Resume Skills Recruiters Look For (And How To Improve Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 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.

A professional possesses both soft and hard skills to accomplish several tasks and achieve targets in an organisation routinely. When these professionals mention their different skills in their resumes, they showcase the abilities that are required to succeed in a role. Including important and position-specific skills that recruiters look for in your resume can help you present yourself as a competent candidate for a role. In this article, we discuss the resume skills recruiters look for, explore some ways to improve them and share a few steps to highlight them on your resume and during an interview effectively.

What Are The Resume Skills Recruiters Look For?

The resume skills recruiters look for are your varied strengths, like effective communication, teamwork and willingness to learn. There are some specific skills that an employer looks for in a candidate before offering them a role in their organisation. These are industry-specific skills that showcase your competencies that align with the responsibilities of a specific profession. By mentioning varied skills in your resume, you help recruiters to determine why you may be a good fit for the role.

Employers may often include different desirable skills in a job description. These are the skills that they feel are important to possess to be effective at the role. When your resume includes these skills, it also has more chances of getting past an organisation's applicant tracking systems (ATS). After this, your resume reaches the hiring managers who then assess your skills before shortlisting you for an interview.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions And Examples

Examples Of Resume Skills Recruiters Look For

Here are some examples of skills recruiters look for in a resume:

Communication skills

Communication skills are abilities to interact and build relationships with your colleagues, managers, clients and various other internal and external stakeholders at work. A professional's communication skills include the ability to write letters or reports, speak in person or on a telephone call and also to listen actively to customers. Customer service, public speaking and presentation are some important communication skills recruiters look for in a resume.

Problem-solving skills

Recruiters prefer candidates who solve problems quickly and give practical solutions to complex issues. Problem-solving skills are a professional's ability to manage difficult situations in the workplace by assessing them and identifying their solutions. These skills are also useful in building relationships and making effective decisions routinely. People who possess problem-solving skills are adept at analysis, research and attention to detail.


Staying responsible for duties and accountable for work is a quality that recruiters usually prefer in a candidate. Responsible professionals may often work with minimal supervision to complete their tasks. Professionals with this trait accept feedback and criticism well, using both to improve their performance. They are also willing to accept the consequences of their actions and decisions, along with building trust in the workplace.

Analytical and logical thinking skills

Employers often require their potential hires to have analytical and logical thinking skills, for instance, in data analysis or in accounting roles. With these skills, the employees are better able to conduct in-depth research and solve various problems. A recruiting manager may often prefer candidates who can identify valuable insights from data and make required changes effectively when hiring for similar roles or fields. This makes it important to list this skill on a resume when applying for job roles that may require these abilities for proficiency.

Related: How To Write An IT Analyst Resume (With Example And Skills)

Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills allow professionals to work with people and devise agreeable solutions for all the parties involved. These skills help professionals to settle disputes by finding solutions to different problems which can be mutually beneficial for all parties involved. Professionals who sell products and services or work with vendors and clients apply these skills to accomplish their goals. Persuasion, building rapport, making decisions, managing expectations and listening actively are some attributes of negotiation skills.

Teamwork skills

Most jobs require collaborating with people, like team members, clients or other stakeholders. Professionals who can create a conducive team environment possess exemplary collaboration skills that allow them to remain amicable and approachable. These professionals value the opinions of their team members and promote the inclusion of all. Teamwork involves the ability to communicate effectively with people who are working together to accomplish common goals.

Related: Hard Skills: Definition And Examples

How to Improve Your Resume Skills

Below are steps you may follow to improve your resume skills and make a good impression on hiring managers:

1. Identify your strengths and areas of improvement

To identify your strengths and areas where you may improve, conduct a self-assessment. This exercise helps you to know about the skills you already possess and areas that require improvement. When you possess this awareness, it is easier for you to devise a plan to enhance your skills. Feedback is another option that you may consider for evaluating your performance.

2. Work on one skill at a time

Once you have identified your areas of improvement, you can work on one skill at a time. Trying to improve all the skills simultaneously may cause disorganisation. Select one skill and experiment with it to find out how you may implement it in the workplace. Identify tasks that require you to apply the skills you intend to improve. Working on those tasks daily and regularly practising can help you grow your skills.

3. Set goals

By setting realistic goals weekly or monthly, you are better able to analyse your progress. These goals also motivate you to achieve more and gain confidence. Note the details of the process you follow to achieve the goals. If you notice insufficient progress, identify the unfavourable steps in this process and work on including the ones that may facilitate the improvement of your skills and performance.

4. Be willing to do more

When you want to do or learn more, you work on additional tasks that may help you improve your skills or increase your knowledge. Volunteering allows you to gain experience, which adds to your professional achievements. For instance, if you are a journalist who has written a news story, work with a photo researcher professional to find a photo that conveys the emotions of the story. This may improve your creativity skills or help you gain a new skill.

Related: What Are Examples Of Professionalism Skills?

Resume Skills In The Workplace

Ways in which you can apply professional and interpersonal resume skills in the workplace are to:

  • Collaborate with people. When you employ your teamwork and delegation skills, you ensure you work with your team members cohesively. Effective collaboration means putting an organisation's goals ahead of individual success.

  • Prioritise your work. Time management ensures effective prioritisation of work, which helps you to increase your productivity. Your many skills allow you to assess your responsibilities and create schedules to accomplish tasks within deadlines.

  • Motivate self and others. When you possess a proven skill set, you are more confident about your decisions and abilities. This motivates you to manage your projects better and also inspires your team members to achieve more and stay calm under pressure.

  • Set milestones. Possessing various skills helps you to trust your own capabilities, set milestones and reach them consistently. By using your analytical thinking, you may identify key performance indicators that quantify your success.

  • Manage emotions. An emotionally intelligent professional realises the importance of avoiding conflicts and building strong relationships. Your emotional intelligence level to interact with a coworker is crucial to fostering a positive work relationship.

Related: Professional Resume Samples To Help You Land A Job

Ways To Highlight Skills On A Resume

Here are some ways to help you highlight your skills on a resume, showcase these in a cover letter and discuss them during a job interview:

Skills for a resume and cover letter

First, determine the relevant skills you want to highlight on your resume and in your cover letter. List in the documents your proficiency in these skills by giving specific examples. These examples essentially align with the skills you possess, along with the skills mentioned in the job description. For instance, if you are applying for a leadership position, then mention how your teamwork skills and empathy help you accomplish different tasks in collaboration with your team members. You may also distinguish your skills into different categories, like soft skills, hard skills and general abilities.

In your cover letter, you can elaborate on the different skills and experiences that may help you be successful in the role. In this section, use several examples to highlight your professional accomplishments and how your skills helped you to accomplish varied tasks. You may use synonyms and phrases that define your competencies in this document. A cover letter is also a great way to explain both your professional and educational achievements.

Related: Writing An Internship Cover Letter (With Examples)

Resume skills for a job interview

A job interview involves a conversation between you and hiring managers, giving you an opportunity to discuss your skills verbally. Share with hiring managers the skills you possess and how they enable you to stay competitive in your industry. From staying organised to training new members of the team, mention the examples that help the hiring managers assess how hiring you can benefit potentially benefit the company. To make a positive impression on the interviewers, carefully listen to the questions they ask, as this shows your active listening and attention to detail skills.

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