Top 20 Must-Have Skills to Put on a Resume

Everyone wants their resume to be as perfect as possible in order to land that perfect position. There are some obvious things you need to have on your resumes, such as previous work experience, qualifications, and grades. But the skills section of your resume is certainly not something to be overlooked as it can play a major role in whether you’re considered for an interview for a position or not.

Skills For Resume
Best Skills to Put on a Resume

When we think of the skills section on a resume, you might be tempted with things such as “time management” and “organizational skills”. Both of these things are vital skills to have of course and a candidate who can show up on time every single day and keep their work organized is a valuable employee to have in any business.

But the skills section of your resume is much more important than you might think and list your job skills effectively could be the difference between you landing your perfect role or not.

But let’s look a little closer at the skills category on your resume, certain skills to list on your resume and the different type of skills you have and how to categorize them:

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?

Hard Skills

Hard skills are those skills that you learn. Rarely (if at all) are hard skills things that you’re born with or just have “a knack for”. There’s a high chance that you’ll have been taught your hard skills in a classroom or an education setting with teachers, books, or other training materials and methods. There’s a likelihood that they took time and patience to learn as well as hard work.

Top Hard Skills For Resume:

  • Being able to speak another language
  • Holding a degree, certificate or qualification in a certain area
  • The ability to operate certain machinery
  • Being prolifient in programming
  • Typing speed
  • Computer software knowledge
  • Mathematics qualifications or degrees
  • Marketing experience
  • Writing experience
  • Administrative skills

These are the type of skills that you’ll have likely listened on your resume anyway, as they’re crucial for an employer to know about, especially if you’re applying for a role that requires a specific hard skill. They’re not going to employ a French-speaking computer programmer who can’t speak French.

Soft Skills

Soft skills, on the other hand, are more commonly known as “interpersonal” skills. These types of skills are much harder to quantify, as they’re mostly subjective. But I can become quite apparent in a professional role which soft skills people possess. Soft skills relate to the way you act, interact, and work and are incredibly important for a successful candidate.

Top Soft Skills For Resume:

  • Excellent time management
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Patience
  • A high work ethic
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail

As you can see, a lot of these soft skill examples are things which you’d consider some people either have or they don’t. Although some soft skills can certainly be improved and worked upon over time (for example, the longer you work in a team, the better your communication skills with that team might get) it’s fairly hard to point out specific evidence that someone has a specific soft skill unless they demonstrate as such in front of you, in a working environment. You can note down some instances where you showed a specific soft skill in a professional manner.

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How To Organize The Skills Section On Your Resume

Skills to Put on a Resume

Having a skills section on your resume is vitally important. Rather than just slipping in a skill or two in your introduction, you should be dedicating an entire section on your skills; both hard and soft. A well put together skills section of your resume can help an employer figure out if a candidate is right for the job quickly.

Organize your skills into categories: Like how you’re reading within this post, it can be useful to organize your skills into categories to make them more manageable for the employer to digest and easier for you to layout your specific skills. Some candidates will organize their skills into categories related to the position that they’re applying for. Which makes sense.

So if you’re applying to be a web developer for a company, you might categorize your skills within the sectors you’ll be working, such as programming, graphic design, and your soft skills (which here would include things like attention to detail and patience).

Include examples where relevant: As we mentioned previously, particularly with soft skills, it might be worth including some examples of how you executed those skills – as they can sometimes be hard to prove unless we have evidence.

Stay relevant: There are plenty of skills we all have which will not be relevant to your job application. You do not need to aimlessly list skills just to fill up the section. It’s also worth mentioning here that you should not fabricate skills just for the sake of having them on your resume because if it comes to demonstrating that skill and you can’t, that’s not going to go down well for you.

Where do I put my skills section on my resume?: Generally speaking, it’ll go near the end, after your work history, degree, qualifications and anything else of that nature. That’s not to say that you can throw in some skills throughout your resume, such as some soft skills in your introduction and specific hard skills within your work history. It’s not a terrible thing to repeat skills.

I hope this article has given you a clearer idea of how you can manage the skills category of your resume, the top 20 skills you can include on your resume as well as some clear pointers of what to do and what not to do when it comes to listing your skills! Remember how important the skills category of your resume is and use it to your advantage to land your perfect position!

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