300+ Must-Have Skills to Put on Your Resume in 2020

What resume skills applicants most often use? We analyzed insights from more than 1 000 000 resumes to help you reinvent the skill section of your resume. Use these 300+ example skills to put on your resume and increase your chances of landing a job interview.

How to List Skills on Your Resume

Study the company and match the job description

Before you list every single skill you’ve got, hear this - do you want to send your potential employer a document with irrelevant information? Instead, read the job description carefully, pinpoint the skills and abilities that match your own and write those down.

In addition, explore the company further through its website or social media profiles and learn more about its culture. You’ll be surprised to find other touchpoints you have between that you couldn’t find in the job offer.

Let’s say, a job description for a Mechanical Engineer may feature the following skills and experiences:

  • Must be customer-focused, multi-tasker and detail-oriented
  • Strong CAD skills with a focus on AutoCAD
  • Experience in industrial design and knowledge of ACME is always a plus
  • Must possess strong self-organisation skills
  • Great verbal and written communication skills
  • A minimum of Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/Industrial Design or equivalent

Therefore, you will have to include skills, like:

  • Customer focus
  • Multi-tasking
  • Detail-oriented
  • CAD
  • Industrial Design
  • Acme
  • Organisation
  • Communication

Use the STAR methodology to talk about your skills and experiences

STAR stands for situation - task - action - result and it’s a term recruiters use to describe your relevant experience by providing a bigger picture as to what specific actions you did and how they resulted in a benefit for the company. Oftentimes, those statements of yours are shown with numbers to speak the language of the business.

Here’s an example:

  • Situation: a devops engineer for a finance website
  • Task: eliminate poor website performance during peak hours (stock opening hours)
  • Activity: migrated the existing website’s database to a more optimal noSQL solution
  • Result: reduced complaints rate to 3% and 100% website uptime during peak visit hours

Run every single line of your resume through the STAR method. Quantify your achievements whenever possible.

Select where to place your skills

Depending on your level of experience or career stage, you can go about several ways.

Write a summary of qualifications

A resume summary is a short paragraph that delves into your top skills you gained throughout your career, which are most relevant for the job you are applying for. It sits at the top of your resume, just after the name and contact data. Perfect for career switch or when you’ve got employment gaps.

Summary
A CPA with 8 years experience at Ernst & Young conducting preparation for federal tax audits, and corporate tax work. Reported directly to our CFO and received departmental awards for innovation and ability to lead and motivate teams.

Create a separate skills section

Highlight several important skills can set you up from the rest of the applicants. Look at how a visual resume builder like Enhancv makes a difference:

Strengths
Management
Provided training and support for a team of five entry-level accountants
Decision making
Updated a stale 5-year-old company process which resulted in 50% increase in weekly jobs done by team
Collaboration
Initiated and led communication between accounting and sales in order to improve processes between departments
Technologies
Accounting & Finance
Month-end close processAccount reconciliationFinancial statementsFinancial reporting

Include your skills in your experience

Whatever you do, make sure your experience section does not contain a simple copy-paste of your previous job descriptions. Write down how you’ve used specific skills to achieve goals using the STAR method again.

Experience
Senior Accounting SpecialistSoft Ltd.
02/2015 - Ongoing
Los Angeles, CA
Significantly reduced past due receivables from $7M to $5M within four months, accelerating cash flow
Reduced company costs 50% through centralized purchasing
Trained and supervised more than 4 summer interns each for a period of 3 weeks

Learn from others who’ve succeeded in their job hunt. Explore resume examples for inspiration and advice.

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