A resume is the very first source of information about you for your potential employer. That is why the main objective of your application materials is to set you apart from other candidates and to highlight that you are the most appropriate person for this job. Think carefully of the skills to add to resume as they are the main indicator of your professionalism. All the information you provide there has to answer the question, “How will the company benefit from hiring you?”.
One of the most popular searches online is the ‘different types of skills for resume’. Thus, in this article, we have created a detailed guide on these different types of skills that should be included so that you have the best possible options to choose from.
Let’s start with a clear definition of the resume skills section. Basically, it is a list of your abilities, skills and talents, displayed through a series of bullet points. You may have already mentioned some of them while describing your work experience, but in this section, you can include them in a list to highlight your strengths.
When thinking of skills to list on a resume skills section, keep in mind that there could be a few different types of skills:
Remember that your potential employer will take under a minute to look through your resume. Therefore, you don’t need to create a huge exhaustive list. Pick 12 or 15 essentials that best describe you.
As an example, let’s take a quick look at the skills section of Steve Brooks, sales executive:
Going further, you can also provide your level of experience (beginner, intermediate, expert) or any additional information that will add to the credibility of your skills.
It is very important to be honest and impartial, because once you are offered an interview, you will have to prove all of these claims to be true.
You will never be given a second chance to make a first impression. So, let’s dig deeper to discover what exactly to put on your resume and how to formalize the information. First of all, you need to divide all your qualifications into two groups: hard and soft skills.
Hard skills describe the specific knowledge and competence required to do your job. For a Marketing Manager position, this could be the ability to work with Google Analytics, setting up advertising campaigns in Google Tag Manager or conducting A/B tests. This information block is crucial for any work that is related to exact sciences such as information technologies or engineering. However, hard skills are not limited to technical fields, and can even be included in a resume for creative vacancies. For example, for an acting resume, you can include your talent in mimicking different accents.
Below you can find a list of typical hard skills used by applicants:
Reading these statements is an everyday task for HR managers, so try to be more specific and distinguish yourself when including these skills:
Good at foreign languages.
Proficient in English and French, fluent in Dutch and German.
Soft skills are also known as personal or social skills. There is a common fallacy that soft skills are not as important as hard skills because they are not directly related to job responsibilities. However, they are very important for corporate culture, and play an integral role in helping your employer distinguish candidates. Soft skills let the employer know which candidate would make for a better fit with company’s values and overall environment. These skills are also extremely important for any position which is heavily dependent on human interaction. For example, if you are applying to a job as a caregiver, your employer will want to know how you are as a person, beyond your qualifications.
Such skills are harder to prove or demonstrate by describing in the areas of competence, but you will definitely be given the chance to do so at your interview.
This is what candidates often put into this section:
To prove your soft skills you can add a 3-5 words description to each skill if needed. For instance, as a Marketing Manager, you can add: “Growth mindset: Mastered coding basics to set up analytics without programmers”.
So, you have picked up a list of your skills. Everything looks impressive and you have never felt so confident before. Now you need to cut this long list to just the essentials. How will you figure out which of these skills are essential for your job opening?
Our advice may sound silly, but it often works:
To pick up hard skills, read the job description carefully once more and find the skills that would prove your ability to do this job effectively. For soft skills, you can also look through the company’s website or search for trends in the field. This may help you understand the common values within the industry.
It is recommended that you include information about your areas of competence on the top of your resume, right after the summary.
Organizing your skills in a list of bullet points has proven to be the most visually appealing and easy to read. If you have anywhere between 12 and 15 skills, then you can simply add them into columns without a description. If you would like to provide additional details for each skill, then your list should be much shorter to accommodate for the descriptions.
Also do not forget to logically arrange your list and keep skills related to the same topic together.
If you want, there is also the option of dividing the skills section into several groups, such as technical and additional skills as in the example of Teri Harford, HR Manager’s resume:
As it was mentioned above, it is crucial to make your resume look different from others (in a good way of course!). With every step, you need to keep it logical, relevant to the position and avoid cliche.
To help you describe your common skills, we have created a list of examples to aid you in your resume customization.
Communication is a very valuable skill. In fact, if it is not a strength of yours, you will need to work on it. Almost every field of activity nowadays requires all three categories of communication: speaking, writing and listening.
You may use these a sample from this list in your resume:
Even if you are applying to a position that does not require management skills now, every employer prefers to hire active people that can manage a team if needed. Also, these skills can help to show you are an ambitious individual and have the potential to progress to a managerial position.
Use these points to showcase your leadership and management skills:
Today, most vacancies require candidates to have knowledge of computer programs, namely Numbers (Excel), Pages (MS Word), Keynote (PowerPoint) and to also have basic skills of internet navigation. Moreover, most companies use some software tools such as Jira or Basecamp to manage team work.
Nowadays, the ability to type a document is an essential and entry-level skill that is expected from almost all employees. Unless you are able to say that you are extremely proficient with MS Word or any other software from the MS Office suite, there is no need to mention your knowledge of the program.
Here are some examples for your resume:
Time management is an extremely important skill in the modern world. It is hard to overestimate the ability to prioritize, set the goals, plan your day and focus. These skills are relevant for any field and level of experience.
Use some of these phrases to demonstrate your skills:
It goes without saying that the candidate needs to have a proficient level of knowledge in the native language of the place of employment. However, adding foreign languages to the resume skills section may indicate to the HR manager that you are spending time investing in yourself. Most recruiters would be impressed to find a few additional languages, even if the level of knowledge is basic or intermediate.
Here are common terms to describe the level of your knowledge:
People with analytical skills are able to investigate a problem and find a creative solution. This is why every employer wants to hire a person who can use clear and logical judgments to find and explain the key points from large amounts of data.
Excellent showcasing of these skills could be your advantage over others. Here are some samples:
Let’s be honest, problems are an integral part of any process. Sometimes they appear in the form of a simple misunderstanding inside the team, or the delay of a new product release. Especially in service orientated businesses, there will always be unsatisfied clients. Being stable and calm when everything goes wrong is more than just a skill - it is a gift. Any employer values employees who can keep calm and solve these issues.
These phrases might help you to emphasize your skills:
Having organization skills means that you can control your own workflow and can demonstrate planning, prioritizing and solving problems. Such a skill is useful for all positions, from management to entry-level.
These examples might be handy for you to showcase this skill:
Being independent while performing daily routine tasks is another important skill that every recruitment manager will be happy to find in your resume. This skill doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not a team player, but that you are confident in your own abilities and will take the initiative to work on your own.
To highlight this skill you may use these phrases:
When saying that you enjoy taking initiative, you basically claim to have almost all the skills mentioned above.
These phrases will help you to demonstrate your skills:
Use some examples from your previous experience to reinforce your claim.
Special skills are often used in resumes for acting jobs. For less creative professions, job applicants often add their hobbies or volunteering activities. This can help to reveal different sides of their personalities and demonstrate that they share similar values and vision as the company. In some cases, this section can even become a decisive one. For instance, if you are applying to a lifestyle startup, it would be a plus to add hobbies like yoga or jogging.
For an acting resume, you can use one of the following if applicable:
The skills section of your resume is a crucial factor to whether you are invited to an interview or not. On the outset, this task seems to be a difficult one. However, you should keep in mind that you are only describing yourself. Nobody knows your strengths better than you do. So be confident and objective. Don’t underestimate your possibilities, but also do not add things you don’t really know how to do. When an employer detects the lie, you will be in an awkward and weak position.
If you have faced any difficulties while preparing your resume, our professional writers will help you to complete this task and get the job that you really deserve to have.