While the skills for your resume will vary according to the role you’re applying for, its seniority and the industry you work in, there are some skills that will always be valued by employers. These skills are often referred to as ‘soft skills’ as they are less technical, less role-specific and tend to relate to your relationships and how you manage various situations in the workplace. Here are five top skills to put on your resume, and some advice on how to talk about them.
1. Communication is important for all roles
Even if you work independently or in a small team, there is rarely a role in which strong communication skills wouldn’t be beneficial to your employer and the organisation at large. Good communication skills suggest you can explain your work to others, graciously call out successes and defend certain approaches, all while being diplomatic and respectful. Employers want to know that whether you’re dealing with the junior accountant or the CFO, you’ll know what to say and how to say it.
Resume skill example: I am a perceptive communicator with the capacity to engage, compel and liaise with colleagues, executives and external stakeholders.
2. Problem-solving abilities and resilience are crucial skills to put on a resume
Are you able to persist with a task or project even after your best attempt at completing it? Do you let frustration get in the way, or do you challenge yourself to think more creatively and find an innovative solution? Problem-solving and resilience are resume skills vital to progression and improvement in all roles, and as such, are important skills to put on a resume.
Resume skill example: I pride myself on the high-level problem-solving skills I have used in all roles to overcome adversity and guarantee efficiencies in my team. Resilience also enabled me to successfully complete a major company-wide IT project, securing my promotion to Project Manager.
3. Adaptability says you’re flexible
Employers want to know that you won’t crumble if circumstances change in their organisation, or if you’re asked to work on a project a little out of the ordinary. Stating that you’re adaptable assures employers you understand that roles and work evolve and change, sometimes throwing team members curve balls, but that you’re primed to handle it.
Resume skill example: Being adaptable and flexible has enabled me to challenge conventional ways of working and learn new and more efficient reporting techniques and diverse work style.
4. Teamwork is a must
Most jobs will require that you work with others and often a criteria for selection to a role will be your ability to work successfully within a team. Even if you only encounter a few people while performing your daily duties, employers want to know that when tasked with collaborating, you can do it effectively. Expressing that you can work with a diverse range of people and overcome conflict or disagreement to get the best job done is an inspiring piece of information for employers.
Resume skill example: While I enjoy working independently, I thrive when working in team. I’m excited about working effectively with others to achieve common goals.
5. Readiness to learn and eagerness to grow are key resume skills
No matter whether you’re applying for your first job as a customer service assistant, going for a business analyst role, or lining up to be a CIO, you should always be eager to keep learning and growing in your role. These resume skills also imply that you’re loyal to organisations, as learning and growth generally take place over a period of time.
Resume skill example: In all my previous roles an eagerness to learn and grow has seen me undertake external training, job shadowing or mentoring for career progression. I look forward to doing the same at your organisation.
For many employers, these soft skills for your resume will be just as important as harder, technical proficiencies when determining if you’re the best candidate for the job. Including them throughout your resume, providing examples of how you’ve used them in previous roles where possible, will present you as a prospective employee who understands the full scope of the role, and as one who has submitted a considered and well-executed application.
Take a look at our resume tips page for more advice on how to write a resume.