In this article, we will cover the 10 best skills employers look for on a resume, plus online personal development courses that can help you hone those skills.

Before we start running through the best skills employers look for on a resume, let us first distinguish between soft skills and hard skills, as there are specific traits a hiring manager is looking for in an employee under these two types of skills. 

Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills

Soft Skills

As mentioned in our preceding articles, soft skills describe who you are as a person and as an employee. It sets you apart from other candidates who have similar expertise as you. Such skills include communication, leadership, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, time management, customer service, problem-solving, and more. 

Hard Skills

Hard or technical skills are quantifiable abilities that are acquired and enhanced through education, training, and practice. Industries require their employees to possess a specific list of hard skills to perform the job properly.

Although there is an abundant variety of soft and hard skills, there are certain specific skills that many employers seek from their employees. Here are the top 10 soft and hard skills employers look for on a resume.

Top 10 Skills Employers Look for on a Resume

1. Creativity

This is the ability to solve complex problems differently or think of new ideas or solutions using your imagination and then executing them. Employers look for creative employees because they are interested in innovation that will set them apart from other companies. According to statistics, 94% of hiring managers said creativity is important when hiring a job candidate. 

2. Emotional Intelligence 

Based on the survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, 95% of hiring managers or 99% of workers said that it is vital for employees to have high emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ). Having a high EQ means that you can manage your emotions positively. Also, you are able to connect and convey your feelings and effectively understand and empathize with others.

Learn the basics of developing EQ with this online course: 

3. Communication

Communication (verbal, nonverbal, written, and visual) is essential for you to quickly deliver and understand information. This skill is important no matter what job you work in. The Workforce Solutions Group conducted a survey and found out that 60% of the employers said that most applicants lack communication and interpersonal skills to get considered for the job.

Improve the quality of your conversations by developing your communication skills with these online courses:

4. Leadership

Having leadership skills will elevate you even more because it demonstrates that you have the potential to achieve your goals and inspire others in the process. Leadership is a combination of several different traits rolled into one. Employers look for a candidate with strong leadership skills because they can make things happen.

Increase your leadership skills, expand your influence and achieve your leadership vision by enrolling in Leadership Skills Mastery.

5. Problem-Solving and Creativity

According to a report by Adobe, 94% of hiring managers agree that creativity is the key when evaluating candidates for a job. Organizations look for job candidates with strong problem-solving and creativity skills. This is your ability to handle day-to-day challenges and issues that arise in your workplace or your ability to find solutions to problems.

Learn creative problem-solving and decision making skills with this online course: 

6. Computer Technology

Today, almost all jobs require at least a basic understanding of computer technology. Also, most companies use different technology-based platforms, so it is important that you have a strong grasp of computer technology. Some of the tech skills that you could add to your resume are:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheets
  • Data visualization
  • Analytics
  • Pivot tables
  • Email communication
  • Graphic design
  • HTML

You should be specific in listing your computer technology skills in your resume. There are tons of software tutorials that you can find on Skill Success if you want to learn or hone your computer technology skills. 

7. Project Management

Even if you are not yet a project manager, having project management skills is vital because many jobs require employees to possess this skill. Having strong project management skills will help you complete an assignment or project on time. It also proves that you demonstrate leadership skills, clearly focus on given objectives, and properly plan your execution on strategic goals.

To learn more about project management, you should try this online course:

8. Data Analysis

Data Analysis is not just important in finance. In fact, this skill is important across different industries. According to cleverismdata analysis is the ability to use one’s analytical and logical reasoning in order to evaluate the collected data. Having this skill will help you be more well-versed with data management and come up with efficient decisions.

Data Analysis Fundamentals is an online course that will help you learn the basics of data analysis and interpretation.

9. Foreign Language

Being bilingual or having foreign language skills will set you apart from your monolingual peers. Your fluency in another language will help your company communicate seamlessly with existing and future clients and expand your company’s market overseas. Read the Foreign Language Courses to Take Right Now article to find out online language courses that you should take.

10. Time Management

Employers seek employees who have time management skills because they are likely to meet deadlines as they are more productive and efficient and, therefore, increase the organization’s revenue. There are time management tips that you can use, such as those that the Time Management Tips for Achieving Your Goals article describe.

Polishing Your Resume

If you want to know more about how you can improve the contents of your resume, you can take the Create The Ultimate Resume Package To Stand Out online course or read the following articles:

How to Include Your Skills on a Resume

You might think that the skills section part of your resume is simple. After all, you probably know your skills and knowledge. But then again, you can’t list all of your skills and knowledge in your resume because this will just make your resume longer, and those skills may not be relevant to the job. Including irrelevant things could actually hurt your chances of getting chosen for an interview.

What are the best ways to highlight your skills and qualifications on your resume? Your resume’s skill section should only include the abilities related to the job or career field you are applying for. Here’s a guide on how you can include a resume skills section.

1. Don’t include skills that you don’t have

This is a no brainer. Lying on your resume is a big no-no. In fact, 85% of the recruiters said that candidates exaggerate their skills on their resumes. If you don’t have the exact skills the employer is looking for, reconsider reapplying. This will save you from the embarrassment of getting grilled about your qualifications because you will not be able to provide solid answers to the skills questions.

If you are applying for a number of jobs, consider crafting your resume for each job type so you will avoid using irrelevant skills in a position.

2. Match your qualifications to the job

Check the job posting and create a list of skill sets in one column from the job posting. In the second column, make a list of your skills and experiences that makes you a qualified candidate. Include the skills in your resume that closely match what the employer is looking for. Use the exact words or descriptions the employer listed on the job posting. This will help you get selected as most employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS).

3. Be specific and concise

It is best that you keep your skill section specific and concise. For example, avoid using “computer skills” because it is vague. Instead, be specific and include the programming language, software, or apps that you are using. For example, if you are an accountant, you can include Wave Accounting or QuickBooks, or if you are a software developer, you can include Python and SQL.

4. Use buzzwords and adjectives without exaggerating your skills

Excessively using buzzwords and adjectives on your resume, like just to land a position, will make you look like you are desperate to land a job. Buzzwords and adjectives are words, terms, or phrases that create a feeling of excitement and sound impressive and cool. These words can be valuable on your resume, but these can also be cringe-worthy, overused, or irrelevant—depending on how you are going to use the buzzwords adjectives. Below is a list of buzzwords and adjectives.

Buzzwords: Super, Great, Detail Oriented, Focused, Expert, Results-driven, Specialized In

Adjectives: A Self-starter, Motivated, Passionate, Intelligent, Professional, Reliable, Competent, Knowledgeable

Overused Resume Buzzwords and Adjectives: Excellent, Responsible For, Expert, Detail Oriented, Great, Super, Specialized In, Hard Worker

The key here is only to sprinkle enough buzzwords and adjectives into your resume to demonstrate that you are competent for the position and industry.

5. Place your list of skills in different parts of your resume

Take advantage of your skill set by sprinkling those into your resume. Add your skills on the resume summary, experience section, and the skill section. 

Your resume summary is the short statement at the beginning of your resume that describes your experience, expertise, and professional achievement. This statement typically consists of three to five sentences that expound on your job qualifications. This is your chance to emphasize your best skill set—related to the job you are applying for. In the experience section, demonstrate your performance on your job and how you achieved results by using your skills. 

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