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Published: 2020/10/02 | Updated: 2020/10/02

What Skills to Put in a Resume

Writing a winning resume can be somewhat of a balancing act. Not only do you have to keep your resume fairly short and sweet, but you also have to include enough quality information to make a good first impression with potential employers. Further, when reviewing your credentials, hiring managers will have a particular interest in the skills you possess as a potential employee. For this reason, it is incredibly important to know what is relevant to the job you are applying for when thinking of the skills to list on your resume. And, of course, it’s important that the skills you put in your resume are actually skills that you possess.

At BuzzCV, we know that there is an endless number of skills that you can include on any resume but it’s up to you to decide which ones will be the most effective. It’s crucial to consider that there are skills that make you a more highly qualified employee for a job, ranging from hard, industry-specific skills to those soft skills that virtually every job demands. This begs the question: how do you figure out what the best skills to put in a resume are? Today, we will be answering that very question. We will also be including specific examples to give you a better idea of how to craft the skills section of your resume. Let’s get started!

Top Skills to Put in Your Resume

As highlighted, there are various skills that you should consider putting on your resume ranging from industry-specific skills to soft skills. In this section of the article, we will be detailing the top skills to put in your resume for both industry-specific and soft skills. These are the skills that potential employees like to see in a resume and will give you extra help when communicating your worth as a employee when applying for your next job. 

Top Soft Skills to Put in Your Resume

There are various soft skills that you should consider putting in your resume. These skills are the most common things that employers are looking for in a potential employee regardless of what the job entails specifically. Always include soft skills in your resume when crafting your skills section. So what are some of the most impressive soft skills to include in your resume?

Problem-Solving

Regardless of what the job is, eventually there will be obstacles and your potential employers want to know that you’re well-equipped to handle unexpected issues as they arise. This involves being capable of coming up with a rapid, effective solution to a variety of problems. In fact, there are a multitude of jobs that are centered around nothing but problem-solving, handling issues for the company, clients, or both as they pop up. Make sure that your employers know that you are capable of handling issues, big and small. 

Flexibility

Most companies, industries, and organizations hold an employee that is capable of adapting to any situation in high-esteem. An employee that has the natural ability to use a variety of methods and different approaches according to the circumstance in order to achieve the best end result tend to be the one that rises quickly through the ranks at their company. If you are a flexible employee who is capable of staying light on your feet, adapting to each new situation as it arises, make sure to include this in the skills section of your resume. 

Communication

Communication is one of the most important components of any thriving workplace. For an organization to operate on a daily basis, its team of employees need to have strong communication skills, conversing with each other and keeping conversation open at all times. Whether it is written or verbal, being able to communicate effectively with your boss, co-workers, and clients in all situations is telling of a valuable employee. One of the most important skills any potential employer is looking for in a prospective employee is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. You simply can’t skip listing this skill on your resume if you want to stand out!

Critical Thinking

The basis of critical thinking is the ability to think logically and rationally even in high-pressure situations. Any employer is looking for an employee that can think through a project or problem and determine the best course of action to take. Critical thinkers are adept at coming up with new and better ways to work, making critical thinking an invaluable skill to include in the skills section of your resume. 

Creativity

The ability to think outside of the box and to come up with creative solutions to everyday problems can be a particular asset in any job role. Whether you are good at thinking about things in a way that hasn’t been done before or like to harness your creativity to lighten up the office on an everyday basis, this skill is something your employer should know about you. Be sure to list previous examples of times that you have used your creativity to find the solution to a problem, perhaps through a creative skill such as design or writing. 

Organization

The skill of organization is a must-have for any job role and the ability to stay organized means much more than just keeping your desk neat and tidy. Organization extends to the ability to organize tasks and projects for your coworkers, management, and especially, yourself. One of the best ways to really show of your organization skills is by creating a tightly structured resume so keep that in mind when you create your resume, whether you’re using a CV template (highly recommended) or creating your own structure.

Responsibility

A responsible employee is one that can be depended on by their employer, co-workers, and clients at all times. Part of being a good employee is taking responsibility for your job duties and even owning up to it when you make mistakes. Most managers prefer not to have to check in on their employees constantly to ensure that their job is being done the right way and, as a responsible employee, you ensure that they don’t have to. Responsibility means that you do what you need to do to complete the job tasks that you are responsible for. Don’t leave this soft skill off of your resume!

Attention to Detail

Finally, the last crucial soft skill that we recommend you list on your resume here at BuzzCV is attention to detail. When on the job, you need to ensure that you follow all instructions extensively in order to complete your assigned tasks. This is especially crucial when working with others. The ability to pay attention to the smaller details is essential at any job that you will ever have. The skill of attention to detail is a must for any employer as they consider prospective employees.

Top Industry-Specific Skills to Put in Your Resume

Now that you know some of the most important soft skills to put in a winning resume, it’s time to talk about a few of the top industry-specific skills, or hard skills, that you should consider. These skills tend to be more technical, and each industry or type of job will usually have its own required set. It is important that you research a potential job extensively in order to identify which industry-specific job skills they expect from applicants. Here are a few industry-specific skills that are considered highly valuable in a number of top industries.

Design

Aside from the obvious professions including web or graphic design, there are many jobs in a variety of industries ranging from marketing and advertising to construction that require some degree of design skills. Design skills are highly sought after in employees in a variety of industries so if you consider yourself a design-oriented employee, make sure to list this in the skills section of your resume.

Project Management

Various jobs require project management skills. The ability to complete assignments on time and effectively manage your task flow are essential parts of project management. If you have used project management software in a previous job role or have used project management skills to complete a major project before the established deadline in the past, make sure to list these examples in the skills section of your resume!

Knowledge of Computer Software and Applications

In a world where technology and a knowledge of computer software and applications is essential in a variety of different industries, this is an important industry-specific skill to have. In fact, the list of professions that do not require you to use computers or applications on a daily basis in your job role is incredibly short. Don’t leave this skill out when crafting the skills section of your resume!

Administrative

Even if your job isn’t necessarily administrative in nature, it’s likely a part of your job role in one way or another regardless of industry. Administrative skills involve the ability to organize, plan, schedule, write emails, and manage files, and these skills show potential employers that you are well-equipped to take hold of the details if hired. 

Writing

There are many jobs out there that involve writing to some extent. Whether it’s to clients or co-workers, having a basic writing ability is necessary and an absolute skill that should be included on your resume. After all, emails that are full of typos and grammatical errors will not represent you very professionally in your job role and tend to send the wrong message about your abilities. Demonstrate that you have this skill by crafting a CV that highlights your writing abilities.

Marketing

Finally, even if you are not a marketer per se, many companies desire an employee with marketing skills. Marketing involves selling and promoting products or services. Knowing the benefits and highlights of your company’s products and/or services can be valuable to a slew of different job roles. If you have any specific marketing or social media marketing expertise, that’s even better!

Here are some examples of a few more soft and industry-specific (hard) skills that you may want to include in the skills section of your resume according to Indeed.com’s Career Guide:

Indeed Career Guide

Consider the Job Listing

If you’re still unsure about which skills to use after reading our list of soft and industry-specific skills to include in your resume, you can get some help choosing by considering the job listing. Read through the job description for the job you are applying for a few times and you’re likely to notice 3-4 essential skills that the employer is looking for. If this is the case, it’s best to focus on these skills as you create your CV and resume to represent yourself in the best possible light.

How to Create the Skills Section of Your Resume

Now that you know what skills to put in a resume in order to wow potential employers and land yourself the job of your dreams, it’s time to learn how to create the skills section of your resume. There are a few different steps that you should follow to organize the skills section of your resume effectively. Let’s take a closer look at these steps!

Step 1: Sort By Relevance

Let’s say that you’re applying for a job in the sales field. If that’s the case, your prior experience as a hairstylist is likely not the most relevant to this job field. Instead, you’ll want to emphasize experience that is directly applicable to a role in sales. If you lack the experience, however, search through your existing positions for key skills that may be relevant to sales. Always sort by relevance when creating the skills section of your resume!

For example, if you were responsible for working with customer service (scheduling clients and checking them out at the end of their appointment as a hairstylist) this is something that can be an interchangeable skill to a sales role and you can include it in the skills section of your resume. 

Step 2: Add a Highlights Section

Next, it’s important that you add a highlights section to your resume. The resumes of today are structured to be value-oriented and this requires you to provide information that is more achievement-oriented as opposed to strictly task-based. If you have had multiple job roles with varying achievements, for example, select the top four that you are the most proud of and incorporate these into a Career Highlights section on your resume. Keep this section well-structured and organized to demonstrate organizational skills that will prove impressive to potential employers. 

Step 3: Categorize by Job Skill

With either your task-based information or achievements, you can categorize the content into sections to illustrate the diversity in your responsibilities. This is best if you are higher up in your career level and have multiple responsibilities that span several platforms or departments. If you are a manager or director of operations at a company, for example, your responsibilities may include the following: managing staff, communicating with vendors, and hiring and training staff. 

In this case, you’ll want to categorize by job skill in a format that looks similar to the following example:

  • Customer Service: Include examples of ways that you have maintained and improved the customer experience at your previous company. 
  • Change Management: Include examples of ways that you have effectively restructured staff, developed training programs, or coached employees on the expectations of the company.
  • Process Improvements: Include examples of responsibilities and/or achievements related to the creation and implementation of processes centered around improving operational efficiencies.

Summary

In summary, here are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to what skills to put in a resume:

  • Include important soft skills that are highly-desired across a variety of industries
  • Include industry-specific (hard) skills that are valuable to employers across a variety of the top industries
  • Sort the skills listed in your skills section by relevance to the job you are applying for
  • Add a highlights section that provides achievement-oriented examples of your skills
  • Categorize and organize the skills section according to job skill, highlighting examples of the ways you used these skills in previous job roles

Perfect Your Resume With BuzzCV! 

At BuzzCV, we offer a variety of cover letter templates that all but guarantee that you will land your dream job. Using our stunning cover letter templates and knowledge of how to create a cover letter and resume that shows off your skills and value as an employee, you have the power to get hired quickly at the price that you name. Check out our cover letter templates and register as a member for free today! As a member, you’ll have access to:

  • Free CV templates
  • Digital CV
  • Digital cover letter
  • Personality test
  • Job search
  • Customer support

Start on your cover letter and resume today with these helpful tips surrounding what skills to put in a resume. You’re sure to land the job of your dreams in no time based off of your valuable job skills! 

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