100+ Key Hard Skills to Put on Resume [+ Listing Tips for Maximum Impact]

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You may have heard a lot about the importance of the skills section in a resume. However, you might have not heard of hard skills to put on resumes which are different from soft skills. 

To put it simply, hard skills are teachable and measurable abilities that an individual can acquire through practice, repetition, and education. When going over the hard skills on your resume, employers can grab a quick idea of your expertise and see whether you are capable of performing a specific task or series of tasks to complete a job.

Wish to have a top-notch resume and impress the hiring manager? A strong hard skills CV section is the key.

The Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

What are hard skills?

Long gone are the days when applicants simply listed out skills. Nowadays, employers expect to see hard skills on CVs and resumes, as acquiring and developing them takes a lot of time and effort. Hard skills (also known as technical skills) are job-specific abilities, capabilities, or knowledge that must be learned through online/university courses, hands-on experience, and training.

Hard skills for a resume are often geared towards a specific career (e.g., teacher, lawyer, doctor, graphic designer, etc.) or a general set of expertise (e.g., Microsoft Office Suite, project management, technical skills, etc.)

If you are still confused about whether a skill is classified as a hard skill, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Were you born with the skill? Or does it take time for you to master? 
  • Could you measure the competence of the skill?
  • Is the skill focused on certain tasks and processes such as the use of tools, equipment, or software?

In terms of measurement, hard skills listed on a resume can be exemplified by course certificates or a work portfolio. Hence, note that you may need to attach relevant documents to support your resume for a job application. 

What are soft skills?

It is easier to identify soft skills than hard skills. Soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you work, including: 

  • How you get along with colleagues
  • How you see and resolve a problem
  • How you manage your time, workload, etc.

Soft skills don’t fit in a certain job but help us succeed in a wide range of jobs from different industries as well as work environments and day-to-day social interactions. As soft skills may pertain to personal attributes and character traits, you can be born with some soft skills to a degree. However, they can also be learned through training and courses and enhanced through work experience - just like hard skills. 

Since soft skills development is intangible, it’s hard to measure soft skills. Some of the attempts can be self-assessment or self-reporting tools.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

In brief, the key differences between hard skills and soft skills are how they can be gained and utilized at work. First, hard skills are commonly gained through education, training, and working whereas soft skills are personality traits you may have spent your whole life developing.

Additionally, hard skills are directly related to the position you’re applying for. Meanwhile, soft skills are not only applicable to one specific job but universal.

Top 100 Hard Skills to Put on a Resume/CV

1. Accounting and Finance Skills

Accounting and finance skills vary by roles and positions existing within these areas. In general, professionals working in these fields must have excellent analytical ability along with a solid understanding of industry technology.

List of 10 Accounting and Finance skills:

  • Standards of accounting
  • Knowledge of regulatory standards
  • General business knowledge
  • Software proficiency
  • Data analysis
  • Financial Accounting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Accounting and Reporting Software

2. Business and Management Skills

For those looking to enter the business world, it’s crucial to highlight business and management skills, which allows you to take on various roles within an organization. If you're interested in pursuing a career in this thriving field, take a look at these business and management hard skills examples for resumes:

  • Making schedules
  • Goal setting
  • Research & analysis
  • Performance evaluation
  • Project management
  • Streamlining processes
  • Financial forecasting
  • Business professional stats
  • Supply chain management
  • Database management

3. Marketing Skills

Marketing is considered a key component of any successful business, hence it takes a lot of time and effort to master various hard skills. 

Here are 10 hard skills for marketing resumes you need to learn and develop:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Database management
  • Data analysis
  • SEO
  • CRM tools
  • Content creation
  • Social media management 
  • Content management systems
  • Graphic design 
  • Mobile advertising

4. Writing Skills

Writing skills include the understanding, knowledge, and abilities related to expressing ideas through text. They can also be the technical knowledge about writing conventions, style guides, and formatting for different contexts. 

For those who want to be a writer or a content creator, check out the list of 10 essential writing skills: 

  • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Professional research skills
  • Outlining
  • Editing
  • Reading comprehension
  • Fact-oriented
  • Content management systems
  • SEO tools
  • Technical reports
  • Data analysis

5. Engineering Skills

The hard skills required in engineering are very diverse. Here are the 10 most common hard skills for engineers:

  • Equipment diagnostics
  • Inventory management
  • Quality control
  • Conceptual, Logical, or Physical Data Modeling
  • Process Management
  • Advanced Physics
  • City Planning
  • Infrastructural Design
  • Strategic Planning
  • Risk Management

6. Web Development Skills

Web development skills refer to the specific capabilities required for a web developer. Featuring these hard skills in CV can help you stand out from other applicants and land the interview.

List of 10 skills for web developers: 

  • Testing and debugging skills
  • Computer science
  • Programming languages
  • System design and analysis
  • Structural analysis
  • Development tools
  • UX/UI
  • Version control
  • Back-end basics
  • Search engine optimization

7. Project Management Skills

Speaking of project management, you will need essential hard skills to effectively coordinate a project from start to finish, including initiating, planning, executing, and evaluating. Project management encompasses a wide range of skills and responsibilities, for example:

  • Relevant technical skills
  • Writing reports
  • Research & analysis
  • Prioritization and goal setting
  • Project planning
  • Delegating
  • Budget management
  • Risk control
  • Hiring

8. Nursing and Healthcare Skills

Nursing and healthcare are challenging and rewarding professions that require a variety of hard skills. Upon reviewing a resume, hiring managers will take a close look at the technical skills to determine how qualified you are for the opening job.

10 hard skills for a nursing resume: 

  • Meditech documentation
  • Patient/family education
  • Nursing Practice Act & JCAHO
  • Clinical expertise
  • Treatment plans
  • Patient care
  • Operating room support
  • Equipment use expertise
  • Nursing diagnosis
  • Emergency response

9. Design Skills

Designers have a healthy mix of hard and soft skills, ranging from creative tools & software to exceptional teamwork.

Check the list below for 10 hard skills required when it comes to being a designer: 

  • Product-oriented approach
  • Foundational front-end knowledge
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • UX/UI design
  • Data visualization
  • Color theory
  • Paper sketches 
  • 3D software
  • Print design

10. Language Skills

Being multilingual can open a range of professional opportunities for you. Hence, you can list additional language skills to impress the recruiter. 

Example of how to write a language skills section on a resume: 

  • English - Native
  • French - Fluent
  • Mandarin - Conversational
  • Korean - Beginner

Or:

  • English - Bilingual
  • Spanish - Full professional proficiency
  • Portuguese - Professional working proficiency

List of Hard Skills for Different Resumes

1. Hard Skills for Students

  • Foreign language skills 
  • Microsoft Office 
  • Social media management
  • Graphic design 
  • Typing speed

2. Hard Skills for a Nursing Resume

  • Health Watch Pharmacy System
  • Admitting and discharging
  • Medi-tech documentation
  • Patient/family education
  • Knowledge of managed care program policies and procedures

3. Hard Skills for Managers

  • Process improvement
  • Budgeting & Cost controls 
  • Risk management
  • Brand strategy alignment
  • Strategic planning

4. Hard Skills for Engineers

  • Prototyping
  • Workflow development
  • STEM skills
  • Web: HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • PCB layout tools

5. Hard Skills for a Teacher Resume

  • Classroom management
  • Student engagement
  • IEP writing 
  • Curriculum implementation 
  • Performance assessments

6. Hard Skills for a Customer Service Resume

  • CRM software
  • Customer success management
  • Client relations
  • Process improvement
  • Front-end supervision

7. Hard Skills for an Administrative Assistant

  • Calendar management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Social media platforms
  • Outlook
  • WordPress & CMS management

8. Hard Skills for an Accounting Resume

  • Data analysis 
  • Account analysis
  • Revenue projections
  • Account reconciliation
  • Profit and loss

9. Hard Skills for an HR Resume

  • HR best practices
  • Employee relations & diversity
  • Talent acquisition
  • Staff coaching
  • Workforce planning & development

10. Hard Skills for a Marketing Resume

  • Adobe InDesign
  • SEO
  • Social media management
  • Data research & analysis 
  • Website design 

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How to List Hard Skills on a CV/Resume

Step 1: Read carefully through the job description

In general, employers would provide a list of skill qualifications required for the opening job. Thus, you need to go over the job description carefully and match it with the skills section in your resume/CV. 

Step 2: Select the hard skills that qualify you for the job

When it comes to a career change, it’s important to tailor your resume to the specific job, especially hard skills to put on a CV. It may take extra time, but worth the effort. By knowing exactly what hard skills are employers looking for, you can show them that you're the right fit for the vacancy.

Step 3: Include the selected hard skills on any resume sections below

We all know how to list out hard skills in a separate section under the name of “Skills”, “Highlights”, or “Core Competencies”.  

However, you also need to highlight them in the resume summary where to pique the employers’ interest right from the start with a strong resume summary. In addition, the work experience section makes the hard skills you put on your resume more compelling and convincing. 

Step 4: Use numbers or quantifiable results to highlight the hard skills

Bring numbers to the table to impress employers - why not? You not only can quantify your job responsibilities and accomplishments but also hard skills. Let’s take an example of hard skills for an HR resume, you can provide quantifiable results to clarify “Talent Acquisition” and “Staff Coaching”.

Step 5: Add proofs to support your hard skills listed (i.e. certifications)

In addition to measurable results, supporting documents such as certifications or licenses can demonstrate the hard skills listed out on your CV. This is especially important for hard skills for managers, for example, Sales, Marketing, HRM, or CRM-related certifications, or certificate of completion in organizational leadership.

How to Develop Hard Skills for a Better Career

In general, you need to apply hard skills to effectively handle day-to-day work duties. For this reason, hard skills are essential to your career. You will not only have a good job but also more opportunities for career advancement.

Check out 3 ways to develop your hard skills:

1. Enroll in professional courses with a certificate

Taking courses is an effective way to learn a new skill or knowledge, or improve existing hard skills. It would be best if you can acquire a certificate of completion which provides employers with solid evidence of that hard skill. 

2. Keep practicing

Regular practice is key to getting better at everything. Depending on the fields you’re working in, you can choose one or a few crucial hard skills to practice every day. Once you’ve mastered that skill, move on to the other.

3. Join a professional group in your field
By being active in a group setting, you have the chance to learn new knowledge and experience from other professionals. For example, if you’re a Marketer, check out these Facebook groups: CXL - Conversion Optimization, Analytics & Growth, Digital Marketing Questions, Marketing Solved, etc. 

Key Takeaways:

All in all, hard skills are important as they demonstrate an individual's technical expertise related to his profession. Especially for job seekers like you, providing a list of hard skills on a resume in the right way can make you stand out from other candidates and land the interview. Since hard skills can vary from occupation to occupation, it’s important to know what hard skills to put on your resume. Besides that, gaining new hard skills and mastering existing skills are necessary to advance your career. 

--- Originally written by May Luong ---

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