Get hired fast: 27 best skills to put on your resume

best skills to put on a resume
Source: AFP

If you want to get your dream job, you first need to know what are the best skills to put on a resume.

Building an effective resume is difficult yet necessary.

Even for us writers, skilled in weaving together prose that can lure any reader, we find it cumbersome to etch out ways to sell ourselves in the appropriate CV format.

A CV is your full list of experiences, education and accomplishments. A resume is a one-page summary of this, tailored to the job you are applying to.

The UK, New Zealand and parts of Europe refer to CVs and resumes as mostly “CVs.” South Africa, Australia and India use CVs and resumes interchangeably.

But whether it’s creating a CV or a resume, it can be overwhelming.

All of us can do with some help, especially from those who have somehow turned this challenge into an art form and now offer advice to others.

Best skills to put on a resume: Get help from AI

If advice from others is not enough to perfect your resume, there are many AI programmes that can help.

Wonsulting is one such service that can help you put your best foot forward for a job application.

The website claims to help with resumes, cover letters, interviews, networking, applying for jobs and more.

You only get one page for your resume, so how you fill it needs to be mapped out carefully.

Its ResumeAI takes your information to create different options for each bullet point on the page.

This way not a single inch of your resume is wasted.

This is one of many AI programmes set to help you. Here are a few others:

Like all things, the human touch is just as important, and you should not rely on AI alone.

You need to take a close look at the best skills to put on your resume for the job you want.

Soft skills are your people and interpersonal skills. These help recruiters know what kind of employee you will be in the workplace.

Hard skills are the technical bits and bobs that you must have for a particular field or job. For example, coding, data analysis, and accounting, to name just three.

It’s not one or the other that’s favoured by employers. Instead, you’ll find a combination of both hard skills and soft skills in the best skills for a resume today:

27 best skills to put on a resume

1. Communication skills

This might seem like a no-brainer but the importance of communication is an undervalued must-have.

Not only is it indicative of how you will speak to clients, but it also establishes what kind of teammate, subordinate or manager you will be.

If you are just listing skills, you can say you have excellent verbal and written communication abilities.

To demonstrate this skill, you can give an example from your day-to-day work (eg. Collaborating with designers and copywriters from different teams to create cohesive messaging strategies for a campaign).

You can also highlight achievements, like serving as the primary point of contact for client communications.

2. Leadership

For this, it’s important you show a balance of taking charge while also effectively working with your team.

This is crucial if you are hoping to land a managerial role.

Give insight into how you managed a team of 10 with stats that show improvement (ge. 20% increase in revenue).

You should also mention any leadership seminars or workshops you attended.

Give details for any training programmes that you implemented and how it impacted those who attended.

3. Teamwork

This is another critical indicator of how you will be part of the company dynamic.

(Anyone else getting flashbacks of dreaded teamwork projects in school where you had to do all the work because everyone else was lazy or useless?)

Similar to showing your leadership skills, here you can regale over moments of collaboration and group projects.

4. Problem-solving

In your resume, you must demonstrate the proven ability to identify issues, evaluate alternatives, and implement effective solutions.

Give an example of how you solved a difficult issue in your previous role.

As a student, you can demonstrate problem-solving skills through academic projects, extracurricular activities, and relevant coursework.

best skills to put on a resume

Best skills to put on a resume? Being organised is a key one, whether you use a physical planner or an app, it is important to know your schedule. Source: AFP



5. Attention to detail

Showing off this skill would have to be more specific to the job you are applying for.

For instance, if you are looking to be a writer then you would give evidence of reviewing articles and editing.

If you are looking to be an architect, your resume should include a project that requires meticulous attention to detail for your calculations.

6. Critical thinking

One of the most in-demand soft skills, critical thinking, is a little more nuanced than some of the other skills.

For instance, you can demonstrate critical thinking while problem-solving.

You also use this skill to improve processes or develop new and better ways to work.

7. Creativity

This skill is not limited to the arts. It is about out-of-the-box thinking and coming up with unique and unusual solutions.

Creativity is vital to all fields but how you present it in your resume will certainly differ.

Lean into your imagination and find ways to present your work in a more visually effective way.

This might mean adding interactive components for your multimedia presentation for a client or using a different angle on a media strategy.

It can even be a snippet of how you turned your dissertation on its head by developing brand-new research strategies.

8. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is “the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.”

This skill shows you have empathy, indicating how you are able to relate to clients or customers.

It also suggests a maturity to take on the challenges a business might be facing with a positive attitude.

9. Being organised

Being organised means you have the following:

  • Strong time management abilities
  • Proficiency in prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines
  • The capacity to maintain organised systems for information and materials
  • Experience coordinating schedules and managing resources efficiently

This can be demonstrated through any leadership roles you took on.

Examples include coordinating a team project for a class assignment, assigning roles and responsibilities, and adhering to project milestones.

Even the structure of your resume can show your organisation skills.

best skills to put on your resume

Time management is definitely one of the best skills to put on your resume. Source: AFP

10. Responsibility

This element may be easier to portray during your interview, where you can give an example of a time you owned up to a mistake.

Responsibility can also be portrayed in your resume by showcasing your leadership roles and what you did in them.

11. Flexibility

Finding an adaptable and flexible employee is essential, especially for big companies with a fast-paced environment.

This is especially the case in industries where technology and trends are constantly evolving.

If you don’t have any work experience, you can show flexibility by noting your study-abroad experience and how you adapted to a new culture.

12. Time management

Showing you can meet your university deadlines and juggle your workload with extracurriculars can illustrate good time management skills.

It shows that you know how to spend your time wisely.

An example would be to write that you consistently met deadlines with your team, receiving commendations for five consecutive months.

13. Customer service

For many industries, knowing how to speak to a customer is a huge part of the role.

Whether you have been able to exercise this skill through an internship or while working part-time at a cafe, mention it in your resume.

For this you can write about an interaction with a customer and how you helped them decide what they needed or how you managed to complete a sale.

14. Writing skills

There is no escaping writing. Whether expounding on detailed research papers or typing out an email to your colleague, knowing how to write is essential.

This is not one of the skills you have to put on a resume but rather shows through your resume.

Make sure you express yourself effectively and proofread your resume.

best skills to put on a resume

If you can speak another language, add it to your CV. It is one of the best skills to put on a resume. Source: AFP

15. Technical proficiency

This is one of the easiest skills to show on your resume, as you just need to list them.

From Microsoft Office Suite, and Adobe Creative Cloud to Salesforce CRM, if you know how to use it, list it.

You can also mention how you might have used a specific programme for your research or while at another job.

16. Project management

To showcase this skill, you need to present the ability to manage a task flow and complete assignments on time.

If you are familiar with project management software, it would be good to mention that as well.

In your resume you might write: Implemented a project management tool (eg. ClickUp) to improve task allocation, track progress, and identify potential roadblocks.

17. Language proficiency

When listing the languages you speak, ensure you mention your level of proficiency.

For example: Fluent in English, basic Spanish and colloquial Hindi (verbal only).

Instead of just listing your languages you could also work them into your work experience (eg. Resolved inquiries from a customer who only spoke Spanish).

18. Research skills

As a fresh grad, you will have many examples of effectively showcasing your research skills, which you should include in your resume.

Even for non-research job roles, this skill shows good discipline.

An example of this: Conducted market research to identify customer needs and preferences for a new product launch.

19. Negotiation

This skill is important, especially for those who dream of becoming lawyers or want to be involved in sales.

Effectively negotiating and debating is a very useful skill. Note if you succeeded in your school’s debate team or handled negotiations.

In your resume you could write: Negotiated lower transport costs for company logistics needs.

best skills to put on a resume

Having a skill for design is not only useful for design-related jobs. It is one of the best skills to put on a resume because it is transferable. Source: AFP

20. Design

Having an eye for design means you can express ideas in an aesthetically pleasing way.

This skill is not just useful for design-related jobs.

It is useful for choosing between different designs for a campaign or when creating an attention-grabbing presentation.

21. Mathematics

As much as we hate to admit it, mathematics is a useful life skill.

Depending on the industry you are applying to, presenting efficiency with numbers will make your resume shine.

Examples of maths skills include key coursework from your programme or even having a numbers-related role in a society or club (eg. treasurer).

22. Data analysis

Data analysis is a highly sought-after skill, and using tools like Excel and SQL can impress your future employer.

You can always take online courses to have this skill solidified on your resume.

Write about how you implemented a data driven strategy and use metrics and percentages to showcase your growth or how you improved things.

23. Digital marketing

From SEO to social media management, digital marketing is a growing field.

Brands and companies rely on you to increase online engagement and brand visibility.

Having the know-how in this field makes you very hireable.

You can use your own social platforms as practice for this kind of job or take up internships to get work experience that will enhance your CV.

best skills to put on a resume

Being a good public speaker is a useful skill if you want to climb the corporate ladder. Source: AFP

24. Public speaking

Dream of being a CEO one day? You need to know how to address a crowd.

From delivering keynote speeches at industry conferences or holding the attention of your clients in a big meeting, public speaking is a multipurpose skill.

This also lends itself to showcasing your communication skills.

25. Conflict resolution

Being able to manage conflicts and coordinate a resolution will make you an invaluable employee.

It helps your company create a conducive and harmonious work environment.

Give examples of how you have used this skill at work or in your school (eg. Mediated disputes between team members to reach a compromise that everyone agreed with).

26. Sales 

If you are especially young, you need not worry.

Work experience in the form of cafe work or part-time jobs at a fast food joint can easily be spun into a sales experience.

To present sales skills you have to showcase the ability to handle customers and complete a transaction.

27. Financial management

Handling money is a big responsibility and being given this task means you are trustworthy.

If you are already in the finance world, you will have plenty of experience to showcase your ability to effectively budget and calculate necessary figures.

As a fresh grad, you can showcase this through odd jobs like handling a cash register or managing the money for a school dance.