How to List Skills on Resume

Skills are the abilities or talents or else expertise which needed to complete a certain task or a job. There are so many different types of skills. Hiring managers love very much to see skills on the resume of every candidate. They love to hire skilful people for their vacant positions. Because they think skilful persons are always confident and independent in real life and those skills are essential for the success of the job. How do you convey to the recruiters that you are the skilled person which they are looking for? That’s why you need a good resume skill section on your resume.

Therefore learn the correct way of listing skills on your resume and get more interviews and job opportunities fast.

Why do I need a skill section?

These days most of the companies in the world use Applicant Tracking System to ease up the hiring process. Do you know that from this process, more than 75% of resumes getting rejected even before it goes to a human eye?

Yes, of course it is.

Let’s say a particular position in an IT company requires a person with top-notch skills in programming. But if you forget to put “Programming” as a skill, your resume is in danger of getting rejected. So it is always a must to have a separate section to add your skillset on a resume. Most importantly, you need to add skills only relevant to the specific job or position. Then only it will be effective.

What are the best skills to be on your resume?

There is a skill set which every employer is looking for. We can consider them as the best skills. Because in every job posting the employer asks at least some from the following skills from an applicant. 

  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Collaboration skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Decision-Making skills
best skills to put on a resume

Hard skills vs Soft skills

We can categorize skills into two sections as hard skills and soft skills. When filling the skill section on a resume we should be well aware of these two categories. We need to add both kinds of skills to our resume. Then only the recruiter will be impressed with the job candidate.

Hard skills, often called technical skills are the training or the knowledge of a particular subject you got via learning or experience.

Examples for Hard Skills

  • Software skills – Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, CorelDraw
  • Digital Marketing – Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Adwords. Admob, Adsense, Moz, SEM Rush
  • Languages – German, Spanish, French, Chinese
  • Coding Languages – Python, C++, C#, Java, Ruby, Javascript
  • Databases – Oracle, MySQL, Mongo DB
  • Enterprise Resource Planning – SAP B1, SAP HANA, Odoo, Oracle, Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics
  • Accounting & bookkeeping – invoicing, account reconciliation, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero
  • Artificial Intelligence – AWS, Google AI
best hard skills or technical skills

On the other hand, soft skills are qualities and habits that describe how well you act with others to perform any task or to win achievements. These soft skills may not directly go with your job responsibilities. However, those skills will definitely be helpful to you to adopt the working environment and the company culture.

Examples of Soft Skills

  • Adaptability – Adaptability means a person’s ability to adjust his / her actions, behaviour, attitudes or approach to doing things in order to suit a new situation.
  • Communication Skills – Communication skills are the abilities that you use when giving and receiving various kinds of information, Active listening, speaking in front of a crowd, observing are some examples of communication skills. 
  • Creativity – If you have the ability to think differently, or if you can give a solution for a problem in a different way, or else if you have the imagination to generate new ideas, that’s what we call creativity.
  • Customer service – This is the ability to care for customers in a calm manner and at the same time giving the perfect solution for customer’s queries. For this, you need to have good listening skills to identify the customer’s problem and good communication skills to address them to the point directly. Overall customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of having this skill.
  • Decision Making – The ability to make choices among two or more alternatives in the shortest possible time to obtain the best result.
  • Critical Thinking – If you can analyze problems deeply and then resolve problems in an analytical and unbiased way, we call it Critical Thinking Skills. Most of the time we use this skill for various situations such as conflict management, problem resolving, leadership tasks etc.
  • Leadership – Leadership skills are the skills which you use to organize other people to achieve a shared goal.
  • Analytical Skills – Analytical skills is the ability to collect and analyze a set of data, resolving problems and making decisions. By performing analysis the ultimate goal is to think logically and solve the complex problems.
  • Problem-solving skills – If you have the ability to handle difficult situations in your workplace then you’ve got problem-solving skills.
  • Time management – Time management is the ability to divide your time between specific activities in an effective way. By managing your time you can work smarter and faster. So recruiters will definitely value this skill to have with the candidates.
best set of soft skills

Job Specific vs. Transferable Skills

Job-specific skills are the abilities which employees have with themselves to be excel in a specific job. Most probably they are technical skills. Job-specific skills vary based on the position and the job. For instance, a plumber needs plumbing skills, ERP consultant needs accounting skills, a software engineer needs programming skills etc.

On the other hand, transferable skills are the abilities you need to be with yourself for any kind of job. Such as communication, teamwork, presentation, time management etc.

How to list skills and make it stand out on a Resume?

If you need your resume to stand out from others you need to learn the top secrets of writing a good resume. As you know there are five key sections on a resume. Those are resume header, profile, experience, education and skills. If you need your resume to stand out, you must make each of these sections stand out.

How are you going to do that for the skill section on your resume? There are some steps as below.

  • Tailor your resume with relevant skills to the job – Job posting is the best place to get to know about relevant key skills to the job. Usually, job ads mention the desired soft skills and hard skills (technical skills) which are required to have for a particular job.

    For example, see the below job advertisement. There we can find hard skills as well as soft skills. Those are also the keywords which we can add to our resume. When listing skills, relevance is the key. That is why we need to look for the keywords in the job advertisement. By adding those keywords will be helpful for getting past ATS too.
tailor your resume with skills
  • Scale your skills with proficiency level – You can add your proficiency level to all of your skills. Some used to display the proficiency level by showing graphics. Nevertheless, we recommend showing your proficiency level by describing them as Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert.

  • Add some universal skills – Universal skills means the skills you need to have for any kind of job. These can be soft skills such as communication skills, problem-solving skills, time management skills as well as hard skills such as typing skills, language skills, MS Office skills etc.

Where Should I Place Skills on Resume?

If your resume has only one column, place the skill section just before your education section or you can place them between the resume header and work experience section. If it is a two-column resume place the skill section separately in the sidebar.

What hiring managers are looking for?

To know the answer to this question what you have to do immediately refers to the job posting. But that is not enough. Further, you need to research the employer to gain some knowledge of company culture and work environment.

Then another question will arise, how can I research the employer?

That is very easy. Visit the website of the particular company. If you know the employees from a particular company, you can pay a visit to their social media profiles or LinkedIn Profiles.

Likewise, you can get many ideas of the company and many of the above-mentioned places have clearly indicated the company values. Through that information, you will be aware of what employers are looking for and what skills to add to your resume skill section.

How many skills should I include on a Resume?

This is also a common question faced by many job candidates. You have to put at least 6-10 skills in your resume. But keep in mind that it should consist of both soft and hard skills.

Make sure you are using bullet points to mention your skills. Or else you can put your skills together with a vertical line surrounded by two spaces.