When you are describing your difference, your list of skills for a CV will show the hiring manager whether you have what it takes to succeed.
Thinking about your CV skills will keep you up at night, though….
How do you showcase your skill set to create an irresistible sales pitch?
There are so many questions. What are some of your strengths? What are your skills gaps? How do you define your skills? How do you list skills on a CV? When you describe one of your skills, you need it to serve a dual purpose: it starts a conversation about a career win in your past and it also signposts the fit for your future job.
This blog will explore how to create the perfect mix of skills for a CV:
- What are the key skills to include in your curriculum vitae?
- List of 150+ skills for a CV.
- Where and how to include skills in your CV.
When pondering your CV skills, think about the talents, traits and wisdom that you have picked up over the years. Which of these skills will help you take the next step?
What are Key Skills for a CV?
There are three main types of skills for CV: hard, soft and technical. Below we will dive into what each of those CV skills categories means and how to use them.
The hard skills that you might list on your CV are those needed to do a specific task, often with specialist knowledge (software or languages, for example) or with a functional slant. Hard CV skills are easily quantified, are easily improved by training or self-development, and are sometimes tested in the course of the hiring process.
Hard CV skills are easier for a potential employer to measure and the first stage of many hiring processes will be a scan by the ATS software to check the hard skills on your CV. If you don’t list the important ones for the role, your CV may not be read by the hiring manager at all. Your choice of CV skills matters a great deal.
Soft skills are the more human aspects of your personality, attributes and approach that modify your relations with those around you. Your hard skills show that you have the tools to do the job and the soft CV skills often indicate how you go about using your tools. Outlining your soft skills is critical when it comes to cultural fit.
Communication, creativity, organization, adaptability, decision making, reliability, problem-solving and time management are all soft skills that can greatly influence both your success and the success of those around you. These skills are not always learned in a classroom. If you care, the trial and error of life lessons is all you need.
If you work in STEM-led and knowledge-heavy functions such as programming, IT or engineering then you will likely have a list of highly technical skills longer than your arm that no one apart from your immediate boss will understand. Should you include them in your CV? Absolutely. Your technical skill-set is what sets you apart.
There are other areas such as marketing which might seem simple to an outsider, but when you get into the nuances of the role, those with the rarest technical CV skills are worth their weight in job search gold.
150+ List of Skills for a CV
No matter what role you are looking to secure, every employer will be looking for a blended skill set of hard, soft and technical skills.
The following skill categories should cover the core requirements of most roles, so read between the lines of the job description and consider what exactly your future boss will need from you. How do you piece together the puzzle of how your skills join up to ensure success for you and for all around you?
Getting your message across to the right people in the right way is the foundation of success. Whether the communication is face-to-face or in a Zoom call, here are some of the communication skills for a CV that are required to ensure that you’re understood.
|Communication Skills for a CV|
|Rapport Building||Requesting Feedback||Public Speaking|
Once you know what needs to be done and the required direction of travel, the next challenge is to make it happen. Organizational skills on your CV should show how you bring people and resources together and ensure that your best-laid plans stay on track.
|Organizational Skills for a CV|
|Setting Expectations||Focus||Operational Excellence|
|Self-Care||Goal Setting||Time Management|
Making sure that you work well with others is one thing, but great teamwork skills for your CV also help to facilitate people working well with you and also with each other. Keeping every looking and moving in the same direction is no mean feat.
|CV Skills - Teamwork|
With the rapid proliferation of analysis tools and technology, analytical skills have entered the mainstream in many industries and occupations. Everyone needs to be able to work out what is going on around them and which levers to pull to improve.
|CV Analytical Skills|
Leadership skills are easy to talk about, but impossible to perfect when the pressure is on, and expectations are high. These skills help leaders to set an example to both subordinates and colleagues. Be someone who is worth following.
|Leadership Skills for a CV|
It is a fact of life that most 14-year-olds have more advanced computing skills than a typical adult, but with the inevitable march of technology, computer skills are essential in an increasing number of industries. Learn to code everyone (or at least list your computer CV skills on your application).
|Computer Skills for a CV|
|Word Processing||Coding Languages||Spreadsheets|
|Systems Administration||Version Management||Development|
In the world of work, you can either solve a problem (with the help of those around you), or you can pass it on to those around you. These problem-solving skills help to tell the story of how you decrease both your workload and that of your colleagues.
|Problem-Solving CV Skills|
Customer Service Skills
For those who provide a service to customers (internal or external), the ability to delight them and send them on their way with a satisfied smile is sadly rare. If you are, however, passionate about customer service, these skills will be familiar.
|Customer Service CV Skills|
|Interpersonal Skills||Dispute Resolution||Diplomacy|
Creating something out of nothing is not a magic trick. It is simply the output of an inquisitive mind and a mix of creativity skills that allow you to challenge assumptions, push boundaries and question everything that you thought was set in stone.
|CV Skills describing Creativity|
|Concept Development||Brainstorming||Visual Thinking|
|Iteration||Design||Exploration & Discovery|
We all work with other people, but collaboration skills are all about working with them effectively. Two heads are better than one and ten heads are definitely better. However, working with ten other people definitely requires some effort.
|Collaboration Skills for CV|
|Team Orientation||Goal Setting||Compromise|
Much like problem solving, resourcefulness skills centre around finding innovative ways to achieve your goals. Doing things differently to others can bring hidden opportunities and will certainly broaden your outlook on what is possible.
|CV Skills - Resourcefulness|
|Persistence||Continuous Improvement||Proactive Attitude|
|Questioning||Cultivating Relationships||Out-of-box Thinking|
Project Management Skills
If you split your working day into separate tasks, you might find that many of these project management skills will come in useful on a micro scale. Projects come in all shapes, and you don’t have to be a high-flying consultant to benefit from these skills.
|CV Skills for Project Managers|
|Team Management||Strategic Planning||Scheduling|
|Financial Planning||Risk Management||CRM Software|
Behind every bright idea lies a whole heap of hard work and administration. You can’t change the world unless you are on top of all the basic admin skills that surround the attempt. You can’t climb Everest if you have forgotten the tent.
|Administration Skills for CV|
|Data Entry||Documentation||Attention to Detail|
|Task Planning||Business Administration||Calmness|
The world might not be aware that you exist, but with the rise of social media and a mobile audience of millions, marketing skills often make the difference between success and failure. Build a collective of fans for your corporate or personal brand.
|Social Media Management||Marketing Campaigns & Funnels||SEO|
|Media Production||Data Analysis||Google Analytics|
In a similar vein to marketing, whether you are selling an idea, product or service, sales skills have become an ever more essential and sophisticated part of the professional toolkit. Listen to those buyers and find the fit that works for them.
|CV Sales Skills|
|Product Knowledge||Influencing Skills||KPI Management|
|CRM Software||Prospecting||Objection Handling|
|Negotiation Skills||Curiosity||Social Selling|
Finance used to be a dark art that took years of study to understand. Now that the numbers are increasingly crunched and analysed by AI software, finance skills are increasingly about what to do with the insights in the real world.
|Finance Skills for your Curriculum Vitae|
|Business Intelligence||Client Relations||Financial Modelling|
|Accounting||Cash Flow Management||Reporting|
|P&L Ownership||Data Management||Mathematics|
People still matter. You don’t have to work in human resources to know that many of these HR skills are critical to career progression and management success.
|CV Skills for HR jobs|
|Employee Relations||Performance Mgmt||Compensation & Benefits|
Where and How do I Put Skills on My CV?
As your future employer reads through, your CV skills should jump off the page at regular intervals. It is not enough to list 5-6 key skills in a dedicated skills section. Your CV should be bursting to the seams with what you have to offer.
Here are three places where you can list your skills:
The CV summary section is the most important 3-4 lines on your CV and it should be dripping with your top skills, both described and implied. It is okay to repeat the rarer CV skills that are in your skill section – you need the hiring manager to read that far, after all. Don’t be afraid to bring out the big CV skill guns.
Work Experience Section
Sometimes your skills speak for themselves if you describe your accomplishments well enough. If you mention that you saved 15% on the annual equipment spend you won’t need to state the obvious and wax lyrical about your negotiation skills. Be smart in the language that you use in your CV skills and what lies behind it.
As a typical skills section contains 6-7 key skills, only the rarest and most impressive skills should get on your list. Mostly include your harder and technical skills here as your soft CV skills can come across in what you achieved in your work experience and in your summary. Suggested ratio of 2:1 in favour of hard skills.
When you come to writing, reading and re-reading your CV skills, ask yourself about what skills come to mind while you are reading. Which skills lie behind your achievements? How does your skill-set match up to the job description?
All these questions (and more) are central to finding the perfect CVskills blend.
- Find a mix of hard, soft and technical skills (weighted towards hard skills).
- Make sure that every skill is specific to the future job and industry.
- Create a detailed but complementary selection of impressive CV skills.
- List your skills in the summary, work experience and skills sections of your CV.