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Top Skills for Resumes: The Most Common Resume Skills by Industry

Christa Reed

Content Creator


As a graduate or someone looking for career advancement, it is time to accept the fact that the resume you build will be the one you carry with you throughout your entire working life. Every time you gain invaluable work experience, it could make its way to your resume. The resume you build will change over and over again with every position you apply to and every person you share it with.

As part of building and maintaining a strong resume, you will need to identify and keep track of not only your relevant work experience, but also the skills you have developed. The skills section on your resume is arguably the most important section. Skills for resumes are a focal point for hiring managers and could change any time you tailor your resume.

As someone creating a strong skills section for your resume, it is crucial to learn how to write skills into your resume and which skills are worth highlighting. This is especially important for people with limited experience. Even though you may lack the previous experience employers are looking for, having the necessary skills will help hiring managers focus on your potential.

How Do I Write My Skills Into A Resume?

  1. Write a skills-based resume – a skills-based resume, which is also known as a functional resume, is a resume that lists your skills first. You can write a functional resume for a variety of reasons, but the most popular reasons are if you have little work experience or if you have had some stagnation in your career.
  2. Stay true to who you are – There are times where certain resume skills are very high in demand. There are two ways to address that. Either go learn the skill to put it in your resume or don’t put it on your resume. Many companies are cracking down on candidates’ “false advertisements” with skills tests. You don’t want to get caught in a facade.
  3. Cut all non-relevant skills – You may have advanced skills when talking about Adobe Premiere. However if you are applying for a data analyst position, that skill likely won’t matter. Be sure to keep your skills section relevant to the position at hand.
  4. Put your most important skills first – The standard number of skills to put on resumes is 5-10. When making that list of skills, it is important to put the skills that are most important and most relevant at the top of the list.
  5. Remember your skills are not just for the skills section – As you include skills in the skills section for your resume, be sure that is not the only place you put them. Take the skills from your skills section and intertwine them into your work experience so the hiring manager can see how fruitful those skills were in your previous positions.
  6. Formatting matters – The reality is that if your resume is poorly formatted, the hiring manager may never even see what skills you have. ATS systems and people checking resumes manually will not strain themselves to read and understand a resume that is poorly formatted.

How Do I Match My Skills With The Job Description?

  1. Read through the entire job description- Many times job searchers skim the job description or only make it through the first paragraph. Thoroughly reading through the entire job description will save you a lot of time if the hiring managers/employers are listing specific skills and expertise that are required for the job. By reading through the job description and understanding what they are looking for, it can help you tailor your hard skills and choose fitting soft skills for that position.
  2. Identify keywords used in the job description– Another reason you should read through the entire job description is so that you can identify key words to put in your skills section. Many companies use ATS systems. If you don’t have the skills from the job description mentioned in your resume, then the system will automatically toss your resume out.
  3. Research the company you are applying to – Once your resume makes it past the ATS system, then it will likely be seen by a hiring manager. As mentioned before, your skills section should be intertwined with your work experience. If you want your skills section to speak volumes, research the company you are applying to. Try to find some “weak spots” or areas where you could be a help. Once you’ve identified those, you can tailor your work experience section. Subtly put experiences from your past where you’ve solved similar problems with those skills from your skills section.
  4. Research the roles you are applying for – Putting skills for resumes can be tricky because we can display certain skills that help us succeed and not even realize it. Sometimes researching the role can help you identify skills that you have demonstrated and help you come up with ways to write it in your resume.

Are Hard or Soft Skills for Resumes More Important?

Soft and Hard Skills for Resume

Most skills sections include hard and soft skills. While hard skills, also known as technical skills, are extremely important for the role you are applying for, soft skills become equally as important. Technical skills will show how adept you are at performing a given task for your job. Meanwhile soft skills are more centered around your interpersonal skills and how you maintain relationships with the people around you.

Hard Skills Examples

Hard skills, or technical skills, are usually highly dependent on the industry that you are working in. Technical skills for resumes are skills such as:

  • Computer Skills : Typing, computer literacy, managing computer files, coding, etc.
  • Computer Program Skills : Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, Google Drive, JavaScript, etc.
  • A Specific Certification
  • Marketing and Branding : Managing Analytics, Managing Ad Campaigns, Content Creation, SEO marketing, etc.
  • Technology and Web Development: UX/UI, backend programming, search engine optimization, etc.
  • Data Manipulation: Data collection and analysis, problem solving and trouble-shooting, data mining, etc.

Soft Skills Examples

Soft skills are typically transferrable across different industries. With a few exceptions, almost every industry/career field requires networking and working with and around other people. Therefore, soft skills become very important because good work vibes help increase productivity and success.

Here are some examples of soft skills that are useful in almost every industry.

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Time Management and Organization
  • Adaptability
  • Listening and Communication
  • Stress Management
  • Public Speaking
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Problem-Solving

Skills for Resumes By Industry

Hard and soft skills for resumes can change depending on what industry and role you are applying for. The skills you may need for a remote tech role are completely different than the skills you need as a nurse. Therefore, it is really important to do a little research in your industry to see what skills are most important to highlight in your resume.

Resume Skills for the Technology Industry

In the tech industry, hard skills make a great employee. Because the tech industry can be highly specialized at times, hard skills are vital to your success. A workforce being highly specialized does mean that you will have to work with other people to ensure workflows are streamlined. So don’t think that interpersonal skills won’t come in handy.

Another thing to think about is the fact that the tech industry is one of the leaders in accepting remote work for its employees. With remote work comes the interpersonal skills that are necessary to make and keep a business productive. If you are working from home, then your employer and co-workers are going to be depending on you in ways other than your technical skills.

Top Skills for Resumes in the Tech Industry

Because soft and hard skills are vital to success in the tech industry, it is important to have a healthy balance of both on your resume. Tech roles are specialized so the technical skills you put on your resume will be closely connected to the role you are applying for. Common technical skills to put in your resume are:

  • A specific software proficiency (JavaScript, Blockchain, etc.)
  • Coding and Programming Languages
  • Technical Writing
  • Data Analysis
  • Program Management
  • Automation
  • Troubleshooting
  • Computer Hardware/Software knowledge

Common soft skills that many people in the tech industry rely heavily on are:

  • Teamwork
  • Analytical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Time Management

Top Occupations for the Tech Industry

When planning a career path, knowing the top occupations in your field is beneficial. If your intent is to enter one of the best jobs in the field, it is important to research the role to see the top skills for your resume. That way you can choose a career that closely matches what you will be able to put in your resume. According to the U.S. News and World History Report, the best tech jobs of 2021 are:

Resume Skills for the Healthcare Industry

Skills for resumes in the healthcare industry

Like the tech industry, the healthcare industry tends to be highly specialized. For that reason, hard skills are extremely important. On the other hand, a large percentage of healthcare workers do come into contact with patients. Not only that, but they can often come into contact with patients during very sensitive periods where patients may be emotionally and/or physically vulnerable. This makes your display of soft skills on your resume incredibly important.

Top Skills for Resumes in the Healthcare Industry

Hard and soft skills for resumes in the healthcare industry are both very important. While soft skills are crucial in your interactions with patients, you can’t say that one is more important than the other. While soft skills play a huge role, technical skills have the ability to improve someone’s health or alternatively send them down a different path.

Though specific technical skills vary by occupation, the most common technical skills for the healthcare industry are:

  • CPR, First Aid Training, and Urgent Care
  • Project Management
  • Industry Knowledge (ex: HIPAA and pharmaceutical knowledge)
  • Hands-on Technical and Procedural Skills (dependent on your occupation)
  • Data Entry and Medical Record Management
  • Business Administration
  • Licenses (ex: RN license)

Common soft skills for resumes in the healthcare industry are:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Communication
  • Analytical thinking and problem solving
  • Time management
  • Stress management
  • Judgement and Decision-Making
  • Research

Top Occupations for the Healthcare Industry

According to the U.S. News and World History Report, the best jobs in the healthcare field for 2021 are:

Resume Skills for Occupations in Education

Skills for Resumes in the Education Industry
Resume skills used in Education

Education, unlike healthcare and technology, is a more uniform industry where many educators, no matter what field they are in, have one primary goal – to relay information in a way that someone else can understand, learn, and apply. Educators have an end-goal that is measured based on the success of someone else. Therefore, educators sometimes have to rely more heavily on soft skills than hard skills.

Top Skills for Resumes in Education

Though soft skills may be more prominent in education to achieve the overall goal of most educators, hard skills are still important as well. Here are some hard skills most, if not all, educators have that should be put on your resume.

  • Teaching certification and other certifications
  • Extensive knowledge of the subject you are teaching
  • Multi-lingual (this includes sign language)
  • Skills acquired through professional development
  • Basic computer skills

For educators, the list of soft skills could go on for ages, but for the purpose of this article, we will only list a few:

  • People management and leadership
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Adaptability
  • Critical and creative thinking skills
  • Planning and organization
  • Patience
  • Time Management
  • Research

Top Occupations in Education

According to the U.S. News and World History Report, the best jobs in education for 2021 are:

Resume Skills for the Construction Industry

Right now, there are is a huge shortage of workers in the construction industry. The biggest reason for the shortage is that there aren’t enough people with the hard skills needed to be successful in the industry.

In construction, soft skills are important for worker’s safety and the efficiency of the project. Your hard skills are likely going to help you land the job. Meanwhile, soft skills may help separate you from other people who have the same level of expertise as you, which as we see from the shortage may not be very many right now.

Top Skills for Resumes in Construction

Occupations in construction are typically specialized. Therefore the technical skills needed to pursue roles in different areas of construction are dependent on the role you are pursuing. There are some common hard skills to put on resumes for construction jobs.

  • Diploma, Certifications, Trade Certification, or Degree
  • Building and engineering knowledge
  • Construction safety skills
  • Your skill level with different tools and machinery
  • Advanced reading and math skills
  • Manual dexterity and coordination
  • Project management

Though soft skills may not be as important as technical skills in construction, they are still vital to the safety and efficiency of projects. Soft skills to put on resumes are:

  • Leadership and managing people
  • Listening and communication
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Resilience
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to give and receive constructive criticism

Top Occupations in Construction

According to the U.S. News and World History Report, the best jobs in construction for 2021 are:

Skills-Based Resume

If you choose to write a functional resume, be sure to format it just like you would a regular resume. One of the key differences to keep in mind is that you do not necessarily have to list or paraphrase your job description with each job your list. However, it could be beneficial if it helps highlight some of the skills you listed at the beginning of your resume. In addition, you should use a decorative or eye-catching template to help the presentation of your resume.

Functional Resume Template

Qualifications summary: Your qualifications summary is where you can highlight some of your best skills. Be sure to keep this relevant to the job you are applying for. You can also include relevant achievements and your educational history if they will help strengthen your push for the position.

Relevant skills: Put 3-4 bullets that have as many specific and quantifiable examples as possible.

Skill #1

  • List as many notable achievements and/or work experiences as evidence of how the skill has been used during your work history.

Skill #2

  • List as many notable achievements and/or work experiences as evidence of how the skill has been used during your work history.

Skill #3

  • List as many notable achievements and/or work experiences as evidence of how the skill has been used during your work history.

Work experience

Company Name, City, State
Job Title
Employment dates (optional)

Company name, City, State
Job Title
Employment dates (optional)

Education

Degree Type, Major
School Name, City, State
Dates in which the degree was completed

Other relevant sections

Other relevant sections are usually sections like: accomplishments, certifications, publications, professional awards, volunteer work, etc.

Conclusion

As we see, a little research into different industries shows which skills are vital for success. Because these hard and soft skills can be different, it is important for you to match industry skills with your skills and brainstorm previous work instances to exemplify those skills. It is also important to pay attention to the job description so that you can identify keywords and put them in your resume.

Remember, the skills section is arguably the most important part of your one-page resume. Do a little extra work, and make it count.

Happy Job Searching!