Common Examples of Skills and Steps To Identify Them

Updated 10 April 2023

Including a skills section on your resume is essential for helping a recruiter understand why you're qualified for a specific position. It demonstrates the abilities you possess and how you can apply them to the job role. Learning how to add your skills to your resume can make it easier for the employer to assess your capabilities and decide if you're the optimal candidate. In this article, we discuss hard and soft skills, what a professional's top five skills are, how to identify your personal skills and review examples of skills to include on your resume.

Read more: How to Build a Skills Passport in 4 Steps (Including Tips)

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Examples of skills to put on a resume

The following are common examples of skills that you can include on your resume:

Communication skills

Communication skills refer to the abilities that allow you to communicate with others by sharing information. Communication is an important skill because it allows you to communicate for a variety of purposes like explaining your ideas or feelings to other people. Proper communication involves focusing on what other people are saying as well.

Here are some communication skills you might include on your resume:

  • Public speaking

  • Written communication

  • Nonverbal communication

  • Constructive criticism

  • Active listening

Related: 4 Types of Communication

Customer service skills

Customer service skills refer to your ability to address customers by providing them with friendly and meaningful assistance. This is a skill that focuses primarily on solving their problems and being able to adapt to different types of people. Customer service involves not only verbal communication but nonverbal communication as well.

Here are some customer service skills you might include on your resume:

  • Customer-focused

  • Adaptability

  • Reliability

  • Empathy

  • Problem-solving

Read more: Top 20 Customer Service Skills

Computer skills

Computer skills are capabilities that allow you to operate a variety of computer-based technologies. If you know how to use a computer properly, then you can often expand on that knowledge to learn more advanced skills. Some employers require that a candidate has specific computer skills, so learning a few of them can be beneficial.

Here are some computer skills you might include on your resume:

  • Coding fluency and programming

  • Systems and database administration

  • Email management

  • Word processing and typing

  • Spreadsheets

Read more: How To Become Computer Literate and Improve Your Skills

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are qualities and traits that affect the way you interact with other people. Developed interpersonal skills allow you to form deep connections with people and understand their perspectives and opinions. These traits can also make it easier for people to work together successfully and resolve conflicts.

Here are some interpersonal skills you might include on your resume:

  • Compassion

  • Collaboration

  • Patience

  • Relationship building

  • Trust

Management skills

Management skills are traits that help you manage people, projects and tasks. Someone with exceptional management can ensure that employees complete their work in a timely manner while demonstrating understanding and empathy. A good manager can adapt to new situations and communicate to their team members clearly and positively to support their work efforts.

Here are some management skills you might include on your resume:

  • Project management

  • Project planning

  • Decision-making

  • Teamwork and accountability

  • Time management

Leadership skills

Leadership skills are traits that allow a person to lead other people to reach a common task, objective or goal. A good leader knows how to communicate with others and motivate them to complete their duties. Someone with leadership skills can make it easier to improve a group's teamwork.

Here are some leadership skills you might include on your resume:

  • Teaching and mentoring skills

  • Flexibility

  • Fairness

  • Handling difficult situations

  • Team building

Time management skills

Time management skills refer to abilities that help you complete your duties, goals and projects on time and before the deadline. It also involves knowing how to use your time wisely, so you can enjoy a proper work-life balance. Remaining focused and organised can make it easier for you to manage your time.

Here are some time management skills you might include on your resume:

  • Focus and concentration

  • Prioritisation

  • Goal setting

  • Organisation

  • Delegating tasks

Hard skills vs. soft skills

Hard skills are capabilities that you learn for a specific career path, job or industry. Most hard skills are technical skills that have a distinctive application, and generally, you learn them from an institution like a school or certification programme. You might also gain these skills by teaching yourself using training materials or simply from the practical experience you've gained from working at your job. Having proficiency in capabilities like painting, computer programming or accounting can all qualify as hard skills.

Soft skills are similar to personality traits that you can apply to social situations. These skills determine how you interact and react to your work environment, or they might illustrate what kind of work ethic you possess. Soft skills are sometimes called "social skills" or "people skills" and can include qualities like communication, teamwork, leadership, time management or critical thinking. Soft skills usually enhance your hard skills. For example, if you're an accountant who manages their time well, then your time management skills can help you to use your accounting skills more efficiently.

Read more: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

What are 10 hard skills?

Here are 10 common hard skills you might include on your resume:

  • Computer technology

  • Foreign languages

  • Project management

  • Marketing

  • Analytical skills

  • Writing

  • Design skills

  • Trade skills

  • Mathematics

  • Mobile development

What are 10 soft skills?

Here are 10 common soft skills you might include on your resume:

  • Active listening

  • Communication

  • Customer service

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Leadership

  • Problem-solving

  • Time management

  • Adaptability

  • Creativity and innovation

  • Teamwork skills

Related: Selecting the Right Resume Skills in 5 Simple Steps

What are your top 5 skills?

Your top five skills are going to be the capabilities that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. This means that the skills you choose can change depending on the specific role. Try to diversify the abilities you select to emphasise on your resume by including both hard and soft skills. For example, if you're applying for a head nurse position, then these might be the top five skills you highlight on your resume:

  • Advanced nursing knowledge

  • Patient care

  • Medical technology knowledge

  • Leadership

  • Communication and interpersonal skills

Related: 10 Best Skills To Include on a Resume

How to identify your personal skills in 3 steps

Refer to your previous experiences to help you determine what your personal skills are and which ones to include to your resume. You likely cannot fit all your personal skills on a resume, so it's important to identify the ones you excel at and align them to what the recruiter is looking for in a candidate.

Here are three steps to help you identify your personal skills for your resume:

1. Refer to your achievements, accomplishments and awards

The first step to helping you identify your personal skills is to consider all the accolades you have gained from your experiences. Determine if you earned recognition for completing a specific goal or showing excellent work ethic in a particular career field. Whether you gained an achievement from a work or academic environment, it's helpful to compile a list of them and then determine which ones are most relevant to the role. The skills you possess likely helped you to gain those awards, so consider the personal attributes and talents that provided you with the most assistance.

2. Seek advice from your colleagues or peers

If you find it challenging to determine your personal skills, consider asking a colleague, mentor or peer to help you. They might be able to note the skills and strengths that you haven't noticed about yourself. You could also try consulting your former manager who worked with you on a regular basis. A manager's job is to oversee their employees, so they likely would have recognised some skills and capabilities you demonstrated to fulfil your job duties successfully. If you're an entry-level professional, then your mentor or professors might be worth talking to as well.

3. Consult professionals in your industry or field

Another way you can identify your personal skills is by contacting professionals who work in the job or career industry that you are trying to pursue. Use their expertise and advice to determine what skills are most relevant, and then try to identify which of those skills align with the ones that you have. As you write down your skills, try to focus on including the skills that are beneficial to your career goals and objectives.

You might still be in the process of learning a skill and if so, then you probably can opt not to include it. If there's a skill that an employer is looking for that you do not currently possess, then assure them that you can easily learn it or that you are in the process of learning it.

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