Look, nowadays it is just not enough to highlight your educational qualifications. HR managers are now keen to look at the skills for resume. These are specific natural talents and expertise that will help you deliver on the job.

The job you are interviewing for requires specific soft and hard skills that will help you get the job done effectively. While most of us have a bunch of skills that can be included in a resume, you must evaluate what the recruiter is looking for and only include those skills that place you as a great fit for that particular job.

Listing the right skills in your resume will:

  • Get you past the dreaded applicants tracking system (ATS)
  • Draw the recruiter’s attention
  • Land you an interview
  • Get you the job

Below, we break down what you need to know about CV skills and explore a list of top in-demand skills to put on resume that could land you an interview and get your next job.

Let’s dive in.

Soft Skills and Hard Skills, What’s the Difference?

Different jobs require different sets of skills. We all have soft skills that show the hiring manager the kind of person they are hiring and hard skills that show how proficient you are for the job opening. Companies are constantly looking for employees with the right mix of hard and soft skills to create a highly effective workplace.

 Soft skills are the nontechnical, interpersonal skills that reflect one’s personality and personal attributes.  These skills can help a person thrive in a variety of roles and industries. Typically, soft skills come naturally and can be developed and strengthened over time.

On the other hand,  hard skills are teachable and measurable technical abilities  that are specific to a certain job. These technical skills are job-specific and are learned through education, certifications, training, course, and on-the-job training. They include anything from an educational degree, foreign language proficiency, software proficiency to professional certifications.

With the ever-mounting competition on the job market, your hard and soft skills have to fit in like a glove with the job opening’s requirements. You must add the skills in a way that is both organic and recognizable.

Let’s take a closer look at the top hard and soft skills to put on your resume.

Most In-Demand Hard And Soft Skills for a Resume in 2021

Both soft and hard skills are important when applying for a job. Most hiring managers understand that a highly trained and experienced new hire who freezes when under pressure or communicates poorly with colleagues and clients can be a liability to the company. It is therefore important to show the hiring team that you not only have the specific skills needed to do the job successfully but also have important people-centric interpersonal skills for any client-facing role.

Here are some skills to include in a job-winning resume:

Top Soft Skills in 2021

  • Collaboration
  • Decision making
  • Empathy
  • Self-motivation
  • Persuasion
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Multitasking
  • Leadership
  • Public speaking
  • Active listening
  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Flexibility
  • Responsibility

The idea is to include a list of at least 5 soft skills in your resume. These should be the most relevant skills to the job you are applying to. If you are an entry-level candidate, include some of the most sought-after skills such as written communication, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving.

Top Hard Skills In 2021

If you are looking to pushing your career forward, it is important to have a number of the most in-demand hard skills today. Here are a bunch of the most in-demand hard skills according to three reports from Upwork, LinkedIn, and Opportunity:

  • Blockchain
  • Cloud and distributed computing
  • Java development
  • Sales management
  • .NET framework
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Business analysis
  • WordPress development
  • Machine learning (ML)
  • Artificial intelligence programming
  • Storage systems and management
  • Tableau software (Or skills in data visualization tools)
  • Data mining and Statistical analysis
  • Mobile app development
  • Customer service
  • Accounting
  • Sales
  • Salesforce
  • Analytics and analytical reasoning
  • Sales operation
  • MySQL programming
  • AutoCAD
  • API development
  • Video editing
  • Audio production
  • SEO/SEM marketing
  • Industrial design
  • Animation
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Shopify development
  • Content writing
  • 3D game development
  • C++ programming
  • User Interface (UI) design
  • User experience (UX) design
  • Network and information security
  • Android development
  • Pardot Marketing
  • Swift development
  • Project management professional (PMP)
  • Chat support

Typical Hard Skills for 10 of The Most Common Jobs

Unlike soft skills which can cut across various multiple industries, hard skills are more industry and job-specific. Without them, landing an interview or getting past an applicant tracking system can be almost impossible. So, what are some of the key skills that employers look for in candidates? Below, we look at the typical hard skills for some of the most common jobs today:

1. Customer Service Jobs

  • Data entry
  • Research
  • Troubleshooting
  • Typing skills
  • Salesforce
  • ERP
  • Dixa
  • Freshdesk
  • MyTalk
  • Talkdesk
  • Jira service desk
  • Zendesk
  • Microsoft Office skills

2. IT Jobs

Let’s look at some technology-related hard skills to put on your resume:

  • HTML
  • Analytics
  • Pivot tables
  • Social media
  • Microsoft Office suite
  • Agile development
  • Network security
  • UI/UX proficiency
  • Artificial and Machine learning
  • Cloud management
  • Data structures
  • Web development
  • Data structures

3. Office and Administrative Jobs

  • Microsoft office skills
  • Welcoming visitors
  • Office equipment
  • QuickBooks
  • Shipping
  • Data entry
  • Billing
  • Scheduling
  • Salesforce

4. Marketing Job

  • Data analysis
  • HTML and CSS
  • Email marketing
  • Web scraping
  • Project/ Campaign management
  • B2B marketing
  • Brand management
  • Consumer behavior derivers
  • CRO
  • A/B testing
  • WordPress
  • Web analytics
  • Data visualization
  • Social media and mobile marketing
  • Creativity
  • Storytelling
  • Copywriting
  • Sales CMS tools
  • Brand management
  • Sales funnel management
  • Graphic design skills
  • Typography

5. Accounting and Finance Job

  • IT
  • GAAP
  • QuickBooks
  • Analytics
  • Auditing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Mathematics
  • Risk analysis
  • Cashflow management
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Big data analysis and modeling
  • ERP knowledge
  • IBM Cognos Analytics
  • Hyperion
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Banking operations
  • Financial statement preparation

6. Nursing and Healthcare Jobs

  • Patient education
  • Patient care
  • Urgent and emergency care
  • General nursing skills
  • Stroke scale patient assessment
  • Recording patient medical history
  • Wound dressing
  • Record keeping
  • Vital sign assessment
  • Medicine administration
  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Meditech
  • Electronic heart record
  • Electronic medical record
  • Xray, CT, and MRI scan analysis
  • Phlebotomy
  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Hygiene assistance
  • Surgery preparation
  • Infection control
  • Telemetry
  • Advanced cardiac life support

7. Engineering And Technical Job

  • STEM skills
  • Testing
  • Prototyping
  • Workflow development
  • Data visualization
  • Data analytics
  • Coding
  • SaaS in cloud
  • AI
  • Coding
  • AI and machine learning
  • Apache Hadoop
  • Computer Science
  • Javascript
  • Technical report writing skills
  • Solid works
  • Workflow development
  • Troubleshooting
  • Testing
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Project launch

8. Design Job

  • Proficiency in digital design software
  • Photo editing
  • User experience design
  • Adobe creative suite
  • Typography
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Video production
  • Corel draw
  • Acrobat
  • Sketching
  • Print design

skills for resume

9. Web Development Job

  • Android and iOS app development
  • Application programming interface (API)
  • Graphic user interface
  • HTML and CSS
  • Web architecture frameworks
  • JavaScript
  • Software revision control systems

10. Managerial Job

  • The McKinsey 7s Framework
  • Six Sigma techniques
  • Organization skills
  • Project management
  • Logistics
  • Business analysis
  • Human resource management
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • SCRUM management
  • Agile software
  • Agile
  • Managing cross-functional teams
  • Financial modeling
  • Ideation leadership
  • Scope management
  • Profit and loss management
  • Performance tracking
  • Forecasting
  • Meeting facilitation

How To Include Skills In Your Resume?

Will I land an interview if I include all the above skills in my resume? Or even the top 10 skills for a job?


The truth is,  you must create an objective list of skills  that are specific to the type of job you are looking for. And even that is not enough. Since hiring managers are usually very busy, they only spend a couple of seconds looking at a resume before they decide whether to pass or shortlist a candidate for an interview.

It is therefore important to create a well-thought-out list of skills for resume and place them strategically to catch the attention of the hiring manager.

But what is the best way to write a skills section for your resume?

Well, ideally, the skills section should list skills that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for.

You should customize it to match the requirements of the job posting as much as possible. For instance, if you are applying for an administrative section, try to include relevant skills such as QuickBooks skills, Microsoft skills, and proficiency in other job-specific software.

Since most hiring managers utilize autonomous applicant tracking systems (ATS), it is important to make your resume keyword-rich. This way, the system can approve your application, increasing the chances to have your resume in front of the hiring manager.

Here is how to identify and place skills in a resume:

1. Review the Job description and research the company

Most of us have different skills and strengths. However, recruiters will be looking for an ideal candidate with the most ideal skills for the job. The first place to learn what the recruiter is looking for is in the job description. Most job descriptions will list a number of skills and qualifications fit for the job.

Print the job description and highlight all skills that are essential for the job. These are the keywords that both the ATS and hiring manager will be scanning for in a resume.

To create a truly homerun skills section, you’ll want to put skills that touch upon the job description and are relevant to the job opening.

Most job descriptions will have the soft and hard skills hidden between the lines. It is therefore a candidate’s job to try and figure out what the hiring manager is looking for in job seekers.

2. Make A List Of Your Skills

Next, you need to create a “master” list of all your professional skills. These are both hard and soft skills that aptly describe your proficiency and make you good at your job. You’ll be using this comprehensive list to create a highly specific list that matches the recruiter’s requirements.

3. Compare your skills to what the employer wants

Next, compare the skills listed on the job description with your skills. Assess your abilities critically and ask yourself if you have used that skill before. While you may stretch your skills, ensure that tell the truth. Recruiters may find out exaggerated qualifications at some point.

4. List your skills in a separate skills section

Having your skills in a standalone Skills Section’ helps the recruiters identify your strengths in a flash. Since the resume’s skills section has a limited amount of space, it is critical that you only list (in bullets) those skills that are specific to the job you are applying for. As a rule of thumb, this section should be:

  • Concise and specific
  • Divided into hard and soft skills categories
  • Short and have no more than 10 skills.

5. Include Skills in Your Work experience

Recruiters also look at how a candidate has previously used their skills to complete tasks successfully. By weaving your skills into your work experience, you’ll not only be showing that you possess those skills, but also proving to the hiring manager that you have used them to produce results for previous employers.

The easiest way is to create achievement-oriented bullet points that follow the PAR technique:

  • Problem: The first thing is to highlight an issue or responsibility at work
  • Action: Then, show how you applied a particular skill to address the problem
  • Result: Finally, with proof, show the positive results o your actions
For instance: A candidate applying for a project manager position can show how they applied their communication skills to solve a particular problem.
  • Problem: Ensuring all teams understand the aspect of a project
  • Action: Communicating with team leaders
  • Results: Seamless and on-time completion of the project
An achievement-oriented bullet point to include in the work experience section would look like this:
    • Communicated the requirements of project ABC to the respective team leaders, ensuring a seamless, on-time completion of the project.

6. Include the Most In-demand skills

As earlier mentioned, specific jobs have unique skills that most recruiters are looking for. It is therefore a good idea to include those highly sought-after skills even if they’ve not been explicitly listed as a requirement.

For instance, a candidate applying for an IT job would list UX design and cloud computing as part of their hard skills. This makes their resume stand out from the competition.

To sum it up, here is how you should list your skills:

  • Analyze the job ad and find the skills needed
  • Write down all your skills
  • Tailor your skills to the specific job description
  • Write your skills in 2 sections: Hard and Soft skills
  • Include your skills in your work experience section
  • Include the most in-demand skills for that job

skills for resume

How Do I Develop New Skills for Resume

If you want to remain competitive,  you must keep your skills up to date.  You also need to keep an eye on all industry trends and ensure that you are strategically positioned by acquiring new skills. This allows you to have a deeper knowledge of modern systems and creates a better chance at promotions or raises.

Keeping your skills up to date and developing new skills have a number of benefits:

  • Improved marketability and competitiveness
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Better career opportunities
  • Greater resourcefulness
There are several ways you can develop your professional skills, including:

1. Check out the most in-demand skills

With fast-paced innovations, the most in-demand skills for different industries keep changing. What might have been a highly rated skill a few years back may not hold any water today. It is therefore important to look at some of the skills that employers are looking for. Read industry-specific journals, blogs, and articles in your field to keep abreast with what’s happening.

2. Find mentors in your space and follow them

This is another hack to keep up with changing industry trends. Subscribe to newsletters, follow blogs and follow industry leaders on Twitter and Facebook to tap into their knowledge.

3. Attend workshops and seminars

Workshops, online tutorials, and webinars are great ways to gain new information about new services, products, and platforms. Through these channels, you can learn a wide range of skills and certifications that can place you ahead of the competition.

4. Take continuing education courses specific to your field

Continuing education courses are taught by industry leaders with wider experience in specific fields. These courses can help you stay current in the industry.

5. Enroll In an Online Course or Degree

While most people may not have the time to attend in-person classes in a college or university, online degrees offer a viable solution for people to upgrade their knowledge and skills. Companies like Jhana, Coursera, LinkedIn, Udemy, and Khan Academy offer low-cost and free courses to help keep your skills fresh. There are plenty of universities that also offer online learning for people looking to advance their professional skills.

The Bottom Line?

Skills are an important part of a resume and help ATS and recruiters get the most qualified candidates for the listed job. Both soft and hard skills show your prospective employer that you have the ability to execute a job or task successfully.

It is therefore important to choose the right skills and put them in your resume strategically to impress the hiring manager and land your next interview.

The most important thing is to dig through the job description and list skills that are relevant to that position. Once you have identified the skills to put on resume, you must then ensure that the skills feature in your resume summary and work experience section. Organize your skills by listing the most job-relevant abilities at the beginning of your skills section.

If you are an entry-level candidate who doesn’t have significant hard skills, consider putting the most in-demand soft skills to punch through the ATS wall and increase your chance to land in front of the hiring manager.

To give yourself an advantage, create your resume using our resume templates.