When applying for a new job, you want to show employers that you have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience to fit their needs. While soft skills are important and are highly transferable across positions, highlighting hard skills is critical as well. These are abilities that you have acquired through education, training, or hands-on experience. Your resume should have a balance of both hard and soft skills to create a well-rounded image of who you are and what you can do.
Hard skills can vary from one industry or position to the next and are often specific abilities. For instance, doctors and nurses must be able to perform certain procedures and automotive professionals must know how to work on certain systems. Both use equipment that is specific to their industry. As you write your resume, here are some hard skills to keep in mind:
IT Skills: Technology is constantly evolving, so knowing how to set up networks, manage databases, code, work in different programming languages, operate in Cloud environments, or conduct cybersecurity tasks are things you will certainly want to call out on your resume.
Data Analysis: Not everyone is savvy at working with numbers and making sense of reports or trends. This is a skill that is learned and refined. Include your ability to collect, organize, evaluate, and present information in a way that supports data-driven decision making.
SEO/SEM: Marketing performance is often based on knowing what keywords to use so that customers can find your business, product, or service. Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing are key competencies for many copywriting, marketing, and social media management roles.
Language Skills: Being able to speak more than one language is an asset and one that you should let employers know about. It can also help to indicate your proficiency, whether that is native, fluent, or conversational.
Project Management: If you have completed certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP), Scrum Master, Six Sigma, or Lean, make sure they are included. Knowing how to effectively coordinate teams, tasks, requirements, and deadlines is something that is learned.
Design Skills: While creativity is a soft skill that can’t be taught, there are many related hard skills that can, including graphic design, CAD, video production, photo editing, user interface, and user experience. Do you know how to use Adobe Creative Suite or some of the applications within it? List them on your resume.
Writing Abilities: Most people have basic writing skills, but the ability to tell a compelling story, compose content that is grammatically correct and flows well, edit for clarity, and write for different audiences is acquired through training and practice. Grant writing is another specialized skill that must be learned because there are very specific requirements.
Accounting: Showcase your abilities when it comes to budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, invoicing, account reconciliation, forecasting, auditing, or using QuickBooks. Employers want to know their funds are being managed appropriately.
If you are struggling to determine just what hard skills you possess, or what an employer might be seeking, review a variety of job postings for opportunities that interest you. This can help you see what skills you already have and where there might be gaps. You can always look online for classes to help you acquire new skills.
How to Include Hard Skills on Your Resume
A prime location is in your core competencies section below your summary of qualifications. Include specific keywords and phrases for hard skills that align with the jobs you are targeting. Within your resume, incorporate these capabilities into your bullet points, showing how you used them to drive results. Just be cautious not to stuff your resume with keywords and make it sound forced or awkward. Put them in context of what you can do or have done.
Your cover letter is another place where you can weave these skills throughout, and during an interview, you can elaborate even more. Once you have captured a hiring manager’s attention, you can speak more directly to the industry or job-specific competencies they want.
From cover letter to resume to interview and follow-up, showcasing your professional hard skills is important. Grammar Chic can help you identify these skills and present them in a way that makes sense and demonstrates your abilities. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or email@example.com to get started.