12 Essential Skills to Include on Your Resume
What is one essential skill that job seekers should highlight on their resumes to get seen by employers?
To help you put together a selling resume for your job applications, we asked hiring managers, recruiters, and business leaders this question for their best insights. From highlighting your emotional intelligence to including cases to show your adaptability, there are several skills that are essential for job seekers to include on their resumes to make them stand out to employers.
Here are 12 essential skills these leaders expect job seekers to include on their resumes:
- Highlight Your Emotional Intelligence
- Include Your Competence in Specific Tech Platforms
- Devote a Section to Transferable Skills
- Demonstrate Collaboration and Teamwork
- Include Your Digital Literacy
- Show Accountability by Highlighting Responsibilities
- Highlight Your Ability to Develop and Maintain Professional Relationships
- Demonstrate Collaborative Problem-Solving
- Show Evidence of Multilingual Skills
- Cite Practical Examples to Buttress Your Skills and Abilities
- Highlight Your Ability to Self-Manage
- Include Cases to Show Your Adaptability
Highlight Your Emotional Intelligence
A job can get stressful and test our ability to keep our cool under pressure, and in recognizing how important it is for employers that we do, job seekers should highlight emotional intelligence on their resume. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions even in the toughest of situations, while preventing them from dictating your actions–and it’s important. Therefore, using words that highlight emotional intelligence such as “empathy” and “flexibility”, then citing experiences that showcase those abilities or pointing out responsibilities where that skill proved critical, is an effective way to show off your emotional intelligence.
By highlighting your emotional intelligence on your resume or cover letter, in addition to your accomplishments, you will suggest to employers that no matter how demanding their job get, you’re capable of delivering the same excellence.
Greg Gillman, MuteSix
Include Your Competence in Specific Tech Platforms
The average role today involves some level of technology use, whether that be for writing and recording, client management, or web maintenance. You may not know beforehand which platforms your prospective employer uses. This is why it’s important to highlight the ones you have competence in any way. Say you are a MailChimp pro, but the hiring company uses ConvertKit. Chances are, they will still be eager to hire you because these platforms share similar features. For this reason, it is always advisable to be as specific as possible in your skillset on a resume.
Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress
Devote a Section to Transferable Skills
While there are specific skills that are necessary for each type of position, job seekers should always highlight their transferable skills on their resumes. Shifts in workforce demographics and the Great Resignation have caused businesses to change their approach to evaluating candidates, not solely focusing on specific skills, but on the trainability of someone based on transferable attributes.
Whether it is oral communication skills, written skills, management, or decision-making abilities, highlighting transferable skills on your resume can make a candidate that someone would have not have previously considered, and put them at near the top of the list of potential employees. Making sure you have a transferable skill section on your resume is not critical to the strength of your candidacy but can greatly widen the types of jobs you would be considered for.
Anthony Puopolo, Rex MD
Demonstrate Collaboration and Teamwork
Communication, collaboration, and teamwork are all examples of transferable skills that companies love because they can be used in any job role, regardless of your education or vocational training. Moreover, with the ever-evolving shifts in remote and hybrid workplaces, having effective collaborators is almost non-negotiable. If you can demonstrate your ability to work closely with team members regardless of their location, you immediately become a valuable asset.
Harry Morton, Lower Street
Include Your Digital Literacy
With technology becoming more and more ubiquitous in all aspects of life, it’s important for job seekers to be able to not only use basic office suite programs but also have some proficiency in more complex software, such as project management tools, graphic design programs, and web development platforms. Additionally, being comfortable with social media platforms is also a valuable skill to list on your resume. In many industries, employers are looking for candidates who can not only do the work but also help with promoting the company online and engaging with customers or clients through digital channels.
Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io
Show Accountability by Highlighting Responsibilities
Most businesses don’t expect their employees to be perfect but they do want them to be accountable, which is why highlighting the quality of responsibility on your resume can be critical. Owners generally do not want to micro-manage, as they expect their employees to complete their tasks without having someone constantly checking in on their progress.
Describing your daily responsibilities with a focus on time management, detailing important projects where deadlines were critical, and showcasing leadership in a team setting or in customer service, are excellent ways to demonstrate your responsibility skills. In emphasizing your ability to be responsible, you will demonstrate your understanding of accountability and let them know you can work independent of constant oversight.
Cody Candee, Bounce
Highlight Your Ability to Develop and Maintain Professional Relationships
Though business relationships are constantly transforming, almost every employee that builds better relationships can help a business thrive. Highlight your ability to develop and maintain professional relationships to land roles everywhere, from indirect client roles in IT and accounting to client-facing sales. If you have direct account management skills and experience, prominently display it on your resume. If you’ve nurtured relationships through highly-collaborative teams or managerial positions, let hiring managers know. As the world becomes more digital, the art of building long-term relationships is more relevant now than ever.
John Li, Fig Loans
Demonstrate Collaborative Problem-Solving
Employers are looking for people who can work effectively with people with differing areas of expertise to solve problems in the most efficient way. This skill is vital for employees at all levels, from entry-level positions to senior executives. Job seekers need to show that they can tackle challenges as they arise by analyzing the situation, recalibrating, and coming up with answers.
When writing your resume, highlight your problem-solving skills by talking about a situation at work where you helped your team find a solution when faced with a problem. Employers are especially interested in hearing about how you react when faced with unexpected developments or when you lack the necessary information. If you can demonstrate collaborative problem-solving skills, employers will see this as a strong indicator of future performance and leadership potential.
Leanna Serras, FragranceX
Show Evidence of Multilingual Skills
In today’s global workplace culture, companies are becoming more interested in adding diversity to their teams. Firstly, diversity is excellent for marketing and customer outreach. People want to buy from brands that they can relate to. One of the best ways to establish that connection is by having employees who can connect with them through their native language. Moreover, multilingualism adds cultural richness to a company which could boost the level of creative insight used in their campaigns. Job seekers shouldn’t shy away from highlighting their heritage. It’s an asset to any business.
Stephan Baldwin, Assisted Living Center
Cite Practical Examples to Buttress Your Skills and Abilities
Many jobseekers make the mistake of relying on lists and bullet points when detailing their best attributes. Though it’s great to advocate for yourself, the claims on your resume make a much greater impact if you’re able to support them with evidence. This is called “practicality”, which is the doing of something rather than the theory or idea of it. Practicality is not a skill that you write down on your resume; rather, it can be highlighted silently through the inclusion of relevant examples, real-life scenarios, and detailed work experience.
Here’s how it works in practice. Rather than saying you’re a team player, give an example of a time when you led your team through a difficult situation and came out on top. Employers want to hear these stories — not only are they rooted in reality, but they paint a convincing picture of how you could add value to their workplace as an employee. Next time you feel tempted to list a set of skills or buzzwords, give this a try instead.
Max Wesman, GoodHire
Highlight Your Ability to Self-Manage
Whilst on the job, training and a certain degree of learning is required with any new job role, we expect to see candidates demonstrate, and provide examples of, times they’ve made a conscious decision to self-manage, particularly where self-management has been required as a reactive approach to problem-solving. Self-management is crucial in ensuring that aspects such as training and micro-tasks are completed inline with the requirements of the company.
Wendy Makinson, Joloda Hydraroll
Include Cases to Show Your Adaptability
Arguably the most essential skill for any job seeker to highlight on their resume is their adaptability. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing economy, the ability to quickly adapt and learn new skills is more important than ever. Employers are looking for candidates who are not only skilled in their current field, but who also have the motivation and potential to grow into new areas. Talk about your willingness and ability to adapt on your resume – ideally with reference to specific examples from your previous roles. Showcase any relevant skills or experience that you have in different fields, and be sure to demonstrate your willingness and eagerness to learn new things. If you can show that you’re versatile and adaptable, you’ll make yourself a much more attractive candidate.
Ian Wright, Business Financing