Complete Guide to Resume Skills

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Your resume skills should highlight what is most valuable to an employer based on your own strengths and qualifications. Knowing what resume skills to list and how many skills to list can promot e your experiences and talents to prospective employers. This guide will explain the resume skills that are most likely to help you get a job and excel in your career.

What are resume skills?

Resume skills are the skills you list on a resume. However, that’s a simplistic definition of what resume skills and what they mean for your career. Resume skills are usually defined as soft and hard skills. Discerning between soft and hard skills can help you better present your resume to employers.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are the industry-related knowledge and abilities that an employer requires for a job. An employer will usually list the required hard skills in a job posting. Usually, you can learn hard skills through education, certification, on-the-job training and work experience. 

Examples of hard skills

Here are some of the different types of hard skills that can be listed on a resume if they are applicable to your own experience:

  • Construction skills. Carpentry, construction, electrical, engineering and plumbing skills for building work
  • Finance skills. Banking, financial and math skills for working in financial businesses
  • Legal skills. Legal skills for law and law enforcement work such as research, policing
  • Mechanical skills. Automotive and general mechanical skills
  • Medical skills. Nursing, pharmaceutical, science and research skills for the healthcare industries
  • Office skills. Accounting, administrative, editing, bookkeeping, project management, spreadsheets, transcription, writing and word processing
  • Teaching skills. Languages, teaching and translation skills, classroom management skills
  • Technical skills. Analysis, analytics, computer, data, design, hardware, math, information technology, programming and software skills for technical jobs

An employer can objectively view the hard skills listed on your resume and validate them through reference checks or skills tests.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are your attributes as a person, including personality traits, work ethic and communication skills. These skills are valuable in the workplace because they allow employees to collaborate and work in a team. These soft skills can often be the foundation for a healthy company culture.

Examples of soft skills

Here are some soft skills you can list on your resume:


Adaptability is your ability to adjust to changing or stressful situations with calm reactions and/or office-appropriate reactions. An example of adaptability is when an issue changes in a project and you need to change your goals for the project.


Attitude is a mindset, whether good or bad, that affects actions and reactions in the workplace. A good attitude is a mindset that can allow you to contribute to teamwork and company culture in a positive way. An example of a good attitude as a soft skill is actively participating in a brainstorming meeting to help with process improvements in your department.

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is being able to mediate conflict to a satisfactory conclusion without creating an escalation of a difficult situation. Resolving a dispute over who will lead a project or compromising on a preferred software program for your design team are both examples of conflict resolution.


Being able to communicate in verbal and written form is essential in any workplace to help you convey important information to your coworkers and management. An example for communication is writing a grammatically correct report for a project.

Creative thinking

Being able to think of new ideas and solutions to problems is critical in the workplace. For example, working with a marketing team to develop a new logo and tagline for a client can showcase creative thinking skills.

Critical thinking and problem-solving

Problem-solving and critical thinking go together as soft skills. Critical thinking can be defined as the objective evaluation of an issue to identify the problem and apply the best solution. An example of critical thinking skills is researching new training methods to help you and your coworkers work more efficiently in the workplace.


Decision-making is useful in the workplace to show your leadership skills. An example of decision-making is determining which database to implement for your company.


Motivation can be defined as pursuing goals consistently. An example of motivation is explaining how you took the lead on a project.


The soft skill of teamwork can be useful in the workplace because working as a team makes getting projects done easier and faster. An example of teamwork that could be on your resume is describing how you and your coworkers collaborated on a successful project.

Time management

A critical soft skill is time management. Showing that you can meet project milestones is an example of this skill you can use on your resume.

Work ethic

Being a hard worker is an essential soft skill as this contributes to your value as an employee. An example of work ethic is willingly taking on a new task when your manager delegates a new project to your team.