10 Best Skills to include in your CV – CV Guide

10 Best Skills to include in your CV

The job search process can be frustrating, especially when you face multiple rejections. However, you can increase your chances of success by carefully incorporating the relevant skills into your CV. By doing this, you can significantly enhance your visibility and attract the attention of potential employers.

Listing your skills is important because it provides a comprehensive overview of your abilities to recruiters and employers even before they meet you. When you thoughtfully craft and present the skill set section alongside your experience, it has the power to set you apart from the vast pool of applicants.

It is also important to recognize that employers seek candidates who not only possess technical expertise but also exhibit a diverse range of skills. Hence, this article will address the top 10 best skills to include in your CV for best job search success.

Soft Skills or Hard skills

Before we go deep into this discussion, it’s important you note that the skills you possess can be classified into two groups. The first is soft skills while the other is technical skills. Understanding the difference will help you know the exact skills required for a specific role. However, employers require a good mix of both skills in prospective employees.

Hard skills 

Hard skills are technical skills that are specific to a particular job or industry. They include skills such as proficiency in software programs, knowledge of industry-specific terminology, and familiarity with industry practices. Hard skills are important for performing the specific tasks required for a job, but they are not as important as soft skills when considering overall job success. 

Soft skills

Soft skills are non-technical skills that are important for success in the workplace. Also, Soft skills are the abilities an individual poses which is applied to make the job easier. They include skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. Soft skills are often considered just as important as technical skills, and they can be a major factor in determining whether you are hired for a job.

Here are some of the key differences between soft skills and hard skills:

  • Soft skills are more transferable. Soft skills can be applied to a variety of different jobs and industries. In contrast, hard skills are more job- or industry-specific, focusing on specialized knowledge or abilities.
  • Soft skills are more important for overall job success. Soft skills are essential for building relationships, working effectively with others, and solving problems. Hard skills are important for performing specific tasks, but they are not as important as soft skills when it comes to overall job success.
  • Soft skills are more difficult to learn. This is because experience and practice are key in acquiring soft skills. Contrarily, hard skills can be acquired through formal education or training.

10 Best skills to include in your CV

Here are the 10 best skills to include in your CV if you want to stand out in the competition:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Problem-solving skills
  3. Leadership skills
  4. Time management skills
  5. Teamwork and Collaboration Skills
  6. Adaptability and Flexibility Skills
  7. Technical Skills
  8. Analytical Skills
  9. Creativity skills.
  10. Emotional Intelligence (EI)

1. Communication SkillsBest Skills to include in your CV

Communication is the ability to convey information effectively. It is essential in any professional setting, as it allows you to collaborate with colleagues, present ideas persuasively, and build relationships with clients and stakeholders.

Strong communication skills include the ability to:

  • Demonstrate clear articulation of your ideas, both in verbal and written communication.
  • Listen actively and understand the needs of others.
  • Use appropriate language and tone for the audience.
  • Tailor your communication style to the situation.
  • Build rapport and trust with others.

2. Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. It is a critical skill for any professional, as it allows you to think critically and find innovative solutions to challenges.

Strong problem-solving skills include the ability to:

  • Identify the root cause of a problem.
  • Generate creative solutions.
  • Evaluate different solutions and choose the best one.
  • Implement solutions and track their effectiveness.
  • Learn from mistakes and improve your problem-solving skills over time.

3. Leadership Skills – Best Skills to include in your CV

Leadership is the ability to influence others and achieve common goals. It is not limited to managerial positions, as any team member can demonstrate leadership skills.

Strong leadership skills include the ability to:

  • Set clear goals and expectations.
  • Motivate and inspire others.
  • Build trust and rapport.
  • Make decisions confidently.
  • Solve problems effectively.
  • Work effectively with others.
  • Communicate effectively.

4. Time Management Skills

Time management involves the efficient and effective utilization of your time. It is an essential skill for any professional, as it allows you to meet deadlines, prioritize tasks, and avoid stress.

Strong time management skills include the ability to:

  • Set clear goals and deadlines.
  • Prioritize tasks and focus on the most important ones.
  • Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.
  • Estimate how long tasks will take and allocate enough time accordingly.
  • Take breaks and avoid distractions.
  • Track your progress and make adjustments as needed.
  • Learn from your mistakes and improve your time management skills over time.

5. Teamwork and Collaboration Skills – Best Skills to include in your CV

Teamwork is the ability to work effectively with others to achieve common goals. It is an essential skill for any professional, as most jobs require working with colleagues and stakeholders.

Strong teamwork skills include the ability to:

  • Communicate and cooperate with others.
  • Share ideas and information.
  • Resolve conflicts constructively.
  • Build trust and rapport with others.
  • Support and motivate others.
  • Celebrate successes together.

6. Adaptability and Flexibility Skills

Adaptability is the ability to adjust to change. It is an essential skill for any professional, as the business landscape is constantly changing.

Strong adaptability skills include the ability to:

  • Accept change and embrace new challenges.
  • Learn new things quickly and easily.
  • Be flexible and willing to change your plans as needed.
  • Think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems.
  • Stay positive and motivated in the face of change.

7. Technical Skills – Best Skills to include in your CV

Technical skills are specific to the job or industry you are applying for. They are the skills that allow you to perform the job effectively.

Employers look for candidates who possess the necessary technical expertise required for the job. These skills can range from proficiency in programming languages, software applications, or specialized equipment.

When listing your technical skills on your CV, it is important to be clear and concise. You should also ensure that your skills are relevant to the role you are applying for.

Here are some tips for listing your technical skills on your CV:

  • Use keywords that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Quantify your skills whenever possible. For example, instead of saying “proficient in Microsoft Excel,” say “proficient in Microsoft Excel, with experience creating pivot tables and macros.”
  • Use action verbs to describe your skills. For example, instead of saying “knows how to use Photoshop,” say “has experience using Photoshop to create marketing materials.”
  • Provide examples of how you have used your technical skills in previous roles.

Here are some examples of technical skills that you may want to list on your CV:

  • Programming languages: Python, Java, C++, JavaScript
  • Software applications: Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, Salesforce
  • Specialized equipment: CAD software, machine learning algorithms, 3D printers

8. Analytical Skills

Analytical skills are the ability to identify patterns, trends, and relationships in data. They are essential for making informed decisions and solving problems.

Strong analytical skills include the ability to:

  • Gather and interpret data.
  • Identify patterns and trends.
  • Make logical inferences.
  • Evaluate different options and choose the best one.
  • Communicate findings in a clear and concise way.

Employers value candidates who can use their analytical skills to make a positive impact on the business. When highlighting your analytical skills on your CV, be sure to provide specific examples of how you have used them in the past.

9. Creativity – Best Skills to include in your CV

Creativity is the ability to think outside the box and come up with new and innovative ideas. It is an essential skill for solving problems, developing new products or services, and driving innovation.

Strong creative skills include the ability to:

  • Think divergently.
  • Generate new ideas.
  • Take risks.
  • See the big picture.
  • Connect seemingly unrelated ideas.

10. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is essential for building relationships, resolving conflicts, and leading effectively.

Strong EI skills include the ability to:

  • Understand your own emotions.
  • Manage your own emotions.
  • Understand the emotions of others.
  • Manage the emotions of others.
  • Build relationships.
  • Resolve conflicts.
  • Lead effectively.

How to Showcase Your Skills in Your CV

1. Choose the Right Skills

Although I  have mentioned this earlier, it’s very important you take this first point to heart. When including your skills in your resume, it is crucial to adopt a strategic approach and select the skills that align best with the desired position. Not all skills possess the same weight, as their importance may vary depending on the employer’s preferences. 

For instance, if you aspire to work in software development, ensure to emphasize your expertise in programming languages like Python, Java, or C++. Conversely, if you are seeking a marketing position, it would be prudent to focus on your aptitude in writing, communication, and social media. 

Tailoring your resume to the specific company you are applying to is also important. If possible, conduct some research on the company to identify the skills they value in their employees. This will enable you to emphasize the most relevant skills that cater to their requirements, thereby enhancing your chances of securing an interview.

2. Use the right Keywords

To ensure your CV captures the attention of employers who employ applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes, it is crucial to incorporate job-specific keywords when outlining your skills. Employing relevant keywords will increase the chances of your CV being discovered by potential employers. Thoroughly reviewing the job description and identifying frequently mentioned skills will assist in identifying appropriate keywords.

3. Quantify your skills

When showcasing your skills, it is essential to bolster them with concrete evidence, demonstrating how you have effectively applied them in experiences. This will help potential employers understand the level of your expertise and how you can use your skills to benefit their company.

Here are some tips for quantifying your skills:

Use numbers

Use numbers to quantify your skills. This will help potential employers understand the scale of your accomplishments. Instead of saying “I am a good listener,” you could say “I am able to understand and respond to the needs of others, as evidenced by my experience working with customers and my ability to build relationships with colleagues.”

Be specific 

Don’t just say that you have used a skill; provide specific examples of how you have used it. For example, instead of saying “I am proficient in Microsoft Excel,” you could say “I used Microsoft Excel to create a budget that saved the company $10,000.”

Use results

When possible, quantify your skills by providing results. This will show potential employers how your skills have made a positive impact. For example, instead of saying “I am a problem solver,” you could say “I solved a customer’s problem that saved them $5,000.

4. Use Action Verbs 

When listing your skills, you can use dynamic action verbs to showcase your abilities. This will help you present yourself as a proactive individual with a unique skill set. For example, instead of saying “I am a good team player,” you could say “I have a proven track record of collaborating effectively in team settings.”

Here are Some Tips for Choosing the Right action Verbs:

  • Choose specific and relevant verbs. 
  • Use verbs that allow for measurement.
  • Choose verbs that are results-oriented.

Here are some examples of action verbs you can use to list your skills:

  • Communication: articulate, collaborate, convey, explain, inform, listen, persuade, present, write
  • Problem-solving: analyze, diagnose, identify, innovate, investigate, solve, troubleshoot
  • Leadership: coach, delegate, motivate, organize, plan, prioritize, set goals, supervise
  • Teamwork: cooperate, coordinate, collaborate, contribute, help, support, work well with others
  • Technical skills: code, operate, troubleshoot, use software
  • Soft skills: adapt, be organized, be positive, be proactive, be reliable, be self-motivated, be punctual, be a good listener, be an excellent communicator, be a team player

5. Use a Skills-based Format

Consider using a skills-based CV, which highlights your skills and accomplishments rather than focusing solely on your work experience. This format allows you to showcase your relevant skills upfront, which can be helpful if you are applying for a job where your skills are more important than your experience. 

Here are some benefits of using a skills-based CV format: 

  • This can give you a Competitive edge. When you use a skills-based CV, you are ‌ creating a list of your most marketable skills. This can help you stand out from other candidates who are applying for the same job, especially if you have limited work experience. It can help you target your CV to specific jobs. When you use a skills-based CV, you can tailor it to specific jobs by highlighting the skills that are most relevant to each job. 
  • This can enhance the possibilities of attracting the attention of prospective employers. It can help you save space. A skills-based CV can be shorter than a traditional CV, as you do not need to list your work experience‌. This can be helpful if you are applying for jobs where space is limited, such as online job boards.

Conclusion: Best Skills to include in your CV

Crafting a compelling CV that highlights the right skills is crucial for unlocking a world of career opportunities in today’s competitive job market. Employers seek a combination of technical expertise and valuable soft skills. With these skills listed discussed above, you can make a lasting impression and significantly increase your chances of securing your dream job. Take the time to create a standout CV that skillfully presents your strengths, and you’ll open doors to exciting and rewarding career prospects.

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