What to Include in a Resume Skills Section

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The skills section of your resume includes your abilities that are related to the jobs you are applying for. In this section, you should list skills that are relevant to the position or career field that you are interested in, such as computer skills, software skills, and/or language skills.

Customize Your Resume Skills Section

Customize the skills section of your resume to match, as much as you can, the requirements listed in the job posting.

The closer a match your skills are to the job requirements, the better your chances are of being selected for an interview.

For example, if you are applying for an administrative position, include in your skills section Microsoft Office skillsQuickBooks skills (if you have them), and other software programs you can use. If you are a computer programmer, list the programming languages, software, platforms, and other Information Technology skills you have. If you don't have current skills, don't include them. Review this list of skills not to put on your resume to ensure you include your most relevant skills.

Having a skills section makes it easy for a hiring manager to pinpoint if you have a specific skill required for a position. It is also an easy way to get resume keywords onto your resume. Many employers utilize automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan candidate resumes; these systems are programmed to search for specific keywords.

The more keywords your resume can “match,” the more likely it is that your resume will be selected for review by human eyes.

Here are tips for writing your resume skills section.

Multiple Resume Skills Sections

If there are multiple types of skills that are important to the job you’re applying for, you can include more than one skills list in your resume.

For example, if you are applying for a job in education, you might include a “Computer Skills” list and a “Language Skills” list.

Skills Lists to Review

Not sure what skills to include? Here's a list of resume and cover letter keywords you can use to describe your skills, as well as lists of resumes skills for a variety of occupations and types of jobs.

Resume Skills Section Example


  • Mastery of Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Experience with QuickBooks and with maintaining office budget
  • Ability to work with several operating systems, including Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Skill sets include both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skills that can be quantified. Soft skills are subjective interpersonal skills (such as “communications,” “leadership,” “teambuilding,” or “motivational” skills) that are much harder to quantify.

Both types of skills may be included on a resume and in cover letters. Here's more information on the difference between hard skills and soft skills, and a list of soft skills.

Job Specific Skills vs. Transferable Skills

Job specific skills are those abilities that allow a candidate for employment to excel in a particular job.

Some skills are attained by attending school or training programs. Others can be acquired through experience learning on the job.

Job specific skills vary based on the position. For example, an IT help desk worker needs computer skills, teachers need lesson planning skills, and carpenters need skills working with power tools.

Job specific skills can be contrasted with transferable skills like communication, organization, presentation, teamwork, planning, and time management, which are required in a broad array of jobs.

Transferable skills are those that you use in almost every job.

Both types of skills can be included in a resume.

Other Resume Sections

There are many other sections on a resume. Below are other resume sections, with links to more information about what to include in each.

Resume Examples

Here's an example of a full-size formatted resume skills section to take a look at.

Review Resume Samples
Review sample resumes so you can incorporate your resume template information into an appropriate format.

Related Articles: Soft vs. Hard Skills | How to Include Keywords in Your Resume | List of Keywords for Resumes and Cover Letters | Top Skills Employers Seek from Job Applicants