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What Skills to Put on a CV in 2024?

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What Skills to Put on a CV in 2024?

by CVMaker

  • CV
  • · February 07 2024
  • · 8 min read
types of skills to put on a cv

Table of contents

In today’s market, skills on a CV are key to showing your suitability for a role and where your capabilities lie. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your career, this section is essential in any CV.

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. 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 the importance of effectively including them in your CV. Follow our skills examples below to help yourself secure that all-important first interview!

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What are the key skills to list on a CV

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.

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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.

What is the difference between soft skills and hard skills on a CV

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.

For more inspiration, read our blogs on how to improve your CV and personal profile on a CV.

Examples of skills on a CV

Retail CV skills

Soft skills

Hard skills

Communication

Point of Sale (POS) system management

Active listening

Inventory management

Customer service

Visual merchandising

Initiative

Sales techniques

Teamwork

Product knowledge

For more information, please refer to the retail CV article.

Marketing CV skills

Soft skills

Hard skills

Creative

Digital marketing

Curiosity

Market research

Analytical

Content creation

Communication

Analytics and reporting

Meticulous

Brand management

For more information, please refer to the marketing CV article.

Waiter/waitress CV skills

Soft skills

Hard skills

Interpersonal

Order taking and processing

Dexterity

Menu knowledge

Teamwork

Table service

Attentive

Upselling

Conflict resolution

Cash handling

For more information, please refer to the waiter/waitress CV article.

Teacher CV skills

Soft skills

Hard skills

Compassion

Curriculum development

Communication

Student administration

Patience

Classroom management

Organisation

Assessment and grading

Leadership

Language skills

For more details, please see the teacher CV and language skills articles.

Customer service CV skills

Soft skills

Hard skills

Active listening

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Communication

Point of Sale (POS)

Dedication

Data entry

Problem solving

Outbound calls

Empathy

Product knowledge

For more details, please see the customer service CV article.

Warehouse CV skills

Soft skills

Hard skills

Teamwork

Inventory management

Time management

Forklift operation

Leadership

Order picking and packing

Organisation

Safety compliance

Detail-orientated

Warehouse organisation

For more details, please see the warehouse CV article.

Care assistant CV skills

Soft skills

Hard skills

Observation

First-aid knowledge

Interpersonal

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Patience

Safe patient handling

Organisation

Sanitation standards

Conscientiousness

Housekeeping

Learn more about how to write a care assistant CV.

How to list skills on a CV

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.

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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'.

How to add technical skills to a CV

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:

  • Python

  • Java

  • HTML/CSS

  • JavaScript

  • SQL

  • CSS

  • Excel

  • Tableau

  • Cisco

  • TCP/IP.

Check out our software developer CV example or computer science CV example for more inspiration.

How to include transferable skills on a CV

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:

  • Leadership

  • Team management

  • Empathy

  • Problem solving

  • Analytical thinking

  • Critical thinking.

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:

  • Organisation

  • Time management

  • Problem solving

  • Adaptability

  • Planning.

To find out more, see our student CV article or undergraduate CV example.

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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.

Key takeaways

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.

Next Steps?

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!

Looking to create a professional CV?

Start now

FAQ

​​How to identify your best skills for a 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.

What skills do employers look for in a CV?

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.

How to write a CV for someone with no skills?

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.

Do employers look for soft or hard skills?

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.

Should I include soft skills on a CV?

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.

See the article on work experience and achievements on a CV for examples.

Where to place skills on a 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.

How many skills should you put on a CV?

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.

What are the naming conventions for skills in the UK?

When listing skills on a CV, ensure you're aware of common naming conventions for different types of skills:

Soft skills:

  • Personal skills

  • People skills

  • Social skills.

Hard skills:

  • Skills

  • Professional skills

  • Areas of expertise

  • Core competencies

  • Hard skills.

Technical skills

  • Technical proficiencies

  • Technical skills

  • IT skills

  • Digital skills.

What are the benefits of adding skills to a CV?

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.

What are the common mistakes to avoid when listing skills on a CV? 

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.

What skills can you not put on a CV?

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

Computer software

Multitasking skills

Programming skills

Responsible

Digital skills

Negotiation skills

Finance skills

Hard worker

Knowledge of foreign languages -> use the 'Languages' section instead

Self-motivated

Marketing

Team player

Writing

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Updated February 07 2024

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