• Featured in:
  • Featured Logo

Skills play an important role in your resume because they help hiring managers decide whether you qualify for the job. There are different types of skills that demonstrate your valuable attributes and how you can contribute to the company’s success. Here you will learn how to identify the most in-demand skills for 2021 and how these can help get you hired!


Top Skills for a Job-Winning Resume

Featuring the right combination of skills on your resume can really make a difference in whether or not your application will be given serious consideration. Skills can be categorized into soft, hard and technical skills. Even though each category is based on different attributes, they are equally valuable and you should feature a combination of the three types on your resume.

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

Technical skills are those skills acquired to perform specific, 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, on the other hand, are based on your character and personal traits.They describe how well you communicate, listen and interact socially. These are strengths that define who you are and how you manage your work. They include your ethics, how you interact with colleagues and solve problems.

Some examples of soft skills are resilience, self-motivation, and the ability to work under pressure.

Include a mixture of hard and soft skills on your resume, 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 10 most in-demand hard, soft and technical skills that employers look for:

Top hard skills

  • Communication skills
  • Computer technology
  • Research
  • Data mining
  • Database management
  • Creative thinking
  • Resource management
  • Data presentation
  • Data visualization
  • Web analytics

Top soft skills

  • Problem-solving
  • Work ethics
  • Social skills
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Communications
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision-making
  • Organizational
  • Stress management

Top technical skills

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • UI design
  • Graphic design
  • SEO
  • SEM
  • Copywriting
  • Google Analytics
  • Business Analysis

The Impact of Soft Skills Versus Hard Skills

It’s important that you show employers that you have both soft and hard skills. Hard skills demonstrate that you can do the work required of your job, 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 based on specific abilities that are required to perform your work. Hard skills also serve as the main keywords recruiters use to search for candidates — recruiters pre-program specific desired keywords into applicant tracking systems (ATS), which are used to scan and screen resumes.

Soft skills are geared to a person’s behavior. These skills help determine if you are reliable, organized or professional. Recruiters and hiring managers rely on soft skills to determine if candidates are honest and reliable and can be 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 and patient care.”

Although both types of skills are completely different, employers look to hire candidates that have a combination of both. Your resume should show the right mix of hard and soft skills.

The Most-Sought Skills by Industry

Whether you’re a recent graduate or advancing in your career, it is important to display the right set of skills for your industry. Here are the top skills that are most sought by employers for our most-searched industries.

Administrative

  • Organization
  • Teamwork
  • Customer service
  • Responsibility
  • Time management
  • Multitasking
  • Communication skills
  • Database management
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Social media management
  • Filing
  • Record-keeping
  • Quickbooks
  • Spreadsheets
  • Word Processing

Bartender

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

Childcare

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Entertainment

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 & Web Design

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Statistics

  • 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

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

A strong skills section on your resume will demonstrate to recruiters that you are qualified and may help convince them to want to learn more about you.

Build Your Resume

Create a Strong Skills Section in 4 Simple Steps

Step 1: The first step to a strong skills section starts with research. Read the company’s job post carefully to identify the skills that are in demand. Write these down. Next, identify which of these skills you possess and write them down. Add six-to-eight of these soft and hard skills that best describe your ethics and work performance to your resume.

Step1
Step2

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

For instance, a functional resume is the most skills-focused format. This type of resume showcases skills over experience. It’s ideal for candidates who lack work experience because it draws attention to skill sets rather than your work history. In this format, you will include a brief summary or statement under each skill. Choose three-to-four relevant skills as subheadings, add a summary of achievements that validate each skill below

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 goes on a separate section below and is just a brief list. Organize your skills as a master list of six-to-eight hard, soft, and technical skills. To help you decide which skills to include, refer to Step 1.

A hybrid resume, sometimes called a combination resume, combines the best parts of a chronological resume and functional resume. It gives equal weight to both your skills and career accomplishments. Create a list of key skills that are relevant to the job you are seeking. Bold the skill and add bullet points to briefly list a few supporting facts, achievements or experiences.

Step 3: Optimize your resume by including some skills in the professional experience section. Consider emphasizing soft skills throughout your resume, such as leadership, problem-solving and teamwork. Also make reference to your hard and technical skills to show how you used these skills to accomplish your work, such as negotiation or product knowledge.

Step3
Step4

Step 4: A professional summary or an objective statement can effectively bring attention to your resume. When writing your summary or objective statement, mention your two to three most valuable skills.

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.

An example of a professional summary:

“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 costs 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 at the top of your resume to highlight your skills relevant to the position that you are applying for. It can also represent your professional goals.

An example of an objective statement:

“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 sets that are the most relevant to the role.

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 fast and easy.

Our team of experts also 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 from a variety of fonts and colors schemes, and great-looking designs available from classic to bold.

Part of the benefits of using the Resume Builder, are the pre-formatted options. These include industry-specific terminology and auto-suggested skills. These tools help you write a professional resume that is customized specifically to your career.

FAQ

What skills do I put on a resume?

Skills are crucial selling points on your resume. They are an essential component of convincing the hiring manager that you qualify for the role that you are applying for.

When choosing what skills to put on your resume, always include the most relevant to the job. Use the employers’ job description to match your skill sets.

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

Some examples of must-have skills that can apply to most careers 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?

A skill section gives employers a glimpse into your capabilities and abilities to perform the job. They also help shape the hiring process to determine whether you meet the requirements.

Keep your resume skills relevant to the job you’re targeting, by studying the employers’ job description as well as the company’s culture. Carefully review their websites and information to identify what the employer is looking for.

Include key skills in a separate skills section. This will get the attention of the recruiter and is a way of narrowing down your most relevant skills.

You can also spread your work-related skills in the professional experience section of your resume. It is a good idea to 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: the chronological, functional and combination/hybrid. Each format organizes your information in a different way. 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 that are starting their professional experience. A functional resume isn’t organized by position; instead it goes by your skills. This format will list your three or four main skill sets 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 end of your resume. This format lists your skills and abilities that are most relevant to the job. You can structure this section as 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 job by matching yours to the job you are applying.

How to list technical skills on a resume?

You should list technical skills the same as you would 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 the area of 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?

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

If you want to put a spotlight on your skills, include a separate skills section that highlights keywords from the job description. List of a maximum of 10 skills, and add skills throughout the rest of your resume. However, the number of skills you list may vary according to the resume format that you choose.

If you are using a combination/hybrid or chronological resume format, you can list a minimum of six-to-eight skills in a clean bullet list. Always keep your skills concise and relevant to the position that you are applying for. For a compelling resume, combine soft and hard skills in both your resume and skill section.

Functional formats are known as skill-based resumes. Make a list of your three to four skills and write a brief summary under each. Use the summary to describe how you’ve applied those skills in various roles.

Adding a skill section to your resume, creates the opportunity to emphasize your qualifications.