How To List Your Skills On A Resume (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Listing skills on your resume can help convey valuable information about your candidature to hiring managers and potential employers. These outline the abilities and expertise of a candidate beyond their general education and training. Knowing how to display skill lists on a resume can help you make a positive first impression and increase your chances of getting shortlisted. In this article, we discuss some important lists to add to your resume, share how to list your skills on a resume and provide templates and examples of skill lists in different formats.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions And Examples

What Are Some Essential Skills To List On A Resume?

The answer to this question depends on your industry and role. While most roles share some soft skills, others require unique technical skills that can be crucial for the profession. Here are some categories of general skills in different industries:

Medical

Medical professionals require a combination of soft and hard skills to perform their duties effectively. While the exact technical skill can vary depending on the specialisation and role of the professional, some skills required universally are:

  • Communication skills: to interact with patients and their attendants

  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills: to work as a part of a unit

  • Analytical skills: to diagnose patients correctly and identify their symptoms

  • Digital skills: for record-keeping and documentation purposes

Related: Computer Skills: Definition And Example

Programming and development

Programming professionals require knowledge of different languages and frameworks to create software and applications. They also require skills like:

  • Problem-solving skills: to identify coding errors and correct them

  • Creativity: to apply the same code and ideas creatively

  • Quick-learning abilities: to learn new languages and programmes

Administrative

Many administrative and office professionals require similar skills, including:

  • Organisational skills: to manage resources and paperwork

  • Budgeting skills: to manage office budgets, purchases and inventory

  • Communication skills: to manage employees, contractors and visitors

  • Digital skills: to maintain office devices and equipment

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

Sales

Sales professionals can benefit from listing the following skills on their resumes:

  • Persuasion: to finalise deals and make sales to leads

  • Active listening: to pay attention to what the client or lead is saying

  • CRM: to operate client relationship management tools

  • Client management: to engage prospects, leads and clients

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples

How To List Your Skills On A Resume

Follow these steps to find out how to list your skills on a resume:

1. Select the most crucial skills for the role and industry

Talk to your peers, mentors and supervisors to understand the different skills and abilities employers value in your industry. List all these skills and segregate the general soft skills from advanced technical skills. Analyse the list to find out which skills you regularly use, which ones you have expertise in and which ones you can improve. You can start building this list by thinking about some skills that you deploy on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can list some skills acquired during your education or training that you use today.

2. Identify your top skills

Review the list to identify your most exceptional skills. Even if there is a long list of skills that you have expertise in, prioritise focusing on the ones that are common with the list prepared in the above step. Make sure you include both soft and technical skills in this list. For example, if you work in the digital marketing industry, mentioning that you have strong social media marketing, search engine optimisation and content generation skills are essential. Also crucial to highlight are your customer service, client management, project management and leadership skills.

3. Eliminate the least relevant skills

Review the list once again to identify the least relevant skills for the job. Consider the specific role and its duties to establish which skills are indispensable and which ones you can skip. Remove any abilities that may not have a direct connection with the role.

For example, if you are applying for the role of a mobile application developer, listing event management as a strong skill is avoidable. Even if you have strong event management skills, they probably have little utility for the role of a developer. You can skip adding this to your resume or replace it with a more suitable skill.

Related: Management Skills: Definition And Examples

4. Review the job description

Analyse the job description and the company website to identify whether there are specific skills that your prospective employer values. Carefully review their choice of words and phrases to determine how they describe particular competencies. If required, change the wording of the skills in your list to match the ones listed in the job description. Doing so can increase the chances of your resume getting shortlisted through applicant tracking systems that scan job applications for certain keywords.

For example, suppose the job description says that they require a candidate who is flexible and can adapt to rapidly changing business environments. You can mention skills such as adaptability, flexibility and quick learning on your resume. Similarly, if the company website focuses on the organisation's ability to collaborate, make sure you mention collaboration and teamwork on your resume.

Related: Collaboration Skills: Definition, Benefits And Examples

5. Organise your skills into bullet points

Now that you have a list of the skills to include in the resume, choose an appropriate format to list them. Showcasing them properly can ensure that the recruiter can quickly identify the skills they are seeking. While bullet points are a common choice for most candidates, you can also use other formats. If the list is short, you can mention all the skills in a single column, and if it is long, dividing them into two or three columns can be more suitable.

You can choose to list your skills alphabetically or in the order of their relevance or expertise. You can also categorise your skills into relevant sections. Similarly, you can explain the skills using a short sentence that highlights your level of expertise or certification completed.

6. Provides examples to show your expertise

To add further value to the skills you are listing, you can mention specific examples of how you put them to use. For example, you can mention how strong communication skills helped you secure new client contracts. Similarly, you can quantify the benefit of using your skill by citing figures. For instance, you can explain how your sales skills helped the company increase the conversion rate by 10%. You can either mention these examples in the professional summary section or state them separately in the additional information section.

Related: What Are Examples Of Professionalism Skills?

Skills Section Templates

Here are some formats that you can use to mention your skills:

Bullet list

This is a common format that uses bullet points. You can use bullet points to list all your skills in one column or divide them among multiple columns:

  • [Skill 1]

  • [Skill 2]

  • [Skill 3]

  • [Skill 4]

Explained bullets

By providing examples of your skills, you can provide more detail about each skill. You can list these skills in a one-column bullet format:

  • [Skill 1]: [short explanation that describes the number of years of experience, expertise level, certificates earned or other relevant information]

Categorisation

If you list several interconnected skills, you can categorise them into relevant categories. This can help the hiring manager review these groups without navigating the entire list:

[Category 1]

  • [Skill 1]

  • [Skill 2]

  • [Skill 3]

  • [Skill 4]

[Category 2]

  • [Skill 1]

  • [Skill 2]

  • [Skill 3]

  • [Skill 4]

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)

Example Skill Sections

You can refer to the following examples that show how to mention the skills of a nurse in the skills section of a resume in different formats:

Bullet list

Here is an example of listing your skills in a bullet list format:

  • Attention to detail

  • Adaptability

  • Communication skills

  • Empathy and interpersonal skills

Explained bullets

Here is how you can use bullets to provide in-depth explanations of your skills on a resume:

  • Verbal and oral communication: More than six years of experience working in a hospital and interacting with staff, patients, attendants and preparing patient reports

  • Nursing skills: Bachelor of Science in nursing; Diploma in auxiliary nursing and midwifery

Categorisation

Use these examples to separate your skills into certain categories on your resume:

General

  • Attention to detail

  • Communication skills

  • Empathy

Medical skills

  • First aid

  • Emergency services

  • Sample collection


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