The ultimate tool to landing your dream job. Ever wonder if anyone actually reads your resume? Or if the skills you put down add real value or not to an employer’s decision on whether or not to hire you? The answer to both of these questions is, yes. With the workforce becoming more and more competitive, having a captivating and relevant resume is crucial to being hired. One of the easiest ways to give your resume a “facelift” is by choosing quality skills to have on your resume.

It seems like everyone is qualified and has the same skills listed on their resume. So, what will help you stand out to an employer on a resume? To truly stand out, it is important to important to choose skills that are relevant to the rest of your resume. Your skills are your talents that reinforce the content on your resume. This means the content within your resume needs to also be linked to your skills.

For Example:

Bad Example

  • Nonprofit A
    • Managed all finances and spreadsheets
  • Skills
    • Social media expert

Good Example

  • Nonprofit B
    • Increased Instagram following by 93%
  • Skills
    • Social media expert

As you can see, the “bad example,” the skill of a social media expert does not apply to someone who has been managing finance reports and spreadsheets. However, someone who is highlighting that they increased an Instagram following by 93% for an organization should select a skill for their resume that is relevant to their work experience.

Choosing the correct skills to highlight your experience is crucial to making your skills important to an employer.

This post will highlight a variety of different categories of skills that would be useful to have include on your resume and skills that employers find the most valuable.

Adaptable, hardworking, team player, all buzzwords that millions of job seekers put on their resumes. One could spend hours and hours using a thesaurus to come up with various of words to put on their resume, but few know what employers are truly looking for. According to Zety, one of the top resume builders and professional advice resources, there are over 99 skills that employers look for. Fortunately for you we have a compiled list of the top 10 skills categories that employers look for:

  1. Analytical skills
  2. Communication skills
  3. Technical skills
  4. Organizational skills
  5. Transferable skills
  6. Problem-solving skills
  7. Management skills
  8. Interpersonal skills
  9. Marketing skills
  10. Conceptual skills


  1. Analytical skills:

Analytical skills are the skills that one would use to conduct a type of analysis. For individuals who are going into jobs that require a lot of analysis it is important to put skills and not just a skill on their resume. These skills show that one can collect, organize, visualize and draw conclusions from sets of data.

Here is a list of the top analytical skills that employers look for:

  • Research
  • Forecasting
  • Data mining
  • Diagnostics
  • Theorizing
  • Brainstorming
  • Troubleshooting

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Research assistant
    • Conducted research and testing on 3 aquaponics projects focusing on how to create a fully functioning ecosystem.
    • Compiled data showing the output of plants and the overall living conditions of 3 red belly pacu fish.

In this example you can clearly see that analytical skills would directly relate to the individuals work experience. By highlighting them this way an employer is able to easily see how each skill was used in real world application.

  1. Communication skills:

Almost everyone these days says they are an effective communicator, but what does it really mean to effectively communicate? For most employers someone who is an effective communicator is someone who is able to retain trust in their relationships because of the communication habits they show.

There are also three different type of communication skills: Verbal communication, which is spoken communication, non-verbal communication, which is communication transmitted through other mediums, and written communication, which is communication through the written word. It is important to highlight skills that highlight each of these categories.

Here is a list of the top communication skills that employers look for:

  • Listening
  • Confidence and Honesty
  • Brevity and Clarity
  • Ability to give constructive feedback
  • Body language skills
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Communicating via electronic media

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Executive director
    • Managed 30 employees and provided quarterly employee evaluations.
    • Presented new ideas and reports to the CEO and founding executives of the organization.
  1. Technical Skills:

Technical skills are specialized skills that set a job seeker apart from others. Almost all job seekers will say they are hardworking, good communicators, and adaptable, but few will be able to run adobe photoshop. Always be honest when highlighting these skills. Never embellish and only place technical skills on your resume if you have experience and success using those skills.

Here is a list of the top technical skills employers look for:

  • Graphical:
    • Adobe photoshop
    • Adobe illustrator
    • Adobe InDesign
    • Acrobat
  • Enterprise systems:
    • Payment processing
    • Automate billing systems
    • Customer relationship management
  • Research:
    • Source checking
    • Intellectual property rights
    • Networking
    • Outreach
    • Advanced Google search
  • Computer skills:
    • MS office
    • Google Drive
    • Spreadsheets
    • Email
    • PowerPoint

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Content creator
    • Work daily using Adobe applications to create quality content.
    • Conducted evaluation and advanced searches to locate and address employees and companies that were not compliant with branding, trademarks and verbiage.
  1. Organizational Skills:

Organizational skills are often the skills that catch an employer’s eye. These skills describe an employee’s work ethic and their ability to be effective in the workplace. These skills highlight a job seekers ability to work with others, stay focused and get their work done.

Here is a list of the organizational skills employers look for:

  • Collaboration
  • Delegation
  • Planning
  • Time management
  • Work-life balance
  • Prioritizing
  • Mental organizational skills

Resume Example:

Work experience

  • Social media intern:
    • Worked on a team with 5 other interns to create and manage content for over 1 million Instagram followers.
    • Created a social media schedule to have consistent and relevant content.
  1. Transferable skills:

Transferable skills are the skills that are not job specific and can be taken from employer to employer. These skills are valuable to an employer because they often highlight an individual’s character and help an employer gain a feel for the type of person the candidate is.

Here is a list of the top transferable skills employers look for:

  • Empathy
  • Leadership
  • Ambition
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Reliability

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Microsoft
    • Lead a team of 30 individuals to create a new note taking application.
    • Engineered new code for Microsoft excel to make the program easier to use.

As you can see the first bullet point highlights this individual’s leadership skills and creativity skills. The second bullet point highlight the individual’s empathy for a user and their creativity to solve a problem the company had.

  1. Problem-solving skills:

In almost any job, an employee will be faced with a problem. For that reason, having problem-solving skills on a resume is highly attractive to an employer. Often the job someone is applying for will decide the type of problem-solving skills one puts on their resume.

Here is a list of problem-solving skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Dependability
  • Teambuilding
  • Analysis
  • Active listening

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Content editor
    • Grammatically edited written content.
    • Met all content deadlines.
  1. Management skills:

For many, attaining a managerial position is a goal. Most managerial jobs receive higher pay and higher respect in the job community. So, if this is the type of job you are applying for, then these are the skills you want to highlight on your resume. For these skills it is important to highlight both hard skills, which are technical skills you learn on your own, and soft skills, which are skills that are applicable to any role or industry. There are also four types of management skills: leadership, planning and strategy, communication and organizational skills.

Here is a list of the top management skills employers look for:

  • Leadership skills
    • Mentoring
    • Integrity
    • Empowerment
    • Delegating tasks
    • Constructive criticism
    • Task delegation
  • Planning and strategy skills
    • Brainstorming
    • Conflict resolution
    • Flexibility
    • Strategic thinking
    • Business development
    • Logical thinking
  • Communication skills:
    • Interviewing
    • Negotiation
    • Persuasion
    • Public Speaking
    • Building Relationships
  • Organizational skills:
    • Filing
    • Goal setting
    • Scheduling
    • Record keeping
    • Deadline management
    • Event coordination

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • VP community outreach
    • Mentor a group of interns providing them with opportunities to build on their skillset and acquire new skills.
    • Personally conducted interviews and hired all 10 members of the community outreach team.
    • Planned and executed 4 community events with an average attendance of 1500 individuals.
  1. Interpersonal skills:

Interpersonal skills are similar to communication skills but focus on the skills one has when interacting with others. These skills are particularly desirable for jobs that require high levels of teamwork and internal communication. Having a high level of interpersonal skills that show on your resume can often be the deciding factor for employers for which equally qualified candidate they should choose.

Here is a list of the top interpersonal skills employers look for:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Teamwork/collaboration
  • Decision making
  • Mediation
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Strong influencer

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Administrative assistant:
    • Schedule all events and appointments for founding executive and CEO.
    • Create all presentations for the CEO to use at leadership event in 24 different cities around the United States.
  1. Marketing skills:

Having marketing skills is valuable in almost any line of work. Marketing skills can be divided into three main categories: transferable, technical and software skills.

Top marketing skills employers look for:

  • Transferable marketing skills
    • Aesthetic sensibility
    • Storytelling
    • Analytical skills
    • Stress management
  • Technical marketing skills
    • SEO
    • PPC
    • Social media marketing
    • Data visualization
  • Marketing software skills
    • Adobe premiere
    • HTML
    • Ahrefs
    • Google Analytics

Choosing a variety of these skills to highlight will be crucial in landing a job in marketing or a related field. 

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Digital Marketing Manager:
    • Boosted traffic to the company website by 75% using SEO tactics and keyword research.
    • Used Adobe premiere to create visually captivating videos to be highlighted on the homepage of the company website. 
  1. Conceptual skills:

Conceptual skills are skills that will give an employer a new way of seeing how their company works and how it could be changed to achieve their goals. They are skills that allow an individual to visually explain concepts, to show a pathway, tell a story or explain a phenomenon. These skills are powerful when highlighted correctly and will show an employer your ability to think outside the box and explain concepts in a captivating way.

Here is a list of the top conceptual skills employers look for:

  • Cognitive skills
  • Abstract thinking
  • Presenting
  • Innovation
  • Contextualizing
  • Action planning

Resume Example:

Work experience:

  • Public health analyst:
    • Created program plans for anti-human trafficking curriculum to be implemented in all Utah schools.
    • Created an app that links individuals with organizations in their community that fit their interests and provide volunteer opportunities for the user.

Another way to stand out amongst your competitors is by separating your skills based on category. This will help your future employer find exactly what they are looking for and show that you have a diverse set of skills.

The word choice on a resume is the first step to enhancing your resume and differentiating yourself from your competitors. Having the correct job skills is great but if they are not shown in a visually captivating way then most employers will glaze right over them. There are several ways to visually enhance the skills section of your resume but here are two effective ways:

  1. Use an icon to highlight each skill:

By creating visuals to describe your skills, your potential employer will be better able to scan and remember your resume.

  1. Use graphs to visualize your expertise

By having a percentage indicator bar, it shows to employers how much expertise you have in each skill. This shows transparency and will also highlights your top skills which will be utilized in your future career.–cms-28652

Remember that the greatest mistake you can make when putting skills onto your resume is listing skills that are

  1. Not related to anything else on your resume
  2. Not related to the job you are applying for

For example:

There areso many rights and wrongs to make when constructing a resume but the most important thing to remember is to always be honest and focus on your best qualities. Applying for a job is always stressful and often the outcome can feel out of your control. Remember that the one thing you can control when job hunting is how perfected your resume is.

Looking for ways to develop skills to put on your resume? Consider studying digital marketing. Check out our website for more information:



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