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How to List Your Skills on Your Resume

By The ZipRecruiter Editors

If you do it right, the skills section of your resume informs hiring managers of your abilities at a glance. It increases your chance of getting an interview because employers can easily see that you fit the role.

But deciding which skills to list and how to format them can be a challenging task. This article walks you through choosing the right skills to include on your resume and where to place them.

Three Keys to a Winning Resume Skills Section

A resume skills section has three essential components to make a great impression fast. They include:

  • Identifying all the marketable skills you have

  • Selecting the best format for your skills section

  • Understanding which of your skills are most likely to impress future employers

Here are three steps to write a resume skills section that grabs their attention.

1. Make a List of All of Your Skills

The first step is to take an inventory of your soft and hard skills. Here are a few questions to help you make a complete list:

  • What do you do at work regularly? What skills do these tasks require?

  • What did you learn in school?

  • What do you excel at, whether it’s part of your job description or not?

  • What do you enjoy doing? What skills do you use doing that?

Here are examples of different hard skills:

  • Data mining

  • Analytics

  • HTML

  • JavaScript

  • Excel

  • Database management

  • Scheduling

  • Fulfilling orders

  • SEO/SEM marketing

  • Graphic design

  • Photoshop

  • Social media

  • Inside sales

  • Outbound calling

  • Bookkeeping

  • Microsoft Office

  • QuickBooks

  • Auditing

  • Cash flow management

Here are examples of soft skills:

  • Communication

  • Leadership

  • Team-oriented

  • Team player

  • Strong work ethic

  • Adaptability

  • Problem-solver

  • Time management

  • Self-motivated

  • Responsible

  • Multitasker

  • Flexible

  • Organized

  • Skilled collaborator

  • Work well under pressure

  • Decision maker

  • Strategic thinker

  • Integrity

  • Innovation

  • Consistent

  • Attention to detail

2. Check Online for Additional Skills

Once you’ve brainstormed all the skills you know you have, you can look online to help flush out your complete list. Search ZipRecruiter for similar job positions and see what other skills are requested.

You can also search for job listings similar to your current or past positions. Only include skills you have. Sometimes reading other listings helps you remember skills you missed in your initial list.

3. Review the Job Description in the Ad

Now that you have a complete list of your skills, it’s time to check the job description and decide which are most relevant to this position. The best way to do that is to check the job description.

Sometimes, a job description will imply a skill without mentioning it explicitly. For example, “able to handle a high volume of incoming calls” on a job description would fit with “excellent communication skills” and “able to multitask effectively.”

Select the skills you have that are most relevant to this position, and you’re ready to add your skills to your resume. Your resume skills section has limited space, so if you have a lot of relevant skills, pick out the ones that will be most impressive to the employer. You can spread the rest of them out through the work experience section of your resume.

Choose the Skills Section That Best Fits Your Resume

Always make your skills section targeted. You may have an impressively long list of relevant skills, but you want to tailor your list to deliver a fast, powerful, and positive impression on the hiring manager.

Here are three different types of skills sections you can choose from depending on your industry and target job.

1. Additional Skills Section

The additional skills section, also sometimes called the skills section, is often seen on a chronological resume at the bottom, under work experience. It’s usually a short list of around three to nine relevant skills.

Use the additional skills section when you want to highlight your experience more than specific skills. It’s also good when applying for entry-level jobs or client or customer-focused roles that are heavy on soft skills.

2. Relevant Skills Section

If you choose a functional resume format instead of a chronological one, a relevant skills section may be your best choice. A functional resume helps you downplay work history gaps or demonstrate your qualifications when changing careers or industries.

Your relevant skills section can be more extensive than your work experience section. Make each relevant skill a header inside the section, then list specific examples to support it. Here is a brief example:

Relevant Skills


  • Helped customers resolve product questions and problems over the phone and in person.

  • Demonstrated empathy when callers were frustrated or upset.

  • Had the highest satisfaction rating in my department.

Your relevant skills section should include three to four highlighted skills.

3. Technical Skills Section

If you are applying for a position that requires technical expertise or many years of experience, a technical skills section helps highlight your qualifications. Generally, use a technical skills section and add the additional skills section under work experience.

Your Skills at a Glance

Your resume is a powerful tool to communicate your qualifications to employers. A poorly written resume will result in fewer interviews, no matter how experienced or qualified you may be.

Including a well-written skills section delivers your skills and qualifications at a glance. It makes it easy for busy hiring managers to recognize you as a strong candidate and increases the likelihood they will contact you for the next step.

The ZipRecruiter Editors

At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn!

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