What are technical skills?
Technical skills are the abilities and expertise needed to complete a specific task. Also known as hard skills, technical skills require training and practical experience to master and are often needed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Examples of hard skills include:
- software troubleshooting
- education techniques (e.g., classroom management)
- artificial intelligence (AI)
- research skills
- cloud computing
Providing examples of technical skills on your CV (your main job application document) is essential for showing employers you’re well-equipped to handle complex tasks and processes in the workplace.
Below, we discuss the most relevant technical strengths for your CV and offer writing tips to help you get employers interested in your technical expertise:
117+ technical skills examples employers look for on your CV
We’ve compiled 117+ top technical skills from various industries, putting them into these eight categories:
- Coding and programming
- Project management
- Social media
- Data analysis
- Medicine and healthcare
1. Coding and programming
The tech industry is growing rapidly, and employers are looking for applicants who understand multiple programming languages and use them to create impressive digital tools and products.
Here are several information technology–related skills for your CV:
- Front-end development
- Back-end development
- Full stack development
- Web architecture
- Database storage
- Git and Github
- Network architecture
- Systems development
2. Project management
Companies hire project managers to lead their teams by managing several project portfolios, delegating tasks, and measuring each project’s success. So list your technical skills on your CV for a project manager role.
Look at these relevant technical skills for project managers to get ideas for your CV:
- Risk management
- Scrum and Agile proficiency
- Project management tools (e.g., Trello, Basecamp, Zoho Projects, Microsoft Sharepoint, Hive, Asana)
- Contract management and procurement
- Monitoring and evaluating performance metrics
- Project planning and scheduling
- Budgeting and cost control
3. Social media
With 84.3% of the UK population using social media in 2022, digital tool usage has become the norm. And if you’re in roles like marketing or tech, understanding how to use social media is important for boosting sales and growing your business.
Employers seek applicants who stay up-to-date with modern technology, so ensure you list these social media skills on your CV:
- Social media platforms: (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Copywriting (inluding AI writing with tools like ChatGPT)
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Email marketing
- YouTube advertising
- Web analytics
- Marketing software
- Content management systems (CMS)
Designers pick up industry-specific skills by receiving training and gaining practical experience in the field.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a budding designer, mention these essential skills on your CV to show you’d be a valuable asset to a company:
- Adobe Creative Cloud (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
- Colour theory
- Interactive media
- User modelling
- Responsive design
- Design principles
- AI art tools (like OpenAI’s DALL·E)
5. Data analysis
Knowing how to collect, analyse, and interpret data is a valuable skill if you’re applying for technical positions in data analysis, finance, or management.
Companies and businesses make major decisions based on data and current trends, so highlighting your technical skills in this field increases your chances of getting an interview.
Employers value these data-related skills:
- Statistical analysis
- Data mining
- Quantitative research
- Data modelling
- Machine learning
- Data visualisation
- Amazon Web Services
- Microsoft Excel
- Google BigQuery
6. Medicine and healthcare
Medical professionals complete years of schooling to work in a variety of positions. Healthcare specialisations include emergency medicine, dermatology, paediatrics, surgery, and ophthalmology.
Highlight these medical skills on your resume to prove you’re a qualified healthcare specialist:
- Adult life support training (ALS)
- Wound management
- Administering treatments
- Interpreting laboratory results
- Assessing symptoms
- Diagnosing conditions
- Performing surgical procedures
Most office jobs require administrative skills, so employers expect their applicants to effectively use basic office equipment and computer software.
Here are examples of administrative skills to emphasise on your CV:
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Google Drive
- Email (Outlook, Gmail)
- Windows or Mac operating systems
- Productivity software (Evernote, Engross)
- Inventory tracking
- Operating office equipment (e.g., presentation devices, shredders, printers)
- Typing skills
- Data entry
- Organising and filing records
- Scheduling appointments and maintaining calendars
- Writing and transcribing memos
- Conference calling software (Zoom, Skype, Webex)
- Accounting software
Engineering is a vast field with many specialisations. For example, potential work projects for engineers include physical tasks ranging from constructing buildings or vehicles to brainstorming new concepts for software products.
Use these engineering technical skills to draw employers’ attention to your CV:
- CAD software
- Computer hardware skills
- Cloud collaboration (e.g., GoToMeeting, DropBox)
- Programming languages
- Technical documentation
- Systems design and analysis
How to include technical skills on your CV
Your technical skills should be clearly visible among what you include in your CV so recruiters can quickly see you fit a role.
And now that you have a better understanding of the skills employers seek for technical roles, use these four tips to learn how to write a perfect CV that strategically includes your technical skills:
1. Use technical skills–based keywords from the job advert
The technical skills listed in the job posting are the same ones the recruiter will look for when they read your CV.
So read each job description carefully and modify your technical skills to match the technical skills keywords in the job advert to show that you meet the company’s requirements.
For instance, if a company asks for ‘designing for accessibility’ and ‘font principles’ for a graphic designer role, use those exact terms when listing your technical skills, like so:
2. Mention your technical skills in your CV personal profile
The personal profile on your CV sits at the top of the first page and is often the first section employers read. So make your best technical skills noticeable by including them in your personal profile.
Here’s an example of an applicant’s CV personal profile with several technical skills listed:
3. Create a dedicated technical skills section
If a company requires several technical skills, consider making a separate ‘Technical Skills‘ section in addition to your key skills section.
Include your technical skills section underneath your CV’s personal statement and above your professional work experience section so employers can see the technical skills on your CV right away, like in this example:
If you have several technical skills that can be grouped together, try listing them as categories so employers see the scope of your expertise, like this:
4. Include technical skills in your work experience section
Even if you mention your technical skills in a bulleted list, you should also show your specialised knowledge using examples in your work experience section.
Writing about your technical skills in your work experience bullet points:
- provides recruiters with more context for your technical expertise
- helps employers visualise how you’d fit into their team
- highlights your accomplishments
Here’s an example of an accountant CV’s work experience section with the applicant’s technical skills on display:
Frequently asked questions about technical skills
Below are answers to three more questions you might have about technical skills:
- How do you improve your technical skills?
- How do you describe your technical skills in an interview?
- What is the most important technical skill?
1. How do you improve your technical skills?
You can improve your technical skills by:
- going to school, university, or college
- taking online courses
- keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry
- attending relevant conferences and exhibitions
- finding a mentor
- teaching others
- participating in related competitions (e.g., hackathons)
2. How do you describe your technical skills in an interview?
To describe your technical skills in an interview, provide detailed examples of times you’ve used them to achieve results and solve problems. For instance:
‘When I was working at a financial firm, we started experiencing issues with our reporting system. The reports were taking a long time to run and were often filled with errors that had to be manually resolved, causing delays for our clients.
I analysed the code for the reporting system and found that there were a number of inefficiencies and outdated functions being used. I then worked with the team to update the code, including optimising queries and introducing new libraries that could handle large datasets more efficiently.
After implementing these changes, we significantly improved the system’s speed and reliability, saving time for our clients and increasing our overall efficiency as a company.’
3. What is the most important technical skill?
There isn’t a single most important technical skill, as the importance of different technical skills varies depending on your role. But some technical skills generally considered important across many fields include:
- computer skills
- data analysis
- operating systems
- cloud computing
- research skills