Top Skills to Put On Your Resume for Job Applications in 2024 (2024)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A big part of building a successful job application is effectively using your resume to highlight your skills. Learn more about what skills to include (and how to include them) to make the most impact.

Top Skills to Put On Your Resume for Job Applications in 2024 (1)

When you're preparing a job application, your resume should feature the technical skills, workplace skills, interpersonal skills, and transferable skills that you've developed throughout your career. However, as you apply for jobs, it's a good idea to tailor your application and highlight, where possible, the skills listed in the job description.

In this article, we'll go over the top skills you should put on your general resume and how to tailor that resume for every job application.

Types of skills to put on your resume

There are four main types of skills that you should integrate into your resume: technical, workplace, interpersonal, and transferable. At times, these can overlap. You'll notice that active listening can be an interpersonal skill and a transferable skill.

Let's review each one in more detail.

  • Technical skills: Specialized knowledge used to complete tasks specific to a role, such as using a content management system (CMS) or conducting data analysis.

  • Workplace skills: The behaviors you use to complete your work, such as critical thinking and empathy.

  • Interpersonal skills: Sometimes called people skills, these are strengths that showcase how you work with others, such as active listening and conflict resolution.

  • Transferable skills: The skills you take from job to job, no matter the type of work you do. These overlap with workplace skills at times and tend to include skills like teamwork, problem-solving, and attention to detail.

Depending on how long you've been working, you may also want to highlight:

  • Management skills: The ability to lead others and produce cohesive, unified work. These can include delegation, project management, and communication.

Read more: What Are Job Skills and Why Do They Matter?

Good skills to put on your resume

The best skills to put on your resume are always going to be those that your potential employer has already noted they're looking for in their job posting. But, other than looking there, how do you know what skills are in demand and worth developing in general?

Here's one way: Check out Coursera's annual Job Skill Report, which identifies the top skills that learners have been building on the platform that year. In 2023, the fastest-growing job skills on the platform were as follows [1]:

RankFastest-growing digital skillsFastest-growing human skills
1Scrum software developmentStorytelling
2Data visualizationChange management
3Customer success toolsOrganizational development
4E-commerceInfluencing
5CRM softwarePeople management
6User experience (UX) designCulture
7Agile software developmentCollaboration
8Software framework developmentDecision-making
9System software developmentCommunication
10Search engine optimization (SEO)Planning

The above skills are those that learners around the world are developing on Coursera that you may benefit from highlighting on your own resume (or developing yourself). But, if you need help brainstorming some other skills to include on your resume, explore the skills listed below for inspiration.

Technical skills

Here are some technical skills that can be useful to feature on your resume:

  • Writing and editing

  • Microsoft Office tools like Excel, Teams, and PowerPoint

  • Building and engineering skills like carpentry, plumbing, roofing, or surveying

  • Design tools like Figma, Sketch, or Adobe Photoshop

  • Computer programming languages like Python, HTML, C++

  • Data analysis tools like SQL, STATA, or R

  • Budgeting and budget analysis

  • Management and management methodologies like Agile

  • Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Transferable skills

Here are some transferable skills that can be helpful to have on a resume:

  • Teamwork

  • Attention to detail

  • Public speaking

  • Organization

  • Leadership

  • Analysis

  • Research

  • Customer service

  • Management

  • Critical thinking

  • Resilience

  • Initiative

Read more: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?

How to add key skills to your resume

Because of applicant tracking systems (ATS), which often scan resumes before they make it to a recruiter for further review, it's a good idea to make sure your resume aligns as much as possible with the language used in the job description. That's because ATS algorithms are set to filter applicants based on how closely they appear to fit the job description.

In that case, you will want to feature the various skills you've listed out when they closely align with the job description. And you will want to include other skills that strengthen your application by showing your work ethic, impact, or other successes.

1. Make a list of your skills.

Take time to sit down and reflect on each role you've had. What technical skills did you need to perform your work? What workplace or interpersonal skills did you develop to be successful as a team member and employee? If you need help creating this list, search for job descriptions that match the roles you've held for inspiration.

Getting clear about your skills—your strengths—will help you as you set about adding these skills to your resume.

2. Look at the job description.

The job description should be your main guide when it comes to deciding what skills to include. Start by finding a job description you're interested in. Note the key desired skills and qualities: These can be part of a lengthier paragraph describing the role or bullet points that synthesize the ideal candidate.

These are the skills you should aim to highlight in your job application.

3. Decide how to incorporate your skills into your resume.

Once you have a set of skills you feel can work well in your job application, start including them in your resume. You can do this by including them in your past experiences section, the skills section, or the summary.

  • Past experiences section: Draw attention to key skills by including them in your past experiences. Start each experience section with a resume action word such as “organize,” “manage,” or “analyze” to showcase your abilities.

  • Skills section: A skills section is generally a list of skills relevant to the job. You can choose to include your ability level in each skill, or organize them by category, such as "technical" and "workplace."

  • Objective: A resume objective tells recruiters what you hope to achieve in your next role. It's a great way to detail what you've already done and your long-term career goals. And it's also an idea spot to slip in a few skills, such as "problem-solver" or "empathetic."

  • Summary: A resume summary explains who you are and what you've done without thinking too specifically about your career goals. It can be a great use of resume space when you're just getting started or you need to synthesize a less straightforward career path. In that case, pick the top skills you want to draw attention to.

Need help formatting your resume skills?

Read How to Feature and Format Key Skills on Your Resume to learn best-practices, find tips, and explore examples to make the most of your resume skill section.

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Get started on your resume

Check out our Job Search Guide for even more resources, or enroll for free in Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters from the University of Maryland.

Ready to add to your skill set? Coursera Plus offers access to thousands of courses and certificates to get you job-ready in 2024.

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Updated on

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Top Skills to Put On Your Resume for Job Applications in 2024 (2024)

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