What Are Skills To Put On A Resume: See Essentials Skills Employers Want

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In a highly competitive job market, how do you stand out from competitors to land the job you applied for? The first step to achieving this is to know what skills you need to put in a resume to get the attention of employers.

Secondly, you need knowledge of how to properly articulate those skills on the resume. Thirdly, you need to highlight only relevant skills to the job you’re applying for.

In essence, you need a proper understanding of what skills employers look out for in applicants’ resumes to be considered for the next phase of the hiring process.

This article highlights those skills to put on a resume, and how to articulate them in your resume.

Let’s go.

What Skills Should You Put On A Resume?

What you should know is that when deciding who to hire, employers are always looking out for candidates with a blend of both hard and soft skills that match the job.

Hard skills are the technical skills that you need to perform a job function. They are skills that you acquire through training and education. Furthermore, they are measurable.

In addition, hard skills are the first thing organization consider on their resume.

On the other hand, soft skills are character traits acquired through our interactions with the environment over time. Also, they define our personality and approach towards work.

Moreso, they are not specific to a job, rather, they spread across different job types. For instance, how we communicate, our time management skills, among others are relevant skills to any job.

Although soft skills are not taught in schools as a course of study, they may become the discourse of training. However, it is not imparted once and for all, but a person can cultivate them gradually by intentional practice.

Now that we have discovered what skills to put on a resume, let us look into the examples of each skill.

Soft Skills Examples

As aforementioned, soft skills are not specific to the job. They are broad and can apply to most job types. They include:

1. Communication

The ability to speak, write, and present excellently is a well-sought-after skill in job application across many job types. Organizations need those who are prolific communicators to make convincing presentations to prospects and clients.

Furthermore, your ability to write impeccably will serve the organization in terms of proposals and emails. Lastly, as an employee, you interact daily with colleagues, superiors, and customers, as such, you must be able to deliver your thoughts clearly.

Therefore, be sure to highlight relevant certifications, positions, or activities that display your use of speaking, writing, and presentation skills.

2. Teamwork

Firstly, the ability of employees to work together as a team is crucial to the success of the organization. Because of this, every employer wants to employ those who can demonstrate that they are excellent team players.

Secondly, working with others in a team involves the ability to motivate others, initiate, communicate effectively, and be empathetic.

Lastly, you can highlight group projects you undertook as a student and your contributions towards the group, or your team’s achievements in your previous employment.

SEE: Definitions and Benefit of Teamwork Skills

3. Leadership

Leadership is not a position rather it is a mindset. It is the ability to influence others from wherever you are. Not only that, but leadership entails the quality of being a good follower also.

Hence, regardless of the position advertised, employers want to hire someone who can inspire others to achieve a goal.

Furthermore, your achievements in your past jobs speak a lot about your leadership skills. Therefore, it is pertinent that you showcase certifications, training or seminar, positions, and your achievements with leadership skills.

SEE: Distinct Qualities Of A Great Leader

4. Empathy

Empathy is a display of emotional intelligence. It involves tolerating others and trying to understand others by putting yourself in their shoes.

Furthermore, it is necessary for dealing with everyone in an organization as it depicts respect for others. So, it is a skill prioritized by employees regardless of the job.

5. Creativity and problem-solving

Creativity is the ability to come up with new ways of doing things. Employers prefer to employ those whose resume demonstrates that they can proffer solutions to problems through creative thinking.

This is because constant creativity and innovation within the organization are critical for growth and competitiveness in the marketplace.

SEE: What Are Problem Solving Skills

6. Self-drive

No employer enjoys having to push or force employees to do the job for which they are being paid. As such, they always lookout for individuals who can work passionately with little or no supervision.

In addition, self-driven individuals always deliver on their job functions and employers can rest assured that the organization is in good hands even in their absence.

More so, the organization’s productivity is dependent on the productivity of the employees. Therefore, you should demonstrate your achievements in your past job to articulate your passion and drive for work.

7. Time management

Proper management of time is a skill every employer cannot bargain with. Organizations have goals within a time frame. As such, you must be able to show that you can meet deadlines and manage time effectively in your resume.

Also, punctuality is a key factor in time management. Therefore, you should demonstrate how consistent you’ve been with meeting deadlines in your past jobs. If you’re an entry-level graduate, you can highlight your punctuality ratings during your internship.

8. Attention to details

Employers do not want to employ persons who will cost them time, effort, and money by making silly mistakes. They want to be resourceful, conscientious, and diligent with work.

Therefore, you should carefully proofread your resume, cover letter, and documents to ensure that they are free of error. This is because organizations note errors in your application as laxity on your part and this may disqualify you especially when the job demands an individual with attention to details.

9. Adaptability

A slight adjustment in job functions, getting a new job or promotion, and the introduction of new technologies in the workplace would require that they adapt quickly. Furthermore, the ability to do your job efficiently under pressure depicts adaptability.

As such, employers want those who are flexible and quick enough to acclimate to changes in the workplace.

Examples of Hard Skills

1. Human resources

The human resources are responsible for recruiting, staffing, and setting plans for training employees. They also help to foster a healthy working environment that improves employee retention and productivity.

SEE: What Human Resources Do

2. Data Analysis

Organizations need data analysts for crucial decision-making. As such, your ability to show your competence in data gathering, interpretation, and reporting in the resume gives you an edge when applying for jobs.

3. Computer skills

Computer skills range from basic to expert skills. This includes basic typing skills, use of spreadsheets, coding and programming, graphic design, etc.

To be more exact, applying for a programming job would require that you demonstrate proficiency in coding languages such as Python, Javascript, HTML, etc, depending on the job description.

4. Accounting and bookkeeping

This involves recording a company’s financial transactions, reconciling and maintaining accounts, reporting periods, and auditing. It also includes the use of accounting software like Wave, Quickbook, and Xero.

5. Writing

As much as writing is part of communication skills, it is also the basic skill for jobs like content writing, copywriting, CV and cover letter writing, journalism, editors, etc.

Furthermore, it is a prized skill for organizations that work with proposals, emails, and newsletters. This is because they want to ensure that their contents are excellently written and error-free.

SEE: How To Make Money Writing Resumes

6. Language skills

For organizations that deal with foreign clients, applications that are multilingual are top-rated for employment. Not only that, it is a unique skill that sets you apart from competitors regardless of whatever organization you apply to.

Furthermore, for those who wish to work as tour guides, customer service, diplomats, or travel agents, being multilingual is an advantage. Therefore, you should highlight those foreign languages you can speak in your resume to raise your chances of landing a job.

SEE: Best Languages To Learn

7. Engineering skills

Engineering skills include mechanical engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, IT, etc.

Furthermore, hard skills in this area range from knowledge of math, project management, troubleshooting, prototyping, workflow development, and knowledge of manufacturing processes.

It also involves the use of software like Mathcad, CAD, Python, Microsoft Excel, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), among others.

8. Marketing skills

It involves knowledge in negotiation, sales and closing, and customer psychology. Furthermore, hard skills here include expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), digital marketing, Google analytics, social media marketing, content marketing, etc.

9. Project management

This is the process of planning towards achieving a task or project. As a project manager, you need to demonstrate your proficient use of project management software such as Trello, Microsoft project, Spreadsheet, etc.

10. Design skills

Whether it is a skill in product design, graphic design, video design, or what have you, you would have to articulate what software you are able to use and your achievements with these skills.

How to project your skills in your resume

Employers barely have time to scan resumes for important information. Therefore, your resume must be clear, concise, and articulate.

There are a number of ways to maximize your resume and communicate your skills excellently:

1.  Use bullets to list your skills in a separate section

This part of the resume is where you highlight your various skills as relevant to the job you’re applying for. You do not need to explain or discuss them.

What this does is that it immediately gives employees ideas of what skills they possess and help them know if they are relevant to the job.

To identify what skills are relevant to the job, check for the demanded key skills highlighted in the job advert. Through this, you will be able to note those skills that the job demands.

Let’s take some examples of different jobs and the relevant skills you may highlight:

A. Project manager

As a project manager, you lead a team, make plans, and supervise to complete a project. Those skills to include are:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • management
  • Problem solving
  • Planning
  • Quality management
  • Time management, etc.

B. Accounting and Bookkeeping

Some of the basic skills relevant for accounting includes:

  • Attention to detail
  • Mathematical and deductive reasoning
  • Critical thinking
  • Strong written and oral communication
  • Analytical and problem solving skills, etc.

2. Talk about your achievements in the work experience or other parts of the resume

This is the part where you discuss your impact with the skills which you highlighted. You should weave it into your work history, voluntary activities, internship experiences, or the positions you’ve held.

It is also important that you use numbers where possible as this makes the achievements more profound and measurable.

For example:

  • Scaled sales by 40% within two months of being the sales manager
  • Led a team of 10 persons to achieve a 20% decrease in the company’s expenses


What should you avoid in your resume?

Avoid lying about possessing a skill in your resume by all means. Also, avoid ambiguous words and errors.

What must be contained in your resume?

Make sure to use keywords that are relevant to the job as most organizations use an applicants tracking system (ATS) to filter resumes that do not match the skills set needed for the job. Also, make sure to clearly articulate your skills both as bullet points and in your work experience or other parts as the case may be.

What is a resume?

A resume is a formal document that applicants use to highlight their skills and apply for jobs.


Your resume is key in qualifying you for a job. Therefore, you need to get adequate knowledge in preparing it.

Furthermore, you should take time to note the job description, and the organization’s culture and mission, before highlighting your skills on the resume.

However, your resume is not a hundred percent guarantee for getting jobs. You should take time to prepare for interviews and assessments too.

Lastly, you can check the article on important training for employees to get insight into what training to expect as an employee.

I hope this article helps you build a formidable resume.

Thanks for reading.