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In today's competitive job market, your resume could make or break your ability to land an interview (and job). So, what are some key skills to put on a resume to help you stand out? 

Below, we'll explore the key skills to put on a resume, ensuring your application grabs the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

10 Top Skills for Resumes

Unsure of the best skill sets to add to your resume? Here are the top 10 hiring managers look for:

Learn how to write a stand-out resume with our online resume writing short course.

Key Skills to Put on a Resume

Your resume isn’t just about your work experience and education; the skills you choose to highlight can significantly impact your chances of securing an interview.

The skills you put on your resume should be tailored to each job you apply for – there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the right keywords. 

So, how do you find the right skills?

Look for Target Keywords
Identify keywords and specific skills recruiters/hiring managers are looking for (you’ll find this in the job description) 

Many employers use applicant tracking systems to screen resumes, which is software designed to scan resumes for certain keywords/skills and weed out the ones that don't match the job description.

That’s why it’s crucial to do your homework and read the job description thoroughly.

OCA Tip: For the highest chance of success, you should never submit a generic resume with generic skills. Always tailor your resume to each job you apply for.

What Are Skills (and Examples)

Skills on a resume can be broadly categorised into two types of skills: soft skills and hard skills. 

  • Soft skills are interpersonal and behavioural skills, like communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability (people skills)
  • Hard skills are technical or specific skills related to the job, such as proficiency in programming languages, graphic design, or data analysis.

How to List Skills On a Resume

When it comes to showcasing your skills on your resume, you've got a few choices:

  • Functional Resume: Ideal for career changers or individuals with minimal work experience. Here, you can focus more on skills rather than work history. 
    Example for a sales/management role
  • Customer Relations Management
  • Handled over 50 daily calls, addressing customer concerns like shipment delays and order errors.
  • Achieved a 97% customer satisfaction rating, surpassing the team goal by 12%.
  • Separate Skills Section: Great for those with a lot of experience. Use this to emphasise specific skills or qualifications that make you stand out.
    Example for a social media & marketing role  

Relevant skills: 

  • Advanced knowledge in social media strategy and management across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Proficiency in digital marketing tools and techniques, including SEO and SEM, to enhance online visibility.
  • Expertise in developing and curating engaging content tailored for social media, blogs, and websites.
  • Strong ability in storytelling and persuasive communication to effectively engage and grow online audiences.
  • Versatility in adapting tone and style to match different brand voices and marketing objectives.
  • Competence in using content management systems (CMS) for efficient content scheduling and publishing.
  • Skilled in analytics and data interpretation to track performance metrics and optimise social media strategies.
  • Integrated with Professional Experience: Regardless of the format, incorporating skills into your professional experience section is wise. Make sure to include relevant keywords from the job description to align your experience with the job's requirements.

Example for a vet nurse role

"Provided comprehensive care for over 30 animals daily, including administering medications and assisting in minor surgeries, ensuring optimal animal health and recovery."

Skills to Put on a Resume for Students

For students or recent graduates, highlighting skills can be a bit challenging, especially if you have limited work experience. 

Focus on transferable skills like time management, critical thinking, and teamwork, often developed through academic projects, extracurricular activities, or online courses you may have taken. 

List of Skills to Put on a Resume 

There are some good skills that are generally applicable across a wide range of industries and can be tailored to fit specific job descriptions and roles. These are: 

  • Management Skills: Demonstrating abilities in leading teams, project management, and decision-making.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Essential for teamwork, customer interactions, and building professional relationships.
  • Customer Service Skills: Important in roles where client interaction is key, highlighting abilities like conflict resolution and customer satisfaction.
  • tailor your resume: Proficiency in software like Microsoft Office, Excel, and various programming languages (HTML, Python, JavaScript, SQL).
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Ability to identify issues and develop effective solutions.
  • Project Management Skills: Skills in organising, planning, and executing projects, often involving agile frameworks.
  • Marketing Skills: Includes SEO, digital marketing know-how, and social media management.
  • Organisational Skills: Vital for managing tasks, time, and resources efficiently.
  • Technical Skills: Including web development, graphic design, and familiarity with coding frameworks.
  • Writing Skills: Especially important for roles in content creation, copywriting, and communications.

Skills to Put on a Resume FAQs

What skills should I put in my resume if I have no experience?
Focus on skills and attributes gained through education, internships, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities. Highlight transferable skills that can apply to the job you're targeting.

What are good achievements to put on a resume?
Any quantifiable achievement that showcases your ability to contribute positively to an organisation is good. This can include awards, successful projects, efficiency improvements, or leadership roles in team settings.

What skills will make you stand out?
In-demand skills like digital literacy, social media proficiency, and SEO knowledge can make you stand out, especially for roles in modern, digital-focused industries. Soft skills like adaptability, leadership skills, and effective communication are universally valued across various sectors.

Stand Out From the Crowd with Online Courses 

Boost your career with industry-relevant skills! Enrol in an online course today, and gain the expertise that will make your resume shine and your interview impressions last. 

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