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Hard skills or technical skills are work-related abilities that are specific and measurable. Such skills can be obtained and improved through repetition, practice, education, or relevant training. Also, technical degrees may be valuable, providing a solid theoretical foundation for related jobs.
Every industry or job requires a certain set of hard skills. Hence, it is important to do some research to understand what skills to emphasize on your best-practice resume to increase your hire ability. Nonetheless, there are some hard skills that may be useful regardless of the job and industry you’re applying for. Here is a list of the 10 best and most in-demand ones to include in your application.
1. Computer literacy
Technology has become increasingly important in modern businesses to complete a wide variety of tasks timely and efficiently. Thus, having the ability to use computers or a certain type of software is a must in today’s job market. It is not only critical for IT-related roles, nowadays, but for other fields as well like marketing and accounting. So, demonstrate your knowledge and proficiency in some computer hardware and software applications to have a competitive edge over other applicants. Let us give you an example of how you can add this hard skill to your resume:
“Headed the introduction of new technologies; facilitated the planning and deployment of a CRM software to track and manage communication with current, new, and potential clients; improved the opportunity to project ratio from 20% to 63%”
2. Data analysis
Data analysis skills are a combination of soft skills like communication and critical thinking and hard skills such as mathematical prowess. It demonstrates your capacity to analyze vast amounts of data and provide strategic insights to drive effective decision-making. According to a LinkedIn career expert, “Employers need employees with these skills to stay competitive.” In relation to this, an HBR survey revealed that more than 60% of companies want a senior leader with strong data analysis skills. So, make sure to showcase these in your resume just like the example below.
“Managed a process improvement project; conducted statistical analyses, developed data visualization, and generated data-informed insights; communicated data stories to management to influence decision-making; utilized machine-learning algorithms to implement a data-based forecasting approach to business case creation; boosted forecasting accuracy by 27%”
3. Project management
Project management’s importance to organizations cannot be overstated. When done right, it helps every aspect of the business operate more efficiently. Hence, employers are seeking potential employees with a strong ability to manage and complete assignments on time. To capture your dream employer’s attention, you can emphasize your impeccable organization and unique set of people skills that allow you to determine and delegate work for expedient and positive project outcomes. Let’s have a look at a sample job description below:
“Oversaw end-to-end project delivery from inception to completion; collaborated with executives and delegated team assignments to translate identified user needs into a suitable solution; devised project plans that coordinated deliverables to meet quality, timeline, scope, and budget; completed the project 3 months ahead of schedule while bringing $200K+ in cost savings”
4. Customer service
Customers are a critical part of a business irrespective of industry. According to a report, 96% of customers said that customer service is a key factor in their brand choice. In addition, a 5% increase in customer retention can bring up to 25% additional profits. For this reason, employers are always on the lookout for candidates with a natural talent to communicate and deal with customers with respect, patience, and professionalism. So, adding some essential customer service skills to your resume can be beneficial to your application. See the example below.
“Led large creative projects for major clients; facilitated creative briefs and pitch presentations; developed online community website and produced 200+ hours of video content; maintained continuous communications with clients to provide updates, resolve issues and complaints, and ensure requirements were met; boosted client satisfaction, resulting in a $5M+ in new contracts”
5. Negotiation skills
Hiring managers believe that good negotiation skills can significantly contribute to business success. Having the ability to negotiate effectively can provide immediate value to their companies. This can involve building mutually beneficial relationships with vendors and partners or closing a deal with a major client. To effectively showcase that you actually possess such skill, use the example below as your guide.
“Managed contract negotiation for the procurement of electrical equipment; researched vendors and led RFP process; negotiated the lowest price and best terms without compromising the quality of the product; reduced costs by up to $186K annually”
6. Design knowledge
Design skills are more than just being creative and doing aesthetic functions. In today’s job market, it can go a long way to being able to transform businesses and enable innovation in the workplace. In fact, according to the Design Singapore Council, design skills are needed in the workforce of the future and more companies will need people with such skills. So even if you are not seeking a creative role, make sure to include your design skills on your resume to outshine the competition. Here’s an example.
“Led design thinking procedures; worked in close collaboration with stakeholders to define potential change management opportunities; conceptualized, developed, and enforced appropriate strategies and framework; boosted workforce efficiency by 63%”
7. Foreign language proficiency
If you know more than one language, you should always add it to your resume. While the role you’re applying for doesn’t initially require an employee with fluency in another language, employers may look favorably at your ability. This can give you a huge advantage on any job in an organization that deals with international clients or stakeholders. Below is an example of how you can highlight your language proficiency in your professional summary section.
“Leverage proficiency with multiple languages, such as English, French, Spanish, and German to identify, understand, and address the needs of stakeholders and clients both locally and internationally”.
8. Marketing skills
Marketing provides visibility for an organization’s products and services, maximizes customer conversion, and helps increase sales and revenues. Hence, companies may desire this hard skill even if you are not a marketer yourself. They may look for your experience and ability to develop knowledge of a product’s benefits and speak about them to a specific audience. This is how you can show your marketing skills in your resume.
“Oversaw 3+ product launches with $300K+ goal in total; identified the product’s unique selling proposition; created positioning statement and persuasive marketing campaigns to drive demand generation; boosted customer engagement by 56%, increasing sales by up to $850K annually”
9. Business management
Good management skills are very critical for any company to succeed and achieve strategic goals. This may pertain to your ability to deal well with subordinates, maintain the efficient flow of organizational activities, or fulfill specific tasks while avoiding crises and solving problems that occurred. So, if you love being in charge and you are good at it, make sure to highlight these on your resume.
“Managed all aspects of the business, including creative services, data analytics, photography operations, and client experience; devised and implemented business development strategies to achieve growth objectives; generated $800K in new business”
10. Administrative skills
Every job may have some administrative aspect to it even if it is not administrative in nature. Administrative skills involve everything you do to manage and accomplish your day-to-day work effectively. This may include planning, scheduling, creating reports, and maintaining a database, among others. Including this skill on your resume can help you demonstrate your flexibility to keep the business processes running smoothly.
“Maintained a comprehensive database of 500+ substances from the lab’s inventory; utilized MS Excel spreadsheet to create a detailed report of the substances’ characteristics and properties; provided the leadership with easy access to data collected for research work”
Hard skills can help you present yourself as a highly qualified candidate when applying for your target job. So, make sure to carefully choose the ones you possess that are most applicable for the position. If you have identified your best hard skills, incorporate them into your experience, rather than just listing them. This way, you can better demonstrate that you have what it takes to do the job well.