17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (2024)

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    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (2)

    The best resume immediately answers a hiring manager's most pressing question: “Does this person have the necessary skills?”

    You don’t have much time to answer this question, either. Recruiters scan a resume in just seven seconds to form a first impression and decide whether they’ll offer an interview.

    You must understand the key skills for each job application and express your proficiency quickly to get ahead. We’ll discuss how to choose skills for a resume and add them effectively.

    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (3)

    What is a skill?

    A professional skill is a knowledge, ability, or competency to perform specific tasks or respond to challenges. Each skill is either a hard or soft skill.

    Hard skills or technical skills refer to our ability to perform knowledge-based tasks, like proficiency with a graphic design program.

    Interpersonal skills, or soft skills, refer to our interactions with others, like our ability to tap into our emotional intelligence to manage a team or our leadership communication skills.

    Learning new skills relevant to your job or reskilling to start a new career is crucial preparation. Every industry and job role requires proficiency in a wide range of job skills, so it's critical to know the most relevant ones for your profession and target the company and highlight them in your resume.

    Hard skills

    Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities or knowledge that are often quantifiable and job-specific. Hard skills are gained through experience, practice, and education. They can be measured straightforwardly by our ability to perform a technical task. Hard skills are crucial for performing tasks and functions within a particular field or industry.

    Here are a few hard skills you could include on your resume:

    • Foreign languages
    • Project management
    • Marketing fluency, like SEO or SEM
    • Computer skills
    • Software management, like CRM
    • Coding languages, like CSS or Python
    • Design, like Photoshop or Illustrator
    • Data analysis
    • First aid

    Soft skills

    Soft skills are non-technical abilities that relate to how individuals interact with others and navigate social situations. These skills encompass qualities and attributes that shape one's emotional intelligence, communication style, and overall interpersonal effectiveness. They inform how we approach a task or challenge and are unique personal attributes that make us stand out and succeed as employees and leaders.

    Unlike hard skills, soft skills are not job-specific but are universally valuable across various roles and industries. Soft skills play a critical role in building strong relationships, collaborating effectively with colleagues, and enhancing overall workplace dynamics.

    Here are a few soft skills you could include on your resume:

    • Problem-solving
    • Communication
    • Teamwork
    • Time management
    • Attention to detail
    • Creativity
    • Collaboration

    Soft and hard skills often complement one another. Speaking a foreign language is a hard skill requiring specific vocabulary, diction, and grammar knowledge. The communication skills needed to speak this language effectively — knowing how to work through a concept, tell a story, and keep an audience engaged — are soft skills.

    How many skills should you add to a resume?

    In general you'll want to have 10 to 15 skills listed on you resume. But this varies depending on your level of experience, the specific job you're applying for, and the resume format you're using. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine how many skills to include:

    • Relevance: Focus on skills that are directly relevant to the job you're applying for. Tailor your resume by carefully reviewing the job description and identifying the skills and qualifications the employer is seeking. Highlight the skills that align with the job requirements.
    • Balance: While it's important to include relevant skills, it's equally important not to overwhelm your resume with an excessively long list of skills. Aim for a balance that showcases your key strengths without making your resume too lengthy.
    • Prioritization: Prioritize the most important and sought-after skills. Place the most relevant and impressive skills towards the top of your resume, particularly in the skills section. This ensures that the hiring manager sees your strongest qualifications early in the document.
    • Quantify: Where possible, quantify your skills or provide context. For example, if you are proficient in a programming language, you can mention the number of years of experience you have with it or highlight specific projects where you applied that skill.
    • Quality over quantity: It's better to emphasize a few highly relevant and valuable skills rather than listing a wide range of skills that may not be as important for the job. Hiring managers often appreciate depth and expertise in key areas.
    • Consider resume length: If you have many years of experience and a lot of relevant skills, you may have a longer resume. However, for most applicants, a one-page or two-page resume is typically sufficient. Ensure that your skills section doesn't dominate the entire document.
    • Group skills: You can group similar skills together to save space. For example, you might create categories like "Technical Skills" and "Soft Skills" to organize your skills more effectively.
    • Keep it honest: Only list skills that you genuinely possess and can confidently discuss in an interview. Exaggerating or fabricating skills can lead to problems during the hiring process.

    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (4)

    Types of skills to add to your resume and cover letter

    To show your versatility, try including a diverse set of skills on your resume. Choose a couple from each of the three main categories below:

    1. Transferable or functional

    This covers your competency to perform an action and apply that skill to different tasks, job roles, and industries. Your aptitude to perform a transferable or functional skill is measured by your ability to optimize this skill to various situations.

    Transferable or functional skills include:

    1. Organization and time management skills
    2. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
    3. Writing
    4. Project management
    5. Budgeting
    6. Leadership
    7. Active listening and communication
    8. Teamwork
    9. Customer service skills

    2. Personal

    This covers personality traits, behaviors, or perspectives that guide your approach to a task or situation. These are likely interpersoanl skills you’ve developed since childhood through different life experiences.

    Personality skills include:

    1. Assertiveness
    2. Patience
    3. Compassion
    4. Diplomacy
    5. Independence
    6. Positivity
    7. Detail-orientedness
    8. Strong emotional intelligence
    9. Ability to perform under pressure
    10. Relationahip-building skills

    3. Knowledge-based

    This includes a theoretical or practical understanding of a specific task or process learned through consistent work experience or education. These are often industry or career-specific and, depending on the expertise required for a particular position, the most in-demand.

    Knowledge-based skills include:

    1. Computer skills, including programming languages, web development, or experience with specific programs like Microsoft Office, Excel, or Quickbooks
    2. Analytical skills, including data analysis, strategy, or economic forecasting
    3. Industry-specific skills, including a content creator with social media apps or marketing skills or a software engineer with specific expertise in Python or HTML

    Top 3 skills to put on a resume

    We recommend choosing transferable, knowledge-based, and personal skills relevant to the job description and the company’s values. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong using these three top skills on your resume:

    1. Managerial skills

    If you have any managerial experience, add it to the relevant job description. Good managers can see the bigger picture, organize their teams around a common goal, and demonstrate effective communication techniques.

    This experience also shows you’re willing to take on more responsibility and can handle different personalities.

    Expressing your management skills might look like this:

    • 15 years of experience developing multiple teams to [name accomplishment]
    • Ideated and managed [project] and increased revenue by [percentage]
    • Certified in Conflict Resolution from [institution's name]

    2. Communication skills

    Strong communication skills are essential at every professional level. These skills include actively listening, speaking effectively, observing people and situations, and empathizing and supporting our co-workers, colleagues, and managers.

    Expressing your communication skills might look like this:

    • Thrives on constructive criticism
    • Four years of public speaking experience
    • Certified in Non-Verbal Communication at [institute name]

    3. Computer skills

    Expertise in various technologies or the ability to learn new ones are great hard skills to advertise. These include knowledge of hardware, software, work platforms, or coding languages.

    Computer skills might include:

    • Type 145 words per minute
    • Fluency in CRM and CSM
    • Knowledge of Python, Javascript, and HTML
    • Experience with project management softwares like Monday, ClickUp, and Notion
    • Adobe Photoshop

    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (5)

    17 of the best skills to add to your resume

    In addition to the three above, here are some of the most important skills to add to your resume skills section. When updating your resume, be sure to include the most relevant skills for the job you're applying to. Social media marketing, for instance, is more of a must-have skill across various marketing roles but fewer project management roles.

    1. Conflict resolution

    Conflict resolution involves mediating disputes and finding mutually acceptable solutions. This skill is crucial for maintaining a harmonious work environment and productive relationships among team members.

    2. Adaptability

    Adaptability is the ability to adjust to new circ*mstances and challenges. In today's rapidly changing world, individuals who can quickly learn and adapt to new technologies, work processes, or environments are highly valuable.

    3. Negotiation

    Negotiation skills are essential for reaching agreements that benefit all parties involved. Whether in salary negotiations or business deals, effective negotiation can lead to favorable outcomes.

    4. Creativity

    Creativity involves thinking outside the box to generate innovative ideas and solutions. It's particularly valuable in roles that require problem-solving and innovation, such as marketing or product design.

    5. Strategic planning

    Strategic planning is the process of setting long-term goals and developing a roadmap to achieve them. This skill is crucial for leaders and managers responsible for guiding an organization's direction.

    6. Public speaking

    Public speaking is essential for presentations, pitches, and effective communication with large audiences. Confidence and clarity in public speaking can enhance your professional image.

    7. Mentoring and coaching

    The ability to mentor and coach others in their professional development is valuable for leadership roles and fostering a positive workplace culture.

    8. Crisis management

    Crisis management involves responding effectively to unexpected and high-pressure situations, minimizing damage, and maintaining business continuity.

    9. Risk management

    Identifying and mitigating risks is vital in fields such as finance, insurance, and project management to protect against potential losses.

    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (6)

    10. Data privacy and security

    With increasing concerns about data breaches and privacy, knowledge of data security measures and compliance with regulations is essential, especially in IT and healthcare industries.

    11. Foreign language proficiency

    Proficiency in a foreign language can open up opportunities in international business, diplomacy, and global organizations, enhancing your marketability.

    12. Sales and marketing

    Sales and marketing skills involve promoting products or services and persuading customers to make purchases. These skills are vital in sales and business development roles.

    13. Conflict management

    Conflict management focuses on identifying, addressing, and resolving conflicts within teams or organizations to maintain a productive and harmonious work environment.

    14. Research and data analysis

    Strong research and data analysis skills are valuable in fields like market research, academia, and policy analysis, enabling evidence-based decision-making.

    15. Digital Marketing

    Digital marketing skills, including SEO, social media management, and online advertising, are crucial for businesses looking to expand their online presence and reach.

    16. Problem-solving skills

    Problem-solving skills are vital for identifying, analyzing, and creatively resolving challenges. They enable individuals to make informed decisions, find innovative solutions, and adapt to changing circ*mstances.

    17. Project management skills

    Project management skills involve planning, organizing, and coordinating resources and teams to achieve specific goals within set constraints. Effective project managers excel at goal-setting, task breakdown, and timeline management. They ensure projects stay on track, meet deadlines, and stay within budget, making them highly sought after across industries.

    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (7)

    How to add skills to your resume

    There are endless resume templates to choose from when designing your resume, and most offer a skills section. We’ve outlined four tips for adding skills to catch a recruiter's attention with resume skills examples to help you get started.

    1. Choose wisely

    Study the company by visiting its website, LinkedIn profile, and other public sources. What values do they promote? Which team members do they highlight and why?

    Read through the job ad and take note of the responsibilities, job requirements, and skills listed by the employer. Use this research to choose skills for your resume. It’s a good idea to list skills the job posting specifically seeks.

    Here’s an example of how to translate a job responsibility into skills when describing work experience on your resume:

    Responsibility: Fact-check, proofread, and edit content for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

    Skill on resume:

      • Eight years of copy and content writing experience with brands and PR agencies
      • Wrote objective-oriented, SEO-driven content for brands
      • Versed in workflow apps, Google Office, and grammar platforms

    2. Include a skills section

    If a hiring manager spends just seven seconds on a resume, make sure yours is readable. Design the resume to direct the reader's eye to critical information, and include a skills section close to the start. Use relevant action verbs to sell your experience and describe your skills from the beginning.

    Don't over-clutter — insufficient white space will deflect the eye rather than attract it. This section should include bullet points with concise information.

    3. Subtly mention skills in other sections

    Sneak skills throughout your resume, including in the summary and work experience sections. Frequently referencing them will help show the hiring manager you really do possess the skills.

    Here are two examples of a writer's position:

    Resume summary with a mixture of transferable and personal skills:

      • Curious, creative, and self-motivated journalist and content writer with six years of experience working independently for agencies and publications.

    Work experience section with a mixture of technical and interpersonal skills:

    Digital Content Writer, [Company name], [time frame]

      • Experience in Google Workspace, Surfer SEO, and workflow platforms
      • Responsible for writing 10 1500-word SEO and keyword-driven articles weekly
      • Detail-oriented and personable — never missed a deadline and facilitated feedback calls with clients directly

    4. Be specific about your proficiency level

    Always be clear about your level of expertise. You’ll likely be asked to showcase some of your skills in an interview, so it’s best to be upfront.

    Here are a few examples:

    Languages spoken:

      • English, native
      • Spanish, fluent
      • Japanese, intermediate conversation and listening comprehension, beginner written


      • High-level expertise in Python and Java
      • Mid-level expertise in CSS

    Feel confident about your resume

    Building a good resume takes a lot of work. You have to read through the job description and tailor resumes to each post to make sure your profile best aligns with what the recruiter is looking for.

    But the effort is worth it. You've spent your entire career learning and nurturing new skills — show them off in your resume and you'll be one step closer to getting the job. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and listing the right skills will help hiring managers see that.

    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (8)

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    Published September 28, 2023

    17 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume for 2024 (2024)


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