What are good key skills for a CV? Professionals from all industries tend to ask this question. Resume skills are one of the primary factors that influence employers’ decisions. In this article, we’ll provide a detailed explanation of the matter and share examples of skills for CV. Our tips should enable you to impress even the most discerning HR manager!
Soft skills for CV tend to be even more important than hard ones. If a professional doesn’t know how to handle a specific technology, the employer can send them to an educational course. Yet it’s much harder to teach and assess soft skills.
Communication is crucial for nearly any occupation. People need to report to supervisors, negotiate with clients or partners and stay in touch with colleagues. They inform the audience about products or services and deal with consumer requests. They should be familiar with modern communication technologies, from Whatsapp and Zoom to Slack and Discord.
The list of communication skills can be very long. You should prioritize them and include only those in your resume that are relevant to the position that you apply for — for instance:
- Non-verbal communication — for sales reps who meet their clients face to face or arrange video calls with them
- Public-speaking — for senior-level tech professionals who conduct educational events for their junior-level colleagues
- Active listening — for geeks who don’t need to communicate with others too often but would like to accentuate the fact that they aren’t completely passive
Discussion, persuasion and negotiation also belong to this category.
This class of job skills resembles the previous one but isn’t identical to it. It reveals your ability to establish positive and long-lasting relationships with others. Such skills are vital for individuals who work as a part of a team or regularly interact with people from outside their organization (such as clients, contractors or partners).
Here are a few examples:
- Empathy — for the customer support crew
- Networking — for PR experts who’re responsible for expanding their employers’ industry contacts
- Teamwork — this one is worth mentioning when applying for too many positions across nearly all sectors
Openness is a less common example — but it can produce a nice impression on the HR manager.
The list of key skills for CV would be incomplete without these ones. Even if your job isn’t directly related to the tech industry, it makes sense to speak about:
- Internet savviness — specify your level of competencies (from browsing web pages to basic HTML knowledge)
- Social media — use numbers to inform the employer how many followers you have attracted to your accounts, how many sales you made through social networks and which ad budgets you can operate
- Fast typing — it’s the very basic skill that can come into play if you lack any other outstanding abilities so far
Tell the HR manager that you’re familiar with office suites. At a slightly more advanced level, think of boasting about installing and configuring equipment, troubleshooting and database management.
The best skills for CV from the managerial category include:
- Project management — focus on it if you’re ready to supervise teams that consist of multiple specialists working towards the common goal
- Risk management — this one is valuable not only for managers but for everyone who needs to make decisions independently
- Time management — it’s important for nearly any position but becomes paramount if you’re planning to work remotely or in the hybrid format
Managerial skills come in handy for all the vacancies that involve optimizing resources. These resources can be money, human capital or technological solutions. Conflict resolution, action planning and logistics fall into this category as well.
It’s one of the most in-demand skills for CV. It’s equally important for tech and managerial positions.
To solve a problem means to:
- Identify the issue
- Detect its cause
- Eliminate the cause
- Fix the consequences that the issue provoked
- Share your experience with others so that they don’t repeat your mistake
It’s great when a professional can think outside the box and come up with non-standard solutions.
In your CV, you can mention these merits of yours:
- Attention to detail — engineers need it when developing digital products and designers require it to create aesthetically appealing interfaces
- Analytical skills — are useful for nearly any positions that required intellectual effort
- Research skills — it’s not necessary to be a scientist to do research — marketers do it too
Decision-making skills and critical thinking also fall into this category.
Your list of skills for CV will only benefit if you include the following words in it:
- Goal setting — these can be measurable KPIs that you can set for yourself and other team members
- Prioritization — to identify the top-priority duties and focus most of the efforts on them
- Scheduling — compared to time management, this notion is a bit narrower: it lacks the supervision aspect and is concentrated mainly on planning
The more organized you are, the more efficiently you should cope with short and long-term tasks. Thanks to your high performance, your employer will be able to earn more money.
This class of professional skills for CV is relevant only for selected positions. Not every manager needs to be a leader — and a leader doesn’t necessarily work as a manager. A leader is a person who has accumulated considerable expertise in the chosen niche and knows how to motivate others. Their emotional intelligence is highly developed and they’re natural-born influencers. They encourage their colleagues to learn new things, work harder and deliver better products. They fill people with enthusiasm and become their role models.
This set of skills can include:
- Creativity — to cope with the challenges that everyone else struggles to overcome
- Relationship-building — to form teams, increase mutual trust and enhance collaboration
- Coaching — to provide education and support to those who need it
Motivation, commitment and strategic thinking are worth mentioning as well.
Customer Service Skills
What to put for skills on a CV if your role consists in interacting with clients? Consider these options:
- Product knowledge — you might not be familiar with the product that you’ll be selling but you can tell about your previous experience in the niche
- Adaptability — you should be ready to adapt to each individual customer as well as to the rapidly changing market environment
- Positivity — it should be enough to mention this word without any further explanations.
When speaking about your persuasion skills, try to back them up with numbers. For instance, “Thanks to my persuasion skills, I helped my previous employer to sell such and such number of goods within such and such time frame”.
Extra Tips to Remember
List your skills in a dedicated section of your CV. It should immediately catch the eye of the HR manager.
Tailor your resume to each position that you apply for. Prioritize your skills by relevance. Place the most essential ones on the top of the list. Omit the details that aren’t relevant to the position under discussion.
Specify the proficiency level for each skill. For instance:
- Research skills — beginner
- Internet savviness — intermediate
- Product knowledge — advanced
- Public speaking — expert
At the beginner level, you know only the theoretical basis but lack hands-on experience. It’s typical of students and recent graduates.
At the intermediate level, you already have practical knowledge — for example, know the basics of HTML and have created several web pages.
At the advanced level, you’re ready to teach others — such as conduct workshops for your colleagues.
To qualify as an expert, you should keep mastering the skill for at least five years and gain public recognition. For instance, an expert public speaker regularly delivers speeches at networking events, industry conferences and motivational gatherings.
Avoid exaggerating or telling lies. It’s very easy to check all the facts. If the employer realizes that you aren’t fully honest, they will be unlikely to hire you.