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The skills section of your resume shows employers you have the abilities required to succeed in the role you've applied for. Often, employers pay special attention to this section to determine if you should move on to the next step of the hiring process.

In this article, we discuss the 10 top skills to include on a resume, take a look at specific skill sets for different roles and provide an FAQ on frequently asked questions about skills and resumes, such as how many should you include.

Related: Resume Writing 101: Tips for Creating a Resume

10 of the best skills to put on a resume

While you can often easily determine hard skills to list based on details in a job description, selecting relevant soft skills isn't always as apparent. To help narrow down which soft skills to put on a resume, review the various duties of the position and determine which of your personal strengths will help you successfully complete those tasks.

Here are 10 examples of the best resume skills employers may be seeking:

1. Active listening skills

Active listening refers to the ability to focus completely on the person who you're communicating with. Active listening helps you to understand their message, comprehend the information and respond thoughtfully. Active listeners use verbal and nonverbal techniques to show their attention to a conversation partner. Developing and using active listening skills can show colleagues you're engaged and have an interest in the project or task at hand.

Related: 11 Active Listening Skills To Practice

2. Communication skills

Communication skills are the abilities you use when giving and receiving different kinds of information. Some examples include communicating ideas, feelings or what’s happening around you. Communication skills involve listening, talking, observing and empathizing. Having strong communication skills is important in every industry at every career level.

Read more: Top 10 Communication Skills for Career Success

3. Computer skills

Computer skills involve the ability to learn and operate various technology. Hardware skills allow you to physically operate a computer, and this can be as simple as knowing how to switch devices on and off. Software skills help you to efficiently use computer programs and applications. There are some software skills employers may consider prerequisites to employment, like using spreadsheets or knowing a certain coding language.

Read more: Basic Computer Skills: How To List Them on Your Resume

4. Customer service skills

Customer service skills are traits and practices that help you address customer needs to create a positive experience for them. Customer service skills, in general, rely heavily on problem-solving and on communication. Customer service is often considered a "soft skill."

Related: 101 Soft Skill Interview Questions To Prepare For

5. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the personality traits you rely on when you interact and communicate with others. They cover a variety of scenarios where cooperation is essential. Developing interpersonal skills is important to work efficiently with others, solve problems and lead projects or teams.

Read more: Interpersonal Intelligence: Meaning and Why It's Important

6. Leadership skills

Leadership skills allow leaders to organize a group of individuals to reach a shared goal. Whether you’re in a management position or leading a project, leadership skills require you to motivate others to complete tasks and reach milestones—often according to a schedule.

Read more: 8 Common Leadership Styles (Plus How To Find Your Own)


7. Management skills

Management skills are qualities that help you to govern both tasks and people. A good manager is organized, empathetic and communicates clearly to support a team or project. Managers should also be adept in both soft skills and certain technical skills related to their industry.

Read more: 5 Key Tips for Improving Your Time Management Skills

8. Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills enable you to determine the root of a problem and quickly find an effective solution for all parties. This skill is highly valued in any role and across industries. Effectively solving problems in your role might require certain industry or job-specific technical skills.

Read more: Complex Problem-Solving: Definition and Steps

9. Time management skills

Time management skills allow you to complete tasks and projects before deadlines while also maintaining a work-life balance. Staying organized can help you to allocate your workday to specific tasks by importance. Deeply understanding your individual, your team and company goals can provide you with a starting point when deciding how to manage your time.

Related: Steps for Skill Improvement

10. Transferable skills

Transferable skills are qualities that are useful to any employer as you change jobs or even careers. Transferable skills often include soft skills like flexibility, organization and teamwork, as well as any other qualities that employers typically seek in strong candidates. Transferable skills can be used to position your past experience when applying for a new job, especially if it’s in a different industry.

Download Transferrable Skills Guide

Read more: Transferable Skills: 10 Skills That Work Across Industries

Hard skills vs. soft skills on a resume

Employers are looking to hire employees who have the right mix of two different types of skills: soft skills and hard skills. Hard skills are usually teachable while soft skills are much more difficult to develop, as they're typically personality traits.

In most cases, your soft skills can help to enhance your hard skills. For example, if you’re a detail-oriented software developer skilled in a computer programming language, you’ll likely be able to catch errors and correct issues in the code you and your team create.

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Read more: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What's the Difference?

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Example resume skills per job type

Here are five examples illustrating the different combinations of best skills people may put on their resume, depending on their profession:

1. Data analyst:data analyst works with large sets of data to pull out meaningful insights. Their work requires a high level of attention to detail and the ability to problem-solve. Some of the best skills for a data analyst's resume include:


Hard skills

Soft skills

• Data visualization
• Machine learning
• Microsoft Excel
• R programming language

• Communication
• Problem-solving
• Research
• Collaboration
• Attention to detail

Related: 6 Main Types of Critical Thinking Skills

2. Teacher: As a person who teaches others, a teacher must possess strong communication skills. On a resume, a teacher may want to include the following skills:

Hard skills

Soft skills

• Subject knowledge
• Computer skills
• Curriculum planning
• Classroom management
• Language skills

• Communication
• Adaptability
• Leadership
• Collaboration / Teamwork
• Emotional intelligence

Related: Teacher Leadership: A Definitive Guide

3. Copy editor: In their daily work, copy editors edit copy to ensure the text is grammatically correct, free of spelling errors and factual. Copy editors also perform fact-checking, research and proofreading duties. Some of the best skills for a copy editor to include on their resume include:

Hard skills

Soft skills

• Copy editing
• WordPress
• Digital publishing
• Proofreading
• AP style and/or CMOS

• Creativity
• Attention to detail
• Problem-solving
• Thrive under pressure
• Tact

Related: Content Writing Skills: Definition and Examples

4. Mechanic: Mechanics provide basic care and general maintenance for cars, trucks and other types of vehicles. For their resume, a mechanic might want to list, in addition to their expert knowledge of car construction and diagnosing problems with vehicles, soft skills such as:

Hard skills

Soft skills

• Engine repair
• Vehicle diagnostics
• Electrical systems
• Technical aptitude
• Root-cause analytics

• Problem-solving
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Organizational skills
• Customer service

Related: 7 Examples of Important Teamwork Skills

5. Nurse: Nursing professionals provide and coordinate patient care in various settings, though most commonly in a hospital or clinic. Their hard skills include all the clinical competencies required to perform the job of nursing, while soft skills may include communication and integrity. These are among the best skills a nurse could list on their resume:

Hard skills

Soft skills

• Patient assessment
• CPR and BLS skills
• Technology skills
• Managing infusions
• Patient safety

• Communication
• Compassion
• Time management
• Teamwork
• Problem-solving

Related: Examples of Nontechnical Skills To List on a Resume

Frequently asked questions

How many skills should I include on my resume?

The number of hard and soft skills you include on your resume is at your own discretion. Consider the most relevant skills in your industry along with what an individual employer seeks. In general, it's a good idea to list up to 10 skills in your skills section, but you can incorporate other related skills throughout your resume in the summary and experience sections.

Related: Job Specification vs. Job Description Explained

What skills should I list if I have no work experience?

Start by studying the job description and taking inventory of any skills you possess that are a match to what the employer's looking for. For example, experience working with a particular software program, such as Excel, or a problem-solver with strong verbal and written communication skills.

Consider what skills you already have, and choose the most relevant ones—these will be the best skills for your resume. Further, in your cover letter (and interview), you can expand on how these skills can help you succeed in the role.

Related: How To Write a Great Resume With No Experience

How do you organize skills on a resume?

You organize skills on a resume by listing your most job-relevant abilities at the beginning of your skills section. In general, this means you'll place your technical (hard) skills before your interpersonal (i.e., soft) skills.

This allows the first items an employer sees to be job-related skills in order of proficiency. After you have listed the job-specific skills you have to offer, you can then include the skills that are directly related to your personality and work ethic.

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