Skills You Need to Put On Your CV (Examples)
While creating your tailored CV for the role you're applying for, with the help of our free resources, you'll come across the 'skills' section, which can confuse and overwhelm people. You should be aware that how you describe your skills for a job can influence how far you advance in the hiring process. If you want to persuade potential employers that you are qualified for an interview, you must highlight your professional abilities on your CV.
Why do you need skills on your CV
Did you know that the average time a recruiter takes to view a CV is only 7 seconds?! This means that you need to showcase the best that you can offer in the fewest number of words as possible; and the skills section can help with this.
Here you should emphasise how you differ from the other 100 applicants for a position, both for the recruiter’s point of view reviewing your CV and the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) - more on that later. The skills section is never used to its full potential in the majority of CVs we (Maxim) have personally read, so candidates are wasting time and space for information that isn't required.
We will go over the various types of skills you can list, why they are important, and how you can use them to your advantage in the following sections.
Hard vs Soft skills
Although both types of skills can be learnt, expanded, and upgraded throughout your life, there is a difference. For example, you can study and practice ‘communication’, but it cannot be "learned" in the same way you can teach yourself to use computer programming software.
Soft skills are general characteristics, relevant to personality traits, hard to measure and relevant for most vacancies and sectors.
Attention to detail
Hard skills are technical abilities that are measurable, job specific and easy to define.
Tailor your skills to the job specification (top tip)
An ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a tool used by recruiters to search for and filter relevant CVs for the role they are working on. They will usually filter potential applicants by looking for those who live in the area where the job is located, match the salary expectations, are looking for full-time or part-time work, and so on. They will also look for keywords that match the job description in the ad. This is where you should make use of the skills section.
When applying for a specific role, copy any 'preferred' or specific skills listed in the job description onto your CV (as long as you actually have them, no lying now!). The benefit of this is that you are using the exact keyword/phrasing that the company you're applying for has used, so when a recruiter searches for CVs, yours is more likely to come up, and if you are further down the interview processing line, the interviewers will be looking for that specific skill or experience, which you will have!
Specific skills for certain roles
Examples of skills for certain roles (SOFT and HARD)
- Typing speed
- Data analytics
- Problem solving
- Software (Excel, Sage, Quickbooks, etc.)
- ACCA qualification
- Emotional Intelligence
- First Aid course
- NVQ in Healthcare qualification
- Critical thinking
- Public speaking
- Degree in Law
- Use of Clio software
- Attention to detail
- Experience of SEO / SEM
- PPC knowledge
If in doubt, these are our Top 10 Soft Skills to write down
If you are struggling to recognise your talent or are new to the job search/CV creation process, these are our favourite soft skills to write down to help you stand out from the crowd.
If in doubt, these are our Top 10 Hard Skills to write down
If you are just starting out in your career and have little work experience or skills, we have listed some hard skills that you can learn with/without work experience.
Marketing / SEO / SEM
Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.)