The job market today isn’t easy to navigate. If you apply for a job, chances are you will be competing with dozens of other equally qualified candidates.

But don’t lose heart! You can stand out by crafting a perfect resume.

A resume is an important part of the job application process. It is the first time you are presenting yourself to your prospective employer. Wouldn’t you want to ensure that you make a great first impression? Here’s how you can do it.

The Importance Of Skills In A Resume

Not only should your resume convey your professional experience, but it should also present you as the right fit for the role.

The key to a strong resume is selecting the right skills for resume building. A skill is a specific area of competence, knowledge, experience, or ability required to do a job.

Think of your resume as the script for your potential interview. The hiring manager will focus on the types of skills you’ve mentioned on your resume to get to know you and to understand the work you’ve done in the past. If you perfect the art of writing the correct skills in your resume, it will help you ace your interview!

The key skills in your resume highlight your work experience as well as your ability to complete specific tasks in that role. These can be technical skills such as computer management, software, and design.

Then there are personal skills such as communication, teamwork, and time management. They speak to the core values you have that enable you to work professionally and fit in a team.

Let’s understand how you can add skills to your resume and the types of skills you need to mention to succeed in any interview.

Types Of Skills For Resume

You can focus on two types of skills in your resume—technical skills and foundational skills. It’s important to strike a balance between the two types of skills. The types of skills you add will vary with the job role, company, and industry.

For example, if you’re applying for the role of a content writer, you could include technical skills such as ‘SEO’, ‘content management systems’, and ‘editing and proofreading’ in your resume.

Technical Skills For Resume

Technical skills for resume building represent the knowledge required to complete specific tasks or use certain tools.  Use technical skills to highlight your experience in specific domains, such as computer software and programs, marketing, and even foreign languages.

If you’ve worked on promotional or sales events in the past, you can mention the strategies that you used to achieve your targets as part of your technical skills. For instance, if you’ve worked on social media campaigns, you can mention ‘digital media marketing’ in your skills section.

Some of the key skills in a resume for specific roles are:

1. Marketing

  • Content Writing

  • Print or Digital media marketing

  • CMS

  • SEO/SEM

2. Customer Support

  • Negotiation

  • Customer experience

  • Project management

3. UI Designers

  • Software development

  • UI/UX

  • Computer programming such as HTML, CSS, XML

Foundational Skills For Resume

Foundational skills are the fundamental and universal skills that are essential for success in the workplace in any industry.  They are the basis for learning additional skills and taking on more responsibilities.

Foundational or social skills can supplement your technical skills for a well-balanced resume. List your personal skills in a resume to help the hiring manager understand the type of person you are and the values you bring to your work.

Transferable skills, communication skills, personal skills such as empathy and compassion, and even problem-solving skills are important foundational skills. If you feel you are motivated, innovative, independent, or collaborative, and have leadership skills, list them in your resume. This will help you present yourself as a well-rounded and versatile candidate.

Some of the key skills in a resume for various roles are:

1. Recruiters

  • Collaborative

  • Written and verbal communication

  • Teamwork

  • Dynamic working style

2. Administration

  • Independent worker

  • Communication skills

  • Flexible or adaptable

  • Problem-solving

3. Software Engineers

  • Innovative

  • Teamwork

  • Driven or motivated

Three Ways To Write Skills In A Resume

Let’s look at three situations in which you can highlight the skills in your resume to your advantage:

1. If you’re considering a change in career or don’t have a lot of experience:

People who want to change careers or industries should create a functional resume. A functional resume is a resume format that highlights skills and abilities instead of following the conventional style of writing one’s experience in chronological order.

If you don’t have a lot of work experience and want to build an impactful resume, highlight the specific skills you have that will be required in the role you are applying for. You can dedicate a section to foundational skills and technical skills for resume building.

2. If you’re changing jobs and want to highlight your skills:

For job seekers who want to switch companies, a good way to add skills for resume building is to highlight them in a separate section. You can add them in a column to help the recruiter zero-in on the points that are important for the job role. Match your skills with the skills mentioned in the job description to know which ones are relevant to the profile.

Most of the key skills in resume building come from your employment history. It’ll help to think about things you’ve worked on, projects and assignments that you’ve undertaken, and people that you’ve collaborated with on various tasks when you write your skills.

3. If you want to elaborate on your skills with examples:

You may want to write about certain skills in detail. You can expand on technical skills for resume building by citing examples and integrating relevant data or numbers to support your claims.

If you want to write about foundational skills in your resume, then it’s a good idea to keep it simple. Try to read the job description to understand the requirements for the role and list some of the foundational skills you think are appropriate. This will help you strengthen your work experience section by showing which specific skills you picked up in your previous roles.

Key Concepts To Build A Resume

The way you choose to highlight your skills—technical or foundational—may vary.  It’s important to remember that every skill needs to be tailored as per the job requirement. Read the job description thoroughly to understand which skills the role requires. Remember to write your personal skills in your resume to present a complete picture of your experience.

Don’t use the same resume when applying for different roles in different organizations. Add or delete skills based on the information you’re provided. This will help you stand out during the selection process.

For example, if you feel that ‘working independently’ is a skill better suited for the role than ‘teamwork’, make sure to build your resume accordingly. Remember, each job role, even within the same department and organization, can call for a different set of skills.

When adding your skills to your resume be sure to illustrate them with past experiences. This will lend credibility and help you make an impact.

Make it a habit to be specific when writing your skills in your resume. So instead of writing “Accounting software” or “Video editing software”, list the specific software you can work on. Similarly, when you list a foreign language in your skills section, also mention your proficiency.

Your key skills in resumes should be the ones you’ve already acquired. If the job description requires a skill that you’re currently in the process of learning, try mentioning it in the interview and not in your resume. Feel free to talk about the skills you’re learning—whether online or in-person—in the interview. This will show that you’re open to opportunities that will help you grow as a professional.

Why Do You Need To Write A Good Resume?

The point of building an effective resume is to ace an interview. The resume serves as the starting point for your conversation with the hiring manager. They may ask about each skill you have listed in your resume. Be prepared to summarize or elaborate on your skills with additional information and examples.

If you want to make a good impression, familiarize yourself with your resume beforehand. Oftentimes, you may think you know your resume, when in fact, you’ve only got a vague idea about what you have mentioned in it.

Writing proficiently is an important skill in your professional journey. When you’re crafting your resume, you should remember that the hiring manager has hundreds of resumes to read for a job opening.  You should focus on writing your resume succinctly and with a clear idea in mind.

If you want to develop your writing skills Harappa’s Writing Proficiently course is the one for you. The course will help you improve your writing skills and teach you the importance of brevity, accuracy, and clarity. You will learn about key skills to improve your written communication. After completing the course you will be able to write more effectively and convey your message in an organized and structured way.

The curriculum is accessible and easy to understand. Harappa faculty give tips and share real-life examples for you to learn from their experiences. The course will help you learn about the Pyramid Principle, which is a framework to organize your writing to make it more impactful. You will also learn storytelling concepts like the SCQR–Situation, Complication, Question, Resolution–Framework, which will help you tell a story that sticks.

Use your learnings from the Writing Proficiently course concepts and frameworks to build a resume that’s powerful and effective. Mentioning the key skills in your resume helps the hiring manager better understand your fit for the role.

Remember, hiring managers often make a decision based on the skills in a job applicant’s resume because these key skills are what makes the candidate unique. Include relevant work experience and skills that you’re particularly proud of. This will give you the confidence to ace the interview.

Tap into your inner writer with Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course. Check out our course on Speaking Effectively if you want to improve your verbal communication skills as well. A resume tells your story from the start of your professional journey up until the present. Bag your dream job by writing the perfect resume with some help from Harappa’s courses!


Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about topics related to the Communicate habit such as What is Communication, Process of Communication, What is Report Writing, Writing Skills and Public Speaking.

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