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How to List Hard Skills on a Resume | Best Hard Skills & Examples

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Learning how to list hard skills on your resume can help you establish yourself as a prime candidate. It shows your prospective employer you have the necessary skills to perform all of the position’s responsibilities. If you have a lot of hard skills, you may have difficulty deciding which ones to include in your resume. In this article, we will discuss how to list the best hard skills on your resume.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are specified, clearly defined and quantified, work-related skills. Also known as job-specific skills or technical skills, they are teachable abilities you can learn in the classroom, on the job or through books or training materials. As such, they are attainable to anybody who is willing to invest the time and effort to learn them.

When you apply for a job, your potential employer will look at your resume to find out if you have the hard skills required to fill the position. If your resume shows you have the necessary skills, you are more likely to progress to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Examples of hard skills

The types of hard skills you need to possess depend on the job you are applying for. Nevertheless, some hard skills are more sought after than others. 

The following is a list of popular hard skills to list on your resume:

Computer and administrative skills

Popular computer and administrative skills to list on a resume include:

  • Windows operating system
  • Scheduling
  • Word processing and editing
  • Filing documents
  • Typing and typing speed
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Outlook Express
  • Social media platforms

Technology skills

Popular technical knowledge skills to list on a resume include:

  • Systems administration
  • Drafting
  • Operating systems
  • Quality assurance
  • Data analytics
  • Network administration
  • Software development
  • ERP systems
  • Information security

Sales skills

Popular sales skills to list on a resume include:

  • Product development
  • Account management
  • Contract negotiations
  • Opportunity analysis
  • Relationship building
  • Marketing research
  • Customer success
  • Client management
  • Competitor research
  • Sales pipelining

Marketing and design skills

Popular marketing skills to list on a resume include:

  • Digital marketing
  • UI design
  • UX design
  • Social media marketing
  • Graphic design
  • Branding
  • Marketing plan development
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • MailChimp

Art and design skills

Popular art and design skills to list on a resume include:

  • Studio arts
  • Creative direction
  • Gallery management
  • Fashion design
  • Trend research
  • Artistic relationships
  • Interior design
  • Cataloging
  • Photography

Finance skills

Popular finance skills to list on a resume include:

  • Forecasting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Budgeting
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Investment management
  • QuickBooks
  • Accounting
  • Expense reports
  • Financial projections

Fundamental mathematic skills

Popular fundamental mathematical skills to list on a resume include:

  • Addition and subtraction
  • Calculation of costs and taxes
  • Interpretation of easy charts and graphs
  • Processing cash transactions

Leadership skills

Popular leadership skills to list on a resume include:

  • Team management
  • Team building
  • Public speaking
  • Team restructuring
  • Resource allocation
  • Media engagements
  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Performance reviews
  • Hiring and firing

Human Resources (HR) skills

Popular human resource skills to list on a resume include:

  • Talent acquisition
  • Benefits administration
  • Learning and development
  • Workforce planning
  • Corporate culture
  • Compensation plans
  • Organizational structures
  • Team structures
  • Hiring and firing

Business Operation skills

Popular business operation skills to list on a resume include:

  • Budgeting
  • Contract management
  • Process improvement
  • Business planning
  • Partnership agreements
  • Change management
  • Product roadmapping
  • Risk assessments
  • Best practice development

Foreign language skills

As the world becomes more global, more companies are looking for bilingual candidates. To be considered bilingual, you should be able to engage in everyday conversation and talk about business situations in another language. For some jobs, you may be required to be fluent enough to communicate in technical terms.

When listing your foreign language skills, include your level of proficiency with the language. Levels of proficiency include beginner, intermediate, conversational and fluent.

Popular foreign language skills to list on a resume include:

  • German
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Chinese

Project management skills

Project management skills are useful in a wide range of industries, from construction to healthcare. They enable you to run a project smoothly, meet all the requirements and deadlines and minimize risks and costs, making you a valuable asset to your employer. 

Popular project management skills to list on a resume include:

  • Agile methodology
  • Waterfall methodology
  • Business analysis
  • Timelines
  • Deliverable management
  • Scheduling
  • Accountability
  • Meeting minutes
  • Executive updates
  • Ability to use project management software
  • Certifications such as PMP or PRINCE

How to improve hard skills

Hard skills are abilities you can constantly improve to achieve a higher competency level. Being an expert in a certain skill can make you more valuable and appealing to your potential employer. 

Follow these steps to improve your hard skills:

1. First, practice skills to help develop your ability and knowledge

The development of hard skills requires constant practice. Establish a practice schedule to improve your hard skills and stick to it. Use sample problems to test yourself and regularly evaluate your progress.

2. Second, take classes or get coaching to refine your skills

You can undergo coaching in a variety of ways, from attending classes in a school to enrolling in online courses. During your classes, you should pay attention to your teacher’s instructions and take proper notes. Then, relate what you have learned to real-life situations. Review the lessons and practice every day.

3. Third, seek advice from industry professionals

Industry professionals can give you a better insight into the application of your hard skills in a real working environment. They can teach you tips and tricks beyond the classroom. Establish and maintain relationships with experienced industry professionals in your field. Ask them for feedback on your work and recommendations for improving your skills.

Tips to list hard skills on a resume

If you have the necessary hard skills for your desired job, you should properly list them on your resume to make a good first impression on your potential employer. 

The following are useful tips for listing your hard skills on your resume:

  • Look at the job description section. Find out which hard skills you should include in your resume. The company will list the required academic qualifications, certificates and technical skills in this section.
  • Attach your certificates with your job application. These documents are proof you possess the hard skills you are mentioning.
  • Place your most relevant skills at the top of your resume. For example, if you are applying for a highly technical job, such as computer programming or engineering, place your most relevant skills at the top.
  • Highlight your hard skills in the work experience section of your resume. This will let your potential employer know how you applied them to produce positive results for your previous employers.
  • Mention your hard skills several times. You can include your hard skills in the summary as well as the work experience section of your resume. Many recruiters use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to determine which job candidates have the required hard skills for the job. This software regards hard skills as keywords and ranks applicants according to the number of keywords in their resumes.