How to Add Hard Skills to Your Resume

You must include the right hard skills on your resume to land a job. Here, we teach you what they are, how and where to include them in your resume and provide 115+ hard skills examples.

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
by Eric Ciechanowski  Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) 
March 30, 2023  

What are hard skills?

“Hard skills” like cash handling, typing or presentations are abilities used to perform a job, task or goal.

Hard skills are easy to prove, measure or quantify. They’re learned through school, previous jobs or self-education.

Very specialized hard skills like computer coding, welding or graphic design are sometimes called “technical skills.”

This is in contrast to “soft skills” like communication, self-motivation or attention to detail, which are more innate personality traits or social skills. These are harder to learn, measure or prove.

Here’s a table that provides examples of hard and soft skills:

hard skill icon

Hard Skills

Teachable, technical skills, easy to measure.

  • Computer programming
  • Woodworking
  • Driving
  • Language ability
  • Cash management
  • Marketing
  • Cleaning
  • Physical dexterity
soft skill icon

Soft Skills

‘People-centric’ traits, harder to show or prove.

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Adaptability
  • Empathy
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Active listening

Hard skills refer to what you do to achieve a goal or accomplish a task. Soft skills refer to how you reach success.

This difference matters because you should include a mixture of both types on your resume, even though hard skills tend to be more important to do a job. After all, no one wants to hire someone who may be capable but can’t get along with others!

Why hard skills are important

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) scan resumes for keywords and phrases to identify the most qualified candidates and get used on 90% of online job applications*.

These words and phrases typically relate to the specific skills and experience required to perform the role successfully. In other words, ATS scans your resume for hard skills, making it critical to list them throughout your resume.

If you don’t list the right skills, you won’t get the job!

Top 10 hard skills for 2023

Below are the 10 hard skills most sought by employers. Review this list to determine which skills apply to you:

  1. 1Sales

    Your ability to close deals and keep clients happy directly impacts business across many industries. Showcasing your special sales skills will help convince employers that they’ll make more money with you on the team.

    Sales skills examples:

    • Meeting quotas
    • Product knowledge
    • Marketing
    • Contract negotiation
  2. 2UX

    User experience or UX refers to your ability to understand what someone sees and feels when they use a product, website or service. It demonstrates how well you can identify problems and make the overall experience more enjoyable for your users.

    UX skills examples:

    • Design
    • Content strategy
    • Product enhancement
  3. 3Design

    We live in a visual world where thoughtful design can make or break a business. Good design principles determine how potential customers respond to images, packaging, websites and products.

    Design skills examples:

    • Wireframing
    • Prototyping
    • Photoshop
    • Web development
  4. 4Languages

    Whether you speak and can translate a foreign language or specialize in a specific computer program, your abilities are in high demand. It might even be a good idea to mention your proficiency level to show you’re a good fit.

    Language skills examples:

    • Translation
    • Spanish
    • HTML
    • Javascript
    • Language teaching
  5. 5Cloud computing

    New technologies have changed the landscape that many people work in, and companies need cloud computing experts to thrive. If you’re familiar with software as a service (SaaS) or maintaining cloud-based networks, you’re in high demand!

    Cloud computing examples:

    • Machine learning
    • AI
    • Cloud security
    • Application programming interfaces (API)
  6. 6Programming

    We live in a digital world, so your knowledge of different programming languages and skills in troubleshooting and debugging are valuable for many tech roles. Be sure to highlight your specializations to speak to an employer’s needs.

    Programming skills examples:

    • Coding
    • Cloud computing
    • Algorithms
    • SQL
    • Web development
  7. 7Analytical thinking

    Analysis and critical thinking have many important business purposes, from viewing data to financial forecasts. Especially if you’re applying for a management position, analytical skills greatly impact your ability to identify, prevent and solve problems.

    Analytical thinking skills examples:

    • Data analysis
    • Research
    • Testing
  8. 8Accounting

    People who know the best accounting tricks and tax code loopholes are in high demand because they can save companies money. Be sure to also advertise your attention to detail and any special training or certifications.

    Accounting skills examples:

    • Bookkeeping
    • Budgeting
    • Payroll
    • Billing
  9. 9Presentation

    Only some people feel comfortable with public speaking. So, if you’re good at organizing and presenting information that makes it easy for people to understand, you should advertise these skills as they’ll help put you in high demand.

    Presentation skills examples:

    • Slideshows
    • Data modeling
    • Powerpoint
  10. 10Writing

    The power of words serves many purposes, including advertisement, technical explanations, customer outreach and internal communication. If you specialize in a particular writing format, mention it.

    Writing skills examples:

    • Content strategy
    • Technical writing
    • Marketing

If you want professional suggestions on which hard skills to add to your resume, check out our best tool, LiveCareer’s Resume Builder.

Our resume builder takes out the guesswork of creating a great resume because it combines the advice of our career advice experts with AI technology.

It walks you through the process of writing a resume step-by-step and provides hard skill suggestions targeted to the job to which you’re applying.

Plus, since it’s automated, it makes resume writing easier and can save you a lot of time. You can have a resume ready in just 15 minutes!

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How to add hard skills
to your resume

Below we show you where and how to include hard skills in your resume:

Resume objective
  • Summary statement

    This section is the opener of your resume and conveys to an employer in two to three sentences what you bring to a role. Mention a few of your top skills here to show employers what you bring to the table.

  • Designated skills section (or sections)

    This is the ideal place for both hard and soft skills on your resume, so add a mix. Be sure to include the hard skills cited in the job posting if you possess them. It’s standard to list a total of six to eight skills.

  • Summary of qualifications

    Including a summary of qualifications in your functional or combination resume is a great way to show how you learned specific skills and how you use them both inside and outside the work environment.

  • Work experience

    Your work experience section is where employers see how your expertise and background effectively display your hard skills. Include numerical metrics in this section to reinforce your skills, such as “Managed a team of six people.”

  • Education

    This section of your resume can be a dedicated spot for certifications, company training programs or relevant online courses — that way, employers have easy access to the institutions and programs where you learned your hard and technical skills.

Hard skills examples
by career type

Here are hard skills samples for 10 of our most-searched industries:

calculator icon


  • Tax forms
  • Billing
  • Financial reports
  • Regulatory filings
  • QuickBooks
  • Financial modeling
  • Tax code knowledge
  • Interpreting statements
  • Fiscal analysis
  • Financial forecasting
  • Payroll
  • NetSuite
admin icon


  • Data entry
  • Typing speed, eg. 80+ words per minute
  • Scheduling
  • Computer literacy
  • Filing
  • Meeting notation
  • GSuite
  • Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheets
  • Shorthand
  • Emails
  • Project management
customer icon

Customer service

  • Telephone etiquette
  • Sticking to script
  • Product awareness
  • Point-of-sale
  • Email management software
  • Conflict resolution
  • Hitting sales goals
  • Multiline phone systems
  • Issue documentation
  • Creating service tickets
  • Return reduction
  • Customer satisfaction
pen icon


  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Lightroom
  • Web design
  • UI
  • Trend awareness
  • UX design
  • Sketching
  • Typography
  • Video animations
  • Photo editing
  • InDesign
  • Freehand drawing
marketing icon

Digital marketing

  • Copywriting
  • Content strategy
  • UX research
  • Competitive analysis
  • SEO strategy
  • Social media
  • PPC advertising
  • Marketing analytics
  • Video
  • SearchMetrics
  • seoClarity
  • Google Analytics
education icon


  • Classroom management
  • Reading comprehension improvement
  • Lesson planning
  • Student monitoring
  • Student engagement
  • Subject expertise, eg.,
    math or history
  • Document creation
  • Creative assignments
  • Digital presentations
  • Software, e.g., Moodle or Blackboard
  • Adjusting learning modalities
  • Assessing student needs
health care icon

Health care

  • CPR
  • First Aid
  • HIPAA knowledge
  • Charting
  • Regulatory knowledge
  • Patient data analysis
  • State survey readiness
  • Monitoring vitals
  • Pharmacy
  • EHR
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Urgent care
management icon

Management roles

  • Cost reduction
  • Hiring
  • Improving efficiency
  • Increasing production
  • Logistics
  • Managing remote workers
  • Human resources knowledge
  • Budgeting
  • Business development
  • Finance
  • Team building
  • Spreadsheets
sales icon


  • Meeting quotas
  • Product knowledge
  • Advertising
  • Sales process proficiency
  • Buyer research
  • Lead generation
  • Salesforce
  • CRM
  • Post-sales skills
  • Cold calling
  • Sales training
  • Digital marketing
code icon

Web development

  • Online marketing
  • E-commerce
  • Coding
  • Responsive design
  • Server management
  • CSS
  • HTML
  • Javascript
  • Testing
  • Debugging
  • Version control
  • Libraries and frameworks

Hard skills examples
by experience level

The hard skills you develop will evolve throughout your career as you learn and progress in your field. Below, we’ve created examples of how to show the different hard and technical skills you possess at various career stages:

No experience

  • Reading comprehension
  • Presentation skills
  • Academic research


  • Computer knowledge
  • Social media programs
  • Administrative skills


  • Marketing
  • Analytical problem-solving
  • Budgeting


  • Management of international teams
  • Strategic management
  • Project management

Career change

  • Cash handling
  • Physical dexterity
  • Management training

Hard skills examples
by resume format

Choosing the right resume format for your experience level is critical to ensuring you are showcasing your best qualities.

We’ll outline the three main formats and show how they feature your top hard skills.

Resume Example


The chronological resume is excellent for those who have a long work history. This career progression allows employers to see their skills evolving.

A chronological resume draws attention to significant actions an employee has taken, as shown mainly in the work experience section, with a separate section describing relevant skills.

Who should use this resume format:
Mid-career and executive-level professionals benefit most from the chronological resume format as it shows their history of career progression.

How hard skills should appear on this resume format:
Hard skills appear in the separate skills section. Still, they can also be described in the work history section by way of action and backed up with numerical metrics, like the amount of time saved through utilizing a new program.

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Resume Example


With a combination resume, skills share the spotlight with work experience, so there’s more room to showcase a wide range of competencies. People with both great experience and transferable skills benefit from using this resume format.

Who should use this resume format:
Entry-level applicants, mid-career professionals, and people making career changes.

How hard skills should appear on this resume format:
Skills can run the show with the functional format as you can dedicate custom sections to specific programs, relevant certifications and various other analytical, administrative or business-related offerings that could be relevant to the job. Also, make sure to use the keywords or phrases mentioned in the job posting.

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Resume Example


This format is known as a “skills-based” resume because it puts the focus on your skills and draws less attention to your work experience.

The functional resume gives an employer an overview of how you’d transfer a skill you possess into a real-life situation. Skills are the foundation of this resume format that downplays extensive work history.

Who should use this format:
Those with no experience, applicants making a career change, and people who’ve been out of the workforce for an extended period.

How hard skills should appear on this resume format:
Hard skills can be shown in various ways throughout this skills-based resume format. You can provide a results-based dive into one particular skill like “analytical thinking” in the professional summary section, describe a strategic sales plan in your summary of qualifications, or list UX design experiences in a bulleted skills section.

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6 tips for writing your skills section

Study the job description to understand which hard skills are most critical to the role.

Pay close attention to the language and mimic it on your resume; this is critical since an ATS doesn’t understand nuance.

Choose Your Format

  1. Use your education

    Listing your relevant education experiences, certification programs and online courses is a great way to show employers that you have well-developed hard skills. Add seminars, short courses and exams that you may have taken through a previous employer, like a food handlers test or POS training. Finally, list self-taught skills that relate to the role at hand.

  2. Show results

    The best way to elevate your hard skills is to show where they came from — employers want to see how you developed your skills and the positive impact they’ve had throughout your career. Include numerical metrics to back up your skills for the strongest impact, like “Maintained continuous knowledge of current and newly developed industry technology, interpreted audio-visual technical data from up to 20 drawings, blueprints, schematics and service manuals per project.”

  3. Create special sections

    If you use a combination or functional resume format, you should add separate sections that provide samples of your hard skills in action. A summary of qualifications is a great way to include accomplishments showing the use of a particular skill and the positive results accomplished.

  4. Eliminate irrelevant skills

    Your skills list should contain 10-12 critical skills, including as many as possible cited in the job ad. These are the skills employers want to see right away. Cull your list to eliminate anything that is not useful to the role at hand. Nonessential skills will only distract a busy recruiter from getting to the meat of your skills section.

  5. Perform an honesty check

    Review your list of skills again. Ask yourself if you have embellished or lied about any of the skills on your final list. While it may be tempting to include a new in-demand skill or elevate your familiarity with a piece of technology to make yourself seem more appealing, be truthful. Background checks are a standard part of the hiring process and will eventually expose most lies.

  6. Give context

    The best way to elevate your hard skills is to show where you acquired them. Showing off relevant hard skills in your summary section and work experience is easier when you provide a narrative. Explaining the outcome of the action you took or the task you accomplished provides the proof employers want to see.

5 ways a resume builder can help
you write your hard skills

A professional Resume Builder can help ensure that you include your industry’s most relevant hard and technical skills.

Here’s how a resume builder can help:

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  1. Job-specific skills
    You’ll be prompted to enter the job you’re applying for, then our builder will target hard skills to this role.
  2. Content suggestions
    The builder provides prewritten text and phrases that you can select with a single click.
  3. Keyword recommendations
    Based on our research, the builder suggests other keywords that are necessary to include.
  4. ATS-friendly resume templates
    Applicant tracking systems weed out candidates. Our templates are ATS-approved to pass this test!
  5. Customizable sections
    All of the text suggestions provided by our builder can be tweaked. You can even add custom sections to your resume.

Hard skills FAQ

How can I improve my hard skills?

There are many ways to improve or teach yourself new hard and technical skills.

Formal education, such as college or trade school, is the classic option. Online classes and certifications are a modern way to bolster your industry-related abilities.

You can also look for pop-up talks or weekend courses around your community. Demonstration weeks at community centers and local colleges are an excellent way to learn new skills quickly.

Even YouTube can be an excellent free tool for learning and improving specific hard skills!

What do companies value more — hard skills or soft skills?

Both hard and soft skills are valuable to employers.

Soft skills like listening and effective communication are universal across every industry. However, you won’t get a job without the right hard skills to perform!

This is especially true if the job you’re applying for requires a lot of education, technical ability or in-depth training. The less “entry-level” a job is, the more important it is to have the right hard skills listed.

Even if your hard skills are top-notch, you still need to mention your soft skills to give an employer the sense that you also get along well with others.

How do I find the most important hard skills for my career field?

The job posting itself or the company’s website you are applying to should state the most crucial hard skills they seek. If you’re going to apply for a job, this is the most important place you should be looking to see what skills are needed.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides a handy tool, their Occupational Requirements Survey. It’s free and outlines the education, background and training required for many industries and occupations.

Are hard skills the same as transferable skills?

In short, some hard skills may be transferable between industries, but not all.

For example, cash handling is a hard skill that could be used in retail just as it could transfer to an industry like bartending. The fact that you can carry it over from one industry to a new one makes them transferable skills.

However, not all hard skills transfer from one industry to another. You may be a great computer programmer, but those skills aren’t going to transfer if you’re applying for a job in construction.

Soft skills are more universal and transfer more naturally from one industry to the next.

About the Author

Eric Ciechanowski

Eric Ciechanowski Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC). He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a B.A. double major in Creative Writing and Philosophy. His career background includes fields as diverse as education, hospitality, journalism, copywriting, tech and trivia hosting.


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