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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 hard skills. The ones that make you a professional and help you get the job done.
This guide will show you:
- What are hard skills & most desired hard skills types for resumes.
- 10 hard skills examples to use in your resume.
- What hard skills should you add to your resume?
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What are hard skills?
Hard skills are the measurable abilities that let you tackle job-specific duties and responsibilities. They can be learned through education, job training, courses, and work experience. These skills usually focus on specific tasks and processes, such as using dedicated tools, equipment, or software.
In contrast, soft skills are your traits and abilities—think collaboration, time management, empathy, or leadership. Most often, these are transferable skills you can utilize in different professions. Employers seek a combination of hard and soft skills, as they are both essential to succeed in job search and any given role.
Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 hard skills examples valued by employers:
10 Hard Skills Examples for a Resume
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.
Hard Skills For a Resume—Technical Skills:
- Lean manufacturing
- Multivariate analysis
- Linear regression
- Workflow development
- STEM skills
- Payment processing
- Automated Billing Systems
- CRM Platforms
Now, here are 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 by 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 the main landing gear.
2. Computer Skills
In today’s job market, computer skills are essential in any industry. Be sure to include them in your resume, especially if you’re applying for office jobs and the job ad requires specifics.
Hard Skills For a Resume—Computer Skills:
- MS Office:
- Google Drive
- Database Management
- Social media
- Enterprise systems
And here you’ll see some typical programming skills:
- Ruby on Rails
This is how you can make them work on your resume:
- Composed an app to allow voice control of lights, garage doors, and home thermostats 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.
3. Analytical Skills
Analytical skills include gathering data, analyzing it, deciphering the meaning, and presenting it.
No matter what job you’re pursuing, if you can show that you’re good with data analysis, the recruiter will score you some bonus points:
Hard Skills For a Resume—Analytical skills:
- Data mining
- Data presentation
- Resource management
- Data engineering
- Database management
- Data and metrics interpreting
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%.
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.
Hard Skills to Put on a Resume—Marketing Skills:
- Marketing skills list: SEO/SEM: Ahrefs, SEMrush, SEO Power Suite, Majestic
- Social media marketing and paid social media advertising
- 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
- Google Ads, Facebook Paid Ads
The list could go on, and on. Nowadays, the top marketing skills for a resume are data analysis, writing and content creation, SEO/SEM, social media, and 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
Aren’t presentation skills soft skills? Not exactly. Sure, you need certain soft, transferable skills to deliver a good presentation. These are confidence, adaptability, self-awareness, and stress management.
Hard Skills to Put on a Resume—Presentation Skills:
- Presentation skills list: Visual communication
- Data analysis
- 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.
6. Management Skills
Again, you might feel like people skills are at the core of good management and leadership. But that’s just half-right.
Hard Skills to Put on a Resume—Management Skills:
- Management skills list: Business knowledge
- Project management
- Office management skills
- New business development
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.
7. Project Management Skills
In short, project management skills guarantee that things get done on 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 and proficiency in certain frameworks and software.
Examples of Hard Skills—Project Management Skills:
- Project scheduling
- Strategic planning
- Project lifecycle management
- Agile software
- Scrum management
- Financial modeling
- Performance tracking
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.).
Examples of Hard Skills—Writing Skills:
- Basic writing: grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary
- Letter writing
- Email writing
- Business writing reports, press releases, content management
- Data visualization
- Creative writing: plotting, world building, dialogue
- Academic writing
- 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 obvious point on our list is language skills. 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, 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, like below:
- Offered meticulous customer support for clients in 3 languages: English, Spanish, and 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.
Examples of Hard Skills—Design Skills:
- Design Skills List: Photoshop
- UX/UI design
- UX research
- Data visualization
- Color theory
- Free Hand
- Corel Draw
- Print design
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? You might find this one useful: How to Write a Head-Turning Graphic Design Resume.
What Are The Hard Skills to Include 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 hard skills 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 hard skills?
- Include a list of your most relevant skills in a separate “skills” section. This way, they’re prominent and easy to spot.
- Refer to your professional hard skills in the employment history section: give examples of achievements and duties that illustrate your skills.
- Mention 2–3 key skills for this job in a professional profile on a resume (the paragraph at the top): either a summary statement or a job/career objective.
For more strategies for highlighting your job skills, check: Crucial Skills to Put on Your Resume 2023
How to Develop Your Hard Skills?
Hard skills can be learned in different ways, and the ease of assimilating them will depend on your previous experience, background knowledge, and natural capabilities.
Here are some most typical ways you can grow your hard skills:
- Courses and tutorials: Sign up for a course or browse online tutorials on the subject of your interest. There’s a wide choice of courses available online, and you can find them on popular platforms like Udemy or Coursera.
- Workshops: Participate in a workshop led by a professional. You’ll often have a chance to use the newly acquired knowledge in practice, participating in group exercises and discussions.
- Volunteering and internships: Look out for volunteer opportunities or apprenticeships, especially if you’re a beginner in the field. You’ll get a chance to gain some practical experience before starting a full-time job.
- Your own learning and practice: Search for books, manuals, and other resources to deepen your knowledge on desired topics. Regular practice and learning are key to consistently growing your expertise.
- Hobbies and interests: Get a hobby associated with your professional area. The more interested and engaged you are in a particular field, the easier it will be for you to assimilate new knowledge and skills.
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:
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 a line in the comments, we’ll get right back to you.
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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 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?
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 2024?
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 2024:
- Machine learning
- Statistical modeling
- Software testing
- Analytical skills
- Product management
- Management skills
- Digital security
- Search Engine Optimization
- UX design
- Graphic design
- Marketing skills, including social media marketing
- Account management
- Project management skills
- Programming languages
- Cloud computing
- Video editing
- Teaching and knowledge management
- Creative writing skills
- Foreign language skills
Some of these skills may sound intimidating, but you can learn many of them via online courses or video tutorials. Think about 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.