My Account

You control your data

We use cookies to tailor the experience of creating resumes and cover letters. For these reasons, we may share your usage data with third parties. You can find more information about how we use cookies on our Cookies Policy. If you would like to set your cookies preferences, click the Settings button below. To accept all cookies, click Accept.

Settings Accept

Cookie settings

Click on the types of cookies below to learn more about them and customize your experience on our Site. You may freely give, refuse or withdraw your consent. Keep in mind that disabling cookies may affect your experience on the Site. For more information, please visit our Cookies Policy and Privacy Policy.

Choose type of cookies to accept


These cookies allow us to analyze our performance to offer you a better experience of creating resumes and cover letters. Analytics related cookies used on our Site are not used by Us for the purpose of identifying who you are or to send you targeted advertising. For example, we may use cookies/tracking technologies for analytics related purposes to determine the number of visitors to our Site, identify how visitors move around the Site and, in particular, which pages they visit. This allows us to improve our Site and our services.

Performance and Personalization

These cookies give you access to a customized experience of our products. Personalization cookies are also used to deliver content, including ads, relevant to your interests on our Site and third-party sites based on how you interact with our advertisements or content as well as track the content you access (including video viewing). We may also collect password information from you when you log in, as well as computer and/or connection information. During some visits, we may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, download errors, time spent on certain pages and page interaction information.


These cookies are placed by third-party companies to deliver targeted content based on relevant topics that are of interest to you. And allow you to better interact with social media platforms such as Facebook.


These cookies are essential for the Site's performance and for you to be able to use its features. For example, essential cookies include: cookies dropped to provide the service, maintain your account, provide builder access, payment pages, create IDs for your documents and store your consents.

To see a detailed list of cookies, click here.

Save preferences
What Are Hard Skills? Definition & Examples for Every Resume

What Are Hard Skills? Definition & Examples for Every Resume

Not sure what “hard” skills are? You better find out! (And learn how to use them on a resume to score interviews.) Good news? You’ve come to the right place.

As seen in:

What makes you good at your job?


Recruiters will assume it’s years of professional experience, a solid diploma, and a well-established certificate.


But these all represent something much more important:


Your skills. The ones that get the job done—


This guide will show you:

  • How to list hard skills to make up for what you lack in experience.
  • What hard skills are in demand in 2023.
  • Why these skills beat any other selling point.


Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.


Create my resume now


Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.


What Are Hard Skills? 


It’s not about how difficult they are, it’s all about how process-oriented such abilities might be.


Hard Skills Definition:


Hard skills are abilities that let you tackle job-specific duties and responsibilities. Hard skills can be learned through courses, vocational training, and on the job. These skills are usually focused on specific tasks and processes such as the use of tools, equipment, or software.


In contrast, soft skills are your traits and abilities not unique to any job—think collaboration, time management, empathy, or leadership.


Which kind of skill set is more important? A LinkedIn study suggests that a slight majority (57% vs 43%) of employers value soft skills over hard skills.


But is this really an either/or situation?


Not really. The best way to think about it that hard skills get interviews, soft skills get jobs.

(Not to mention the thin line between definitions—how soft a skill is time management?)


If the hard-vs-soft-skills contrast isn’t quite clear to you, see our guide: The Difference Between Hard and Soft Skills Explained


Hard Skills Examples List


  1. Technical skills
  2. Computer skills
  3. Microsoft Office skills
  4. Analytical skills
  5. Marketing skills
  6. Presentation skills
  7. Management skills
  8. Project management skills
  9. Writing skills
  10. Language skills
  11. Design skills
  12. Certifications


(And here's a few tips regarding Top Skills Employers Look for in 2023)


How to List Hard Skills on a Resume


A successful resume displays a targeted set of hard skills. Before you jump to particular examples, see how and where to include them:


How to put them on a resume?


  • Don’t just copy-and-paste the skills you think you have.
  • Go through the job description and identify skills-related keywords.
  • Create a list based on what you find. 
  • Highlight these strengths on your resume.


Where to list them?



For more strategies of highlighting your job skills, see: Crucial Skills to Put on Your Resume 2023


Top 10 Hard Skills for a Resume: List of Examples


1. Technical Skills


Technical skills include specialized knowledge and expertise in fields such as IT, engineering, or science. Typical technical skills are abilities to use specialized software or equipment.


Here are some examples of technical hard skills:

  • CAD
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Linear regression
  • Prototyping
  • Workflow development
  • STEM skills
  • Web: HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Payment processing 
  • Automated Billing Systems
  • CRM Platforms
  • Research
  • Troubleshooting


Now, here’s a few samples extracted from resumes:


  • Created MS Excel pivot tables to identify 500+ new high-traffic, low-competition keywords that pushed us to $250,000+ more annual revenue.
  • Applied Lean manufacturing principles to redesign Kanban system. Decreased inventory costs 32%.
  • Efficient Mechanical Engineer with 3+ years’ combined experience as a Design Engineer. Can perform static, fatigue, and fracture analyzes for F-35 structural components of main landing gear.


For a dedicated guide to putting technical hard skills on a resume, see: The Best Technical Skills for Resumes


2. Computer Skills


Computer skills are your abilities to use software and hardware: from basic and general, to highly specialized.


On today’s job market, computer skills are a must in any industry. Be sure to include list them on your resume especially if you’re applying for office jobs and if the job ad requires specifics.


Here’s a list of some basic computer skills:

  • MS Office:
    • Word
    • Excel
    • Outlook
    • Powerpoint
    • OneNote
    • Access
  • Google Drive
  • Spreadsheets
  • Email
  • Presentations/Slideshows
  • Database Management
  • Quickbooks
  • Social media
  • Web
  • Typing
  • Graphics
  • Enterprise systems
  • WPM


And here you’ll see some typical programming skills:

  • Java
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • SQL
  • C#
  • JavaScript
  • C++
  • Python
  • iOS/Swift
  • Ruby on Rails


This is how you can make them work on your resume:


  • Composed an app to allow voice control of lights, garage door, and home thermostat, using an Amazon Echo and Raspberry Pi.
  • Wrote Excel formulas to add conditional formatting to a budgeting spreadsheet.
  • Automated reports with Oracle Netsuite to cut reporting costs by 25%.


Need more information? Here’s a must-read for you: Key Computer Skills to Put on a Resume in 2023


If you want to laser-in on MS Office skills, see: Microsoft Office Suite Skills for the Workforce


3. Analytical Skills


Analytical skills are the skills of gathering data, analyzing it, deciphering the meaning, and presenting it. 


No matter what job you’re pursuing, if you’re able to show that you’re good with data analysis, the recruiter will score you some bonus points.


Here are some analytical skills to put on a resume:


  • Research
  • Forecasting
  • Data mining
  • Data presentation
  • Resource management
  • Data engineering
  • Database management
  • Data and metrics interpreting
  • Reporting
  • Diagnostics
  • Creativity
  • Theorizing


Analytical skills proven on your resume:


  • Utilized Microsoft SPSS statistical software to track and analyze data. Created machine learning tools that computed adjusted P/E values.
  • Used MS Access to identify and improve low-performing portfolios. Increased average client revenue by 19%.


Learn more: Analytical Skills/Data Analysis Skills to Boost Your Resume


4. Marketing Skills


Marketing skills include the general knowledge of sales, advertising, and consumer research, as well as a plethora of highly technical, digital skills required for success in modern-day online marketing.


Marketing hard skills are of greatest value to candidates in media, advertising, social media, e-commerce, and product management.


Some examples include:

  • SEO/SEM: Ahrefs, SEMRush, SEO Power Suite, Majestic
  • PPC
  • Social media marketing and paid social media advertising
  • Writing
  • CRO and A/B testing
  • Email marketing and automation
  • HubSpot, Aritic PinPoint, ONTRAPORT, Infusionsoft
  • Funnel management
  • UX Design
  • Data visualization
  • Google Analytics and Google Search Console
  • AdWords, Facebook Paid Ads


The list could go on, and on, and on. But what marketing skills are most relevant today?

According to The Pipeline, those are the top marketing skills for your resume:

  • Data Analysis
  • Writing and content creation
  • Social media
  • Technology proficiency


Not sure how to make your resume show your marketing expertise? Get inspired by these samples of hard marketing skills on resumes:


Marketing ability highlights:


  • Introduced an incentive-driven A/B testing competition among team members which resulted in increasing landing page conversions by 114% in 4 months.
  • Adept at Using HubSpot, Kissmetrics, and Google Analytics.
  • Created 20+ SEO campaigns for websites with complex media and big structures.


Hungry for more? Check this out: Top-Level Marketing Skills for Your Resume & How to List Them


5. Presentation Skills


Wait, what? Aren’t presentation skills a soft skill?


Not exactly. Sure, you need certain soft, transferable skills to deliver a good presentation: confidence, adaptability, self-awareness, or stress management. But—


To facilitate your presentation or report, you’ll need at least a few of these hard skills:

  • Visual communication
  • Slideshows
  • Research
  • Data analysis
  • Reporting
  • Persuasion
  • Graphic design


And here’s how to prove you’re a savvy presenter on a resume:


  • Created 150+ business reports and newsletters, using data visualization to facilitate the message.
  • Assisted the CEO with creating slideshows in Powerpoint, Prezi, and Movavi.


See more: How to List Presentation Skills on Resumes


6. Management Skills


Again, you might feel like people skills are in the core of good management and leadership. Again…


That’s just half-right.


To be a good manager, you also need some job-specific skills such as these:

  • Business knowledge
  • Budgeting
  • Project management
  • Hiring
  • Finance
  • Office management skills
  • Logistics
  • New business development
  • Negotiating
  • Planning


And here’s how to convey your management expertise on an exec resume:


  • Implemented team-wide use of Google Docs, Slack, and Trello to slash project time-to-delivery 35%.
  • Redesigned budgeting methods to increase project delivery rate by 20%.


For more examples and step-by-step tutorials see: Managerial Skills List (Not Only For Managers!)


When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.


When you’re done, our online resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.


7. Project Management Skills


In short, project management skills guarantee that things get done.


More than that, actually: done in time and within budget. If you’re skilled in project management, it will be a plus for any sort of job where you need to coordinate processes or people’s work.


Project management skills include general managerial expertise as well as proficiency in certain frameworks and software. Here are some examples of PM hard skills:

  • Project scheduling
  • Strategic planning
  • Project lifecycle management
  • Agile software
  • Scrum management
  • Financial modeling
  • Kanban
  • Forecasting
  • Performance tracking
  • Budgeting


And these samples will show you how to present your PM expertise on a resume:


  • Highly skilled in Agile software: employed Jira and Taiga to improve team velocity 35%.
  • Budgeting: saved $800,000 through a company-wide automation drive.
  • Implemented Lean Training project for all employees.


For more tips on showcasing your PM hard skills, head over to Project Management Skills Crucial for Your Career (And Resume!)


8. Writing Skills


A solid grasp of writing techniques will give your career a boost if your job requires any sort of writing (think typing up quarterly reports, onboarding documents, presentations for clients, sales pitches, etc.).


Check out these examples:

  • Basic writing: grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary
  • Note-taking
  • Letter writing
  • Email writing
  • Business writing reports, press releases, content management
  • Data visualization
  • Creative writing: plotting, worldbuilding, dialogue
  • Academic writing
  • Storytelling
  • Copywriting
  • SEO
  • Editing
  • Journalism
  • Proposal writing
  • Social media
  • Presentation writing


Now, an ultimate writing assignment… Conveying your writing skills on a resume. This is how to do it:


  • Content writing: produced up to 4 1000+ words long articles weekly.
  • Authored a 90-page user guide for a cloud-based webinar app.
  • Wrote 3 successful grant applications that received $160,000 in funding.


We’ve written a super detailed piece on writing skills, give it a read: 150+ Writing Skills for Jobs & How to Boost Them


9. Language Skills


Another somewhat obvious point on our list. But that doesn’t make it less important.


Knowing more than one language will set you apart from your competition for any job in a company that deals with international customers or stakeholders.


First of all, create a section for languages. List all foreign languages you know and indicate your proficiency level.


But you can also emphasize your multilingual skills in other parts.


  • Offered meticulous customer support for clients in 3 languages: English, Spanish, French.


Need more information? See: How to Show Off Your Language Skills on a Resume


10. Design Skills


If you’re a skilled illustrator, modern employers will fight one another for who gets to hire you. No, not only if your niche is graphic design. The ability to create polished visual materials is a great asset in all work environments.


Here are some graphic design skills examples.

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • UX/UI design
  • UX research
  • Data visualization
  • Color theory
  • Acrobat
  • Free Hand
  • Corel Draw
  • Sketching
  • Typography
  • Print design
  • Layout


Now, here’s a few samples from other resume sections:


  • Authored superior graphic design, print production, ads, marketing collateral, viewbooks, and logo design.
  • Designed logo for Nabor Gro groceries and liquor, Arondale, Connecticut.


Need more inspiration to highlight your creative powers? While we don’t have a dedicated piece on design skills, I’m sure you’ll find this one useful: How to Write a Head-Turning Graphic Design Resume


Certifications: The Best Way to Validate Your Hard Skills


If you have certifications that back up your skills, list them in a separate resume section. Include the name of the certificate and the year you received it.


Learn more: How to Include Certifications on Resumes


Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:


matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway


Here’s everything you need to know about putting hard skills on a resume:

  • Hard skills are the job-specific skills that make you well suited for a particular role.
  • Always match your hard skills to those from the job ad.
  • Use skills-related keywords in the work experience section, along with real-life evidence of how you used those skills to achieve spectacular results.
  • Don’t forget to list the most important abilities in a separate skills section.
  • Mention 2–3 most relevant skills in your resume profile.
  • Validate your skills by listing professional certifications.


Got more questions? Need assistance in picking the right hard skills for your resume? Drop me a line in the comments, I’ll get right back to you.


About Zety’s Editorial Process


This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.


Frequently Asked Questions about Hard Skills

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are professional abilities that you must have to perform your job duties, and they refer to specialist knowledge you can learn through education, development courses, or training. Mastery of hard skills can be evaluated using knowledge tests or professional exams.


Hard skills differ from job to job. This means that a resume for a professional chef needs a different set of hard skills than a software engineer’s resume. For a chef, hard skills examples are food preparation, sanitation and hygiene, combining flavors, planning menus, and managing kitchen staff. For a software engineer, examples of hard skills are programming languages, software testing, full-stack development, and so on.


What is the difference between hard skills vs. soft skills?

Hard skills refer to the essential knowledge that you need for your profession. Meanwhile, soft skills are personal qualities that influence your approach to problems, creativity, and ability to work with others. They’re sometimes called people skills. While you can learn hard skills at school, during courses, or with training, you can develop soft skills through analysis of your own behavior and with the help of professional coaches.


Some argue which are more important in discussing hard skills vs. soft skills. But the truth is, a good employee needs both. Why? Because professionals without soft skills can be very difficult to work with. 


What are the hard skills for a resume?

Hard skills on a resume are an essential part of the skill section. They can also be mentioned in other parts of the resume, such as a resume profile or the work experience section.


These job-specific abilities must be consistent with the job requirements. For example, if the job advertisement for a teacher says: “Essential duties include lesson planning for K-12 STEM curriculum, performing student evaluation using appropriate assessment techniques, and accurate maintenance of all required records,” then the hard skills on a resume for a teacher are lesson planning, knowledge of K-12 STEM curriculum, student evaluation, and keeping administrative records.


It’s recommended to select around 5–7 hard skills to put on a resume and to balance them out with 2–3 soft skills relevant to the job.


Why are hard skills important?

Hard skills are an important part of any job. They refer to the knowledge and abilities essential for the profession, such as having a driver’s license and understanding road rules for a truck driver. Without those hard skills, employees won’t be able to perform their work duties effectively.


As these skills are essential for work, it’s worth brushing up on your knowledge and abilities from time to time. Even if you’re an expert in your field, new developments might bring methods and solutions that can make your job easier, especially if your job needs computer skills or technical abilities.


What are the top 20 hard skills examples for 2023?

While hard skills vary between professions, some of these abilities are transferable. Learning them can be a good step to improving your career.


These are the top 20 hard skills for a resume in 2023:

1. Machine learning

2. Statistical modeling

3. Software testing

4. Analytical skills

5. Product management

6. Management skills

7. Accounting

8. Digital security

9. Search Engine Optimization

10. UX design

11. Graphic design

12. Marketing skills, including social media marketing

13. Account management

14. Project management skills

15. Programming languages

16. Cloud computing

17. Video editing

18. Teaching and knowledge management

19. Creative writing skills

20. Foreign language skills



Some of these skills may sound intimidating, but you can learn many of them via online courses or video tutorials. Think which of these skills can be smoothly combined with your profession. For example, if you are a photographer, you could spend a few hours of your free time learning about social media marketing to improve your Facebook and Instagram pages.


Rate my article: hard skills
Average: 4.67 (154 votes)
Thank you for voting
Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW
Michael is a career writer, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and the newsletter coordinator at Zety. Apart from sharing his own resume-writing expertise, Michael reaches out to recruitment and hiring gurus to help you learn the most effective strategies for managing your career.

Similar articles