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Top Skills for a Job-Winning Resume

The right combination of skills to put on your resume makes a difference in whether or not your application receives serious consideration.

Skills can be categorized into soft, hard and technical categories.

Even though each category is different, they are equally valuable and you should feature a combination of all three types on your resume.

Hard skills are quantifiable, tangible skills and include writing skills, language ability, design and marketing. They are necessary to perform your work-related duties. Companies require hard skills to demonstrate your ability to perform job duties effectively.

Technical skills are a more specific type of hard skill acquired to perform specialized, job-related tasks in industries like IT, mathematics and science. For instance, the technical skills of an electronic engineering specialist would be circuit design, data collection and analysis and C++ programming language.

Soft skills describe your character and personality traits. They describe how well you listen, communicate, and interact socially. These strengths define who you are and how you manage your work. They include your attitude, ethics, interaction with colleagues and solving problems.

Some classic examples of soft skills are resilience, self-motivation and working under pressure.

Include a mixture of hard and soft skills on your resume and add technical skills if they apply to the role. Hard skills show that the candidate has the ability and knowledge to perform the job, while soft skills contribute to problem-solving and decision making.

Let’s take a closer look at the ten most in-demand hard, soft and technical skills that employers seek:

Top hard skills

2Research
3Data mining
4Database management
5Creative thinking
8Data visualization

Top soft skills

1Problem-solving
2Positive attitude
4Time management
8Decision making
10Stress management

Top technical skills

1Digital marketing
2Social media
3Adobe Creative Suite
4UI design
5Graphic design
6SEO
7SEM
8Copywriting
9Google Analytics
10Business Analysis

The Impact of Soft Skills Versus Hard Skills

The best method for how to write skills on your resume is to show employers that you have both soft and hard skills. Hard skills demonstrate what you can do workwise, while your soft skills give employers an idea of how you work with teammates and customers.

Hard skills are job-specific and most likely learned through training. They’re specific abilities that are required to perform your work. Hard skills also serve as the primary keywords recruiters use to search for candidates — recruiters pre-program desired keywords into applicant tracking systems (ATS), which scan and screen resumes.

Soft skills reflect a person’s behavior. These skills help determine if you are reliable, organized or professional. Recruiters and hiring managers rely on soft skills to assess if candidates are honest, dependable and trusted to represent the company. An example of using both hard and soft skills would be, “Certified dialysis technician dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered care, administering dialysis treatment.”

Although both skills are different, they are necessary as employers hire candidates with a combination of skills. Your resume should show the right mix of hard and soft skills.

Make resume writing easier by using JobHero’s Resume Builder because it will autosuggest the best hard and soft skills to include for the specific job you want!

The Most-Sought Skills by Industry

Whether you’re a recent graduate or advancing in your career, it is important to display your industry’s right set of skills.

Here are the top resume skills examples for our most-searched industries:

Administrative job skills description

  • Organization
  • Teamwork
  • Customer service
  • Responsibility
  • Time management
  • Time management
  • Multitasking
  • Communication skills
  • Database management
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Social media management
  • Filing
  • Record-keeping
  • QuickBooks
  • Spreadsheets
  • Word processing

Barteneder job skills description

  • Accuracy
  • Attention to detail
  • Dependability
  • Detail-oriented
  • Inventory management
  • Multitasking
  • Friendly
  • Energetic
  • Engaging
  • Guest services
  • Hospitality
  • Integrity
  • Mixology
  • Drink list planning
  • Food and beverage purchasing
  • Hygiene and health code compliance
  • Bar operations management
  • Private events

Child care job skills description

  • Creative thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Patience
  • Physical stamina
  • Excellent interpersonal
  • Age-appropriate communication
  • Flexible
  • Decision making
  • Confidentiality
  • Compassionate
  • Entertainer
  • Safety awareness
  • Behavioral techniques
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Basic information technology skills
  • Oral literacy
  • Learning skills
  • Self-management skills

Communication job skills description

  • Active listener
  • Body language
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Written communication
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Relationship building
  • Public speaking
  • Web communications
  • Clarity
  • Summarizing skills
  • Improvisational skills
  • Friendliness
  • Confidence
  • Emotional control
  • Reading body language
  • Positive eye contact
  • Teamwork
  • Persuasion skills

Computer hardware job skills description

  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Networking
  • HTML
  • Javascript
  • Microsoft Office
  • Troubleshooting
  • Cloud management
  • Network configuration
  • WAN/LAN
  • Technical support and troubleshooting
  • Network security
  • Hardware development, analysis and testing
  • Desktop management interface
  • Software
  • Firmware
  • Python
  • Design verification
  • C++
  • Designed schematic diagram

Computer software job skills description

  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • G Suite for Business
  • Email management
  • Information management
  • Data entry
  • Digital calendars (Google, Outlook, etc.)
  • File-sharing programs (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
  • Video conferencing
  • Cloud backup software (Dropbox Pro, Carbonite, etc.)
  • Social media management
  • Project management software (Asana, Jira, etc.)
  • Automation software
  • Software programming
  • Access
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • Powerpoint
  • Word

Copywriting job skills description

  • Copywriting
  • Copy editing
  • Researching and interviewing
  • Strong writing skills
  • Communication skills
  • Technical skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Marketing expertise
  • Digital marketing skills
  • Email marketing
  • Business skills
  • Storytelling
  • Certified Professional Technical Communicator

Culinary job skills description

  • Detail-oriented
  • Cleanliness
  • Creativity
  • Culinary expertise
  • Fast-paced decision making
  • Kitchen management
  • Menu creation
  • Food safety
  • Presentation
  • Food quality
  • Cost control
  • Attentiveness
  • Business management
  • Knife skills
  • Vegetable sanitation

Customer service job skills description

  • Stress management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Empathy
  • Communication skills
  • Product knowledge
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Patience
  • Positive attitude
  • Positive language
  • Listening skills
  • Personal responsibility
  • Confidence
  • Tenacity
  • Proactive

Engineering job skills description

  • Structural analysis
  • Problem-solving
  • Computer science
  • Industry skills
  • Pressure management
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Drafting
  • Mathematics
  • Computing
  • Welding
  • Construction
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Data modeling

Entertainment job skills description

  • Attention to detail
  • Planning
  • Commitment
  • Stamina
  • Up to date
  • Screen presence
  • Persuasiveness
  • Knowledge of industry trends
  • Stage presence
  • Filming
  • Audience engagement
  • Creative vision
  • Editing
  • Follows instructions
  • Problem-solving
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Screenwriting
  • Playwriting
  • AV effects
  • Light engineering
  • Sound engineering
  • Shot location
  • Production
  • Project fundraising
  • Audience participation
  • Crowd-pleasing
  • Commercial production
  • Filmmaking
  • Crew management
  • Editing coordination

Executive job skills description

  • Strategic thinking and foresight
  • Decision making
  • Delegation
  • Customer service
  • Business development
  • Financial skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Senior leadership skills
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Change management skills
  • Subject-matter expertise
  • Employee development
  • Logistics
  • Emotional control
  • Proactivity

Food service job skills description

  • Strong verbal communication
  • Listening
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Friendly
  • Energetic
  • Positive
  • Outgoing
  • Team player
  • Multitasking
  • Time management
  • Self-motivation skills
  • Math skills
  • Food safety
  • Food and beverage best practices

Graphic and web design job skills description

  • Composition
  • Content management systems (CMS)
  • Software for design
  • Responsive design
  • User experience (UX)
  • User interface (UI)
  • Graphic design
  • Photo editing
  • Discipline
  • Copywriting
  • Business strategy
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Attention to detail
  • Emergence
  • Reification
  • Typography
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Critical thinking
  • Deadline management
  • Design strategy
  • Organizational skills
  • Multitasking
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem-solving
  • Flexibility

Health care support job skills description

  • Detail-oriented
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Active listening
  • Coordination
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Quality assurance and control
  • Customer billing and coding
  • Budgeting
  • Staff management
  • Project management
  • Research skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Compliance
  • Database
  • Primary care
  • Business administration
  • Data entry
  • Medical equipment
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Medical record and documentation
  • Prior authorization
  • Medical terminology

Management job skills description

  • Technical skills
  • Conceptual skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Planning and organization
  • Communication
  • Decision making
  • Crisis management
  • Administrative skills
  • Budgeting
  • Computer skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Project management
  • Conceptual skills
  • Time management

Marketing job skills description

  • Data entry
  • Computer skills
  • Multitasking
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • People management
  • Business knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Budgeting
  • Communication
  • Hiring
  • Interpersonal
  • Conceptual thinking
  • Finance
  • Time management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Office management
  • Collaboration skills
  • Logistics
  • Delegation
  • Coaching
  • Problem-solving
  • Business development
  • Critical thinking
  • Negotiating
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Project management
  • Technical skills
  • Administrative skills

Nursing job skills description

  • Urgent care and emergency care
  • Checking and monitoring vital signs
  • Patient safety
  • ICU nursing skills
  • Patient assessment
  • Stress management
  • Attention to detail
  • Compassion
  • Wound care
  • Decision making
  • Technology skills
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Clinical nursing skills
  • Nurse practitioner skills

Retail job skills description

  • Time management skills
  • Work ethics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Dependability
  • Resilience
  • Organization
  • Initiative
  • Merchandise control
  • Operations
  • Product rotation
  • Receiving
  • Purchasing
  • Product sourcing

Sales job skills description

  • Communication
  • Enthusiasm
  • Relationship building
  • Social skills
  • Storytelling
  • Active listening
  • Marketing
  • Presentation
  • Negotiation
  • Business management
  • Technology
  • Buyer Research
  • Time management
  • Collaboration
  • Confidence

Statistics job skills description

  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Data analytics
  • Biostatistics
  • Data distribution
  • Statistics analysis
  • Database
  • Quantification
  • Statistical modeling
  • Clinical trial
  • SQL
  • Python
  • Data analytics
  • Economics
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Statistics and probability
  • Data visualization: Excel, Google Charts

Teaching job skills description

  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Strong ethics
  • Classroom management
  • Leadership
  • Maintain records
  • Planning
  • Prepared
  • Record keeping
  • Scheduling
  • Time management
  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Imaginative thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Technological skills
  • Conflict resolution

Like the above examples, a job-targeted skills section on your resume will demonstrate to recruiters that you are qualified and may help persuade them to give your resume serious consideration.

Create a Strong Skills Section in 4 Simple Steps

1

Research. Read the company’s job post carefully to identify the skills that are in demand. Make a note of these. Next, determine which of these skills you possess and write them down. Include at least six to eight of these soft and hard skills that best describe your ethics and work performance to your resume.

resume skills research step
2
Decide which resume format best highlights your skills. There are three main types of resumes: chronological, combination or hybrid and functional. Each has a distinct way of highlighting the skills section.
functional-resume-example.functional resume exampleEdit this template

Functional

For instance, a functional resume is the most skills-focused format. This type of resume showcases skills above experience. It’s ideal for candidates who lack work experience because it draws attention to your skill set rather than your work history. You will include a short summary or statement under each skill in this format.

chronological resume exampleEdit this template

Chronological

chronological resumes, on the other hand, focus mainly on work experience. This format shows a clear timeline of your work history, starting with the most recent job and working backward. The skills section on this type of resume is brief and goes in a separate section below.

hybrid resume exampleEdit this template

Hybrid

A combination resume, sometimes called a hybrid resume, mixes the best parts of chronological and functional resumes. It gives equal importance to both your skills and career accomplishments. This type of resume is recommended to career-changing candidates who bring transferable skills from their previous industry to a new one.

3

Optimize your resume by including some skills in the work experience section. Consider emphasizing soft skills throughout your resume, such as leadership, problem-solving and teamwork. Also, refer to your hard and technical skills to show how you used them to accomplish your work, such as negotiation or product knowledge.

steps skills
4

A professional summary or an objective statement can effectively bring attention to your resume. When writing your summary or objective statement, mention two to three valuable skills that you possess.

A professional summary explains your qualifications for the job in three to five sentences. Rather than focusing on your goals, it shows how your skills and experience can contribute or add value to the company.

A professional summary mentioning resume skills example:

“Accomplished logistics manager experienced in quality control, material arrangement and export-import documentation of commercial goods. Specialized in product distribution, organization and delivery services. Negotiates cost-share and product cost with leading distributors to guarantee better inventory at a lower rate.”

The objective statement is ideal for candidates with little experience. The objective is usually one or two sentences in length and lives at the top of your resume.

Its purpose is to present your professional goals and highlight your skills relevant to the position.

An objective statement mentioning resume skills example:

“High school teacher looking for the opportunity to fully utilize my creative thinking and classroom management skills while making a significant contribution to the institute and students’ success.”

A professional summary or an objective statement creates the opportunity for you to introduce yourself to the employer, showcasing your top core strengths and skill set that are the most useful to the role.

steps professional summary

The four steps mentioned above will help you create a strong resume, spreading out in-demand skills across different sections of your resume.

Our Builder Can Help!

At JobHero, you will find all the right tools for your job application process. For instance, we feature a Resume Builder that allows you to create a professional resume in just minutes. It helps make the resume-writing process faster and easier!

Our team of experts designed the builder with great-looking resume templates. These premade layouts save time, are customizable and make organizing your resume automatic. You can tailor your resume by choosing various fonts, color schemes and great-looking designs available from classic to bold.

A main perk of the Resume Builder is the pre-formatted options crafted to the job title to which you apply. These include industry-specific terminology and auto-suggested skills. These tools help you write a professional resume that becomes customized specifically for your dream job!

FAQ

What skills do I put on a resume?

When choosing what skills to put on resumes, always include the most relevant to the job. Use the employers’ job descriptions to match your skill set.

Customize your resume skills section as close to the job requirements listed in the job post as possible. The closer you can match your skills to the job requirements or duties listed, the better your chances are of being selected for an interview.

Some examples of must-have skills that apply to many jobs are:

  • Active listening
  • Strong communication
  • Computer literacy
  • Customer service
  • Leadership
  • Management skills
  • Problem-solving

What do I put in the skills section of a resume?

Skills sections give employers a fast way to screen your capabilities and abilities to perform the job. They also help shape the hiring process to determine whether you meet the requirements.

Include key skills in a separate skills section. Doing so will get the recruiter’s attention and narrow down your most relevant skills for resume inclusion.

Keep your resume skills relevant to the job you want by studying the employer’s job description and the company’s culture. Carefully review their websites and information to identify what the employer seeks.

You can also include your work-related skills in the professional experience section of your resume. Strengthen your work experience by including soft and hard skills to emphasize how well you perform.

How to format skills on a resume?

There are three resume formats: chronological, functional and combination/hybrid. Each layout organizes your information differently. When formatting your skills, follow the structure of the resume format you choose.

Functional resume format: Lists relevant skills that set you apart from other candidates. Functional resumes work best for recent graduates or candidates starting their professional experience. A functional resume isn’t organized by position; instead, it goes by your skills. This format will list your three to four main skills, along with a brief description of how you used those skills to accomplish your relevant experience.

Chronological resume format: Provides a timeline of your work history in reverse-chronological order, starting with the most recent work experiences. This format is ideal for those with a consistent work history and increasing job levels over time. It highlights your skills in a separate section toward the bottom of your resume. This format lists your skills and abilities most relevant to the job. You can structure this section in a list or bullet format.

Combination or hybrid resume format: The hybrid or combination resume is ideal for candidates changing careers or with gaps in employment. It highlights your skills and career accomplishments equally. The skills section goes after the summary. List a total of six to eight hard, technical and soft skills that show that you are the ideal candidate for the job. Keep your skills relevant to the position by matching yours to the job you are applying for.

How to list technical skills on a resume?

You should list technical skills the same as any other hard or soft skill.

Technical skills are the abilities needed to perform specific tasks for certain jobs. They are a very specific form of hard skills. They do not apply to every career. Instead, they are usually related directly to professions in science, technology and mechanical tasks.

Here are some examples of how a web designer can list technical skills:

  • Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Programming languages
  • UX Design
  • Responsive design
  • Graphic design

How many skills to list on a resume?

When it comes down to the number of skills to list on resumes, the standard is to include six to eight in a dedicated ‘Skills’ section.

Also, keep in mind that you want to squeeze a few more skills into your professional summary and work experience for good measure!

In general, the more skills you can fit on your resume in an organic, natural way, the better.

Just be sure that any skills you decide to include are relevant or helpful to do the job!

Review our resume examples skills sections above for a clearer idea of what other job candidates include!