What are the types of skills to put on a CV?
The two types of skills to put on a CV are:
- soft skills
- hard skills
Soft skills are also known as personal skills. You pick up these skills in everyday life. For example, your soft skills improve when you interact with people, deal with homework, and prioritise tasks.
Hard skills are skills you learn by studying specific courses (for example, by getting an NVQ in hairdressing or a driving licence), or through experience (like learning how to use WordPress at work).
Even if you’re applying for a technical position like a web developer role, employers want to see you have a range of both hard and soft skills. Soft skills like communication, organisation, and prioritisation show employers they can trust you to interact well with customers and your coworkers in addition to handling your workload.
Here are some of the most sought-after hard and soft CV skills for 2023:
- Some of the relevant job-related skills for 2023.
List of hard skills to include on a CV by industry
Here are some common hard skills you can add to your CV depending on the field you work in.
Administration and Office Support
- Data protection/GDPR compliance
- Technology skills (specify software packages you can use like Microsoft Access)
- Hiring law
- Making travel arrangements
Business & Finance
- Financial modelling
- Money handling
- Accounting skills
- Financial reporting
- Cash flow management
- Budget management
- Data structure (for example, SQL)
- CRM software (for example, LiveChat and Blazedesk)
- Research skills
- Negotiation skills
- Product/service knowledge
- Software skills (Kayako and Zendesk)
- Foreign language skills (French, German, Welsh)
- Clean driving licence (remember to include which category of driving licence you have)
- Lifting ability (for heavy items)
- Vehicle maintenance
- Route planning
- Sat Nav system operation
- Safety-first approach (for example, you could mention you’ve completed the Pass Plus programme)
- Recording mileage
- Maintaining delivery records
- Tracking deliveries
- Defensive driving
- Design theory
- Colour theory
- UI/UX design
- Interactive media
- Manufacturing processes
- Quality control
- Structural analysis
- Data modelling
- Process development
- Documentation procedures
- Data mining
- Problem reporting/ticket creation
- Technical support
- Cloud computing
- Quality assurance
- Operating systems (like Windows, MacOS, Linux, Unix)
Related CV example: Web developer CV
- Social media platforms (for example, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram)
- Google Analytics
- Analytical skills
- Primary research
- Social listening tools (Sprout Social, Brandwatch)
- SEO tools (for example, SEMRush, Accuranker, and Ahrefs)
- Content management tools (for instance, WordPress)
- Coding skills (like HTML, CSS, and CRM tools)
Nursing and Healthcare
- Bedside manner
- NHS Constitution
- Medicine administration
- Performing diagnostic tests
- Charting and familiarity with Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
- Preventative care
- IV administration
- Public speaking
- Presentation skills
- Computer skills
- Point of sales (POS) systems
- Product knowledge
- National Curriculum
- SMART boards
- Storytelling skills
- Marking work
- Disciplinary skills
- Bunsen burners
- Microsoft Office
- Lesson planning
- Point of sale (POS) system operation
- Bean grinding
- Latte art
- Batch brewing
- Foreign language skills
- Maths skills
- Wine pairing
Examples of soft skills to add to your CV
Soft skills are vital in every industry. They’re all transferable skills because once learnt, they can be used in all kinds of jobs. Here are some commonly sought-after soft skills:
- Communication skills
- People skills
- Growth mindset
- Critical thinking skills
- Leadership skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Management skills
- Customer service skills
- Networking skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Teamwork skills
- Organisational skills
- Time management skills
How to find more skills for your CV
Unsure what skills you can put on your own CV? Follow these tips to identify relevant hard and soft skills:
Look at the job advert
Identifying skills for your CV is straightforward. Employers list the skills they’re looking for in the job description, so you can simply add the skills from the job advert to the skills section on your CV (assuming you have those skills).
Here’s an example of a job advert with the employer’s desired skills highlighted:
- If you were applying for this job, you’d ideally add some of these skills to your CV:
- Customer service skills
- Point of sales (till) skills
- Teamwork skills
- HSE-recognised certification/hygiene
Research the skills required for similar jobs
If you still need other skills to put on your CV, look at job descriptions for similar job openings. Similar job descriptions will likely reveal skills valuable to the position you’re applying for.
Think about your previous experiences
In addition to the skills mentioned in the job advert and for similar roles, you should add any other key skills you think would make you a good fit for the position you’re applying for.
For example, the job listing might not mention communication skills, but these skills are key to interacting with colleagues and clients.
To identify skills you’ve picked up throughout your life, reflect on your past experiences.
If you’re writing a CV as a 16-year-old or never had a proper job, you can think about volunteer roles or extracurricular activities. For example, if you’ve completed Duke of Edinburgh’s award, you can list some of the skills you learnt, like leadership skills and public speaking.
You might have also mastered valuable skills at a university society, particularly if you were an elected committee member. If not, even being a regular member of a society like St John Ambulance or the RSPCA teaches you valuable teamwork skills that you can list on your CV.
How to add skills to your CV
You can add skills to five sections of your CV:
1. CV skills section
In a standard CV format, the most logical place to add your skills is in the key skills section. Add a mix of soft skills and hard skills to your list of skills here to show employers you’re a well-rounded applicant. Here’s what a typical CV skills section looks like:
- A skills section is typically a list of bullet points
2. Personal statement
You should also list some of your key transferable skills in your personal statement. Add skills you’ve learnt in other roles and at university or school to your CV introduction so that employers immediately know you’re qualified for the role.
Here’s what a personal statement looks like with skills for a CV added to it:
- Yellow highlights indicate skills written into this personal statement.
3. Work history entries
Have a long list of skills in your skills section? Prove to employers you really do have those listed skills by showcasing how you’ve applied them in your work experience section.
In this example, yellow represents skills employed, and orange highlights achievements:
- Link previous achievements to the skills you used to attain them.
If you don’t have much formal work experience, you can highlight valuable skills in your CV education section.
Under each qualification section, list any coursework or projects you worked on that are relevant to the job description.
If you went to university and your dissertation or thesis title is related to the job you’re applying for you can include it too.
- This education section is ideal for an entry-level journalism CV.
5. Hobbies and interests
Think strategically when you add content to your hobbies and interests section. Don’t just add Mongolian throat singing or other random unrelated interests. Instead, think about the skills the job description is calling for and think of hobbies that involve that skill.
For example, does a job advert ask you to have collaboration skills? If you’re into pub quizzes, put down that fact in your hobbies and interests section because collaboration is vital to winning trivia and quiz competitions.
Frequently asked questions about skills
Here are answers to three of the most common questions asked about adding skills to your CV:
- What should I write in skills in my CV
- How do I list my skills on my CV?
- What are five examples of personal skills?
1. What should I write in skills in my CV?
When writing the skills section of your CV, it’s important to highlight the skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. First, read the job advert carefully to understand what skills the employer is looking for. You should also look at adverts for similar positions to identify other valuable skills that your potential employer didn’t mention outright. Compare your findings with a list of your own skills to decide which skills to include in your skills section.
2. How do I list my skills on a CV?
There are several ways to list your skills on a CV. You can create a dedicated skills section near the top or bottom of your CV or highlight skills in your work experience, education, or hobbies and interests sections. You can also include skills in your personal statement if they are essential to the job you are applying for.
3. What are five examples of personal skills
Personal skills, also known as soft skills, are character traits that you develop throughout your life rather than learn in a classroom or on-the-job. Here are five examples of personal skills that employers value in every industry:
- Communication – or the ability to clearly and effectively communicate ideas and information, both orally and in writing.
- Analytical skills – which enable you to understand problems and identify potential solutions.
- Organisational skills – or the capacity to manage your time well and coordinate with other members of your team.
- Adaptability – so you can effectively respond to change and adapt to new technologies, environments, and SOPs.
- Interpersonal skills – such as the abilities to listen, empathize, and collaborate.
More CV-related FAQs
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