How to List Hard Skills on a Resume (With Examples)

Knowing how to list hard skills on a resume is a necessary part of applying for a job and getting hired.

Employers, hiring managers, and applicant tracking systems (ATS) look for specific hard skills and technical skills in resumes. Applicants who do not have the required skills in their resume are not considered as serious candidates.

You need to make sure you are listing the skills required for the job — or else your application could be discarded.

This hard skill and technical skill guide for resume writing includes:

  • What are hard skills and technical skills? Why are they important?
  • Differences between job-related skills and transferable skills
  • How to list hard skills in a resume
  • Where to list skills on a resume
  • Top 50+ hard skill examples employers want to see

What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills, also known as technical skills, are professional abilities that are easy to measure and quantify. They are always learned and are never something you are born with. The most common places we learn hard skills are school, work, and daily life experiences.

Hard skills can be measured, quantified and tested using assignments or assessments.

Hard Skills Examples

First AidDrivingData Analysis
AccountingEngineeringComputer Programming
GymnasticsSocial Media MarketingWriting & Editing

The opposite of hard skills are soft skills. Soft skills are personality traits and abilities. Some soft skills come easily to people, though everyone can improve their soft skills. The most common examples of soft skills are communication, leadership and work ethic.

Why Are Technical Skills Important For Jobs?

Technical skills are important because they tell employers what tasks you will be able to do in at a job right away.

Hiring managers always try to hire people who already have the hard skills needed for the role. This makes training the new hires easier and faster.

You need to list the hard skills you have that are important for a job in your resume to show that you would be a good employee.

For example: You are applying for a lifeguard role at the local recreational center. You list that you have first aid certification, CPR training, and are an advanced swimmer as hard skills on your resume. You are a strong candidate for the job because you already have the hard skills required for lifeguard duty.

The good thing about hard skills is that they are easy to learn. With some lessons and hands-on practice, new hard skills can be acquired over time.

Job-Related Skills Vs.
Transferable Skills

There are two types of hard skills: (1) transferable hard skills and (2) job-related hard skills.

Job-Related Skills

Job-related skills, or non-transferable hard skills, are skills that specific to a job. These are skills that are not obviously useful for other jobs.

Check out these positions and the types of job-related hard skills that might be learned. Notice how each skill wouldn’t make sense if moved next to a different position title.

Lifeguard: CPR, First Aid, Swimming

Software Developer: Mobile App Development, Software Development Life Cycle, Java Programming

Marketing Assistant: Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Teacher: Curriculum Planning, Homework Assignment Creation, Test Grading

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are hard skills that can be used in many different types of jobs and industries.

Let’s take a look at some positions and the transferable hard skills that you might learn in each. Notice how these skills would still make sense even if you move them next to another position.

Restaurant Server: Customer Service, Sales, Point-Of-Sale Systems

Hair Stylist: Payment Processing, Phone Etiquette, Customer Complaint Handling

Construction Worker: Task Prioritization, Multitasking, Documentation

Veterinarian Assistant: Filing, Emailing, Scheduling

How To List Hard Skills On Resumes

Hard skills should be listed throughout your resume. Hiring managers spend, on average, 6 seconds looking through each resume. During these 6 seconds, they review each section of your resume quickly. Hard skills need to be visible throughout the resume so they are seen in this review.

Add hard skills to these resume sections:

  • Resume header
  • Professional summary
  • Summary of skills
  • Professional work experience

Important hard skills should also be added to your cover letter and LinkedIn profile.

Listing Hard Skills In Resume Headers

The first area of your resume is the header. The resume header lists your name and contact information, job title, and your most relevant three hard skills.

If you are using this online resume builder, the ‘Blue Skies’, ‘Three Blocks Digital’, and ‘van Deco’ resume templates have professional header sections ready for you to fill out.

It is important to change your job title and hard skills to make your resume relevant for each job posting. For example, if you are applying for a restaurant server role, write restaurant server at the top of your resume.

When crafting the top 3 skills for your header, make sure they also match the hard skills listed on the job posting.

Here is an example of a professional resume header:

hard skills for resume in professional header

Professional Summary

The professional summary section used to be called an objective. However, career objectives are seen as outdated. Professional summaries are standard in resume writing now.

A professional summary is a 1-3 sentence paragraph that shares your years of experience, job title, and relevant hard skills for the job posting. This section summarizes why you should be hired for the role.

Professional summary sample with technical skills:

hard skills in professional summary sample

Summary of Skills

The summary of skills is after the professional summary in most resumes. This section could also be titled ‘relevant skills’, ‘core competencies’, ‘key skills’ or ‘professional skills’.

Focus on your hard skills and technical skills in this section, not soft skills. It is usually helpful to write about hard skills in a resume and highlight and soft skills during the job interview.

Hard skills are more important to include in a resume because they are quantifiable and can be described using evidence. Soft skills are hard to prove in writing so they are better shared in interviews.

List your technical skills in columns if you have less than 10 skills. If you have more than 10 skills, separate your skills into categories. Use lists, not bullet points, so hiring managers can see them better.

Here is a summary of hard skills in a resume:

summary of hard skills for resumes

Work Experience

The work experience section in a resume can also be listed as ‘experience’, ‘professional experience’ or ‘relevant experience’.   

Your work experience section should be written with your most recent or relevant position listed first (depending on whether you are using a chronological or functional resume format).

Under each job title, include the name of the company, your title, the dates of employment, and a bulleted list of daily responsibilities.

Incorporate hard skills into the daily responsibilities of jobs. You can also discuss how and where you used these skills and any accomplishments.

Example of technical skills in a work experience section:

technical skills in work experience resume sample

What Hard Skills Do Employers Want On Resumes?

There are three simple steps to figure out the hard skills hiring managers will be looking for on your application.

Step #1: Make A Hard Skills List

The first step is to create a list of each hard skill you have. Start by reading the list of hard skills at the bottom of this article and seeing which skills apply to you. You should also include your school, courses, and former jobs.

Write down all of the hard skills that you possess, whether or not they might be useful. You never know what hiring managers will be looking for, so it’s best to have a comprehensive list of your hard skills to reference.

Only list technical skills that you are confident using. You can also rate your ability use a skill by including ‘basic’, ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ next to it.

Step #2: Highlight Hard Skills In The Job Posting

The next step is to copy or print the job posting and highlight each of the hard skills listed by the employer.

Here is a job posting with highlighted technical skills:

example of how to find hard skills in job posting

Make a list of the hard skills included in the job posting.

Here is the list of hard skills needed for the lifeguard example (above):

Rule EnforcementSwimmer RescueCPR
First AidAir & Water Temperature ChecksChemical Content Testing
Equipment InspectionsMinor Emergency RepairMaintenance

Step #3: Match Your Hard Skills

Find the skills that are on your first hard skills list (Step #1) and the hard skills in the job posting (Step #2). These are the technical skills you have that are relevant to the job posting. List these hard skills in your resume.

50+ Hard Skills Hiring Managers Want To See

Here are the top 50+ hard skills hiring managers and employers want to see in resumes. Include the relevant skills in your header, professional summary, summary of skills, and professional experience sections for the best chance at getting hired.

Administrative

MS WordMS ExcelMS PowerPoint
MS OutlookWord Processing & EditingTyping
SchedulingFilingOrganizing

Leadership

Team ManagementTeam RestructuringCross-Functional Collaboration
Team BuildingResource AllocationPerformance Reviews
Public SpeakingMedia Engagements Hiring & Firing

Business Operations

BudgetingBusiness PlanningProduct Roadmapping
Contract ManagementPartnership AgreementsRisk Assessments
Process ImprovementChange ManagementBest Practice Development

Technology

Systems AdministrationQuality AssuranceSoftware Development
DraftingData AnalyticsERP Systems
Operating SystemsNetwork AdministrationInformation Security

Finance

ForecastingInvestment ManagementAccounting
BookkeepingQuickBooksExpense Reports
Accounts PayableAccounts ReceivableFinancial Projections

Marketing

Digital MarketingSocial Media MarketingPay-Per-Click Advertising
Graphic DesignUI/UX DesignAdobe Creative Suite
BrandingMarketing Plan DevelopmentMailChimp

Sales

Contract NegotiationsRelationship BuildingClient Management
Opportunity AnalysisMarket ResearchCompetitor Research
Product DevelopmentCustomer SuccessSales Pipelining

Project Management

Waterfall MethodologyAgile MethodologyBudgeting
TimelinesSchedulingMeeting Minutes
Deliverable ManagementAccountabilityExecutive Updates

Art & Design

Studio ArtsFashion DesignInterior Design
Creative DirectionTrend ResearchCataloguing
Gallery ManagementArtist RelationshipsPhotography

Human Resources

Talent AcquisitionWorkforce PlanningCompensation Plans
Benefits AdministrationWork CultureOrganizational Structures
Learning & DevelopmentBrand ManagementTeam Structures
resume.com CTA tiny 2

More Skill-Related Articles For Resume Writing: