Skills To Put On A Resume

If you’re looking for a new job, you already know that it’s vital to market yourself to potential employers and highlight the skills that you already have. But which skills are best to bring attention to? What are employers looking for in your field? Are there certain skills that are better to mention than others? At Technical Search Consultants we help job seekers to navigate the wide world of resume writing and are happy to answer commonly asked questions. Let’s get into it.

Soft vs. Hard Skills

We hear a lot these days about “soft” and “hard” skills. Instead of being some way to rank or value skills, these terms do more to denote how a specific skill was learned or cultivated and the role they play in your desired position. “Hard” skills are those that pertain directly to your chosen career–these are the foundational skills that you need to do a given job. Without needed hard skills you may not be qualified for certain positions. 


On the other hand, “soft” skills are based more on your relationships with other people. These people could be team members, upper management, customers, and others. Soft skills may come naturally to you, or they may have required some effort to cultivate. Either way, while they may not be skills that are earned via a degree program, apprenticeship, or other form of professional training, soft skills do end up being vital for you to excel at your work. These skills enable you to work well with others and make you an asset to any organization.

Soft Skills

As noted above, soft skills are more about how you operate with others and they are increasingly important to put on your resume, especially for those seeking entry-level positions in a field. These skills will allow you to assimilate into company culture and get off on a good foot when joining a new team.


Here are some of the top soft skills to include when writing your resume:


  1. Strong Communication

It is vital to be able to clearly convey your ideas, both in verbal and written forms. Whether you work remotely or in an office environment, you will need to communicate in one form or another with your work mates. Being able to write a clear, concise, but tactful and friendly message can be a necessary skill. And if you are in a forward-facing position, it is an absolute must that you are able to speak with tact and confidence when dealing with people face-to-face. At the same time, a good communicator is also an active but patient listener who is mindful of the thoughts and feelings of their audience. This is a skill to build and then feature prominently on your resume, especially if you are applying for a job that will put you in contact with the public, like an office or administration position.


  1. Teamwork

It’s rare that you will find a job that never requires you to work with other people in some capacity. Whether you’re interacting with your teammates, other work colleagues, or customers, being able to build relationships and work effectively as part of a team is always a valuable soft skill to have, no matter the position.


  1. Adaptability

Work landscapes are ever-changing, and in order to keep up and stay productive in the face of rapid change, it’s essential to be adaptable. This means that you can accept, process, and work through changes with minimal upset and high levels of flexibility. Schedules shift, objectives can change, and obstacles can arise out of nowhere–adaptability allows you to navigate these potential pain points and keep on moving forward.


  1. Problem Solving

This skill goes hand in hand with adaptability, since changes can often be accompanied by or caused by problems that develop. You’ll need problem-solving skills to tackle potential obstacles and find ways to solve things independently. Employers will find you to be reliable, capable, and resourceful, and they’ll value your skills even more in the face of difficulties.


  1. Creativity

It may seem that creativity is something you’re born with, but it can definitely be cultivated over time. Whether you’re in design or a more scientific industry, creativity allows you to be a better problem-solver and to think beyond the norm. Innovation and new perspectives are the result of creative thinking, and can be invaluable to any employer.


  1. Work Ethic

Employers want to know that you are ready to go all in and aim to achieve. Dependability and responsibility are part of work ethic, and these can help you to succeed and grow into higher positions within a company. Describe yourself as “responsible” and “hardworking” and be ready with examples to back up your claims.


  1. Interpersonal Abilities

Sometimes these come naturally, but most often, these are learned behaviors that take time and effort to cultivate. If you are great at building positive relationships and can also help to mediate disputes, are tolerant of differences, and are able to win people over to your side of thinking while also building trust, you may have tip-top interpersonal skills that should be highlighted on your resume.


  1. Organizational Skills

Staying organized and accomplishing tasks on time are valuable skills to any employer. Along the same lines as organizational skills are time management, and the ability to multitask. In the end, these skills aren’t solely about getting the job done, but staying on track and balanced in how you approach a project. Having a realistic assessment of what’s necessary and then executing it well are top skills for any job seeker, since you’ll naturally contribute to a business’s smooth running.


  1. Leadership

Not everyone can be a leader, but if you’re looking to work in management or to grow in your new position, leadership qualities can make you an invaluable asset for any organization. Leaders are also often good at decision making, which means that they can quickly assess a situation, weigh the variables, and make a well thought out decision.


  1. Attention To Detail

No matter the position or industry, having an eye for detail makes you a valuable asset. Noticing details in instructions means that you can effectively work independently, making it easier for management. It also means that you may be able to catch potential problems before they develop.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are those that you learn in a professional environment in order to find a job in a specific industry or field. They tell your potential employer what you already know and how they may be able to best use your skills in their company. Hard skills also help employers see where training and onboarding may be needed or not, depending on what you list. Here are some top hard skills to include on your resume:


  1. Data Analysis

Everyone is collecting data all the time, but without solid data analysis, all that valuable information is wasted. Besides analytical skills, you should also be able to collect, organize, and assimilate data, looking for patterns and trends and drawing meaningful conclusions.


  1. Computer Technology

Even many hands-on jobs require basic computer literacy. But if you’re looking for a job in the information technology, engineering, and manufacturing industries, then being tech-savvy and understanding how to use specific computer programs and execute certain processes will be vital. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to learn. Include these prominently in your resume.


  1. Project Management

Whether you are looking for a job in project management right off the bat or not, this skill can help you to understand what’s necessary to take a project from concept to creation. Having that insider insight will enhance whatever your role may be in the project, and can be a skill set that employers can capitalize on if they hire you.


  1. Mathematics

It’s obvious that job seekers looking for employment in the information technology, engineering, and manufacturing industries will need solid mathematical skills. But having basic math skills and other math-related abilities can come in handy for many positions, including any sort of administrative position that requires organization and precise scheduling.


  1. Research

Knowing how to do research effectively and knowing where to look for reliable information could be vital to anyone looking for work in data collection and analysis or various scientific fields. Really though, regardless of your industry, being able to independently find answers to questions is an invaluable skill for anyone to cultivate.


  1. Writing and Editing

While communication in general is a soft skill, being able to clearly write presentations, papers, and everyday messages is a vital skill that may require technical writing knowledge. You’ll want to know the standard style guide for your industry as well. Technical writing is a great skill to list on your resume.


  1. Scientific Expertise

Especially for positions in various scientific areas, any time spent working in a lab or in the field can yield invaluable skills like prediction, observation, and proficiency in using scientific software. You should definitely list these skills on your resume. 


  1. Design

Regardless of the position you are seeking, nearly every industry values a strong sense of design. Whether your experience is in web design, photography, graphic design or some other field, having an eye for design can be a hidden skill that may help to contribute to landing a job.


  1. Marketing

Knowing how to find out what potential customers are looking for and what appeals to them can be a vital skill in any modern business. If you have any skills in the advertising, SEO, or marketing outreach fields, and they may be important in your desired role, find a spot for them on your resume.


  1. Social Media

Knowing how to navigate social media platforms and understanding what makes a good post can be invaluable to certain employers. Nearly every company has an online and social media presence, allowing them to promote their products and services to a wider audience. This skill, along with understanding how to use social media management and video editing programs can set you apart from other applicants and open up opportunities within the hiring company.


  1. Foreign Language

Every company will end up dealing with vendors, clients, or others who speak multiple languages. If you are verbally or conversationally fluent or you can write well in any language other than the predominant language in your area, noting that on your resume gives you an automatic additional skill that could be very valuable to an employer.


  1. Accounting and Finance

You don’t need to work as an accountant to use well-honed accounting skills or operate finance-related software. Especially in office and administrative positions, the ability to manage some finances and handle minor bookkeeping tasks can be a vital skill.

How to List Skills on a Resume

Once you’ve made note of the top skills you’d like to include on your resume, it’s important to know how and where to incorporate them for best effect. First off, you’ll want to tailor your skills to your desired position, as much as you’re able. Match up your skill set with the requirements or key skills listed in the position offering. Even if a list of skills isn’t included, look for keywords that show what sorts of skills the employer is looking for and then see where your abilities align with their needs. 


Once you have your list of skills assembled, you can compile them in a standalone skills section on your resume. Be precise in the language you use, for instance list something like “written and verbal communication” instead of simply saying you are a “good communicator,” and feel free to include your proficiency level in certain hard skills. While you may have many great skills you’d like to include in your resume, too long of a list may not convey the ideal image to recruiters–stick with about ten key skills. 


Another place to list skills is in connection with employment history. Depending on style and goals, this may be a better place to highlight your skills and how they relate to past jobs. Focus on including skills that are relevant to the job you’re seeking. A word of caution: always be fully honest and upfront about your abilities, as an employer will quickly find out whether you have the skills you claim to. There’s nothing wrong with digging deep to find a robust collection of skills, just be sure you can execute them when needed.

Find Your Ideal Job With Technical Search Consultants

Whether you are searching for an administrative position or a job in the information technology, engineering, or manufacturing industries, having a job search expert on your side will always be a plus. At Technical Search Consultants our professional team matches you with the ideal employer and position, based on your skills, abilities and experience levels. We will help you to create a top-notch resume that will showcase your most valuable skills and appeal to employers in your field. Reach out to us today to learn more about available positions or to submit your resume online.

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