Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Before we begin the list, let’s review the two types of skills that employers seek: soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are those intangibles that are hard to measure but invaluable in the workplace. They include personal habits and traits that form the framework for your other skills. When you read a job listing with requirements such as “attention to detail” or “highly adaptable”, the employer is referencing soft skills.
Hard skills include technical knowledge and training that you’ve developed through your education and your experience. Hard skills can involve technology, data analysis, marketing, and even languages. While hard skills are usually specific to a job or industry, soft skills can be applied to any job.
Here are the top 10 skills your resume can benefit from:
Problem Solving: Provide examples of your problem-solving capabilities in all sections of your resume.
Time Management: Inform your potential employer that meeting deadlines, exercising discipline, and maximizing your workday are a part of your skill set.
Leadership: Whether or not the job listing is a managerial position, your potential employer wants a team member who can inspire and motivate colleagues.
Computer Skills: While this is a general description, computer skills can involve any program you use on a computer. List everything you know.
Communication: Across industries, your ability to express yourself - be it verbally, in writing, or by presentation - is crucial to your success in a role.
Active Listening: And on the flip side of communication, you’ll also want your potential employer to know that you can process verbal communication and take action based on the new information.
Adaptability: Express to your potential employer your ability to quickly adjust to shifts within the company or your role.
Self-Motivation: Enlighten your potential employer on your skill in taking charge of your destiny in your current and previous roles.
Decision Making: Let your potential employer know that you can act with autonomy and that you won’t need hand-holding in the position.
Attention to Detail: The best way to showcase your attention to detail is to ensure your cover letter and resume are error-free.
Beyond the Top 10
And if we’re being honest, your top 10 skills may depend on the job you’re seeking. While your soft skills will go a long way on a resume, be sure to study the job listing and customize both your resume and cover letter to match that listing. As an example, if you’re applying for an accountant position requiring experience with audits, you’ll want to include the same language in your resume. Often, employers use an automated system to scan and rank resumes, and customizing your resume to match the job listing is key to making it to the top of the rankings.
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