Say Hello to Joe. Joe is a Graphic Designer that recently decided to expand his private business and offer three lucky candidates with a great paying job and the ability to work on their time.

Bob shares an interest in graphic designing and is excited to work with Joe. But how does Bob prove to Joe that he’s indeed the right fit?

That’s right…Skills.

Skills that Bob puts on his resume ensure Joe understands what Bob is proficient in and lets Joe assess if Bob can truly handle his business.

Like Bob, you may wish to know the right skills to include on your resume.

Hence, this article is designed to advise you on the skills to put on your resume through easy to learn sections below —

  • The difference between hard skills and soft skills
  • How to place your skillsets from the highest to the lowest priority
  • Understanding various skillsets and what they mean to employers
  • What you shouldn’t put on your resume
  • Examples for stunning resumes


What are Soft Skills?

Every person demonstrates personal attributes and social cues that remain unique to them.

These abilities showcase how we interact with others and whether we can hold an interesting conversation or not. Such skills are known as soft skills or transferable skills and are based off our own emotions. These skills are harder to assess than our technical knowledge.

Examples of soft skills to include in your resume with their summaries and examples demonstrating how to add these skills to your resume —

Critical Thinking

A critical thinker is one who can identify ideas and is able to think clearly through a situation to find a solution to an ongoing problem.

Businesses are always looking for quality candidates with this important core ability to add to their workforce.

An employee who can evaluate and justify inconsistencies is an invaluable addition to any workspace.

Resume Example

“Ability to analyze large projects and dilute work tasks into manageable goals to increase efficiency”


An employee who is available to fill various schedules when other employees are unavailable is a critical aspect to success.

Companies recognize such employees as valuable workforce and you are bound to be a high-priority candidate if you possess the ability to complete your tasks within the committed deadline.

Resume Example

“Responsible in handling sensitive situations within the company. Possess strong line of communication to assist others in time of need”


The ability to be able to run the company in the absence of a senior level manager or boss.

This transferable skill demonstrates the flexibility and visionary outlook of the candidate and proves why being able to transfer into a leadership role can be invaluable during a critical time within the company.

Resume Example

“Assisted in training 5 employees to integrate them into the company’s workforce when the responsibility came up”

Attention to Detail

Strong sense in understanding the values of time management and organizing objectives is what a company expects in an individual.

Attention to Detail is a core requirement if you want to be taken seriously, the ability to plan strategically and overcome challenges without needing to sacrifice quality is a serious talent companies look for.

Resume Example

“Was tasked by senior managers in restructuring and organizing underdeveloped workflow to meet quality requirements.”


An employee must be eager to learn and have a thirst for knowledge. He must look to understand the current trends and update himself to be an expert at his role. The ability to brainstorm and present new age ideas is what innovation is about.

Resume Example

“Received accolades and awards over a span of 5-years dedicated to my work ethic and for developing core strategies on water-saving techniques on behalf of the company”


Forging strong relationships and the ability to convey ideas to your team in a concise and clear manner is what networking is about.

This soft skill is almost a basic requirement in every company and you are required to speak either to present an idea or discuss a strategy with a positive mindset.

Resume Example

“Facilitated detailed concepts on various ideas related to digital marketing to a gathering of over 200 people”


Flexibility is a trait that let’s a candidate solve problems before they arise and have a sense of responding to challenges well before they become an obstacle for the company.

Unpredictable schedules should be managed with maximum efficiency and the candidate should also be able to re-prioritize tasks as he sees fit.

Resume Example

“Nurtured working relationships with clients and colleagues and maintained a professional demeanor to tackle outstanding issues in my previous company”

Why Do Employers Seek Soft Skills in Candidates?

Apart from their job description, employers seek out specialized soft skills from their candidates.

Every employee is bound to engage with clients and co-workers daily, the ability to be able to interact well opens a world of success for the company.

Consider this example — You are an employer looking to hire a carpenter for your business. You’ve shortlisted two candidates with the exact same experience and job skillset.

In fact, it’s almost impossible to select the winning candidate so you decide to test their communication skills in the 2nd interview round.

You notice that one of the two has a way with words and has terrific communication skills.

You decide to hire him as you understand the value of interacting with clients is just as necessary as their primary skillset.

The following example demonstrates how crucial soft skills are to the shortlisting process during recruitment and it can mean the difference of you landing the job or not.

What are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are technical skills that are usually acquired through an educational institute with an accompanying certificate to prove your qualification.

These skills are the primary reason you are applying to the job and consist of you being extremely knowledgeable at what you do. Hard skills are all skills that can be evaluated and measured in real time.

Here are examples of the top performing hard skills with their summaries and skillsets to give you an understand on what skills to put on your resume —

Computer Programming

A candidate specializing in computer programming should possess skills in application design, system management, process improvement, software support, solutions research, systems analysis and hardware deployment.

Computer programmers spend hours writing in various computer languages such as Java and C++. They are responsible for debugging and fixing errors within the program.

Sample Skills to Include in Resume
  • Operating Systems — UNIX, Solaris, TPF 4.0, Novell v3-v5
  • Software — Symantec Security Suite, Adobe Illustrator, MS Office, Lotus Notes, Supervision Enterprise Management
  • Languages — Spectre, QBasic, FORTRAN, Assembler
  • Hardware Systems — Compaq Servers, Dell, IBM, Cisco Routers and Switches, HP

Graphic Designer

A graphic designer is an artist that is the forefront of innovative new designs and creative resources.

Typography plays an important role in a graphic designer’s role, the kind of fonts they use, and the type of scripts are all part of the technical knowledge that can lead to future projects with clients.

Sample Skills to Include in Resume
  • Logo Design
  • Typesetting
  • Ad Design
  • Prepress
  • Art Design
  • Book Design
  • Collateral Design
  • Font Design
  • Presentation Design
  • Software worked with — Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat,
  • Familiar with — HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver


An accountant’s role is to record transactions, maintain financial records, advise on taxation matters, perform internal audits, analyze financial information, and summarize profit and losses.

In a company role, an account must reconcile financial discrepancies by analyzing the individual accounts and the information related to them.

Sample Skills to Include in Resume
  • Account reconciliations
  • Statement reconciliations
  • BAC payment runs
  • Stock invoice variances
  • Customer Service
  • Dealing in Supplier Queries
  • Knowledge in non-automated and automated invoice processes
  • Well-experienced of dealing in multi-currency invoices

Legal Assistant

A Legal Assistant’s role is to understand administrative work and perform clerical duties relating to legal administration. A Legal assistant is supposed to verify information and organize archives and supporting documents.

They are also responsible for developing cases and researching data for attorneys along with maintaining clear communication with clients.

Sample Skills to Include in Resume
  • Document Control
  • Daily Docket Reports
  • Ability to Prepare Legal Complaints and Interrogatories
  • Case Management
  • Documatrix
  • Calendar and Scheduling
  • Family law familiarity
  • Interpreter for Legal Information

Financial Officer

A financial officer’s primary job role is to prepare monthly statements and investigate variances by sorting information and data.

Their secondary jobs include responding to financial queries, preparing reports, updating clients on the current financial status, analyzing market trends, and helping companies make their management decisions.

Sample Skills to Include in Resume
  • Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Productivity Benchmarking
  • Cash and Treasury Management
  • Asset Liquidation
  • Complex Financial Modeling
  • Vendor Relations and Negotiating
  • Operational Business Planning
  • Profit Optimization

Digital Marketing Executive

A digital marketer has various roles to fulfill within the digital world. He’s assigned with developing marketing campaigns and managing them. They are tasked to oversee strategies to generate traffic and optimize website bounce rates.

Digital marketers are pioneers of Search Engine Optimization and hence, much of their time is spent in ranking websites high on search engines.

Sample Skills to Include in Resume

  • Bing Ads Certified
  • Google AdWords Certified
  • SEO implementation
  • UX design proficiency
  • Coding knowledge in HTML and CSS
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Web Productions
  • Audio/Video Editing
  • Lead Generation
  • Web Analytics

Web Design

A web designer’s core responsibility lies in designing the layout and features of a website. He should have certain knowledge in computer programming as well as in graphic design to ensure the website is created based on the client’s assessment.

Web designers must also possess considerable knowledge in multimedia design and digital imaging to add high-quality videos and images to the website.

Sample Skills to Include in Resume

Programming Languages

  • Java Programmer
  • JavaScript (Advanced)
  • jQuery (Advanced)
  • Certified MySQL (Advanced)

Tools and Utilities

  • WebSphere
  • Tomcat
  • Eclipse

Designing Software

  • 3D Studio Max
  • Illustrator


To prioritize information based on the most critical details, we need to think and act like an employer.

Let’s say you’ve just received a candidate’s resume and you begin glancing through it searching for information to assess their experience.

How would you do it?

Here’s a quick formula to understand how you should prioritize your information like an employer would —

Step 1.

The very first thing is to know their name and personal information. Next, glance through all their educational qualifications. Their graduating university can speak volumes about them.

Step 2.

You should prioritize their technical knowledge over their achievements. After all, it’s what they will be doing for the major portion of their time.

Step 3.

Their experience is equally important, it allows you to understand if they can fulfill the job role with ease or if further training is required.

Step 4.

The next move is to check their transferable skills and how good they can communicate with others. Common sense is a necessity as well.

Step 5.

Finally, when you have a brief understanding of what you are recruiting you begin to ask the candidate a few questions to understand them better.

Great! Now that we’ve got all the information from an employer’s point of view. It’s time to list these skills on a priority basis. The most important stays on top and the one’s that are negligible remain below.

From the following assessment as an employer, we can prioritize the most important parts as follows.

  • Name and Contact Details
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Technical Knowledge (Hard Skills)
  • Transferable Skills (Soft Skills)
  • Experience
  • Achievements
  • Any information you want your employer to know

Now that we’ve got a clear picture on how to prioritize information on your resume. The next part is putting together the information in a concise manner without letting clutter make their way in.

Here’s a video by Deniz Sasal to help you identify the kind of skills that employers like to see on their candidate’s resume.


1. Utilize Numbers in Your Skillsets instead of Wild Theories

Proving to your boss that you’ve got the mettle to perform in the company is easier than you think.

Convert your response into statistics and facts and don’t just make claims of your accomplishments.

Every fact adds value to your resume and your skills really start to shine.

Consider the following examples —

Non-fact Claim #1

Proficient at converting leads with maximum efficiency

Statistical Fact #1

Was able to raise sales conversions at 54%

Non-fact Claim #2

Have great command in major programming languages used in companies today

Statistical Fact #2

Ability to program in C++, Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, and Objective-C

As you can see, employers are bound to employ bright candidates who can put a number and statistic to their skillset rather than a wild justification.

2. Utilize Keywords to Minimize Reading

Minimizing your skillsets from phrases to single keywords is necessary.

A hiring manager will be pleased to know that you had the presence of mind to condense information that is easy-to-read rather than glorify your achievements. It’s also good practice to keep your resume short and simple without adding any fancy terms to them.

Another advantage to using keywords is many companies employ resume bots to track CVs on the internet.

Once about 70% of the keywords from your resume match the job description, the algorithm proceeds to send you a job interview invitation.

In this way, you can create job opportunities just by fine-tuning your resume. You could use Jobscan to check if you’re resume is up to the market standards.

3. Research Professionals with the same Skillset as Yours

To get a basic idea on how to construct a resume, you need to take the initiative and visit people’s LinkedIn pages and check their resume out. You will begin to see what your resume has been missing out and what you need to eliminate.

Listed below are various resume samples of different sectors to give you a fair idea on what your resume should look like.

By researching other professional CVs, you can understand the kind of abilities you need to demonstrate to get employers to contact you.


A study conducted by CareerBuilder reveals that over 77% of Human Resource managers have managed to spot a lie on a candidate’s resume.

The research also finds candidates who embellish their resumes with fancy terms and jargons usually end up getting rejected without a second’s thought.

The above study makes one factor certain — there is absolutely no need to dress your resume with exaggerating terms that serve no purpose to the job description.

Here are some of the skills that you should never include in your resume.

Overused Keywords

Passionate, creative, experienced, certified, excellent, etc. are some of the most overused terms in candidate resumes that turn off hiring managers.

Eliminate such buzzwords and keep your resume sounding professional, you don’t need to present yourself as a winner, your expertise and achievements are more than enough information for your manager to make that call.

Ablog by LinkedIn demonstrates the top 10 buzzwords used on their platform and why they play no role in communicating the actual skillset of the candidate.

The reason most candidates utilize these buzzwords is to seem knowledgeable to the recruiter.

Many candidates feel that if their resume is filled with buzzwords, their resume will start to look fuller rather than empty.

Unfortunately, a hiring manager doesn’t care for these luxury phrases and is only glancing through your resume to pick up relevant information.

By filling it with buzzwords, you are only making the process of reading your resume a difficult one for your interviewer. Thus, you are more than likely to lose the interest of your interviewer and in the process — your chances at landing the job as well.

Skills that You’re Expected to Know

There are a set of general skills that the hiring manager would not like to see on your resume and would prefer you to know them without having to validate your expertise. Such skills include —

  • Microsoft Word/Excel/Office Knowledge
  • Typing-based skills
  • Basic knowledge on Presentations
  • Ability to make statistics for your job role
  • Cropping and resizing pictures
  • Knowledge of basic office equipment such as printers, Xerox machines, scanners, etc.

Another important aspect is to never include skills that play no role in your current job description. For example — if you’re great at carpentry and you’re applying for a role in graphic designing, don’t include expertise involving carpentry. Even if you feel proud of yourself for knowing a lot of talents, you need to keep such information away from your resume. You can proceed to talk about your other talents in a face-to-face interview, so your interviewer understands you.


How do you choose which skills to put on your resume if you’ve got a long list?

To ensure you pick out the right work-related skills, you first need to understand the category your job descriptions fall under. Here’s a method you could use to find out what relevant skills the employer is looking out for —

Step 1.

Head over to the job description posting and take notice of all the keywords listed under the job qualifications or job description section. Now open the job description letter in an image editing software such as Paint or Irfan View.

Step 2.

In the job description, underline every term that resonates with your skillset such as public-speaking skills, software developer, computer programmer, etc.

You could underline technical skills with a red font and underline soft skills with a blue font.

This allows you to decipher skills in a convenient manner.

Step 3.

Now that you have an idea of what the job demands of you, you can construct your profile based on these terms and add relevant skillsets to your resume. This way the employer sees everything that he wishes from his ideal candidate.

Step 4.

Don’t forget to add your transferable skills, this is to ensure that you get the job in case the recruiter has a hard time deciding between you and another candidate.

Step 5.

Once you’ve prepared the resume according to the job descriptions requirements, you are now in a great position than when you started to gain the attention of your hiring manager. Most of your skills match their job description and you’ve got transferable skills to boot. All that matters is to ace the face-to-face interview session.

Ruby Resumes demonstrates how to tailor your resume to match with your job description in this informative video guide.


Skills that put an exceptional value on your resume need to be tailored to fit the job description for the position you’re interviewing for.

While technical knowledge is an important aspect, in modern times, transferable skills are more valued due to the adaptability that connects the employee to the company.

It’s important to be as flexible as you can and disperse key skills all throughout your resume to ensure your employer is hooked with interest in knowing about you.

Good Luck!

Skills to Put on A Resume

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