3 key takeaways
- What hard skills are
- 100+ examples of hard skills across industries, roles, and seniority levels
- Adding hard skills for resume sections using the free Teal AI Resume Builder
Your hard skills deserve to be seen.
After all, they're clear, quantifiable representations of what you're professionally capable of.
But what's the most strategic way to make sure they stand out in an increasingly competitive job market? And how do you know the best hard skills for a resume that'll leave a lasting impression?
Decoding hard skills: More than just technical know-how
In today's evolving job market, the conversation around hard skills for your resume (another word for a “hard” skills resume would be a “technical” skills resume) has become increasingly important.
Traditionally, skills are categorized into two types: hard skills and soft skills. And while your soft skills highlight the more abstract or interpersonal skills, hard skills are more tangible, quantifiable, and directly related to job functions or tasks.
An in-depth look at hard skills
Hard skills refer to your practical abilities. They're directly linked to your ability to perform a specific job or task. These skills are typically concrete and measurable. And you can acquire them through education, training, certifications, or on-the-job experience. When it comes to required skills for a role, the particular hard skills are found in the job description—described with very specific language.
Hard skills can encompass a variety of areas depending on your industry and role. For instance, some hard skills examples could be:
- Python programming language skills
- Statistical data analysis
- CNC machine operation
- Quickbooks accounting software
What sets these skills apart is that they're both teachable and testable, often acquired through formal education, online courses, training programs, and similar, more structured, structured learning. They're also objective in that typically, you either have a specific skill, or you don't (and unlike soft skills, your level of expertise or your proficiency level can be measured).
But understanding hard skills goes beyond recognizing them.
Hard skills are continuously evolving, with new ones emerging in response to technological advancements (hello, AI!) and changing industry demands. Most industries are adopting new technologies, methodologies, and tools. And because of this, continuous learning and "upskilling" to acquire and update hard skills is now a key component of professional growth.
Hard skill or soft skill: Which matters most?
While hard skills differ in that they are typically associated with technical competencies, your resume soft skills (or transferable skills) are personal attributes and interpersonal skills that determine how effectively you work or interact with others across most jobs, industries, or career paths.
Soft skills often include abilities like:
- Communication skills
- Emotional intelligence (EQ)
- Problem-solving skills
And as companies (especially across industries like tech, industrial, and engineering) rely more and more on automation and technology, the importance of more human-centered soft skills is often emphasized similarly to hard skills.
However different they may be, these two types of skills are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they're complementary. Most roles or positions require a blend of soft and hard skills for employees to succeed.
For example, data analysis requires not only statistical knowledge but also critical thinking and storytelling to transform raw data into actionable insights. Similarly, the rise of remote work emphasizes the need for self-management and effective online communication (think platforms like Zoom and Slack), illustrating the codependence of technical hard skills and soft skills.
Crucial hard skills to include on a resume
Now that you have some insight into hard skills and why they're so important, let's look at lists of hard skills examples across industries, roles, and seniority levels that can help you enhance your resume.
General hard skills for a resume
If you're worried you don’t have very specific technical skills that measure up to a particular role, don't get discouraged just yet. There are some general hard skills for your resume that still pack a punch.
- Data Analysis: In today's era of big data, the ability to interpret and use information to make informed business decisions is invaluable. Including any knowledge of data analytics tools such as SQL, Python, and Tableau is also beneficial.
- Project Management Skills: These skills are about overseeing projects to ensure they're completed on time and within budget. Proficiency in project management software like MS Project, JIRA, or Asana can be a definite plus.
- Foreign Language Proficiency: In an increasingly globalized (and remote!) world, being multilingual can be a significant advantage, opening up opportunities in international business and communication.
- Software Development: This hard skill involves designing, implementing, and testing software (as well as indicating strong computer skills). Knowledge of languages like Java, Python, or C++, and an understanding of software development methodologies can make you a valuable asset across various industries.
- Digital Marketing: This encompasses SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and PPC advertising. A deep understanding of tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager, or SEMrush is also a great companion to this skill.
- Machine Learning/AI: With businesses increasingly leveraging AI and ML for decision-making and operations, having this skill can place you on a short list of those candidates with hard skills in tech innovation.
- Technical Writing: The ability to communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand way is critical in many fields. Proficiency in tools like Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and MadCap Flare could increase your appeal to recruiters and hiring managers.
- Cloud Computing: As more businesses move to the cloud, knowledge of cloud service platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud can help boost your prospects.
- Salesforce Proficiency: Salesforce is a leading customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Expertise in this platform can be a significant advantage, particularly in sales and marketing roles. (Other CRM platforms include Hubspot, Zendesk, ClickUp, and Active Campaign).
- Cybersecurity: With cyber threats on the rise, knowing how to protect and recover systems, networks, and data from cyber-attacks is crucial. Command of tools like Nessus, Wireshark, or Metasploit can strengthen your credentials.
Add hard skills to your resume with Teal
In one click, the Teal AI Resume Builder can help you add all or a selection of your hard skills to a resume without the frustration of rewriting them every time you apply for a specific role.
You can also categorize your hard skills however you'd like, making them easy for hiring managers to find—maximizing their impact and visibility.
Technical skills for a resume
Technical skills are abilities learned through training or education that apply to specific work, particularly in fields like IT, engineering, or science. These skills often require the use of complex tools and technologies.
So what are some resume technical skills examples that could strengthen your resume?
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Application Development
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Big Data Management
- CAD Software
- Computational Design
- Computer Programming
- Cybersecurity Analysis
- Database Management
- Information Security
- IoT (Internet of Things)
- Network Structure & Design
- R Programming
- Ruby on Rails
- Statistical Analysis System (SAS)
- UX Design
- Web Design
- Web Development
A look at industry-specific and job-specific hard skills examples
Industry and job-specific hard skills pertain to a particular role or field. And they can help you stand out as a qualified candidate, which mean it is essential to showcase your hard skills on a resume.
While positions like software engineer, sales rep, and graphic designer might have overlapping soft skills, the hard skills they require are much more specific and specialized.
So let's go over some of the best hard skills for a resume across different roles across a few industries.
Essential resume hard skills for tech-savvy roles
These hard skills are often sought after in roles that require a high degree of technological knowledge or expertise.
Hard skills for Software Engineers
- Algorithm Design
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Database Design
- Mobile Application Development
- Quality Assurance (QA)
- Scripting Languages
- Version Control Systems (VCS)
Find more software engineer resume skills.
Hard skills for Data Analysts and Data Scientists
- Advanced Excel
- Apache Hadoop
- Data Mining
- Data Visualization
- Deep Learning
- Predictive Analytics
- Regression Analysis
Explore over a dozen data analyst resumes for additional hard skill inspiration.
Hard skills for IT professionals and analysts
- Active Directory
- Cloud Security
- Ethical Hacking
- Malware Analysis
- Network Security
- Risk Management
- Server Administration
- System Administration
Review the skill sections of these IT analyst resumes
Hard skills for creative roles
In creative roles, hard skills often relate to the ability to produce tangible outputs or work with specific tools or technologies.
Hard skills for Marketing resumes
- A/B Testing
- Affiliate Marketing Skills
- Content Management Systems (CMS)
- CRM Software (be specific)
- Email Marketing Skills
- Google AdWords
- Inbound Marketing Skills
- Keyword Research (be clear about the tools you use)
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Video Editing
Hard skills for UX & Design resumes
- 3D Design
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe XD
- Information Architecture
- Interaction Design
- Prototype Design
- Technical Drawing
- User Interface (UI) Design
Hard skills for Content and Copywriting resumes
- AP Style
- Content Strategy
- Google Suite
- HTML/CSS for Writers
- Project Management Skills
- SEO Copywriting
- Technical Documentation
- Web Content Writing
- Writing skills
List of hard skills for managerial roles
Managerial roles often require a blend of technical and industry-specific hard skills. Your resume leadership skills (both hard and soft) can draw attention to positions you've held and offer a clear picture of career progression.
Hard skills for Customer Success resumes
- Customer Lifecycle Management
- Customer Success Strategy
- Customer Success Operations
- Data Analysis
- Metrics and KPIs
- Project Management
- Revenue Expansion
- SaaS Knowledge
- Team Leadership
Hard skills for Project Management resumes
- Agile Methodologies
- Contract Management Skills
- Earned Value Management
- Gantt Charts
- Microsoft Project
- Process Improvement
- Risk Assessment
Hard skills for Sales Leadership resumes
- Cold Calling
- CRM Tools (be specific)
- Direct Sales
- Leadership Skills
- Market Research
- Product Knowledge
- Sales and Budget Forecasting
- Sales Strategy and Planning
Hard skills for general leadership resumes
- Business Strategy
- Change Management
- Conflict Resolution
- Financial Management
- Human Resource Management
- Operations Management
- Organizational Development
- Strategic Planning
- Supply Chain Management
- Talent Management
Emerging hard skills to look for in 2024
With the rapid pace of tech advancement, emerging hard skills continue to shape the job market. To remain ahead in your field, stay updated on these skills.
- 3D Printing: The ability to design and print three-dimensional objects using specialized software.
- Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Development: The creation of immersive digital environments and experiences using AR and VR technology.
- Cryptocurrency Knowledge: Understanding the mechanisms of digital currencies like Bitcoin, including blockchain technology, mining, and trading strategies.
- Data Privacy: The ability to protect and manage personal and confidential data in compliance with evolving privacy laws and regulations.
- Drone Operation: Piloting uncrewed aerial vehicles, often used in cinematography, agriculture, or emergency services.
- Edge Computing: Processing and analyzing data where it is generated—reducing latency and increasing data processing speed.
- Genomics: The ability to sequence, interpret, and apply genome data, crucial in healthcare and biotech sectors.
- Green Energy Technologies: Skills in designing, implementing, or managing technologies that generate environmentally friendly energy (like solar or wind power systems).
- Quantum Computing: Understanding and working with computers and systems that use quantum bits (qubits) to perform complex calculations at unprecedented speeds.
- Robotics: The ability to design, construct, operate, and apply robots or robotic systems (increasingly in demand in manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics).
Mastering presentation: How to list hard skills on your resume
Mastering the art of hard-skill presentation on a resume isn't just about creating a bullet point list. It's about strategically adding hard skills throughout your resume to amplify your potential to leave a lasting impression on prospective employers.
Choosing the right hard skills
Listing the right hard skills on a resume comes down to understanding what a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for and presenting your relevant hard skills to match these needs.
So how do you choose the best hard skills for your resume?
Create a master list of hard skills
Brainstorm all of your technical abilities, certifications, and education. What industry-specific knowledge and expertise do you have? What project management, analytical, or leadership methodologies and frameworks have you worked with? What software or tools are you proficient in within your field? Once you have your list, store it in one central location for easy access when it comes time to fill out an application.
Pro Tip: The free Teal AI Resume Builder Skills Manager is a great place to do this.
Store all of your skills in one central location. Then, just check the box next to a specific skill to add it to your resume for any role you apply for.
Manage all of your hard skills in one place with Teal. Sign up for free to get started.
Read the job description
A job description often offers insight into the relevant skills needed to perform in a specific role. Look for words or phrases that indicate tools and technical competencies like "Google Analytics," "process improvement," "project management," "Python," "content strategy," etc.
The Teal AI Resume Builder and Job Application Tracker highlight the most important hard skills from any job description so you can easily list them on your resume.
Match your skills to the role
Once you've identified the key skills required, you should match these with your own. Between hard skills, soft skills, and other requirements, you want to have at least 70% of the qualifications a company is looking for. (But remember, honesty is critical, so only incorporate your actual skills.)
How to demonstrate hard skills on a resume
Demonstrating hard skills on a resume in various sections offers a high-level view of your technical abilities. Dispersing them adds depth and showcases your well-rounded skillset.
So what sections should have examples of your hard skills?
Incorporate hard skills in your professional summary, or short professional bio, to complement your soft skills and most notable accomplishments.
For example, if you're a software engineer, one sentence of your professional summary could look like this: "As a highly skilled software engineer with 10+ years of experience, I have expertise in Python development, database management, and a strong problem-solving mindset."
Include hard skills in your work experience achievements to complement your soft skills and illustrate how you effectively achieved impact.
So, let's say you increased conversions by 3x through A/B testing and data analysis of landing page copy as an achievement; that would look like this:
"Achieved a 3x increase in conversions through A/B testing, effectively utilizing data analysis to identify and implement data-driven solutions that optimized website performance and user experience."
Create a dedicated resume "Skills" section to highlight hard skills related to those in the job description.
A list draws attention to your diverse range of abilities and highlights the unique qualities you bring to the table as a professional. And using a dedicated section prominently showcases your technical expertise and interpersonal skills.
Highlighting hard skills with Teal's Resume Builder
The best practice for adding hard skills to your resume is choosing the ones that align with the job description of the role you're applying for. Then incorporate them in each section to elevate your entire professional profile—and you can do this with the free Teal AI Resume Builder.
Step 1: Sign up for a free Teal account if you haven't yet.
Step 2: Click the "Resume Builder" icon in the left navigation panel. From here, you can choose an existing resume or click the "New Resume" button at the top right.
Step 3: To add hard skills to your professional summary, scroll to Professional Summaries, click the drop-down button, then "Add Professional Summary." (Create one from scratch, or click the "Generate With AI" Button.)
Step 4: To hard skills to your work experience, from the Resume Builder, scroll to Work Experience. Then, click the drop-down button. Click "Add Work Experience" to create a new section or "Add an Achievement" to incorporate hard skills into an existing work history.
Step 5: To add hard skills to your "Skills" section in the Resume Builder, scroll to Skills, click the drop-down button, then "Add Skills." Here you can list your skills individually in addition to incorporating them into a summary or achievements.
Real examples of hard skills on resumes
Check out some real-life examples of hard skills on resumes through various sections and across different position levels and roles.
Student resume examples of hard skills
Entry-level experience resume examples of hard skills
Entry-level social media manager
Entry-level software developer
Entry-level data scientist
Mid-level experience resume examples of hard skills
Senior-level experience resume examples of hard skills
VP of Sales
Chief administrative officer
Senior IT analyst
How to tailor hard skills to fit job descriptions
By tailoring your resume to every role you apply for, you demonstrate how your skills align with the position's requirements. And this helps hiring managers evaluate how qualified you are.
Think of your hard skills as ingredients for a recipe and the job description as your cookbook. Creating a dish with delicious flavor requires specific ingredients, and so does the right candidate for a job.
To tailor your resume to a role, start by carefully reading the job description—this is your recipe. Pay attention to the skills the employer is looking for (these are the 'key ingredients'). Are they looking for proficiency in a particular language or expertise in a software tool?
Next, look at your own set of hard skills. (Think of this as your 'kitchen pantry.') Choose those skills that match the ones listed in the job description. And just like the perfect ingredients make a dish flourish, choosing the right hard skills makes you the ideal candidate for the role.
Compare your hard skills with Teal
Want to make sure you've got the best ingredients for every application? Use Matching Mode in Teal's free AI Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in a job posting to those in your resume. Then receive a "Match Score."
You want your Match Score to be as close to 80% as possible. You can incorporate more skills and other keywords from a job listing into your content to improve your score—creating a tailored resume.
The power of validation: Certifications to boost your hard skills
Certifications are instrumental in strengthening your career. They're a tangible testament to your skill set, expertise, and dedication to continuous learning.
Certifications in your chosen field—whether in specialized expertise, methodologies, or tools—indicate you have the knowledge and practical capabilities to execute specific tasks. In addition, they offer job seekers a competitive edge in today's crowded market as they provide a platform for recognizing and validating hard skills (often quantifiable and directly linked to job performance).
Different industries value different certifications that highlight diverse hard skills.
For example, certifications like the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert, or Google Certified Professional Data Engineer hold weight in information technology.
In finance, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations are highly valued.
A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is an excellent credential for project management professionals.
Taking time to identify and pursue the right certification or continuing education program in your field that aligns with your career goals can immensely boost your hard skills, helping you stand out. And once you have the certifications, add them to your resume in a designated "Certification" section or include them in your "Education" section to showcase all you have to offer.
The future of hard skills and their implications for the job market
The future of hard skills is being rapidly shaped by the increase in cutting-edge technology development (particularly AI, machine learning, and data science).
As tech progresses, traditional hard skills may need to be supplemented with expertise in newer technology. And the result could be a significant increase in opportunities for those with skill proficiency in these areas.
As hard skills become more intertwined with technological innovation, so does the importance of lifelong learning. Investing in education, training, and development will be key for job security, more opportunities, and a competitive edge.
Leverage your skills to stand out
Understanding and effectively leveraging your hard skills is crucial to standing out in today's job market. And it isn't just about providing a list of your skills; it's about offering a holistic view of your professional journey, demonstrating how those hard skills, with complementary soft skills, have amplified your impact.
The Teal AI Resume Builder can help you present those skills with clarity and precision throughout different sections of your resume—highlighting them in a way that resonates with prospective employers.
Start leveraging your hard skills to their full potential. Sign up for Teal for free today.