The best skills to list on your resume in 2019

While creating your resume, you have an opportunity to state the work you've done in the past. That's why you have a section for job history. But this isn't enough to impress employers. 

It's essential to add a section that emphasizes your skills. Employers would see how your experiences make you qualified for the job.

Hiring managers select strong candidates for the available position. So listing your skills on your resume is the best way to stand out.

Albeit that doesn't mean you should list everything you can do. You must make sure that the skills you list are relevant to the company you apply to.

This article will show you the top skills that employers find valuable. You'll find a list of the best skills that can increase your chances of getting hired.

Creating resume

What are the core competencies? 

What's your level of education? Do you have professional certifications? And how much work experience do you have?

The answers to these questions make up the essential ingredients of your resume. Beyond that, your resume should highlight the skills that'll cut your competition.

The two types of skills that should appear on your resume are:

Hard skills, and
Soft skills

These skills are different, but both relevant in your resume.

Hard skills

You get hard skills from school, certification programs, and training programs. They are relevant to specific jobs and industries. 

Let's say you're a registered nurse who wants to pursue a career in marketing. The hard skills you've learned as a nurse won't add value to your application in marketing for obvious reasons. You're not applying to be a nurse.

Soft skills

Soft skills are a mix of skills that make it easy to navigate your environment and work with others. These skills may not be related to your acquired skills but may be useful for employment. They include:

Common sense
Emotional intelligence
Character traits
Communication skills
Social intelligence
Flexible attitude
Interpersonal skills

Albeit, soft skills aren't inferior to your hard skills. They complement each other.

Top 8 core skills to put on your resume

What core skills are employers looking for? 

When you're applying for a job, focus on the skills that emphasize on how qualified you are for it. To improve your chances of getting hired, include job-specific abilities. 

Here are eight core skills that you should list on your resume:

Project management

Thought Processes

Administrative ability

Business skill

Financial expertise




Why are they important in your resume?

Project management

Companies need excellent project management skills, regardless of the industry. 

As a project manager, you come up with the right project to work on. Make the right plans and make sure it's well-executed. Your job is to make sure you achieved your goals within the set time.

Thought Processes

Thought process

This skill is a problem-solving skill that allows you to think and reason well. Examples include Analytical, Conceptual, Creative Thinking, etc.

Administrative, Business, and Finance:

If you have these skills, it means you are good at accounting and business intelligence. You can fit in, whether it's a small or large scale industry.


Most employers prefer to have someone good with technology. This is true even for companies that have nothing to do with technology. This skill includes IT and other technical skills

Leadership and Management

Leadership and management

If you have leadership and management skills, then you're good with decision making. You can also lead a team because you can delegate authority and motivate a team. As an entrepreneur, you can make good negotiations.

Top 5 general skills to put on your resume

Most of the skills on your resume should highlight why you're qualified for the job you're applying for. As mentioned, it should include industry-specific strengths that your employers value.

But that's not all. Your resume should include skills that matter in every industry as well. These are your soft skills.

They aren't as technical as your hard skills, but equally as important. They show your ability to work in different environments and situations.

Here are five soft skills that you should include in your resume:

Teamwork skills


Often, employers want to know how well you can work in a group. Teamwork-related skills may consist of conflict management, active listening, and work delegation. Adding these to your resume conveys how you can adapt to a team situation.


Another soft skill that most employers value is your ability to solve problems. Logical reasoning, brainstorming, persistence, and negotiation make you a functional problem solver.


Work ethic


Employees who engage with the business are more valuable in the long run. Thus, employers want to hire applicants who value the work that they do. They prefer employees who are willing to add value to the brand.


Interpersonal skills


These skills aren't only crucial for employees who are on the front lines of the business. Employees at all levels of the organization need to have interpersonal skills. These enable them to get along with their colleagues. 


Time management

Time management


Time management is another valuable soft skill. It shows your ability to be productive within a given time frame. Companies want employees that can beat the time set for their tasks. Not only that, they want employees who complete value-added tasks. 


How to match the skills with the job description

The skills you list on your resume must be relevant to the job description. If you're a server who wants to become a chef, you will need more than customer service skills to land the job. To avoid adding anything unnecessary, you should make a master list of your strengths. 

Next, you can separate the hard skills from the soft ones. 

Select the job-related skills that are necessary for the role you're applying for. You may do a bit of research for this. Go to LinkedIn and view profiles of professionals with the same position as the one you want. 


Look at the skills they have and compare them to yours. If you find any other skills that apply to you, add them to your resume.


Where to highlight your skills in your resumé

Where to highlight your skills in your resume

The only challenge here is to identify the skills that you should include in your resume. Once you've done that, think of how to present them in your applications.

No matter what position you're applying for, it's best if you make a skills section on your resume. You should place it on the top part of the application. You can group your technical skills and separate them into sections. 

Let's say project management is one of your strengths. You can add skills in software such as Zoho and Trello under it. 

If data analysis is another strength, you can add your areas of expertise to this section. Data mining, resource management, and data engineering are a few examples.


As for your people skills, you can make a soft skills section, where you can put all your strengths. Add this right below the technical skills section.

Where to present your skills summary on your resume

If the employers are more interested in skills, then make skills your priority. Place your skills above your work history. In that way, they can quickly decide if you meet their requirements 

Sometimes, hard skills aren't enough to impress employers. They might want to know how you've applied these skills in real life. In such cases, you might want to use your work experience section to highlight your skills.


You don't want to bore employers by stuffing your resume with everything you can do. Focus on adding the skills that most likely adds value to their business. That includes job-specific strengths and people skills. 

Of course, you should work on matching the skills with the job description. After all, there's only so much room on your resume. You need to show employers that you meet the requirements within that limited space. 


Make a master list, so you're sure that you've added all that matters. Add the skills section in the right place. Then, highlight your strengths to let employers know you've got everything they need.

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