The Top Must-Have Skills for Your Resume

Posted January 11, 2021

The job market is becoming ever-more competitive. While the Covid-19 pandemic affected far too many jobs and how people do their jobs in 2020, those effects are expected to carry on into 2021

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicates that “The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered one of the worst jobs crises since the Great Depression. There is a real danger that the crisis will increase poverty and widen inequalities, with the impact felt for years to come. Countries now need to do everything they can to stop this jobs crisis from turning into a social crisis. Reconstructing a better and more resilient labour market is an essential investment in the future and in future generations”

However, even while unemployment has been high, companies looking to fill open positions are plentiful. All things considered, the first quarter of 2021, despite the continuing pandemic, is expected to have bright spots as the job market begins to recover.

As people go back to work and begin the process of normalizing in a post-covid workplace, there’s something hopeful to hold onto: many open jobs have reduced their previous hiring requirements, making it easier to hire qualified individuals who might be lacking a particular quality of skill. However, despite that new trend as we go into 2021, it’s important to keep in mind that even now, employers want to hire the most qualified candidates for their jobs. So as the many unemployed begin clamoring to fill these open jobs, it’s vital to stand out from the crowd. 

Standing out from the job-seeking crowd

  • Revamp your resume

With many resumes crossing a recruiters desk, you’ve got to make sure yours is the one that makes it to the interview pile. Make sure your experience is current and relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

  • Add additional information to add breadth to very short sections
  • Proofread the entire resume multiple times
  • Add your LinkedIn profile; since the resume will likely be viewed online, hyperlinks are a great addition!
  • When listing education, remove your graduation date if it’s more than 3 years in the past; while recruiters aren’t supposed to discriminate based on age, it still happens. Let your experience and degree stand out, not your age.
  • Remove dates and work history that predates 2005
  • Update your skills section, and break it out if you have many skills in a single category--i.e. Languages, computer skills, etc.
  • Indicate relevant hard and soft skills

One of the best ways to indicate hard skills are by including quantifying data to highlight a skill and show that you did it well. If you were a project lead on a case, or part of a sales team, including numbers that show how much you increased sales by your sales skills, or how many cases you managed, etc, can really help put your skills into context. Soft skills are also important to include on your resume because they can really help set you apart from someone who has similar experience and job skills. Soft skills like communication, empathy, listening, decision-making, etc can really boost your resume and your hiring desirability. 

  • Update your social media profiles (especially LinkedIn)

Employers want to see your most current information and experience. Filling out or updating your LinkedIn account is beneficial to an employer as they begin digging deeper into your resume and determining if you are really a great candidate to join their company. Not only is it a free way for them to compare your resumes job history to a public listing of your job history, but it also allows you to add a more human touch to your job experience than a resume can provide. 

  • Use the right keywords

Many companies use an Applicant Tracking System that scans through and vets the hundreds of resumes they receive before a human ever even sees them. So it’s important, as you prepare your resume for a particular job, that you reference the job listing and make sure to highlight any relevant skills you have that have been mentioned in the job listing. Your goal in the first stage is to make it past the machine and in front of a real person who can further evaluate your experience, credentials and skills. But don’t keyword stuff because at some point your resume will hopefully make it in front of real eyes, and at that point

Skills to include on your resume in 2021

  • Growth Mindset/Continuous Learning

Nothing spells success like someone who sees the value of ongoing education and growth. That doesn’t have to mean years of ongoing schooling though. Reading books to learn, expand your mind, and develop new skills is just as valuable! Or list out courses you have or are taking and certifications you’ve obtained. 

  • Computer skills and artificial intelligence 

Computers have proven their stayability. They aren’t going anywhere, so if you haven’t yet gotten on board with computers, now’s the time to get up to speed and learn how to actually use them efficiently. Companies will increasingly favor employees with experience or understanding of computers, programming, web development, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is the wave of the present and long into the future. Building up your tech-savviness now could be one of the greatest things you can do for your career today and going forward.

  • Cloud Computing

Many people are still lost when it comes to the cloud and how it works to store or manage data. Even basic skills like using shared drives (think Google Drive or Dropbox) can be helpful. But if you can get a good grasp of utilizing the cloud and the many opportunities provided by the cloud, you’ll be bringing your A-Game to your next interview.

  • Adobe Photoshop 

Design is vital in a world increasingly dependent on computers for marketing and selling their products and ideas. While photoshop can be complicated to new users, it’s a skill that will really boost your hireability, and not just for graphic design jobs either. Increasingly, companies want to hire employees with a broad range of skills so they can wear many hats as needed. Adobe Photoshop is one of those skills that is transferable across many positions, companies and jobs.

  • Change Management

The past year has seen some major changes across industries as people adjust to working in a post-pandemic world. Being able to adjust to massive change and also to help people walk through the changes and come out stronger on the other side of change is an important skill to have, especially with more changes expected in the new year.

  • New social and digital media

The world has gone social. Social media is literally the new media. It’s how most people consume their news and find out about the world around them. Companies that want to stay at the forefront of their fans minds need to be active and creative on social media to grab the shortening attention spans of their audiences. But with new social media platforms always coming out, it’s important to be able to quickly learn them and how to best achieve a company’s goals through those new platforms. While many people know the basics of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, having a deeper understanding of marketing on these platforms, or how to use other platforms like SnapChat, etc can really improve your hireability.

  • Communication

In the age of computers and social media, people are quickly losing the ability to communicate well. If you can look someone in the eye, get your point across clearly in speaking and/or writing, provide clear instructions (or clear interpretation of instructions), you are likely a good communicator and should be lauded for it. Communication is vital to every job, so if you have it, flaunt it. If you don’t, start to develop it as soon as possible.

  • Teamwork 

When joining a company, you’re becoming part of a team. So it’s important to show how you’ve worked with others in the past to indicate how you can work with others in the future. If you’re a team player, you’ll likely be a valuable asset to any company.

Here are other hard and soft skills that are perennially a great idea to include on your resume.

Soft skills list

  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Time Management
  • Handling Pressure
  • Motivation
  • Networking
  • Leadership
  • Critical Thinking
  • Self-Confidence
  • Customer Service
  • Business Etiquette
  • Creativity
  • Planning
  • Adaptability

Hard skills list

  • Computer Programming
  • Heavy Machinery Operation
  • Paid Online Traffic
  • Website Design
  • Search Engine OptimizationLandscaping
  • Mathematics
  • Accounting
  • Word Processing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Writing
  • Data Analysis
  • Conversion Testing
  • Social media marketing

2021 is full of hope and promise, despite an ongoing pandemic and a competitive job market. But we believe in you and your ability to market yourself to stand out from the crowd and find your happy job this year. Think through your skills, and their relevance to the job you’re applying for. You’ve got this.

The CareerBliss Team

Your career happiness is our #1 priority here at CareerBliss. To help you succeed in your career, we offer a wide variety of tools and resources to help you out along the way. Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

Sign up for Job Alerts!
Show me more jobs

Resume Writing Services

Free resume evaluation from career experts
  • Guaranteed interviews in 30 business days or get a free rewrite
  • All staff writers are Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRWs)
Learn more
We noticed that your web browser is outdated!

Update your browser to have a more positive job search experience.

Upgrade My Browser