The Skills Employers Are Looking for This Year

Employers are usually looking for specific skills in their employees. What are some of the best skills to list on your resume?

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By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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Skills employers look for

Creating a skills section on your resume can be daunting. It’s similar to the open-ended question, “Tell me about yourself.” If pressed, you could probably list dozens of things you’re good at, but hiring managers don’t want a list of everything you’re good at. They’re looking for skills that will help you be a great team player in your new job. That means understanding the important skills you need to add to your resume. On this page you will find the best skills.

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What are the top skills employers look for?

There are some skills that just about every recruiter is going to be on the lookout for:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity

However, just because these are top skills that employers seek doesn’t mean that they’re also not looking for more qualifications. Employers typically want employees who have a variety of skills that mesh together to create a great team. So in other words, focus on a good mix of technical skills (such as knowledge of specific computer programs) as well as the skills listed above, and stick with whatever you’re truly best at, whether that’s strong communication skills, impressive time management skills, or vast creativity.

Other skills employers want to see from you

Of course, those five skills aren’t where your skill set should end. Here’s more great skills you should consider showcasing:

  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Active listening
  • Decision-making
  • Ability to learn on the job
  • Project management
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Strong work ethic

Note that a lot of these are social skills. Job candidates that really impress with people skills can succeed in a variety of contexts, no matter what the specific work environment is. These transferable skills are a great way to fill out a skills section on a resume.

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How to showcase and capitalize on these skills

You can’t just list skills and assume a recruiter will believe you. You need to make sure your potential employer believes in your skills enough to bring you in for a job interview.

1. Check similar resumes

One of the best ways to do this is to look at how people in your industry are writing their resumes. Checking out resume examples for specific jobs can help you see what other people are doing for their resumes, as well as how they’re showcasing their talents and skills. You should also look at the job description for the job you’re applying for, which can give you an idea of the skills that the hiring manager wants to see on your resume.

2. Use examples from current and past jobs.

Showcasing how you’ve used your skills in the past will also help you prove your skills. If you list that you’re good at problem-solving, point out some achievements in your work history section where you used those problem-solving skills.

3. Get some official certifications.

It’s also possible to get qualification testing for many resume skills. This typically isn’t necessary for a lot of skills, but getting a certification in your primary skills can show a potential employer that you really care about showcasing those skills.

FAQ: Skills Employers Look For

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Hard skills are an important part of any resume. However, if you’re lacking in some technical skills, an employer can often help teach you these new skills as part of your job. Soft skills are highly transferable and are typically viewed as “must-have” traits by many employers. It’s a good idea to list hard and soft skills on your resume, varying the ratio between hard and soft skills depending on your industry.

A cover letter is a great place to show off your skills. However, you shouldn’t just be rehashing your resume in your cover letter. A cover letter is an extra piece of your job search, and you should be showing off other elements of your skill set in your cover letter. This may include depicting the benefits you were able to achieve in leadership roles, indicating how you’ve helped past employers, and drawing attention to your best talents and the ways you’ve utilized them.

Depending on the job you’re looking for, employers are going to be checking to see if you have different skills. A customer service representative will obviously need different skills than a mechanical engineer, for example. Your best option is to look at the job listing and at resume examples in your field to see what skills are the most widely desired in your field. Then you can include those skills in your resume.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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