Learn exactly how to show off your skills in a resume

Are you qualified well enough to be hired?

You might have educational qualifications and experiences. But do you know that at present employers give priority to skilled applicants over experienced and educated applicants?

Even recent researches are showing that there is a huge shortage of skills in candidates for job openings in 2021.

Some people might have skills themselves but fail to show them properly in their resumes. Therefore they won’t get any interview opportunities.

So when you read this you will understand that if you can highlight your skills in your resume when applying for a job, then you will most likely get a lot of interview opportunities. So we hope to discuss resume skills in this article in depth.

This article will cover:

skills section on a resume

What are the best skills to put on a resume in 2021?

When we talk about the skills, we can categorize them into two parts as soft skills and hard skills. As applicants, it is very important to know the difference between soft skills vs. hard skills.

Soft skills (also referred to as interpersonal skills) are attribute-driven, intangible, and non-technical abilities that people have to succeed in the workplace.

On the other hand, hard skills are the abilities you need to succeed in a specific job role. They usually are learned abilities acquired and enhanced through practice, repetition, and education. These are also called technical skills. These types of skills can easily quantify.

So to make your resume stand out in 2021, you need to mix both soft and hard skills in your resume. Let’s see some key soft skills and hard skills that you should include in your resume.

Examples for top resume soft skills

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Organization
  • Creativity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Attention to detail
  • Responsibility
  • Time management
  • Leadership skills

Examples for top hard skills on resume

  • Knowledge of specific computer applications
  • Graphic design skills
  • Project Management
  • Computer programming, web, or software development
  • HTML / CSS / JavaScript
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • MS Office

How to create a killer resume skills section?

Make your resume skills section relevant to your target job title

Did you know that many companies at present use an ATS to filter resumes? So you need to make your job application in an ATS-friendly way. Tailoring your resume and cover letter using the keywords and phrases in the job advert is very important to get past the applicant tracking system.

There are a lot of ways to get past the ATS. Matching the skills on your resume to the job description is one of the best ways to make your resume relevant to the job. If you read the job advertisement carefully, you will see that the job listings contain a number of keywords that appeared to be skills.

So you can simply add them on your resume when writing the summary, professional experience, and even in the skills section. Here are some easy ways to make a resume related to your targeting job.

  • MINE the required resume skills in the job advert
  • RESEARCH for the common skills in your field/industry
  • DISCOVER the skills which company values

Create your resume summary incorporating some of your skills

As you already know, the resume summary is one of the key components that should be included in a perfect resume. The summary of your resume (also called the resume profile) is one of the most focused sections on your resume during a 6-second resume scan.

Will the recruiter be able to look at the entire resume in six seconds?

No way.

Therefore, in such a case by including your key skills in the summary is a great way to grab the attention of the recruiter. So that he will be impressed with your resume and will continue to read your resume or keep it aside to re-check your resume later with more focused attention.

Look at the resume summary example below.

10+ years of solid experience in the hospitality and hotel management industry including experience in marketing, e-commerce, sales, and management. A key team member with strong leadership and analytical skills. Fluent in a few different foreign languages including English, German, Spanish, and Chinese. Planned a few marketing strategies to increase the total revenue by $20 Million.

Weave your work experience section with relevant skills

Customizing your resume for each job is a great way to make your application stand out. The resume work experience section is a great place to customize your resume by including your relevant skills. When listing your achievements in a resume, you need to show what you did, what the result is, and the skills that underpinned it. This is the best practice we should follow when listing achievements in a resume.

So there you have an opportunity to include keywords from the job descriptions as well as include some of your job-specific skills.

The following is a great example of how to incorporate skills into a resume work experience section.

Content Marketing Specialist
Resumoz | College Park, MD (2020 – Present)

  • Wrote 100+ quality and engaging blog posts for 3 different websites and reached 1M+ reader views.
  • Led the social media team of 10+ members including graphic designers, junior content developers, and SEO specialists.
  • Created 5+ infographics and 2 short videos and uploaded them across all social media platforms and analyzed their insights.
  • Grew company’s web presence and global brand awareness by 37% utilizing a few uncommon and effective digital marketing strategies.

Split your hard skills and soft skills into two different sections

If you add one section for your technical skills and another for your soft skills, the employer will see that a large space is set aside for your skills in your resume. It simply portrays you as a skillful person.

Mention your job-related hard skills at the top of the resume and list the best soft skills you have at the bottom. You can find such good templates in the Resumoz Templates Library.

The correct way of organizing the resume skills section

Sort by relevance

If you look at a list of resume skills, you can find thousands of skills. But there are a few things you need to consider when inserting skills into your resume. They are:

    Whether the resume skills included are really with yourself.

    Whether those skills are relevant to the job you are applying for.

When making a resume, its relevance to the job is very important. It will undoubtedly help you even to pass the ATS scan.

Categorize by skills

Categorizing your existing skills is one of the best ways to attract an employer to your resume skills section. This method is very successful if you are at a slightly higher level with your career experience. Also, this is ideal when listing your hard or technical skills.

Here’s a great example of how to categorize your resume skills.

    Project management (Cost management, Agile, Scrum)

    Programming languages (PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS)

    Database (SQL, MySQL, MongoDB)

How transferable, universal and job-specific skills help your resume?

Transferable skills are abilities and talents that can be applied to a variety of occupations and career paths. Transferable skills can be either soft or hard skills. They have a huge demand in the job industry.

So if you can mention some of them inside your resume, that will impact your job hunt positively for sure. Especially if you’re thinking about switching careers.

Here are some most popular and most in-demand transferable skills.

    MS Office

    Writing Skills

    Documentation

    Research Skills

    Statistics

Also do not forget to mention 2-3 universal skills. Universal skills are mostly soft skills that are required to have within almost every job. Problem-solving abilities, effective communication, time management are some examples of universal skills which you can use in your resume skills section.

Job-specific skills are the abilities that enable an applicant to succeed in a specific job role. Employers will normally provide the skill set needed to perform the job in the job posting when they are hiring new candidates for their openings. Those who most closely match the required skills will have the best chance of being chosen for an interview.

So what we want to say here is that you can get a better job winning percentage by including the required skills in job advertisements in your resume.

The myth of skill levels on resume

Rating the skills you provide for a resume yourself is kind of a joke. Because no one can measure the maximum level of skill. Also, you cannot compare different skills. The other thing is that ATS does not read your rating scales at all.

So why are people used to rate their skills in resumes? This is just something you add to your resume to get a nice visual presentation. Some employers may like this feature. So most of the top resume builders allow you to add a skill level to your resume. Other than that, mentioning the skill level in your resume will not give you any special advantage.

However, if you DO want to insert the skill level into your resume, there are a few resume templates at Resumoz that can show your skill level to the recruiter.

Usually, in resumes, skills levels are represented by using 5 stars or circles. Let’s see what these stars (shapes) say about your skills or competencies level.

Basic understanding or a common knowledge of the concept.

⭐⭐

Level of experience gained in a classroom or as a trainee on-the-job.

⭐⭐⭐

Ability to complete tasks in this competency as requested.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Can perform the actions associated with this skill without any assistance.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

You are known as an expert in this subject.

Get the maximum advantage of certificates to prove your skills

Do you know that including certificates on your resume will prove your skills and abilities? Yes, that’s true to some extent. Certifications demonstrate your knowledge and abilities while still showing your passion to the recruiter.

Perhaps, the certificates you enter show that you have several other skills in addition to the required skills included in the job listing. For example, if you are applying for the position of administrative assistant, the job listing would require office skills and management skills from you. But what if you could include a computer certificate? That will be a simple addition to your resume, but it could stand out your resume from the other applicants. Because a certificate can always verify your skillset.

Example hard skills for most common job fields

Office and Administrative Jobs


  • Adaptability
  • Answering Phones
  • Attention To Detail
  • Billing
  • Bookkeeping (Excel, Turbotax)
  • Calendar Management
  • Data Entry
  • Database
  • Email Platforms (E.G., Gmail And iCloud Mail)
  • Ms Office
  • Office Equipment
  • Organization
  • Prioritization
  • Problem Solving
  • Quickbooks
  • Scheduling
  • Shipping
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Time Management
  • Welcoming Visitors
  • Word Processing Software (E.G., Google Docs)
  • Written Communication

Skills for Sales, Retail, and Customer Service Jobs


  • Adaptability
  • Buyer Engagement
  • Buyer-responsive Selling
  • Cashier Skills
  • Cold Calling
  • Customer Needs Analysis
  • Communication Skill
  • Contract Negotiation
  • CRM Software (Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, Freshsales)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Customer Service
  • Diplomacy
  • Increasing Customer Lifetime Value (Clv)
  • Knowledge Of Products And Services
  • Lead Generation
  • Lead Prospecting
  • Math Skills
  • Negotiation
  • Lead Qualification
  • Organization
  • Patience
  • Patience
  • Persuasion
  • POS Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Product Knowledge
  • Reducing Customer Acquisition Cost (Cac)
  • Referral Marketing
  • Self Motivation
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management

Skills for Nursing and Healthcare Jobs


  • Ability To Take And Record Vital Signs
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring
  • CPR And First-Aid Certifications
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision-Making Ability
  • Electronic Heart Record (EHR)
  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
  • Glucose Checks
  • Hygiene Assistance
  • Leadership
  • Maintain Patient Charts
  • Medicine Administration
  • Meditech
  • NIH Stroke Scale Patient Assessment
  • Patient Assessment
  • Patient Care
  • Perform And Evaluate Diagnostic Tests
  • Phlebotomy
  • Patient Education
  • Prioritization
  • Recording Patient Medical History
  • Record-keeping
  • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Taking Vital Signs
  • Thorough Understanding Of HIPAA And Privacy Policies
  • Time Management
  • Urgent And Emergency Care
  • Use Of X-ray, MRI, Cat Scans
  • Wound Dressing And Care

IT Jobs (Information Technology Skills)


  • Adobe Photoshop, InDesign
  • Agile Development
  • Application Programming Interface (API)
  • Cloud Management
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • CSS Preprocessors
  • Data Structures
  • Debugging
  • Front-End & Back-End Development
  • Git/Version Control (Github, GitLab)
  • Graphic User Interfaces (GUI)
  • HTML/CSS
  • Javascript
  • Machine Learning
  • Mobile and Web Development (e.g. iOS, Android)
  • Open Source Experience
  • Programming Languages
  • Responsive Design Principles
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Security
  • Testing/Debugging
  • UX/UI
  • Web Development
  • WordPress

Engineering and Technical Skills


  • Budgeting
  • CAD
  • Computer Skills
  • Design
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Programming Languages HTML, CSS, CRM tools
  • Project Launch
  • Prototyping
  • SolidWorks
  • STEM Skills
  • Technical Report Writing
  • Testing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Workflow Development

Advertising and Marketing Skills List


  • Writing Advertising Copy
  • Ad Design
  • Adaptability
  • B2B Marketing
  • Brand Management
  • Campaign Management
  • Charisma
  • CMS Tools (WordPress, Weebly)
  • Color Sense & Theory
  • Communication
  • Consumer Behavior Drivers
  • Consumer Research
  • CPC
  • Creativity
  • CRO and A/B Testing
  • Cutting Costs
  • Data Analytics (Google Analytics)
  • Data Visualization
  • Design
  • Digital Printing
  • Drawing
  • Editing
  • Email Automation
  • Email Marketing (MailChimp, Constant Contact)
  • Financial Analysis
  • Google Adwords
  • Graphic Design Skills (Adobe Creative Suite)
  • Innovation
  • Interactive Media Design
  • Keyword Research
  • Leadership skills
  • Logo Creation
  • Mobile and Web Development (e.g. iOS, Android)
  • Negotiation
  • Organized
  • Paid Social Media Advertisements
  • Personable
  • Photo Editing
  • Photography and Branding
  • Planning
  • PPC
  • Print Design
  • Problem-solving
  • Proposal writing
  • Sales Funnel Management
  • SEM (i.e., Google Adwords)
  • SEO (SEMRush, WordPress, and Ahrefs)
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Paid Social Media Advertising
  • Social Media Outreach
  • Social Media Publishing
  • Soliciting Feedback From Customers
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Storytelling
  • Strategic Management
  • Task Delegation
  • Technical Writing
  • Typography
  • UX Design
  • Video Production
  • Videography
  • Web Analytics
  • Website Management

General Management and Project Management Skills


  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Agile Project Management (Kanban)
  • Collaborative Programs (Slack, WhatsApp, Dropbox)
  • Communication
  • Cost Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Data Analysis
  • Feature Definition
  • Financial Modelling
  • Forecasting
  • Ideation Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Managing Cross-Functional Teams
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Mentoring
  • Negotiation
  • Performance Tracking
  • Profit and Loss
  • Project Lifecycle Management
  • Risk Management
  • Scope Management
  • Scrum Management
  • Time Management

Frequently asked questions about skills on resumes

(01) Why do I need a skill section?

A resume skills section is one of the key sections in a perfect resume. Therefore every recruiter expects a skills section from your resume. Through this section, employers can see that you have the abilities and strengths required to succeed in the role. This is a critical resume section that will decide your next step in the hiring process.

(02) How many skills should I put on my resume?

It is always optimum to use at least 5-10 skills on your resume including both soft and hard skills. Note that ATS will always scan resumes for keywords. So the more skills you put in will get you more chances of winning a job.

(03) Where to put skills on my resume?

The ideal spot to locate your skills section on your resume differs according to the resume format which you are using. If you are an experienced candidate we suggest that you should give the priority to your work experience rather than your skills and education. So you can place your skills after the work experience section.

Other than a dedicated skills section, there are some other options that you can insert your skills on a resume. The resume summary and the work experience bullet points are also great places to mention your skills to get extra value for your resume.

(04) What are the skills that I should not include in my resume?

• A language you are not fluent in
• Basic computer skills like Email or Internet
• Social media (If you don’t use it as a part of your job)
• Outdated technologies
• Irrelevant skills

(05) What are the biggest mistakes I can make with my resume skills?

• Not including relevant skills to your resume.
• Trying to show that you are skilled at the skills actually that you do not have.
• Failure to show that you have leadership skills.