“Soft” skills are those that are not quantifiable, such as leadership. These skills also cannot be learned, but are rather a facet of your personality. Nevertheless, soft skills are still critical to have, for they demonstrate that you are personable and competent.
Tip: Use some of the soft skills as adjectives when writing your profile summary. For example, try “enthusiastic entrepreneur,” “empathic childcare worker,” “organized nurses’ aid,” “supportive administration assistant” or “detail-oriented sales associate.”
The resume below is for a Childcare Worker and includes many soft skills that companies look for, including Creativity and Organizational skills.
In contrast, “Hard” skills are those that are learned -- either in school or through a certification program. These skills are quantifiable and can be continuously expanded upon through further education. Today, most hard skills have to do with computer technology, such as SEO, CSS/HTML, or Microsoft Suite. Even if you aren’t tech-savvy, chances are you still have a few hard skills.
Tip: Be specific about your hard skills. Instead of listing “Programming Languages,” specify which ones you know -- Python, Java, C, etc. Same with photo editing software and any other platforms you are familiar with.
The resume below is for a Content Marketing Associate, and includes manyhard skills that companies in the marketing industry look for, including experience with Social Media tools. Remember, it's important to be specific in terms of defining and listing what softwares you know.
Whether you’re a jack of all trades or a master of one, you absolutely must list some skills on your resume. Skills offer additional insight into what you can offer the company as an employee, and may just push your resume over the edge and into the interview pile.
Only list relevant skills. If you’re applying for a position as an engineer, don’t brag about your marketing abilities. Instead, save the space to list the software and programming languages that you know.
List around 5 Skills. Writing too many skills on your resume can be an overwhelming experience for the recruiter. He or she may not fully register your skills, and instead just blankly skim the long list. Conversely, listing too few skills is only selling yourself short. You definitely have more than two skills -- no matter your experience level! So shoot for around 5 skills, with a little wriggle room.
Include both hard and soft skills. Even if your profession seems to rely on soft skills more than hard skills -- or vice versa -- including both makes your resume stronger. For example, if you’re applying to work as a laboratory assistant, list soft skills such as “teamwork,” “problem-solving,” “time management,” or “organization.” If you’re in a more creative field, hard skills include softwares such as “Adobe Creative Suite” and talents such as “photography,” “writing & editing,” or “videography.”
Note your experience level. With each skill, specify whether you are a “beginner,” “expert,” or somewhere in between (using words like “intermediate” and “moderate”). Our resume templates have bars beneath each skill that you can toggle to reflect your expertise.
The resume below is for a Human Resources Manager, and includes all of the above tips.
Communication (More Specifically -- Verbal Communication Skills, Listening Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Written Communication Skills, Public Speaking Skills, Presentation Skills)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Nursing and Healthcare Job Skills
Taking Vital Signs
Recording Patient Medical History
Wound Dressing And Care
Urgent And Emergency Care
NIH Stroke Scale Patient Assessment
Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Use Of X-ray, MRI, Cat Scans
Electronic Heart Record (EHR)
Thorough Understanding Of HIPPA And Privacy Policies
Ability To Take And Record Vital Signs
CPR And First-Aid Certifications
Perform And Evaluate Diagnostic Tests
Maintain Patient Charts
IT Job Skills
Open Source Experience
Front-End & Back-End Development
Graphic User Interfaces (GUI)
Git/Version Control (Github, gitlab)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Application Programming Interface (API)
Adobe Photoshop, InDesign
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Responsive Design Principles
Mobile and Web Development (e.g. iOS, Android)
Engineering & Technical Job Skills
Technical Report Writing
Programming Languages HTML, CSS, CRM tools
Advertising & Marketing Job Skills
SEO (SEMRush, WordPress, and Ahrefs)
SEM (i.e., Google Adwords)
CRO and A/B Testing
Social Media Marketing and Paid Social Media Advertising
Sales Funnel Management
CMS Tools (WordPress, Weebly)
Graphic Design Skills (Adobe Creative Suite)
Email Marketing (MailChimp, Constant Contact)
Photography and Branding
Data Analytics (Google Analytics )
Social Media And Mobile Marketing
Paid Social Media Advertisements
Consumer Behavior Drivers
Writing Advertising Copy
Soliciting Feedback From Customers
Social Media Outreach
Interactive Media Design
Color Sense & Theory
Social Media Publishing
Mobile and Web Development (e.g. iOS, Android)
General Management and Project Management Job Skills
Agile Project Management (Kanban)
Managing Cross-Functional Teams
Profit and Loss
Project Lifecycle Management
Collaborative Programs (Slack, WhatsApp, Dropbox)
Adobe Creative Suite
Katerina is a junior studying English and Marketing at Johns Hopkins University. She has experience in social media, science writing, and fiction. When she isn't writing, she's hitting the gym, playing with her cats, or eating chocolate.