Top 20 Must-Have Skills to Put on Your Resume

Top 20 Must-Have Skills to Put on Your Resume

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1. Problem Solving Skills

No matter what the job is, eventually something will go wrong and employers want to know that you’re capable of coming up with a quick and effective solution.  In fact, there are jobs that are essentially nothing but solving problems for the company, the clients, or both.

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2. Critical Thinking Skills

Being able to think rationally and thoughtfully is the basis of critical thinking.  Employers want workers who can think through a problem or a project and determine the best steps needed. Critical thinkers come up with new and better ways to work, making it an invaluable skill to put on a resume.

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3. Flexibility

Many organizations and industries covet employees who are dynamic and adaptable to every situation, or who have a natural ability to use a variety of methods and approaches in different circumstances to get the best end result.

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4. Communication Skills

Whether it’s written or verbal, being able to communicate with your boss, coworkers, and clients/customers in all situations is very valuable. The better you are at it, the better results you will generate.

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5. Teamwork

Most jobs will sometimes require you to work with other people at some point, and employers want to know that you can succeed in a team environment. Some jobs will prize this skill more than others.

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6. Organization Skills

This is not just about having a neat desk, but organizing tasks and projects for your coworkers, management, and at the very least, yourself! If you want to show off your organization skills, having a tightly structured resume certainly helps.

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7. Creativity

Thinking outside of the box and coming up with creative solutions can be a real asset in any role. Perhaps you’re good at thinking about something in a way that hasn’t been done before. Creativity can be shown on your resume through a problem you solved or through a creative skill like writing or design.

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8. Emotional Intelligence

According to Psychology Today, “Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.” In the workplace, this means you’re rational and even-keeled, and can handle ups and downs without losing control. While this is important for everybody, it’s a must-have skill to include on a resume for management.

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9. Attention to Detail

On the job you need to ensure you follow all instructions in order to complete your work. This can be especially important when you work with others.  Paying attention to detail will be needed at any role you have. Consider times when you caught or fixed a potential mistake due to your attention to detail.

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10. Responsibility

Part of being a good employee is taking responsibility for your duties and even owning up to mistakes.  Most managers don’t want to have to check in on their employees to ensure every part of their job is getting done. Responsibility means doing what you need to do to complete your tasks.

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11. Computer Software and Application Knowledge

The list of professions that does not require you to use computers and certain types of software is very short.  You could very likely break up “computer skills” into two or three specific technical proficiencies for your field.

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12. Design

Aside from the obvious professions like graphic or web design, there are jobs in marketing, advertising, branding, engineering, and construction that require some type of design skills—even if it’s only for drawing up presentations.

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13. Data Analysis

Understand data is very much in vogue right now, and there are a lot of jobs out there where you will be called upon to analyze metrics and extrapolate a practical use from it, making analytical skills extremely valuable to put on your resume.

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14. Negotiation

There are many jobs that involve selling a product or service, purchasing stock or merchandise, brokering deals for production or transportation, establishing partnerships for advertising or investments, and so on.

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15. Mathematics

Finance, business, engineering, construction, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and operations will require you to be competent with math in some capacity.  If you’re in a profession that is more math-heavy, consider splitting it up into a few more specific skills areas.

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16. Project Management

Many jobs will require project management skills. The ability to manage your task flow and complete assignments on time is part of project management. Perhaps you have used project management software in the past or have completed a project early—these all show good project management.

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17. Marketing

Marketing involves selling and promoting products and services.  Even if you’re not a marketer per se, many companies may desire this hard skill. Knowing the highlights and benefits of your company’s products and services, and being able to speak or write about them, can be valuable to many different jobs. If you have specific 

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17. Marketing

marketing or social media experience, even better.

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18. Administrative

Even if your job is not administrative in nature, it’s likely a part of your role.  Administrative skills involve the things you do to manage your role: organizing, planning, scheduling, writing emails, managing files, etc. Employers want to know you’re able to take hold of the details.

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19. Writing Skills

Many jobs involve writing. Whether it’s to clients or coworkers, having a basic writing ability is necessary and an absolute skill to put on your resume.  Emails filled with typos and grammatical errors will not reflect well on you, and poor tone can send the wrong message. Demonstrate this skill through your cover letter 

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19. Writing Skills

and emails with the recruiter, and list any specific writing-heavy projects you’ve completed.

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20. Foreign Languages

Being bilingual can be a great hard skill and set you apart from your competition.  Even if a role or company doesn’t initially have a need for a bilingual employee, they may look favorably on your ability. It is common to need someone with fluency in another language to help customers or clients, so play up this skill on your resume.

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