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.
Skills to Put on a Resume: Hard Skills
Hard skills are measurable skills that are required for a specific job. Hard skills are measurable—you either have them or you don’t. Some examples of hard skills include:
- An educational degree (BA, MA, a high school degree, etc.)
- Foreign language proficiency (Fluent in Spanish, Japanese, French, etc.)
- Software proficiency (Adobe, Photoshop, etc.)
- Professional Certifications
- Other hard skills (For example, a typing speed of 75 words-per-minute)
Now that you have a handle on what hard skills are, let's move on to talking about soft skills.
Skills to Put on a Resume: Soft Skills
Soft skills are less measurable skills that are more about a candidate’s personal attributes and abilities. Soft skills include:
- Communication skills (Active listening skills, presentation skills, and written skills)
- Interpersonal communication skills (How do you manage conflict? How do you work on a team?
- Organizational skills (How effective are you at planning a project?)
- Leadership skills (What is your leadership potential?)
- 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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