There are many elements that come together to make a resume effective. One of these elements is a listing of your skills. Ideally, the Skills section of your resume should contain as many of the hard and soft skills that are noted as required (or nice to have) in the job advertisement. If you’re a little unsure about the difference between hard skills and soft skills, don’t fret—we’ll define both through the resume skills examples in this article.
Hard skills represent the required skill set for the specific job, meaning—the expertise/experience that is necessary for an applicant to have in order to be in the running for (and land) the job. Hard skills are measurable—you either have them or you don’t.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are less measurable. They are personal attribute-driven general skills—things like abilities with giving and receiving performance-related feedback would be considered a soft skill. Let’s now look at some resume skills examples and break down which ones can be deemed hard skills, and which ones can be deemed soft skills.
Resume Skills Examples: Hard Skills
Hard skills represent the knowledge a job seeker has gained (and must have to be a viable job candidate) through both professional work experience and education. Resume skills examples of the hard variety could include:
An educational degree (BA, MA, a high school degree, etc.)
Foreign language proficiency (Fluid in Spanish, Japanese, French, etc.)
Software proficiency (Adobe, Photoshop, etc.)
Certifications (For example, a Professional Certificate in Accounting or a Professional Certification in Paralegal Studies)
Any other measurable/quantifiable skill (For example, a typing speed of 75 words-per-minute)
Resume Skills Examples: Soft Skills
Soft skills are a bit more difficult to get a handle on, because as previously mentioned, they’re not measurable. Resume skills examples of the soft variety could include:
Communication skills (Active listening skills, presentation skills, and written skills, for instance)
Interpersonal communication skills (How do you manage conflict? How do you work on a team?)
Organizational skills (How effective are you when it comes to laying out a plan to complete a project?)
Leadership skills (Do you exhibit leadership skills? Do you have the potential to lead some day?)
Research skills (How do you go about researching a new topic, and synthesizing your findings?)
Teamwork/collaborative skills (Are you the type of employee who pitches in when a team member is in danger of not completing their portion of a group project?)
Critical thinking skills (How do you break down a project or assignment to understand it fully?)
Social skills (Are you able to work with a variety of personality types?)
Criticism skills (How do you accept and give criticism?)
Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills (How do you manage not just your own emotions, but those of others?)
Time management skills (Are you skilled at bringing projects or assignments in on time? Do you arrive to meetings and trainings on time?)
Creative skills (Does your approach to a project break new ground in regards to innovation? Can you find unique solutions to a wide variety of issues that might crop up in a job?)
Adaptability skills (How quick are you when it comes to learning a new software or production process, or a new company protocol?)
Self-motivation skills (Do you need constant guidance and direction from a superior, or are you a self-starter? Can you create your own work if you’re assignment-less, or in a down time period?)
Problem-solving skills (This is a big one—how adept are you at resolving problems big and small?)
Now that these resume skills examples have shown you what can be categorized as hard skills and soft skills, let’s circle back to something mentioned at the beginning of the article. You need to make sure the hard and soft skills you profile in your resume are the ones that the hiring manager is after.
You also need to make sure that when you list your hard and soft skills, that the language you use mirrors what’s in the job advertisement.For example, if the job advertisement notes that the candidate must possess “superior communication skills,” list “superior communication skills” in the Skills section of your resume. Doing so improves your chances of getting your resume past an applicant tracking system (ATS).
ATS’ are typically employed by large companies to scan resumes for keywords and key phrases, and then score them for relevance—they then send the most relevant resumes on to the recruiter or hiring manager (and discard the irrelevant resumes). Make sure the Skills section of your resume stays on the relevant side by adhering to the advice laid out in this article.
Hopefully, these resume skills examples will help you when the time comes to put yours down on your resume. Best of luck!
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