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In today’s job market, you need a combination of soft skills and technical skills to land your dream job. Here’s a look at some of the key technical skills to use in your resume.
We’ve all heard of soft skills and their importance in helping you look for jobs and keep your existing job. These include leadership, motivation, teamwork, and other attributes that aren’t necessarily a part of your job description, but you still need them to succeed in your career. But have you heard of certain “technical skills” that are a must-have in today’s environment?
In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into:
What exactly are technical skills?
Which technical skills are worth mentioning in your resume?
How do you add key technical skills to your resume?
Technical skills, also known as technical proficiencies or hard skills, refer to the knowledge and expertise you need to perform daily tasks. This includes your proficiency in a certain software tool, such as SharePoint or Jira, a hardware tool (e.g., a POS system), or even your knowledge of certain programming languages, such as C++.
By mentioning your technical skills in your resume, you can present yourself as an expert in your field. For instance, if you’re applying for an accountant job, it’s important to mention QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, Oracle Accounting Hub, and any other accounting software solutions you’re familiar with in order to stand out and showcase your subject-matter expertise.
Many jobs involve using one or more hardware tools and/or software systems. If you’re applying for a job that relies on a particular tool, and you’re adept at using that tool, it’s important to mention this technical skill in your resume to improve your chances of getting hired.
When interviewing for a particular job role, a hiring manager is likely to assess the interviewee’s technical skills to make a smart hiring decision. Having the right technical skills will not only help you secure the job, but also enjoy long-term success in your career.
Broadly speaking, most employers are on the lookout for two types of technical skills: essentials and optional. Essential technical skills are crucial to the job role. For instance, if an organization is looking for a graphic designer, they would ideally want someone who has experience using an editing software tool such as Adobe Creative Suite.
Optional technical skills are not specifically required for a job role. However, if you have one or more of these skills, you’re likely to have an edge over other job applicants. For example, if an organization is looking for a content creator and the job description says, “Familiarity with MS Access is an asset,” it’s an optional technical skill.
It really depends on the job you’re applying for and the industry you’re pursuing. Let’s take a look at some of the industries and a couple of technical skills needed to secure a job within those industries.
According to the National University in San Diego, California, there are more than 15 different types of engineering disciplines. If you’re applying for an engineering job, some of the technical skills you should mention on your resume include systems design, data management, statistical analysis, and prototyping.
Accountants play a crucial role in every organization. Their key responsibility is to maintain proper books of accounts to accurately reflect a company’s financial position and performance. Some of the key technical skills for accountants include cost analysis, budgeting, variance reporting, bank reconciliations, ledger preparation, and auditing.
Healthcare is a diverse field that includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, paramedics, dentists, hospital administrators, and many other professionals. If you’re looking for a job in this field, some of the technical skills you should consider adding to your resume include telemedicine, diagnosis, clinical administration, and case management.
Having a sound financial acumen might not be enough to land a job in the field of finance. You need to focus on certain technical skills that highlight your expertise. Some of these skills include financial planning, forecasting, risk analysis, auditing, budgeting, and financial reporting.
As a graphic designer, you’ll probably be expected to create logos, infographics, and other types of media to convey a message. For this reason, it’s important for you to be well-versed in a wide variety of multimedia tools, such as Photoshop and Adobe Creative Suite. You may also be skilled in photography, typography, and sketching.
The world of information technology is ever-evolving, and the development of AI-powered tools has paved the way for a wide variety of specialist fields. Most IT jobs require specialists in different fields, such as software engineers, programmers, app developers, network engineers, and cybersecurity experts. Some of the technical skills needed for IT jobs include proficiency in one or more programming languages, data management, web development, debugging, coding, cloud computing, network security, and systems architecture.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the education sector to switch to virtual classrooms and learning apps, and this integration has continued. Some of the technical skills associated with a job in the field of education include distance learning technologies (e.g., mobile apps and virtual classrooms), communication tools like Skype and Microsoft Teams, and smart whiteboards.
Gone are the days when marketing was all about writing ad copy. This field has evolved by leaps and bounds and it now includes several specializations. As a marketer, you should consider focusing on pay-per-click marketing, Google AdWords, search engine optimization, social media management, content strategy, Google Analytics, and even AI-powered content generation tools like ChatGPT.
Being a successful project manager is all about managing people and ensuring projects are completed on time. Hiring managers typically look for proficiency in project management software tools (e.g., Jira, Confluence, MS Project), project management methodologies (e.g., Agile and Waterfall), and data analytics.
As a salesperson, you need to rely on different technical skills to design comprehensive sales strategies and reach out to prospects. Some of the key technical skills that salespeople need include social media management, NPS, Salesforce, and similar tools.
Technical skills are crucial for certain jobs, such as IT-related fields. For this reason, it’s important to have a separate section for technical skills in your resume.
There should be a section in your resume that includes your job-related technical skills in an easy-to-read format. For example, after your resume summary, you can add a section titled “Technical Proficiencies” and use a table to list some of the software tools.
If you’re writing a cover letter, you can briefly mention some of your technical skills, but don’t dive into the details. Your cover letter needs to be brief, which is why it’s important not to add too many technical skills to it. You can also link one or more technical skills to an accomplishment. For example, “Leveraged SolarWinds help desk software to reduce waiting times and improve customer satisfaction ratings by 20 percent.”
Example #1: (Resume with technical skills - excerpt)
John Doe Email: [email protected] Phone: (123) 456-7890
Dedicated and results-oriented IT professional with expertise in cybersecurity, information systems management, network administration setup, firewall, and security audits. Excellent communication skills and a strong attention to detail. Proven track record of thriving in a fast-paced environment.
• CISCO Switches • Kubernetes • Cloud Computing • Sophos Firewall • Atlassian Apps • Microsoft Office Suite • PHP • HTML & XML • C+, Python
Example #2: (Cover letter with technical skills - excerpt)
Here are a few of my accomplishments to showcase how I added value at my previous employments:
Leveraged Microsoft SharePoint to create a comprehensive repository of content for our organization that improved collaboration and facilitated virtual office setup.
Monitored Google Analytics to observe the company’s website performance, assess click rates, and suggest improvements in content strategy to drive engagement.
Technical skills allow you to perform your day-to-day job responsibilities with ease, while soft skills help you communicate effectively at work. These skills are equally important for a job role, which is why it’s important to balance them in your resume.
Soft skills can easily be dispersed throughout your resume. For instance, you can include a couple of soft skills in your resume summary. This is the first statement the hiring manager is likely to read, so it’s important to add some soft skills.
It’s best to include technical skills in a separate section of your resume. These represent your core competencies, so it’s important for them to stand out.
Writing an effective resume that showcases your technical skills and soft skills can be a daunting task, especially if you’re applying for multiple jobs. Whether you’re pressed for time or unsure where to begin, we have a wide variety of resume templates to help you land your dream job and take your career to the next level.
Whether you’re applying for a new job or want to move up the corporate ladder, you need the right blend of technical skills and soft skills.
Technical skills refer to your knowledge of and expertise in various hard skills, including database management and search engine optimization.
When adding technical skills to your resume, make sure they’re relevant to your target job.
Asad is a digital content creator and recruiter. Since 2014, he has written on a wide variety of topics, including technology, finance, human resources, and marketing. Throughout his professional career, Asad has recruited and trained content writers for various software companies and marketing agencies, and he enjoys mentoring new immigrants in Canada on job interview best practices and networking techniques.