Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

How Many Skills To List On Resumes: Best Practices For 2023

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

Many job seekers find it challenging to strike the right balance between highlighting their qualifications and not overcrowding their resumes with too much information.

However, it’s essential to present yourself in the best light possible to increase your chances of landing an interview. Fortunately, there is an easy fix.

We’ll explore how many skills to list on resumes, how you can highlight relevant specific skills, where you can list them on a resume, and which ones will help you stand out to hiring managers.

By the end of this read, you’ll be well on your way to creating a winning resume.

Do Employers Look at Skills?

Yes, employers do look at skills on a resume. In fact, they love them!

Skills are often the first thing recruiters and hiring managers read to give them a quick insight into your abilities and how you might fit the job requirements.

Employers use skills to screen resumes and choose which applicants to interview. Your skills section should be on point if you want to make an excellent first impression.

Should You List All Your Skills on a Resume?

There are better ways to go than listing all your skills. Think quality over quantity. It’s best to focus on the most relevant skills to the job you’re applying for that demonstrate your abilities.

Including too many skills can make your resume look cluttered and overwhelming and dilute the impact of your strongest abilities.

How Many Skills to list on a Resume

Now, you might still wonder how many skills to list on resumes. Well, it depends on you and the job you’re after.

But as a general rule, seven to eight well-selected skills should do the trick. Ensure each is specific and relevant, and your skills section is well organized and easy on the eyes.

Which Are the Most Important Skills to List on a Resume?

When listing skills on your resume, it’s crucial to focus on the most relevant and beneficial skills to employers.

You need to differentiate between hard vs. soft skills and find a sweet spot between the two when deciding which skills to list on a resume.

Depending on the position you’re applying for, this may vary, but some skills are in high demand across various industries.

This section will examine four skill sets companies typically look for in greater detail.

Job-Based Skills

Let’s talk about job-based skills, the bread and butter of your resume. These skills are unique to a given position and are usually specified in the job description.

To make the most of this section, you want to match your skills with what the employer is seeking.

For example, if you are a nurse, you’ll want to showcase your patient care skills, medical knowledge, and bedside manner.

If you’re a software developer, your coding, debugging, and problem-solving skills will be your selling points.

By aligning your skills with the job requirements, you” ll be sending a clear message to the employer that you’re the ideal candidate for the job.

Proficiency in Certain Computer Programs

Proficiency in specific computer programs is necessary for many businesses in today’s tech-driven society.

Do not be afraid to demonstrate your technological prowess whether you’re an expert with Microsoft Office, a guru of the Adobe Creative Suite, or a master of project management software.

Remember, when listing these skills on your resume, you want to be specific about the programs you’re proficient in and your expertise level.

Therefore, instead of just saying “Microsoft Office,” feel free to boast about your proficiency in Word and Powerpoint.

Technical Skills

Got a specific trade or industry in mind? Then you better highlight your technical skills on your resume.

These skills are about your expertise in a particular field and can range from being highly specific to a job to being more general.

For instance, if you work in construction or heavy machine operation, reading blueprints and safety regulation skills are your ticket to success.

If you’re a graphic designer, your image editing, layout design, and printing process skills will be your calling card.

Communication Skills

Last but certainly not least, let’s discuss communication skills.

These skills enable you to cooperate with people and complete tasks. They cover interpersonal skills, active listening, and written and verbal communication.

Be detailed and provide examples on your resume to demonstrate your communication skills.

Instead of just saying “strong communication skills,” tell the employer about your excellent interpersonal communication skills.

You can further explain how you’ve demonstrated them through successful team collaboration on multiple projects.

What Skills Should Not Be on a Resume?

As you know, a great resume is vital to landing your dream job. But did you know that there are some skills that you should leave off your resume?

Yup, you heard that right!

Let’s look at some skills that shouldn’t be on your resume to help you make the most of your resume and avoid costly mistakes.

Basic Computer Skills

There’s no need to highlight basic computer skills like typing, emailing, and browsing the internet unless you’re applying for a job that necessitates using these skills daily.

Employers require these skills of anyone in today’s job market, and most companies make this assumption.

So instead of taking up valuable space on your resume, emphasize the more advanced computer skills that set you apart from the competition.

Language Skills (Unless Relevant)

Let’s talk about language skills. Unless the position you’re applying for requires a specific language proficiency, there’s no need to list language skills on your resume.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as a customer service representative and you’re fluent in Spanish, go ahead and highlight that skill.

However, it’s probably not worth mentioning if you’re a software developer fluent in French. The trick is only to include language skills relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Skills You Don’t Actually Have

Here’s a big no-no: listing skills you don’t actually have. Doing this may seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s sure to come back and bite you in the end.

Employers will notice if you claim to have a skill but cannot use it in the interview or on the job.

So, be honest about your abilities and only list what you’re truly proficient in. We assure you, it’s better to just be yourself than to be caught in a lie later on.

Skills That Aren’t Relevant to the Position

While having a diverse set of skills is fantastic, it’s essential only to list the ones relevant to the position you’re applying for.

For example, if you’re applying for a graphic designer job, your rock climbing and photography skills may be interesting but are not relevant to the job.

So, reserve those skills for conversation starters in the interview and concentrate on emphasizing your qualifications that are directly related to the position.

How To List Skills on a Resume

Having the right skills can be the difference between landing a job and getting left behind. But how do you effectively showcase your skills on your resume?

Well, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the best practices for listing skills on your resume.

Where To Put Skills on a Resume

The most common place to list your skills is in a “Skills” section near the top of the resume, just below your summary or objective statement.

It’s critical to select the most applicable and transferable skills for the position you’re looking for when listing your skills in a “Skills” section.

This section is a great place to attract the interest of potential employers, so ensure you make it count.

You can also sprinkle relevant skills throughout your work experience section to give employers a more in-depth look at your skills in action.

How To Write Skills on Your Resume

Now that you know where to put your skills, let’s discuss how to write them on your resume. It’s crucial to be specific and mention any certifications or training you’ve acquired.

For instance, list “Expert in Microsoft Office with certification in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint” rather than just “Microsoft Office.”

Additionally, use keywords that correspond to the qualifications given in the job description. Doing this will ensure your resume makes it past any applicant tracking system (ATS) and increase your chances of getting an interview.

Wrapping Up

If you are trying to decide how many skills to list on resumes, aim to be specific, use keywords that match the job description, and showcase your certifications and training.

Whether through a dedicated skills section of a resume or by sprinkling relevant skills throughout your work experience, you now have the tools to make your skills shine. Now go forth and let your skills do the talking!

If you’ve got any burning questions or want to share your tips and tricks, leave a comment below. The job search journey is a team effort, and we’re here to help you achieve your dream.

Leave a Comment

Back to all Posts

Explore More within MyJobSearch

My Job Search
Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.
post explore
post explore

Explore Resumes

Browse our templates to find one that matches your personality.