What Skills to Put on a CV in 2023?
What Skills to Put on a CV in 2023?
- · August 17 2023
- · 8 min read
Table of contents
In today’s market, skills on a CV are key to showing you’re competent to perform a specific job that, in turn, can help you succeed in the next role. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your career, this section is essential in any workspace. Take a look at our youtube video on skills for your CV to learn more.
Knowing how and where to place your skills on a CV can significantly increase your chances of landing a job interview. Nevertheless, adding them can be challenging, especially if you’re applying for several jobs. Hence, it’s crucial to incorporate them organically while keeping your CV applicant tracking system (ATS) friendly.
Read on to learn more about different types of skills and stay on top of the latest industry trends in the UK. This article explains how to differentiate soft skills from hard skills and why creating a CV for each job you apply for is essential. Follow our skills examples below to help yourself secure that all-important first interview!
They are the backbone of your CV, playing a pivotal role in showcasing your abilities. To identify the key skills, we suggest looking up the job description on the company’s website of your choice. By thoroughly examining the requirements, you can compile a comprehensive list of the primary and secondary skills your employer expects you to possess. Many job seekers believe you should only include your strongest skills on a CV. However, it is more effective to match your skills to what recruiters are looking for to make your CV stand out in a sea of applicants.
Pro Tip for Skills on a CV
If you still feel uncertain about your key skills consider asking your friends or colleagues about what they think your top qualities are.
To make a lasting impression on recruiters, you need to know how to differentiate between different types of skills. Soft skills refer to personal qualities or traits you have acquired over time, whether through education or experience. On the other hand, hard skills relate to technical or job-related competence required to perform a specific job. They are teachable and measurable abilities. Soft skills are often intangible, and it’s more strategic to incorporate them in your personal profile section. See below examples of top soft and hard skills to put on a CV.
Point of Sale (POS) system management
For more information, please refer to the retail CV article.
Analytics and reporting
For more information, please refer to the marketing CV article.
Order taking and processing
For more information, please refer to the waiter/waitress CV article.
Assessment and grading
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Point of Sale (POS)
For more details, please see the customer service CV article.
Order picking and packing
For more details, please see the warehouse CV article.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Safe patient handling
Your first instinct might be to add all your skills, but the goal is to prioritise relevance over quantity. Rather than overwhelming the reader with all your good skills, focus on the essential ones that align with your career goals. For example, if you are looking for a project manager role, only include skills related to this field.
Although skills may have different naming conventions, we suggest using straightforward headings such as 'Skills' or 'Areas of expertise' for this section to minimise confusion or ambiguity for recruiters.
Pro Tip for Skills on a CV
For more technical CVs, it would be more advantageous to have two separate sections: 'Hard skills and 'Technical proficiencies'.
To add technical skills to your CV, create a separate section titled ‘Technical skills’ or ‘Technical proficiencies.’ They are relevant for a candidate with a technical background, such as a software developer, data scientist, or systems administrator. Doing this could provide a comprehensive overview of your technical expertise to recruiters whether you are creating a footballer CV or data analyst CV for example.
Tips on how to add technical skills to a CV:
The general skills section lists programming, data visualisation, or software development as hard skills.
The technical skills section specifies the exact programming languages and other relevant skills like libraries, tools, frameworks, operating systems, or environments.
Examples of technical skills on a CV:
Check out our software developer CV example or computer science CV example for more inspiration.
To include transferable skills on your CV, identify skills you can apply to different jobs. These refer to abilities that can be transferred from one position to another and, therefore, can be hard or soft. Highlight relevant knowledge, such as customer service, but research job requirements and only include necessary transferable skills. Furthermore, demonstrate your ability to adapt and work in different work environments. Lastly, only include these skills if required; otherwise, it’s best to leave them out of your CV.
Examples of transferable skills on a CV:
If you haven’t entered the workforce yet, consider adding one of the CV skills examples for students below.
Examples of student skills on a CV:
Pro Tip for a Skills-based CV
If you know a recruiter or professional in a specific field, contact them and ask for advice. They might be able to give you tips on required hard or soft skills. Alternatively, research hard or soft skills related to a specific job using tools like LinkedIn to review job postings.
Read more about a skills-based CV format here.
Skills are crucial in showing you’re qualified for a job and increasing your chances of securing interviews. After reading this article, you should be able to better differentiate between soft and hard skills and know how and where to place them. The main takeaway is to match your skills to what recruiters are looking for, which can, in turn, leave a long-lasting impression. For technical CVs, a separate section for hard skills and technical proficiencies can provide a comprehensive overview of your qualifications and expertise. Remember crafting a CV is a continuous process, and customising it for each job application is crucial. Apply with confidence, and we wish you all the best with your career journey.
Tips on how to add skills to a CV:
Incorporate your soft skills into the personal profile section.
Keep your key skills brief and concise.
Include specific skills that are relevant to your career goals or job targets.
Minimise the use of generic skills to make your CV more precise.
Use transferable skills if you have little to no experience.
Ensure to use professional UK English language. Alternatively, utilise sources such as Grammarly to review if proofreading is not your key skill.
At CVMaker, we provide the tools and resources you need to build your CV with ease. Additionally, we have a collection of over 20 professional CV templates you can personalise based on your career goals. If you’re stuck and need help reviewing a CV, contact our experts at CV Writing Services. We help you in every step of the process by tailoring your CV to a specific job and selecting the right skills for your CV!
The easiest way to identify good skills for your CV is to align them with your career goals and select those relevant to your desired profession. Firstly, list soft and hard skills acquired from your work and educational history, emphasising the most recent ones. Ensure their relevance to your job target, even if they are transferable or technical skills. Secondly, remember the importance of creating an ATS-friendly CV, as recruiters often use software to filter and track applications. Lastly, show your key abilities and focus on incorporating relevant keywords to increase your chances of success in your chosen career.
According to the research study by Digits, three main skills managers are looking for are leadership, verbal communication, and teamwork. On the other hand, written communication is mainly sought after by young people aged 16-24.
Consider using a skills-based CV format when writing a CV for candidates with little to no experience or changing careers. This format allows you to demonstrate your value as an employer and stand out from other candidates based on your skills. See the tips below.
Focus on highlighting your transferable skills, such as communication, project management or problem-solving.
Include relevant coursework, internships, volunteer work, and additional experiences that showcase your abilities.
Mention your educational background, certifications, and relevant projects or personal achievements.
Emphasise your enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and growth potential.
To learn what to put in skills for the first CV, read the no work experience article.
Employers seek a combination of hard and soft skills when looking for the best match. The specific skills required vary based on the job and industry you wish to pursue. If you lack hard skills, possessing transferable or soft skills can help you compensate for this.
If you're unsure about including soft skills in your CV, refer to how to write a good CV article for further guidance.
Recruiters prefer to see soft skills demonstrated through concrete examples rather than simply listed without context or evidence. To make it more impactful, incorporate your skills in your personal profile or work experience sections. Thus, instead of listing soft skills such as multitasking or communication, incorporate them throughout the body of the CV.
Most commonly, job seekers include a long list of bullet points with all their acquired skills. By now, you have learned that you can classify skills into hard or soft skills, but where do they go? Hard skills always go into a separate section on a CV. They can be named hard skills, core competencies, or areas of expertise. On the other hand, soft skills are incorporated into the personal profile section of a CV. Refer to the article on how to write a personal profile for examples and helpful tips.
There is no limit on how many skills to put on a CV. The general rule is to include relevant information only while making sure you differentiate between hard skills and soft skills.
When it comes to hard skills, this is a section on its own and can be included as a bullet list. Avoid including skills you have little experience in because once you are in the interview phase, you must elaborate on specific examples.
When listing skills on a CV, ensure you're aware of common naming conventions for different types of skills:
Areas of expertise
If you add skills relevant to your career goals, you are already setting yourself up for success. It shows the recruiter or hiring manager that you tried to understand the job and are the perfect candidate. See additional benefits below:
If you’re a student or recent graduate, adding skills to a CV can demonstrate your motivation and willingness to learn.
It can help you stand out from other candidates with similar qualifications.
Showcase drive, self-discipline, and curiosity.
Prove you’re committed to achieving outstanding results.
Show a desire to advance in your career.
Most starters or people changing careers struggle to differentiate between hard and soft skills, making it difficult for recruiters to identify their relevant areas of expertise. There are a few mistakes you can easily avoid, see our tips below:
Exclude skills you have yet to gain experience in or cannot back up within an interview.
Do not list all the skills you have acquired in the past.
Avoid writing generic skills that are not specific to your career goals.
Make sure you differentiate between hard and soft skills on a CV.
Ensure to elaborate on more technical skills within a new section called 'Technical proficiencies'.
Always do a spelling and grammar check by proofreading your work.
If you’re unsure whether your skills are worth mentioning, see the below examples of generic soft and hard skills to avoid unless specified otherwise in your job requirements. While these skills are generally better to exclude, they can still apply and be relevant to other candidates.
Generic soft skills
Generic hard skills
Strong work ethic
Knowledge of foreign languages -> use the 'Languages' section instead
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Updated August 17 2023
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