A Comprehensive Guide to List Skills for Resume

The job market is quite competitive, and no one can deny the importance of writing an effective cover letter and effective resume. But what is inside these two which makes it valuable and more appealing to a recruiter. No wonder, it is your skills. Listing good skills for resume is an art. And you have a higher chance of success if you know the list of good skills for resume and how to highlight them.

But this leads to another question- “what are the relevant skills for resume”, and “how to choose them”.


#1 Selecting good skills for resume

Over the years, you would have added several skills. You may have gathered them at work, through education and you might have taken some professional certifications, etc. Interestingly, you may have skills which you may not be even aware of.

Besides there would be some skills which explain your technical strength whereas others would be defining your personality also called soft skills. At times, it is a herculean task to choose the right ones for your resume.

So, the question is how to zero into the relevant skills for your resume which truly aligns with the job requirement and also gives you maximum exposure.

#2. Review the job description and choose relevant and good skills for the posting

It is one of the most vital parts of any job application process. You may have several skills but what to pick should at large depend on posting that you apply for. Review job posting in detail and understand what employer is looking for and what is integral to the opening.

More often than not, we tend to pump in more and more skills in the resume but remember that diversity and overcrowding of skills may not work in your favor.

Get into your recruiter’s shoes and decide what skills he is looking for and what are relevant to the job. Choose skills accordingly and include them on your resume. Use right keywords.

#3. what to do if your skills not matching with the requirement

You might be good at Java, but it may not sound appealing to a person who is looking for python developer.

In case you don’t have relevant skills and still want to apply for a job, look for the common ground. In this case, common ground could be your logical reasoning or your skill of requirement analysis. Highlight that. Say how your experience in development could still be relevant.

Of course, you should also show some skills in Python which you can learn through self-learning and mention it in some projects that you worked in the past.

#4. Quantify your good skills

Articulate your skills for resume in numbers and figures which sound more authenticate and catchy. More quantifiable are your accomplishments, more credibility your resume will stand for.

It is generally the Technical skills which can be quantified but not soft skills which are hard to quantify. Though Not always the case. For example, team management is a soft skill, but it can still be quantified by saying how big team you managed and what was the team satisfaction level.

Some examples of how you can quantify your skills could be –

  • Managing a project of contract value, e.g., $10 Million
  • Number of customers worked for
  • Team size led
  • Number of awards, certifications relevant to the role
  • Business SLA maintained for your service

#5. Technical vs. soft skills for resume

Let’s discuss technical and soft skills. What are these two, how are they relevant and how to choose them. Technical skills are also called hard skills, but I prefer saying it Technical.

As the name suggests, technical skills are the expertise that you might have acquired through a formal learning, certification, schools, training, etc. For example, if you are applying for a Chemist role your relevant technical skills would be –

  • Knowledge of Medicines
  • Medical certifications
  • Professional Degrees in Medical Field
  • Knowledge of Different ailments
  • Understanding of Medical terminologies
  • Lab test reporting and Analysis etc

Now as you are clear about technical skills, let’s discuss soft skills.

Soft skills refer to your behavioral qualities which makes you who you are, your personality and your qualities. It is the soft skill which makes you a human being, which decides how you approach a situation and how do you react.

Though technical skills are quite necessary for any job, in my personal view, soft skills at times are more essential. No wonder why people in management and further up in management ladder gets more paid than their technical counterparts.

From your experience as well, you would perhaps be agreeing that managing people is more painful than technologies. Isn’t so!!

Ensure to put your soft skills in such a way that it should be skimmable. Put some evidence. Share appreciations received which will make your resume more genuine and authentic.

Some of the compelling soft skills which are generally relevant in any role are as follows. If you are good at them, you are more marketable and can set yourself above and apart from the competition:

Effective communication

In any role, you need to communicate with various people. These may be your colleagues, vendors, department staffs, stakeholders, etc. Ability to present your thoughts in crisp but clear manner is highly desirable.

You might be very good at your work but without communicating it correctly, you might be ignored at times or worse someone else may take credit for your good work.

Remember, an excellent communicator is also a good motivator, and anyone would like to have such people on the team.


Problems are part of life, and we will encounter them in every organization and perhaps every day and moment. How you respond to these problems and how you address them is the key to success.

Solving Technical issues needs your cognitive ability and also your technical skill. But you will have to face problems in other areas as well where other soft skills as listed here can be genuinely beneficial. Problem-solving skill is highly desirable in the market.

Decision making

Noone can discount the value of decision making. This skill is considered as to how judiciously you choose among several alternatives you are presented with.

Key to good decision making is to have attention to detail and pressure handling skill and also to use your cognitive ability to adjudge the circumstances.

Some people are generally good at this and some may not. But then this skill will always be vital to any role. Taking a decision in the best interest of the company is what every employer will look for.

Ability to work as a Team

Regardless of your role, you will need to work with several people in any organization. Have you worked in a team where everyone contributes to their strength or feels comfortable sharing ideas and views? If so, that is a sign of healthy team environment.

You should be open to ideas. You should be willing to share and care. And you should be prepared to put the team and company’s interest ahead of you.

Every company wants to develop this kind of culture. Showcase your team skills in your resume and be assured of getting priority treatment.


Leadership is one of the essential traits which everyone looks for. It is the quality of a person to motivate people, execute plans and set direction.

People sometimes view leadership and managerial ship with the same eye, but there is vast difference indeed. You may not be a manager but still can be a leader.

A leader is the one to whom everyone looks forward to.

Highlight your past experiences where you took crucial decisions, and you led by example. Quantify them as to how you leadership qualities result into success.

Time management and prioritization

With the market getting more and more competitive, expectations are also going up. That mean, you will be involved in more than one activities at a time. That’s where this skill comes into the picture. Prioritization of any activity depends on the urgency and importance of the work.


A productive employee has to assess any work based on these parameters and accordingly prioritize. At work, you will always have non-important and non-urgent activities which will try to take your attention away, but a well-organized employee will gauge the situation and work accordingly.

More often, a task completed late may mean nothing.

Over to you on skills for resume

You should always remember that it’s the skills in your resume that will take you to and through the interview. You should choose and list skills for resume in a way that as soon as employer looks at it, they understand that you are the best candidate for the role.

Your skills should be relevant to the job and the company. They should also be prominent and visible from your resume.

Each position may need different skills and so modify your resume based on what a job demands not just what you like to show.


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