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Best Practices for Listing Technical Skills on Your Resume

By The ZipRecruiter Editors

Technical skills are the tangible, practical knowledge necessary to do a job. They're an essential element of nearly every role, especially in today's tech-power workplace.

To maximize your chances of being noticed by prospective employers, your resume should highlight technical skills relevant to the role. With a well-written technical skills section, you can showcase your abilities and increase your chances of standing out among candidates and landing your dream job.

Technical Skills Section of Your Resume

One of the key elements of a successful resume is the section that lists your technical skills. You should make this section concise and to the point, highlighting the skills that are most relevant to the position you are applying for. Here are some tips for effectively listing your technical skills on your resume:

Determine the most important skills for the job

Start by carefully reviewing the job posting to identify the technical skills that are most important for the position. Make a list of these skills and prioritize them in order of importance. This will help you focus your efforts on the skills that will make the biggest impact—both on the hiring manager and any automation the company has built into its Applicant Tracking System to surface the strongest candidates.

List skills near the top of the resume

This is particularly important for jobs that place special emphasis on technical skills. Positioning your skills section(s) near the top of your resume helps ensure that it'll be noticed and read at a glance.

Use bullet points

Organize your technical skills into bullet-point categories to make them easier to read and understand. This will also help you avoid writing long, dense paragraphs that can be overwhelming to the reader. For example, a bullet point in the skills section of a marketing resume might read: "Digital Marketing: Email marketing, Pay-per-click ads, SEO, Social media marketing."

Integrate technical skills throughout the resume

Just because you have a Skills section doesn't mean that your skills don't have a place elsewhere on your resume. For example, you might choose to highlight core competencies in your Summary section or mention specific technical skills within related role accomplishments.

Example:

"Designed and deployed new company website using WordPress, resulting in a 75% increase in traffic quarter-over-quarter."

This allows you to mention your WordPress skills in the context of a meaningful example. If WordPress is essential to the role you're applying for, you might also list it in your skill section. Otherwise, leave it out of the skill section to save real estate for more directly relevant alternatives.

Keep it brief

While you should showcase your technical skills, you don't want to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Aim for a list of 15 or fewer technical skills that are most relevant to the position you are applying for.

Be honest, but don't downplay your abilities

Be truthful about your technical skills on your resume. Lying at the beginning of the hiring process can be detrimental, and underselling your abilities can also be harmful. It's also rarely helpful or necessary to list your level of proficiency for each skill. That is, you don't have to worry about labeling skills as "Beginner," "Intermediate," or "Expert"—just include the skills for which your proficiency level is equal to or greater than what seems to be expected for the role.

Include relevant coursework or certifications

If you have completed relevant coursework or obtained certifications in your field, include this information on your resume. This can help demonstrate your commitment to staying current and expanding your knowledge in your field.

Impress Potential Employers

By following these tips, you can effectively highlight your technical skills and impress potential employers. Remember to focus on the skills that are most relevant to the position you are applying for, use specific language and bullet points, and keep it brief and error-free.

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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