According to Walrath Recruiting Inc, recruiters only spend a few seconds reviewing each candidate’s resume. During this time, they receive enough information to either save your application document for further consideration or to put it off indefinitely.

To achieve a favorable outcome, you need to catch their attention. The skills section of your resume, in this case, can play into your hands. This section is less time-consuming than the work history section, but not less informative. If the recruiter can find essential qualifications at a glance, it will promote your candidacy to the next stage of the selection process. This guide will help you identify the top skills to put on a resume. Rest assured, each of them will work for you, regardless of the desired position.

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How many skills to put on the resume?

A customized resume becomes a candidate’s winning tool during the application process. It should emphasize only special abilities, qualities, and previous activities that are of value for the desired job. That way, the recruiter immediately focuses on important professional points and does not waste time studying additional information about the applicant. Usually, customized resume samples are limited to one page. Based on this fact, the list of skills for the resume can contain up to 10 items. To choose the best ones, keep the following thoughts in mind:

  • Can you prove this skill during an interview? Recruiters always strive to confirm your level of knowledge and competencies. Therefore, be prepared for some basic questions about each specified ability. If your proficiency is low, do not include this skill in your resume to avoid an embarrassing situation.
  • Can you explain the value of the skill for the job position? If you have trouble relating the chosen qualification with your future duties, consider whether it is of importance to the employer. Remember, when your resume is teeming with random skills, it discredits your understanding of the profession.
  • Can you put this skill into practice? You may nail an interview and even get the desired position. But if you cannot apply the stated skills for the benefit of the company, it will negatively affect your professional reputation and career prospects. Therefore, always think several moves ahead.

The best skills to put on your resume

Recruiters conduct a comprehensive assessment of each applicant. Their goal is to identify a qualified specialist and team player who fits into the corporate culture. To become the right person, you should include different types of skills in your resume. We have selected the best examples for each category to simplify your task.

“Must-have” hard skills to put on a resume

Hard skills are practical tools of a specialist that help to succeed in a specific position and responsibilities. Despite a wide range of hard skills, keep in mind some general ones that can come in handy in every industry.

  1. Computer skills. Given the level of technological progress, the list of professions that do not require basic computer literacy is decreasing every year. These skills range from Microsoft Office proficiency to fluency in several coding languages. Therefore, if you have mastered at least one software or application, feel free to mention it in your resume.
  2. Digital marketing awareness. As Bill Gates once said, “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.” Today, this rule guides employers from various industries. Therefore, an understanding of promotion and social networks is a common requirement for applicants, even if they are not applying for a marketing specialist position. Some research into the company’s products and services, an understanding of its competitive advantages, and a Facebook profile will gain you points, even if you are an office administrator.
  3. Second language. Globalization has provided an opportunity for businesses to expand into the world market and build international cooperation. To use this opportunity to their advantage, companies set high standards for both production and employees. Therefore, each bilingual employee is a valuable link in negotiations with foreign partners and clients. Feel free to add this skill to your resume, even if the employer did not mention it as a requirement for the position.
  4. Writing ability. You do not have to be a word painter or engage readers in long research articles. However, you should be able to put your thoughts on paper and remain accessible and persuasive to the recipient. Your cover letter will be the first test of your writing ability. If you can prove your professional aptitude on one-page of paper, then correspondence with business partners is unlikely to be a problem for you. To pass this test, check out several winning self-presentations on the website.

Technical skills to list on resume

Technical skills are practical tools that are used to complete tasks and solve problems in a particular industry. Often, such expertise requires a preliminary mastering of the exact sciences, be it mathematics, mechanics, or information technology. The following technical skills will add value to a specialist in any industry.

  1. Big Data Analysis. Big data is a source of valuable information for any business. It helps identify areas for improvement and serves as a foundation for critical strategic decisions. Given that its competent interpretation provides unlimited opportunities in the market, a specialist who can collect and process big data is worth their weight in gold among modern employers.
  2. Project management. This skill is a sign of a versatile specialist who can manage budgets, control the distribution of resources, delegate tasks to all team members, and measure the success of the project. This single qualification can replace several good skills to put on a resume and thus save space for additional competencies. However, do not add it to your document if you can’t justify the expectations of the employer.
  3. Technical Writing. Almost every industry has a professional vocabulary. Most companies appreciate professionals who can use specialized terminology and explain complicated things in simple words, if necessary. Thus, having technical writing as a skill in your resume proves that you can read complex instructions and communicate them to a broad audience, including customers or partners of the company.

The top soft skills for your resume

Soft or personal skills are immeasurable and intangible attributes of a specialist in any field. They do not depend on your education and competencies but can help you succeed in a professional environment through sensitivity to the situation and the people around you. When it comes to how to list skills on a resume, soft skills often come after hard and technical ones. Nevertheless, they play a critical role in employment and can compensate for any gap in professional knowledge.

  1. Problem-Solving. No company is safe from situations where everything goes wrong. Employers, in such cases, do not want to waste time figuring out the reasons and listening to excuses. Instead, each of them prefers to get an effective solution from an employee.
  2. Emotional intelligence. EI is the ability to control your emotions and recognize the feelings of others. This skill allows an employee to build productive collaboration and networking inside and outside the company. Additionally, developed emotional intelligence helps one to identify motives, intentions, and desires, which is of great value in negotiations and conflict situations.
  3. A specialist is able to generate brilliant ideas for the development and prosperity of the company. But if they cannot explain and prove the profitability and worthwhileness of such ideas, this contribution to the common cause will go unnoticed. Employers, in turn, are not interested in employees who can’t bring something valuable to the team. Besides, almost every corporate environment requires constant interaction. If you can only accumulate knowledge and skills and not share them, then you will not be a good fit into the team. Therefore, communication skills in your resume can tilt the balance in your favor.
  4. The success of a company depends on each employee and their contribution to the common cause. Team players set the company’s goals over the desire for self-realization. They share experience and adopt the best practices of their colleagues, which together positively affects both productivity and the corporate culture of the company.


The resume remains an important tool for the candidate in the selection process. However, recruiters rarely read it from A to Z because of the high competition for the post and the endless flow of application documents, respectively.

Since your list of skills is the first object that salutes the eye and can hold their attention, if you want to encourage them to review your candidacy further, each skill must hit the target. Thanks to this guide, you know which hard, technical, and soft skills are most in demand. Feel free to supplement and modify this list so that each item reflects your real professional value.