How To Include Hard Skills On Your Resume

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Table Of Contents

Hard skills are simultaneously the easiest and most challenging thing to put on a resume. Sure, it’s easy enough to write down that you are “proficient in Excel,” but is that enough? Does that really tell anyone anything?

When you’re writing your resume, you want more than keywords–you want accomplishments with those skills. Here are some ideas to make your resume shine.

If you need help with your resume, we recommend working with a resume writing service. Then, when you’re ready to find a new job, we recommend ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is one of the top-rated job sites. You can apply for jobs with a single click and it’s free for job seekers!

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What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills can be evaluated and tested. How good are you at writing code? How can you manage a project? You can learn hard skills, like programming languages, typing speeds, and an understanding of laboratory procedures.

Additionally, things like project or social media management also fall under hard skills. You can present "proof" of hard skills, whether it be through a test or a portfolio. You'll often see hard skills listed on job descriptions. These are the key things you need to do a job.

Some hard skills take years of study and work to gain. For instance, the hard skills needed to be a Civil Engineer can't just be picked up with an online class. You'll need to study for years to have the appropriate skills. But, you can learn the skills required to do basic functions in Microsoft Excel in a short time. Hiring managers need to understand what skills are non-negotiable and which skills they can teach on the job.

You can learn all hard skills with enough time and effort, but some will take years to master.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Hard skills are measurable, while soft skills are more personality-based. For instance, if you look at the hard skills required for a receptionist, you'd probably focus on technical skills, organizational skills, multi-task ability, etc. You'd want someone who made visitors feel welcome to your business for soft skills.

Some people say that you cannot teach soft skills--they are simply innate. That is incorrect. You can teach soft skills, but people often do not, and, instead, expect people to know instinctively how to act in all situations.

Where To Add Hard Skills On Your Resume

There isn't one answer for this: there are two. Technical skills like computer programs and certifications can go on the bottom under the heading of "technical skills." For any certifications, they can go with your education or, if it's critical to the position, as part of your name.

For example, you might title your resume, Jane Doe, CPA, and then note the date you received your CPA certification with your education.

But, most hard skills should be sprinkled throughout your resume along with your accomplishments. You don't just list "Project management," you explain how this hard skill helped you accomplish great things. For example:

  • Led company relocation project, which moved 10,000 people from old to new facilities, on time and under budget.

  • Managed a team of six to bring a new product from the design stage to delivery.

These things let the recruiters and hiring managers know that you can do project management. They can ask you specific questions to understand your true project management skills in an interview. It's much more effective than just listing "project management" as a bullet point.

You'll often see some technical hard skills laid out like this on a resume:


  • Financial Accounting

  • Technical Writing

  • Documentation

  • Communication

  • Auditing

  • Leadership

  • Detail-oriented

This can help recruiters and hiring managers quickly spot the things you know how to do, but you should always include how you used these skills in your accomplishments.

If you need help with your resume, we recommend working with a resume writing service. Resume writing services are an affordable way to get professional resume help. Check our our guide to the best resume writing services to learn more.

List Of Hard Skills

While it's impossible to list every hard skill you could include on a resume, some are common ones.

  • Accounting

  • Adobe Photoshop

  • Algorithms

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Assembly

  • Auditing

  • Big Data

  • Blogging

  • Bookkeeping

  • Branding

  • Budgeting

  • Content creation

  • Contract writing

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  • Copywriting

  • Data entry

  • Data visualization

  • Editing

  • Email automation

  • Engineering (of all types)

  • Facebook

  • Firing

  • Forecasting

  • Graphic Design

  • Heavy equipment

  • Hiring

  • HTML

  • Illustration

  • Information security

  • Instagram

  • JavaScript

  • Ladder

  • Lead generation

  • LinkedIn

  • Mathematics

  • Mathematics

  • Microsoft Access

  • Microsoft Excel

  • Network Security

  • Packaging

  • Photo editing

  • Plumbing

  • Presentation skills

  • Public speaking

  • Robotics

  • Ruby

  • Sales pitches

  • SAS

  • Search Engine Optimization

  • Servers

  • Social media marketing

  • Social media publishing


  • Structured Query Language (SQL)

  • Translation

  • Twitter

  • Typing

  • Variance analysis

  • Video editing

The list could be endless. If you're looking at what skills are the most important in your field, look at current job postings to find out what companies are currently searching for.

When you are ready to start applying for jobs, start your job search by looking at the top job posting sites.

Frequently Asked Questions 


Of course, the answer for this will vary from person to person, but when you list your skills on your resume, make sure you focus on the skills you want to use. If you're very good at database administration, but don't ever want to do that again, don't highlight that on your resume.


This is always a guessing game, as things change rapidly! Who would have thought that in 2019, contact tracing and employee health monitoring would be such valuable skills? But, the World Economic Forum predicts the top skills for 2025 will include

  • Analytical thinking and innovation

  • Active learning and learning strategies

  • Complex problem-solving

  • Critical thinking and analysis

  • Creativity, originality, and initiative


The top skills are highly technical and take a lot of work to master. If you can perform neurosurgery, you'll make a large amount of money, but you don't have to be in medicine to make big bucks. Computer engineering, architecture, financial management, and others are highly compensated skills. You don't necessarily need a degree for all of these, but you do need experience and training and, in some cases, licensure.


A high-value skill brings in good pay and is in demand. These are things that aren't generally earned quickly but are an investment in your future.

The Bottom Line

Before you post your resume on ZipRecruiter, make sure you highlight your hard skills, making it easy for a recruiter to find you. If you need help with your resume, be sure to check out our guide to the best resume writing services.