Skills For Resume in 2019 [+100 Examples & Infographic]

May 13
5 min read

Most Important Skills to Put on Your Resume in 2019

We get asked all the time, “What is the most important section of a resume?” And, to be honest, the answer isn’t so simple.

So, let’s just say it’s a toss-up between Work Experience and Skills.

Twenty years ago, it was unusual to have a dedicated skills section on a resume. Instead, the trend was to simply list one’s education and previous jobs. But nowadays this approach will probably leave you on the job hunt or a long time.

If you ask today’s recruiters, they’ll tell you that one of the first things they look for on a resume is a clear sign that an applicant has the exact skills demanded in a job description. 

Because recruiters, or Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), are tasked with combing through hundreds, if not thousands, of applications, the more obvious a person can make his/her skill set, the better the chances a resume will get noticed.

In the modern, skills-based economy, having a dedicated skills section on your resume is a must. You need to treat this section with great care.

That means making sure you highlight skills that will be more valuable to an employer based on a job description and what you know of the company’s needs and work culture.

The following guide and infographic will help you navigate the sometimes-complex landscape of resume skills. We’ll cover:

  • The Difference Between Hard Skills (Technical) and Soft Skills
  • What Are the Best Skills to Put On Your Resume
  • How to Match Your Skills to a Job Ad
  • The Most Important and Demanded Categories of Skills for a Resume
  • How to List Skills on a Resume
skills to put on resume

1) What is the difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

What are Hard Skills?

  • Hard skills are the teachable skills, the ones you can learn in a classroom or through training courses and materials. These are the skills you will need to perform a particular job, and usually they are not transferable to other industries/jobs. Hard skills are usually measurable and quantifiable.
hard skills

For example, if you are a certified and professional Accountant and wish to switch your career to Marketing, your hard skills for an accountant will not add value to your application since a Marketer is not expected to be proficient in bookkeeping and tax returns, etc.

The majority of hard skills are learned through formal education, such as university/college instruction, online courses (Examples: coursera.org, khanacademy.org, udemy.com, etc.), internships, apprenticeships, graduate programs or also during the onboarding period.

Top 15 Hard Skills to Put on a Resume

What are Soft Skills?

  • Soft skills are a combination of interpersonal skills, social skills, character traits, social intelligence, and emotional intelligence (among many others) that enable you to navigate your work and social environment and work well with other people. They complement your hard skills for most jobs.
soft skills

It’s a mistake to dismiss soft skills as “secondary” to hard skills. In fact, soft skills are what allow you to execute your hard skills with efficiency, accuracy and in collaboration with others. 

Most jobs nowadays require working in teams towards a certain goal, so soft skills are extremely important for almost every job/industry you will apply to.

This has been highlighted in one of our recent interviews with an employer who explained:

...then the next step is that we meet in person for an interview, and it's quite important for us that the people working here have a very good understanding of TEAMWORK, we don't say I - we say WE and we create together in a cooperative environment and of course everybody says they can do that but actually there are some people that are not confident with us, and that often shows in the interview. So if you come to an interview, the lack of Soft Skills can be one reason you were not chosen for the job. And then we look for very nice people, that's also really important, maybe that's the most important actually - nice people. That's because the most important thing about working here, is that you work with talented people that inspire you and that you like. You can be the most talented at what you do, but if you can't behave then it makes no sense for us to hire you.

Top 15 Soft Skills to Put on a Resume

  • Communication (e.g.: written and oral communication)
  • Leadership
  • Hardworking (e.g.: strong work ethic, initiative)
  • Organization Skills
  • Flexibility (e.g.: adaptability, willing to change)
  • Integrity (e.g.: honest, ethical)
  • Teamwork (e.g.: cooperative, supportive)
  • Professionalism (e.g.: proper dressed)
  • Interpersonal Skills (e.g.: patience, empathy)
  • Creative
  • Critical-thinking
  • Responsibility (e.g.: reliable, self-disciplined)
  • Positive Attitude (e.g.: optimism, confident)
  • Attention to Detail
  • Persuasive (e.g.: for sales roles)

2) What Are the Good Skills to Put On Your Resume

General Skills to Put on a Resume - Top 15

  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Attention to Detail
  • Continuous Learning
  • Adaptability
  • Self-motivation
  • Self-management
  • Presentation Skills
  • Computer Skills (Especially Microsoft Office)
  • Organization
  • Creative
  • Writing
  • Critical-thinking
  • Research

3) How to Match Your Skills to the Job Ad

Which skills you should include on your resume depends on the job you are applying for. The best resumes are customized to specific industries and opportunities.

As an example, the following skills have been identified for someone applying for a position as a Marketing Manager: Email Marketing, Analytical Thinking, Creativity, Negotiation, Public Speaking, Stress Management, Cutting Costs, Brainstorming, Data Analysis, Benchmarking Anaylsis, Social Media Marketing, Leadership, Hubspot, Google Analytics, Organizational Skills, Verbal and Written Communication, Proactive, Flexibility, Teamwork, Google Ads, Spreadsheets, Quantitative Research, Storytelling.

After identifying your skills, you will need to analyze the job ad for the position you are applying for and highlight the keywords/skills/qualifications/main expectations the ad demands. Take a look at this example:

Source: https://us-amazon.icims.com/jobs/

Now we can easily match the initial skill set of a Marketing Manager with those from a job ad description. Then, when writing the skills for resume the focus will fall on the skills that appear in the job ad. 

A key step in resume writing is to also try to exemplify how your skills translate into success or achievements. This shows employers that your skills are truly valuable. Here’s an example of taking a skill demanded in the job ad above, listing a related skill, and demonstrating an achievement.

Handling multiple projects at once = Flexibility -> “Successfully managed to finish 5 projects during the second and third quarter of 2018 within the budget allocated before the deadline.

In your Cover Letter, remember to elaborate and explain how your previous skills and achievements can add value to their team and solve the current challenges.

4) Best Skills for Resume to Include in Your Job Application

From our research it was identified that the best skills to include in your resume are:

Communication Skills for Resume

  • Listening
  • Clarity and concision
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication

Organization Skills for Resume

  • Decision-making
  • Time Management
  • Delegation
  • Planning

Leadership Skills for Resume

  • Feedback
  • Responsibility
  • Flexibility
  • Commitment

Computer Skills for Resume

  • Data Analytics
  • Programming
  • Word Processing
  • System Administration
  • Quickbooks
  • Web and Social Skills
  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Suite

Social Skills for Resume

  • Teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Trustworthiness

Life Skills for Resume

  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Handling Criticism
  • Problem Solving

5) How to List Skills on a Resume

As being one of the most important section of your resume, the skills section will need to be included all the time at the top of your resume.

If you are using a one-column layout, include the Skills section as the first one immediately after your Header and before the Work Experience.

When using a one page resume template with a two-column layout, include the skills on the right side of your resume next to your Work Experience.

Example of Skills Section for a Resume

skills section of resume

Our team summarized all the important information regarding the best skills to put on your resume in a beautiful and easy to read infographic to help you write the best resume:

Recommended Reading: