Resumes

How to List Employability Skills on a Resume: Best Skills and Examples

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Employability skills are important to include on a resume for any position. You should also be prepared to discuss what your employability skills are in a job interview. Learning about employability skills can help you better prepare for the hiring process, increasing your chances of getting a job offer.

What are employability skills?

Employability skills are the abilities, qualities and behaviors that are necessary to perform any job. Also called soft skills, foundational skills or job skills, employability skills include a wide range of skills that help you to get along with coworkers, perform your duties well and interact with customers or clients.

Why employers want to see employability skills on your resume

Demonstrating employability skills on your resume shows employers that you are capable of performing a job successfully. Other than any position or industry-specific knowledge and skills needed for a role, employability skills communicate to an employer that you can be trusted to perform different tasks. They show competence, work ethic and general capability.

Common employability skills for a resume

There are many types of employability skills, but here are some of the most important ones that employers look for:

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal employability skills refer to your ability to interact positively with other people. These skills include being respectful to your coworkers and supervisors, managing conflict positively and being polite and friendly to everyone. Having interpersonal skills shows that you can build successful relationships.

Communication skills

Communication skills are essential in the workplace so that interactions between people, written materials and responsibilities are clear for all involved parties. Communication skills include the ability to speak clearly, listen actively and write clearly and correctly. They also help you to interact successfully with clients as well as coworkers. Every employee and employer benefits from being able to communicate and understand communications effectively.

Critical thinking skills 

The ability to think critically is a skill employers often value. Critical-thinking skills include problem-solving and decision making. When thinking critically, you can identify a problem, observe why it exists, brainstorm solutions and analyze how well those solutions work.

Integrity

Key skills for any employee are reliability, dependability and honesty. Showing these aspects of integrity on your resume can demonstrate to an employer that you are trustworthy and hardworking.

Organization

Planning and organizational skills show that you can prioritize your tasks and keep track of all your work. These skills help an employer know that you will be able to complete your duties.

Teamwork

The ability to work well on a team is a necessary skill for almost every job. Having teamwork skills includes being able to contribute to team objectives and goals, being sensitive to other team members, being responsible for your share of the work and being able to work comfortably with all types of people.

Technological skills

Since the modern workplace relies heavily on technology for performing everyday actions and achieving overall success, technological skills are one of the most important things an employer looks for. These skills include familiarity with industry-specific computer programs as well as basic internet, typing, word processing and spreadsheet capabilities.

How to list employability skills on a resume

Use these steps to include employability skills on your resume:

1.  Firstly, make a list of your skills

Begin by creating a complete list of all the employability skills that you have. Only include skills that you are certain you possess and that you can think of an example of when you demonstrated them, so you can discuss your skills in specific terms if asked about them in an interview.

2. Secondly, check the job description

Carefully read the job descriptions of the positions you want to apply for. Look for keywords, descriptions, examples of duties or lists that highlight the employability skills required for the position, and take notes or make a list of them. These are the skills you’ll want to try to include in your resume.

3. Next, choose which skills to include

By looking at the list of your skills and the list of skills required for the job, you can determine which employability skills you have that the employer is looking for. Select several skills that you think are most important for the position or company and that you can prove you possess. Include these skills in the skills section on your resume.

4. Lastly, consider using examples to 

Instead of just including a bullet list of skills in a skills section on your resume, you can also demonstrate employability skills through examples in the work experience portion. This is also a good way to discuss several skills at once. Consider what actions you performed at your previous jobs and how they show your employability skills, then write a clear sentence to describe how you used the skill and its positive outcome. Include this sentence as a bullet point when describing your job duties.

Example: ‘Communicated with all team members through daily emails and weekly meetings to ensure project progress and identified any areas where I could offer help and support to the team.’

How to improve your employability skills

If you want to work on developing or strengthening your employability skills, you can use these steps:

1. Firstly, choose a skill or two to focus on

Since there are so many employability skills, it is easier to work on improving them if you focus on just one or a few at the same time. Perform a self-assessment or look for keywords in job descriptions to identify which skills you need to develop most.

2. Secondly, look for learning opportunities

Which skills you want to improve will determine how you work on developing them. Spend some time finding ways that you can develop the skills you choose to focus on. Consider taking online classes, creating daily reminders to do certain actions, implementing checklists, asking your supervisor for advice or opportunities to use these skills and finding a mentor. The more learning opportunities that you can find, the better chance you will have at successfully strengthening your skills.

3. Next, create objectives for improvement

After finding ways you can develop the skills you want to improve, create a clear plan for how you will take advantage of those opportunities. Your objectives should include what you will do, how you will do it and deadlines for when you will do it. Consider asking a friend or coworker to check in with you to help ensure that you meet your objectives.

4. Finally, review and reassess

During and after your improvement plan, take time to regularly review how your skills have progressed. Reassess your abilities, and based on the results, you can continue your plan, adjust your plan to be more helpful or add other skills and objectives into your plan for improvement.