effectively. Likewise, it's also important to be able to draft a professional, grammatically-correct email or report.

If your job application will focus on an ability to communicate well, consider including some of these skills:

  • Editing
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Negotiation
  • Public speaking
  • Teamwork
  • Technical writing
  • Training
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication

Computer Skills

Computer skills are inherent in nearly every job nowadays. From simple processes, such as data entry or word processing, to more complex processes like web design and SEO marketing, computer skills are the name of the game.

If you're applying for a position that requires a tech-savvy candidate, considering including some of these skills, elaborating on the specific software you know how to use effectively:

  • E-mail management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Research
  • Social media
  • Systems administration
  • Web or graphic design
  • Windows and Mac OS
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Customer Service Skills

Customer service skills make you eligible to represent the company with professionalism. Those who engage in customer service are "out on the front lines" and serve as the face of the company. That means you keep calm under pressure and enjoy helping people get what they need.

If your job application will focus on customer service, consider these skills:

  • Attentive listening
  • Diplomacy
  • Marketing
  • Negotiation
  • Patience
  • Sales
  • Troubleshooting

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are invaluable, no matter what position you'll serve in. They demonstrate an ability to think on your feet and pull a team together to problem-solve.

If you're applying for a managerial role (or even an entry-level position), consider these skills:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Delegation
  • Problem-solving
  • Mentorship
  • Motivation
  • Team building
  • Team management

Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving skills are important because managers like to know their staff can think for themselves and make educated decisions.

Here are some problem-solving skills you might want to include:

  • Active listening
  • Creativity
  • Decision making
  • Research
  • Team building

A Final Note on Presentation

Stand tall above the crowd by being wise with your punctuation. A lot of folks like to put a period at the end of a bullet point on a resume. But ask yourself this. Was that a complete sentence? If it's just a list, don't put a period at the end of any of your bullet points. For more on that, here are our best tips for writing a professional resume.

After you've crafted an eye-catching resume and cover letter, and nailed the interview, there's one more opportunity to express your writing skills. Go home and send a follow-up email, thanking the prospective employer for their time.

Best Skills to List on a Resume