Skills to put on CV

On average, recruiters spend just 6 seconds looking at each CV they receive. Finding the right skills to put on a CV is a great way to grab their attention and show them you have what they need.

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By Jagoda Obszarska, Senior Content Editor, TranslatorLast Updated: May 9, 2024
skills for cv

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Key skills for a CV

As you build your CV, you’ll notice that some skills speak to your personality traits while others are related to training or learned on the job. These are called soft and hard skills, respectively. You should include a mix of both soft and hard CV skills to show recruiters the breadth of your capabilities. Ensuring that these relate to the job advert is the only real “secret” to creating a great skills section – as recruiters scan the skills on a CV for keywords using ATS software. A killer skills section is made up of both hard (specialist) and soft (transferable) skills. To make things easier, we’ve pulled together a wide range of soft and hard skills examples for CVs. You’ll also find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about skills for CVs, along with tips and plenty of CV skills lists.

95 CV skills examples

Soft skills examples for your CV

Soft skills can be classed as personality traits. They’re aspects of your personality and work style that come naturally, such as a positive attitude, solid work ethic, or friendly demeanour. These are usually the most transferable skills to put on a CV and can apply to many of the same career sectors and roles. There are many soft skills, and they can be broken down into sub-categories such as communication, relationship building, or interpersonal skills.

Soft Skills Image
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Customer service
  • Research
  • Creativity
  • Work ethic
  • Adaptability
  • Conflict resolution
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Time management
  • Detail oriented
  • Solution-focused
  • Critical thinking
  • Relationship building
  • Rapport building
  • Empathy
  • Responsibility
  • Decisiveness
  • Ability to work under pressure

Soft CV skill lists by job


Actor CV skills

  • Creativity
  • Charismatic
  • Strong verbal communication
  • Good under pressure
customer support

Receptionist CV skills

  • Communication skills
  • Multitasking
  • Time management
  • Basic technology skills

Engineer CV skills

  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Critical analysis
  • Attention to detail

Architect CV skills

  • Collaborative
  • Critical thinker
  • Numeracy skills
  • Detail-oriented

Sales assistant CV skills

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Self-motivated

Hard CV skills examples for your CV

Hard skills are learned on the job, or through training and education. They’re more likely to be technical, specific, and intricate. Most hard skills examples are less transferable because they’re often particular to the job, for example, a dentist performing fillings. Filling a tooth cavity is a particular skill requiring specialist training (and we’re glad it does!). Hairdressing is another excellent example that has many unique special skills to put on a CV, which require regular training. Hair colouring is a task many hairdressers perform and demands “on the job” training or in an educational environment.

Hard Skills Image
  • Typing speeds
  • IT skills like cloud computing
  • Data entry or analysis
  • SEO or SEM knowledge
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Web development
  • A/B testing
  • Coding, such as Java or Ruby on Rails
  • Foreign languages
  • An industry-specific certification, such as PRINCE2
  • POS skills
  • Specific software capability, such as Sage
  • Contract negotiation
  • Project management
  • Product or industry knowledge
  • Bookkeeping
  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Patient assessment or care
  • Patient education
  • Health & hygiene
  • Food preparation

Hard skills lists by job


Teacher CV skills

  • Activity planning
  • Curriculum selection
  • Educational software use
  • Encouraging behavioural improvements

Project manager CV skills

  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Global and strategic sourcing
  • Productivity improvement
  • Supply chain knowledge
Food Service

Waitress CV skills

  • Food safety understanding
  • Menu knowledge
  • Point of sale system operation
  • Special dietary requirements

Nurse CV skills

  • Administering medicines
  • Medical knowledge
  • Care plan development
  • Patient assessment

Care assistant CV skills

  • Risk management processes
  • Care plan management
  • Client safety and first aid
  • Behaviour redirection

Key skills examples for a CV by industry

Billing collections

Finance CV skills

  • Bookkeeping
  • Time management
  • Cash flow management
  • Accounting software proficiency

Construction CV skills

  • CSCS certification
  • Physical strength
  • Power tool use
  • Health and safety

Manufacturing CV skills

  • Production line experience
  • Adaptability
  • Clear communication
  • Punctuality

Hospitality CV skills

  • Customer service
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Time management
  • Cultural awareness
Computer software

Media CV skills

  • Audience profiling
  • Copywriting
  • Image and video editing
  • Project management

Tips for your CV skills list

  • Be aware of CV skill buzzwords

    Certain workplace buzzwords appear over the years, depending on in-demand jobs and the growth of specific industries. One word you might have heard a lot lately is “agile”, which can refer to both agile project management and physical agility.

    While these words are fantastic and relevant for many job hunters, we recommend using buzzwords sparingly. Chances are, if you’re using them – someone else is too. Consider choosing another skill that better suits either the role or you as a person.

  • Choose skills based on the job description

    The quickest way to make a list of skills for your CV is to take keywords from the job description. Read through the advert and find the key skills from the essential requirements or responsibilities listed. This will also make your CV more likely to pass checks with CV scanning software.

    Take this example of a receptionist job advert:

    Strong IT skills accompanied by exceptional communication skills, whether in person, via phone or in writing are essential for this role, as are strong organisational, time management and attention to detail skills.

    You will also be comfortable working with confidential data/information; however, we also offer a fantastic induction, learning and development opportunities so we welcome candidates from a variety of different experiences.

    Based on this ad, we’d suggest adding the following skills:

    • Customer-orientated
    • Efficient multitasker
    • Transcription and dictation
    • Database administration
    • 55wpm typing speed (You can test this online)
    • Open and clear communicator
    • Meticulous and organised
    • Multitasking and prioritisation
    • MS Office proficiency
  • Use between 10-12 skills

    We suggest using between 10-12 skills for a CV in total. Split them between soft and hard skills. If the job is incredibly technical, you can increase the hard skills, as the recruiter is most likely looking for a direct match with specialist skills.

  • Don’t just list hard skills

    Whatever you do, don’t list 30 hard skills that have come directly from a job description. This looks bananas and doesn’t tell the recruiter anything about you as a person. A list of skills for your CV should be a brief overview, with more challenging skills highlighted in other areas of your CV.


Frequently asked questions about skills for CV

What are key skills in a resume or CV?

When it comes to writing your resume or CV, key skills is an essential section which gives recruiters an overview of your capabilities and personal qualities. They should be given a dedicated section, so they can be easily found, and listed in a bullet point format to keep them concise.

Why are soft skills so important?

Soft skills give recruiters an indication of how you’ll work in specific environments and with certain people. If you are a project manager in a close-knit team, for example, it will be key that you are a strong team player, and recruiters will be looking for indications of this in your CV key skills.

Don’t underestimate the need to highlight your softer skills in CV lists. If you are in a technical role such as a software developer, hard skills like coding will be essential. However, recruiters will want to know that you can handle interpersonal relationships, or solve problems. Soft CV skills still come into play and give a rounded view of you as a person.

Why are hard skills so essential?

Hard skills are good skills to put on a CV because they tell recruiters which specialist capabilities you have that relate to the job. Recruiters use hard skills on a CV to identify if you are the right match for the job, and they tend to be less “nice to have” and more vital for performing a specific role. Often, the position will feature a particular skill in the title.

For example, a software developer advertisement states the job requires a Ruby on Rails specialist developer, the recruiter is going to be looking for this specialist coding key skill on your CV and experience to back it up.

If you have hard skills, it’s important to illustrate these in your CV skills as well as in your personal statement, backed up within the experience sections of each job.

What are job-related skills?

Job-related skills are also known as hard skills, which are specific to your job or industry. Hard skills examples include everything from fork-lift truck driving and safe-lifting procedures to cloud accounting know-how and tax returns, as it’s entirely dependent on what you do for a living.

What are my top skills?

If you’re struggling to work out what to include in a list of skills for your CV, consider the description for the job you’re applying for. Looking for key requirements or criteria within the advert can help you narrow down your own skills and give you a shorter list of 10-12 that presents you as the perfect fit.

What are professional skills?

Professional skills are essentially your soft skills. They’re personal qualities that help set you apart from other candidates, even if they match you for the other, more job-related skills. Soft skills can include anything from leadership, teamwork, and interpersonal skills to decisiveness, problem solving, and the ability to work under pressure.

What are the 3 basic categories of skills?

The three basic categories of skills are technical, human, and conceptual. However, for the purposes of your CV, there are only two main categories – hard skills, which are technical and learned on the job, and soft skills, which are transferable, personal skills.

How many skills do I need to include in my CV?

We’d suggest including 10-12 skills in CV lists (always presented as bullet points) and a mix of both hard and soft skills to give the employer a rounded view of who you are as a person and your technical abilities.

What are the 5 basic job skills?

Many transferable skills will be standard across many different jobs; there tend to be more transferable soft skills than hard. CV skill areas that will have a strong crossover include:

  • Punctuality
  • Strong work ethic
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving

What are the best skills to put on a CV?

The best skills to put on a CV vary by job role, career level, education, and other factors. The skills most important for a dentist will differ from those of a chef. Before you apply for a role, take time to review the skills that are most valuable to the company and tailor your CV based on which of your personal or technical skills to meet their needs.

What if I don’t have any technical skills?

Junior or entry-level candidates will naturally have fewer technical skills because they haven’t yet had the training or education required. That is fine – we all have to start somewhere.

Instead of hard or technical skills for a CV, review the company and look over their values – often in the “about us” section of a company’s website. Company values are a great place to find out what soft skills are essential to them, from a hard-work ethic to ambition and drive.

Perfect the skills list for your CV

Our CV skills examples should make it a lot easier to start building your own list of skills for your CV. If you need any more help, our online builder is pre-loaded with CV skills for a wide range of job roles, industries, and experience levels, so you can simply enter the job you’re applying for and choose the most relevant options.


*The names and logos of the companies referred to above are all trademarks of their respective holders. Unless specifically stated otherwise, such references are not intended to imply any affiliation or association with myperfectCV.