What skills should I list on my resume?

Future employers want to know what you’re bringing to the job, but how do you know what to list? When listing your skills and training, it’s important to stand out from other applicants in listing your relevant experience – sometimes it can be the difference in landing the job over someone else.

How do you know that you’ve included the right ones? Skills can be broken into two categories: hard skills and soft skills. The “hard skills” are the directly applicable training or certifications you’ve received for the job. If you’re applying for a job as a plumber and have a journey-level certification, that’s a hard skill. The “soft skills” are skills that would be applicable to any job, such as being detail-oriented or punctual.

In general, hard skills are more relevant to employers looking to hire than soft skills. List hard skills higher than soft skills on your resume.

Fully read the job description and tailor your resume to each entry. A “people person” might be a good quality to have as a dental lab technician, but experience as a dental lab tech is more relevant when hiring for that job. Ask colleagues or others who work in similar fields to find out what skills would be applicable to those kinds of positions or reach out to a hiring manager to find out.

Presenting the best resume tailored to a specific job is the best way to ensure that you stand out among the crowd. Listing hard skills that first display experience or relevant training means that your resume may have advantages over others. Soft skills round out a candidate and show diversity but can be included further down a resume or weaved into job experiences instead of taking up valuable real estate.

1. Read the job description
2. Ask others what relevant skills you may need
3. Separate hard skills and soft skills
4. List hard skills first
5. Add soft skills later, or in job history