Choosing what skills to put on your resume can be quite a difficult task. The skills that you use on your resume can be the reason if you’re invited to an interview or not. In other words, how you list skills on your resume will help hiring managers understand if you’re the right fit for the job.
Below you'll find a list of over 300 hard and soft skills. We've analyzed over one million resumes created with our resume builder. Keep in mind that you can communicate your skills in the experience section of your resume, in the header, and in a separate skills section.
Listing your skills on your resume is important - it's the only way to show employers and recruiters that you're able to do the job you're applying for. That's why properly including your skills on your resume is of key when it comes to creating a successful resume.
А well-made skills section requires a lot of thought put into it. Generally, you’re looking at three different sections of your resume to show your skills:
Hard skills are skills that are related to the job you're doing. They're a must in order to perform your job well. Soft skills are personal qualities that help you thrive in the workplace.
In other words, if you're a designer hard skills would be:
And your soft skills would look something like:
As you can imagine, listing your skills on your resume isn't as straightforward as you it looks. There's research, understanding, and strategy involved as well. After all, you want to communicate with hiring managers that you're the perfect fit for the job.
So, let's dive a bit deeper into how to list skills on a resume.
The best way to ensure that your skills are relevant to the position you are applying for is to research the company and study the job description.
Most job ads contain the skillset needed for the position at hand - it's up to you to connect the dots and find the right way to fit them in your resume.
If the job description seems a bit short, we advise you to do more research. It's highly likely that the recruitment team for that company has posted the job ad on numerous websites - google the company plus the open position. Check their LinkedIn, Indeed, and even some niche forums. It's highly likely that you'll find more descriptive versions of that same job posting somewhere else.
You want your skillset to fit the needs of the company you're applying for. The skills you've listed are meant to show the hiring manager that you're able to fill in the vacancy and further grow with the company.
If we take a look at a job description for a UX Copywriter position we can see how the skills needed for the job are interpolated with the description.
We've highlighted the hard skills in green and soft skills in blue.
Once you have analyzed the job posting description, it’s time to focus on communicating them on your resume. The best way is to formulate your experience section in showing concrete evidence of past accomplishments while tying them in with the preferred or basic qualifications needed for the job.
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result and it is a term recruiters use to describe your relevant experience by providing a context as to what specific actions you took and how they brought a beneficial result. Quantifying your achievements using numbers will make up for a stronger case in point.
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 and quantify your achievements whenever possible. This will ensure that you're properly communicating your skillset in a way that's easy to understand by the hiring manger.
The experience section of your resume is your opportunity to grab the recruiter's attention and give quantifiable information about your skills and accomplishments.
Highlight your top achievements for every position you've held in the past. And remember to focus on things that are relevant to the position you're applying for. Let's take a look at a well-structured experience section that communicates the relevant skills of the applicant.
A separate skills section will let you highlight several important skills that you want to make easily noticeable. You can use it for both hard and soft skills depending on the position you're applying for.
A resume summary is a short paragraph that delves into the top skills you've gained throughout your career. They should be the most relevant for the job you are applying for.
The resume summary sits on top of your resume, following the header section - that is, your name and contact data. A summary of qualifications is great when you're switching careers or when you've got any employment gaps.
Here's one of the few widely accepted frameworks to evaluate your skill level - published by the National Institutes of Health.
Use that framework as a reference point when evaluating your skills. You'll be able to show your right level of competency on your resume.
A good thing about communicating your skills on your resume is that you can do it in almost all sections. So, apart from the experience, skills, and summary sections, you can communicate your skills to employers in a certifications section. So let's dive deeper.
One of the best, space-saving sections that you can use for your resume is a skills and certifications section. Think of it as a highly targeted part of your resume that's specifically made for the position you're applying for.
You'd want to include certifications that bolster your experience section and prove to the person reading your resume that you're the best fit for the position.
We all have transferable skills. Those are the skills that you use regardless of your job position. Most are soft skills, but there are also quite a lot of hard skills that can be considered transferable.
The best way to communicate transferable skills is in the experience section of your resume. Match your skills from previously held positions and show how they can help you in the new position.