Top 10 Professional Skills to Include in Your Resume

Posted August 10, 2021

At some point in your resume, you will need to include the skills you would bring to the table for your future employer. If you have the skills they are looking for you have a better chance at getting hired for the role.

10 Professional Skills to Include in Your Resume

Often if an employer isn’t familiar with your previous roles and experience on your resume they will turn to the skills section to determine if you should move forward to the next step in the hiring process. In this article we will look at the top 10 skills employers look for and provide a guide to adding these skills to your resume.

Professional Skills for Resumes

Here are some categories that your professional skills will fall under:

  • Active listening
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Technical skills
  • Management skills
  • Customer service
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Transferable skills

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Employers look at what hard and soft skills an applicant has to see how they would balance out a team. A mix of both makes for a strong applicant resume.

Hard skills are a result of technical knowledge or abilities that are specific to your job or industry. In most cases, these are the technical skills that you learn throughout your education, including certification programs, college, training sessions or experience on the job.

Hard skills might include proficiency in areas such as:

  • Software development
  • Foreign languages
  • Operating certain equipment or machinery

Soft Skills are generally abilities that can be applied in any job or industry. These skills may be referred to as “people skills” or “social ability” and include capability in things like:

  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills

Hard skills are usually trainable while soft skills are developed out of personality traits and, therefore, are extremely valuable to most employers. In some cases, your soft skills will enhance your hard skills. For example, if you're a communicative marketing director skilled in a specific software system for graphic design, you’ll likely be able to direct those under you in learning system updates and improving timelines for leads.

It’s important to highlight both your hard and soft skills that might position yourself as a well-rounded and sought after candidate. It’s also a good idea to consider how your skills support one another to get the job done so that you can speak about it in your next interview.

Identifying Your Best Skills

Sometimes it can be difficult to pin down what skills you possess and how to share them. Consider your previous experiences; What did you excel at? Where would your colleagues say you were especially gifted? Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself to find out what professional skills you possess:

What awards and achievements have you received?

Have you ever received recognition for accomplishing a certain objective or excelling in a particular area of work? If so, consider what personal talents or attributes helped you meet that milestone.

What would former coworkers or fellow students have to say?

Sometimes getting feedback from your peers can help you take notice of strengths you may not recognize in yourself. Reach out to a former manager or colleagues who worked closely with you and ask them what they would say your strengths and skills are. If you are brand new to the professional world, ask students you have worked with in the past, teachers who know you well, or a person you would consider to be a mentor.

Can you talk to professionals in the field?

If you have trouble thinking of appropriate skills you may need for your ideal job, consider asking those that already have the job. Ask if you can take someone to coffee or hop on a phone call and ask what skills they use the most in every day life at the office. Ask them which skills they consider the most important and identify which of those skills you have to offer.

Which skills should you exclude?

When you are making your list of skills for your resume only include the skills that you are confident that you are strong in. If there’s a technical skill you’re still learning or a training that you have started but not finished, don't feel pressured to include it solely because it appears in the job posting. In the unlikely scenario where the interviewer asks you about a skill you didn’t include, you can take the opportunity to share how you’re working to learn or improve for the role.

Example Skills To Put On A Resume

As a great candidate for employment it can sometimes be difficult to narrow down which of the many hard and soft skills you should include in your resume.

Start by looking at the following examples of popular soft and hard skills employers may be seeking:

1. Active listening skills

Active listening is one of the most important skills for an employee to have because it means having the ability to focus, understand, comprehend, and respond thoughtfully. Active listening requires both use of verbal and nonverbal techniques to show that the attention is on the speaker. Using active listening will let your colleagues know you are interested and engaged in conversation and in the project or task at hand.

Common Listening skills include:

  • Asking good questions
  • Thorough note-taking
  • Consistent punctuality
  • Strong verbal/nonverbal communication

2. Communication skills

Communication skills are necessary for efficiency within an office. Some examples include communicating ideas, responding in a productive way, and staying on top of both verbal and electronic communication channels. If you can be a strong professional communicator with both written and verbal communication forms you will be a stronger candidate for employment.

Common communications skills include:

  • Active listening
  • Constructive feedback
  • Public speaking
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Written communication

3. Computer skills

Computer skills include being able to learn and operate various types of technology. Hardware skills is the ability to physically operate or fix a computer. Software skills are used when someone is efficient in using applications or programs on the computer. Some technical jobs require certain software skills like knowledge of a certain coding language or use of a software program. 

Common computer skills include:

  • Typing
  • Word processing
  • Fluency in coding languages
  • Spreadsheets
  • Email management
  • Systems administration

4. Customer service skills

Customer service skills help you address customer needs in order to create a positive experience for everyone involved. In general, these traits rely heavily on adequate communication and quick problem-solving. Customer service is a “soft skill,” that relies heavily on traits like active listening and reading both verbal and nonverbal cues.

Common customer service skills:

  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Problem-solving
  • Reliability
  • Interpersonal skills

5. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are simply the traits required to interact and communicate with others. In the workplace wherever cooperation is required, interpersonal skills are important to develop. Interpersonal skills enable us to work efficiently with others, solve problems and lead projects or teams.

Related interpersonal skills include:

  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Empathy
  • Leadership

6. Leadership skills

Leadership skills are utilized when organizing other people to reach a common goal. Whether you’re a manager or simply leading a project, leadership requires you to motivate others to complete a series of tasks. If you can manage a team effectively on a schedule it’s important to include it in your resume.

Related leadership skills:

  • Ability to coach and mentor
  • Adaptability
  • Team building
  • Teaching ability
  • Time management

7. Management skills

Managerial skills are often sought after qualities that help to govern both tasks and people. Consider if you have done the duties of a manager in the past and if you would like to become a manager. Management requires organized, empathetic and clear communication to support a team or project.

Common management skills:

  • Team leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Project planning
  • Task delegation

8. Time management skills

Time management is used to complete tasks and projects before deadlines are due while also managing a balanced work-life. Being able to stay organized under pressure helps you stay on top of your daily prioritized task list. Time management happens most effectively when you know exactly what your team, company and individual goals are and can appropriately manage the most important items first.

Related time management skills:

  • Prioritization
  • Delegating tasks
  • Goal setting
  • Organization

9. Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving means being able to determine the source of an issue and quickly find an effective solution. In almost every industry problem-solving is highly valued, making this a skill everyone should seek to improve. Depending on the industry you might be required to have certain hard skills, like technical knowledge, in order to solve certain problems.

Related problem-solving skills:

  • Detail-oriented
  • “Big-picture” thinker
  • Communicative
  • Patient
  • Outspoken

10. Transferable skills

Transferable skills are attributes that are useful across industries as you change jobs or careers. These skills are usually soft skills, and can be used to qualify your past experience when applying for a new job—especially if it’s in a different industry.

Related transferable skills:

  • Empathy
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Ambition
  • Creativity

Professional skills to include in a resume vary by job type, career level, education and industry. For example, the skills most important for a social media manager will differ from those of a high school principal. Before applying to any job, take time to review the attributes that are most valuable to the employer and let your resume reflect a real and honest version of your unique personal skills that fall within their requirements.

When applying to multiple job opportunities, pay attention to the type of candidate each employer is looking for. Don’t be afraid to change your resume for each submission in order to make connections to your own strengths that apply to each specific role. With the right skills you can quickly stand out among the competition.

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 reviewssalary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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