February 2, 2023

Top Skills to Highlight on Your Resume: A Complete Guide

The skills you possess can decide when landing your dream job. However, simply listing your skills on your resume isn't enough to impress potential employers. In this blog post, we'll show you how to highlight your skills on your resume effectively and give you the tools you need to make yourself stand out from the competition.

Having relevant skills listed on a resume is crucial for job seekers to stand out in a competitive job market. Employers look for candidates who have the necessary skills to perform the job duties and meet the job requirements. A resume with a robust set of skills showcases a candidate's qualifications and demonstrates their commitment to professional development.

Skills can be divided into three categories:

  1. Hard skills
  2. Soft skills
  3. Job-related skills.

Hard skills are technical abilities, such as proficiency in a particular software or language. On the other hand, soft skills refer to personal attributes, such as communication and teamwork. Job-related skills are specific to a particular job or industry, such as marketing or project management.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are technical abilities and knowledge that are easily quantifiable and have clear rules or procedures to follow. They are specific to a particular job or industry and are often taught through formal education, training programs, or certifications.

Examples of Hard Skills

Some common examples of hard skills include proficiency in programming languages such as Java or Python, knowledge of software applications like Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office, proficiency in data analysis tools like Excel, proficiency in project management methodologies like Agile or Scrum, or proficiency in design tools like AutoCAD or Sketch.

Including Hard Skills on a Resume

Hard skills are critical for getting a job, especially in technical or scientific fields. These skills demonstrate to potential employers that you have the necessary abilities to perform specific tasks required for the job and can contribute to the success of their organization. Hard skills also give employers a clear understanding of your expertise, allowing them to assess quickly if you are a suitable candidate for the position.

Tips for Showcasing Hard Skills Effectively

When showcasing your hard skills on your resume, it's essential to be specific and quantify your expertise. Use specific, quantifiable examples to showcase your hard skills when creating your skills section. For example, instead of simply listing "proficient in Microsoft Excel," you can say "experienced in creating advanced spreadsheets, including pivot tables and VLOOKUP formulas." This not only shows your level of expertise but also provides concrete examples of your abilities. Highlight specific projects or tasks that demonstrate your expertise in the hard skills you list. Additionally, tailor your skills to the job you're applying for so that your resume is tailored to their requirements. By doing so, you'll present yourself as a highly qualified and knowledgeable candidate, making it easier for employers to see how you can contribute to their organization.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes and qualities that enable an individual to interact effectively with others and succeed in the workplace. They are often referred to as "people skills" or "interpersonal skills" and include communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, and leadership traits.

Examples of Soft Skills

Some common examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication: ability to clearly and effectively convey information and ideas
  • Teamwork: the ability to work effectively with others to achieve a common goal
  • Problem-solving: ability to identify and resolve issues or challenges
  • Adaptability: ability to adjust to changing circumstances and environments
  • Leadership: ability to inspire and motivate others

Including Hard Skills on a Resume

Soft skills are just as necessary as hard skills in today's job market. Many employers look for individuals who have both hard and soft skills. This is because soft skills are crucial for success in the workplace, as they help individuals interact effectively with others, solve problems, and adapt to change.

Tips for Showcasing Soft Skills Effectively

When showcasing soft skills on a resume, it is important to be specific and provide concrete examples of how you have demonstrated these skills in the past. Here are a few tips to help you effectively showcase your soft skills:

  • Use keywords related to the desired soft skills in your resume and cover letter
  • Provide specific examples of how you have demonstrated soft skills in previous work experiences
  • Highlight transferable skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for
  • Utilize active verbs to describe your experiences and accomplishments
  • Provide examples of challenges you have overcome and how you used your soft skills.

Job-Related Skills

Job-related skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to do a specific job. These abilities are frequently a mix of hard and soft skills that vary depending on the job you're applying for.

Examples of Job-Related Skills

Examples of job-related skills include:

  • Customer service
  • Project management
  • time management
  • Problem-solving and leadership.

These skills demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary experience and knowledge to perform the job you're applying for.

Including Job-Related Skills on a Resume

Job-related skills on your resume are essential because it helps you stand out from other applicants and shows that you have the relevant experience needed for the job. To showcase these skills effectively, you should highlight specific examples of how you've used them in the past.

Tips for Showcasing Job-Related Skills Effectively

Here are some tips for showcasing your job-related skills effectively:

  • Highlight specific projects or tasks where you demonstrated your job-related skills.
  • Quantify your achievements: "Managed a team of 5 employees to complete a project ahead of schedule by 10%."
  • Tailor your job-related skills to the specific job you're applying for.
  • Mention any relevant certifications or training programs you have completed that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the job-related skills you list.

By following these tips, you'll be able to showcase your job-related skills effectively, demonstrating to employers that you have the experience and knowledge needed to succeed in the job.

Tips for Writing an Effective Skills Section on a Resume

The skills section on a resume is often one of the most critical parts of a job application, as it provides hiring managers with a quick and easy way to see what you can bring to the table. Following best practices for writing and formatting your skills is essential to make the most impact with this section.

Best practices for writing a skills section

When writing a practical skills section on a resume, there are several best practices to remember. Here are some tips to ensure that your skills section is effective and showcases your abilities in the best possible light:

  1. Tailor your skills to the job you're applying for: Make sure you include skills that are relevant to the specific job you're applying for. This shows the employer that you've taken the time to research their company and understand the position's requirements.
  2. Be specific and quantify your skills: Instead of simply listing generic skills, provide specific examples of how you've used your skills in past roles. For example, if you have experience with project management, mention the size and scope of the projects you managed and the results you achieved.
  3. Highlight transferable skills: If you have transferable skills to different industries or roles, make sure you highlight these in your skills section. This shows employers that you are flexible and can adapt to new environments.

By following these best practices, you'll be able to write a practical skills section on your resume that showcases your abilities and helps you stand out from other candidates.

How to format the skills section for maximum impact

There are several best practices to follow when formatting your skills section to maximize its impact. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  1. Use bullet points: Breaking your skills into bullet points makes them easy to read and scan for hiring managers. This allows them to quickly identify what you're proficient in and what you bring to the table.
  2. Highlight keywords: Use keywords relevant to the job you're applying for in your skills section. This will help your resume stand out when scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS) or reviewed by a hiring manager.
  3. Organize by categories: Consider grouping your skills into categories, such as technical skills, soft skills, or job-related skills. This makes it easier for hiring managers to understand what you bring to the table and provides a clear structure to your skills section.
  4. Tailor your skills section: Tailor your skills section to the job you're applying for. Highlight the most relevant skills to the position rather than including a long list of every skill you've ever learned.
  5. Keep it concise: The skills section should be brief and to the point, highlighting your most relevant and valuable skills. Avoid listing irrelevant or outdated skills that don't contribute to your qualifications for the job you're applying for.

In conclusion, a strong skills section on a resume is crucial for making an excellent first impression on potential employers. By highlighting your hard skills, soft skills, and job-related skills, you can showcase the full extent of your abilities and expertise. When writing a skills section, it's essential to be specific, quantify your expertise, tailor your skills to the job you're applying for, and format the section for maximum impact.

Recapping the main points covered in this blog post, we discussed the importance of having relevant skills on a resume, the different types of skills (hard skills, soft skills, and job-related skills), and the best practices for writing a skills section. We also provided tips for effectively showcasing each type of skill and examples of practical skills sections to reference.

Finally, having a strong skills section on your resume is crucial for standing out from the competition and landing the job you want. By taking the time to improve your skills section, you are investing in your future and increasing your chances of success. We encourage you to take action and make the necessary improvements to your skills section to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

Get in touch with our friendly team and we’ll respond ASAP.


CEO - Several Places

Schedule Call
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
We come back to you!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Search for something