Marketable skills to put in your resume skills section

If you treat the skills section of your resume as an afterthought, you could be missing an opportunity to show employers you've got what it takes to do the job.

Marketable skills to put in your resume skills section


Have you thought about the skills you're listing in your resume's skills section? If you treat this section as an afterthought, you could be missing an opportunity to show employers you've got the right skills for the job.

When completing the skills section, consider the skills that would be important to the job you're seeking. The best way to get started is to search for jobs on Monster and review several postings for your target job.

Look at the ideal requirements in the job descriptions and write a list of frequently repeated skills. Next, create a list of your matching skills that you can incorporate in your resume. Keep in mind you develop skills in everything from work experience to education and training, hobbies, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and even self-study.

Types of skills to have on a resume

  1. Job-related: These are relevant to a specific job. For example, an accountant's job-related skills might include financial planning, budgeting and financial reporting.
  2. Transferable: Skills learned in one field or job that apply to different ones are transferable. These skills can reflect how you deal with things (assembly, machine operation), data (research, synthesize information), and people (instruct, manage, and negotiate). 
  3. Adaptive: These skills are the hardest to substantiate as they include personality traits and characteristics that determine your work style. Adaptive skills include reliability, ability to get along with colleagues, honesty, and productivity. 

Adding your skills to your resume

Job-related and transferable skills are the most desirable to list on your resume. For each skill, indicate your skill level and years of experience.

It's important to be honest when describing your skill level. While it's tempting to deem yourself an expert, once you get the interview or job, you may need to prove your claim. But this is not the place for modesty either; call yourself an expert if you are truly at that level.

Here's a guideline for rating your skill level:

  1. Beginner: You have a novice understanding of the skill. You have exposure to the skill and understand its basic concepts but lack experience.  
  2. Intermediate: You're no longer a beginner and not quite an expert. You have experience with and can carry out the skill but don't understand its advanced concepts.  
  3. Expert: You have a highly developed skill level. You have substantial experience and training with the skill and understand advanced concepts. You demonstrate proficiency and superior skill level.

How many skills to list?

Employers quickly scan resumes, so long lists are not likely to get read. Instead, select 10 to 15 of your strongest, most desirable skills. A short, targeted skills list will be more effective than one that's long and overwhelming.

Make your skills shine

Be proud of all you have to offer a company—after all, it's not like you magically developed all those skills overnight. Want to make sure your resume works as hard for you as you do for others? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service. You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. With your skills front and center, your odds of getting called in for an interview will be better than ever.