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List of Job-Specific Skills for a Resume

by Kristine Tucker, studioD

Finding the right job often means an employer is striving to find the perfect square peg to fit the square hole, so your job skills must match or exceed expectations. When you list specific skills on your resume, choose words that clearly define your capabilities and how they effectively meet the job demands. It's best to use wording in the original job description to carefully tailor your resume to meet the requirements, as the same resume won't work for every available position.


List job skills that directly relate to your expertise. Many job applicants put the obvious skills of hardworking, reliable, trustworthy and detail-oriented, so choose skills that make you stand out as a job applicant. When applying for an administrative job, Purdue University Career Center recommends listing skills such as proficient with data analysis, experience preparing written communications, coordinating schedules and times for meetings, and classifying patient or financial records. Citing job skills that reveal your expertise in a particular area makes it easier for a hiring manager to compare your competencies with those of other applicants. A vague description of your skills may place your resume in the middle of the pile of applicants.

Current Trends

Include skills that give you a competitive edge. In a complex and highly volatile job market, include skills that make an employer want to hire you. According to "Forbes," creating new technologies is critical and it takes unique, well-rounded skill sets to bring new innovations to market. Listing job qualifications such as complex problem solving, knowledge of computers and electronics, and cost-effective decision making are modern, trendy, high-demand skills. Employers want to see a resume that's not outdated and has a modern appeal. Even if you're applying for a position that's not directly related to your degree major, your ability to critically analyze solutions to problems and make strategic decisions puts you on the cutting edge.


Provide qualifications that match the original job description. To avoid sounding like an echo of the original posting, list similar skills but use your own words to describe the attributes. If the job requires tax return preparation skills, list qualifications such as researched new tax laws, analyzed client data to maximize deductions, applied cost-saving tax strategies and calculated alternative cost-benefit options. Take the original job posting and expound on those requirements, making it clear that your skills meet and exceed the expectations. Be specific, so the employer knows exactly what you bring to the table.

Practical Assets

Don't underestimate the power of your practical assets. It’s the less flashy skills that really dominate today's job market, according to "Forbes." When listing job-specific skills on a resume, include those that are most necessary for getting the job done quickly and efficiently. For example, list technical computer skills and software expertise for jobs in technology; being comfortable with patients and treatment successes for medical jobs; and knowing investment strategies for jobs in finance. Include skills that were beneficial to your previous employer, especially if the new position is in a similar industry. Detail job skills related to planning, organizing, supervising, coordinating, selling, inspecting and instructing. Practical skills could be the key to getting your dream position.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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