50 Examples of Hard Skills To Put On Your Resume

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

Last updated:

While everyone is busy buzzing about soft skills these days, hard skills have not taken a back seat. Behind every role and industry, a core set of specialized abilities is just as important.

Hard Skills To Put On Your Resume

Recently, I pieced together a comprehensive guide on good skills to put on a resume. But today, I want to compile a list of hard skills as well as explain what they are, why they matter, and how to showcase them on your resume. So, buckle up and keep reading!

What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills, plain and simple, are the specific abilities and know-how needed to get a job done. They’re the hands-on, technical side of things – the concrete skills you bring to the table.

These skills are very job-specific. A computer programmer needs to know coding languages. A chef needs to master food preparation techniques. An accountant needs expertise in financial reporting software and tax laws. You get the picture.

hard skill

Why are hard skills so important? At the end of the day, you’re hired to deliver results through applying your skills on the job. Employers need people who can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Soft skills are harder to define and evaluate. Meanwhile, hard skills signal someone’s readiness for a position’s key duties.

Hard skills are often the first things recruiters look for on a resume. They allow an easy apples-to-apples comparison between candidates. Recruiters can objectively assess who meets the core prerequisites. Many places even require candidates to pass skills tests during the process to prove their capabilities.

Common Categories of Hard Skills to Put on a Resume

There are countless hard skills out there tied to different roles and industries. However, we can group them into several major categories.

Data Analytical Skills

Data & Research Job

In our data-driven world, quantitative and analytical abilities are invaluable assets. Employers need people adept at collecting, manipulating, and extracting insights from data sets. These hard skills allow you to apply reasoning and find meaningful patterns.

Key skills in this category include:

  • Data mining
  • Statistical analysis
  • Programming languages like SQL, Python, R
  • Data visualization tools like Tableau
  • Machine learning and AI technologies

Financial Skills

For roles dealing with money management, specialized financial expertise is a must-have. Organizations depend on professionals who understand complex regulations. They also need to prepare reports, forecast trends, and ensure fiscal responsibility.

If numbers and bottom lines are part of your work duties, these hard skills will serve you well:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Financial modeling and analysis
  • Taxation laws and compliance
  • Risk assessment and auditing
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems

Marketing Skills

Today, every business needs talented marketers to engage customers and drive growth. They need to combine creativity with tactical implementation across different channels. 

To thrive in marketing roles, you’ll want to develop specific hard skills like:

  • Content creation (copywriting, video production, etc.)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Digital advertising and analytics
  • Social media management tools
  • User experience (UX) design

Communication Skills

Communication Skills

It’s often considered a “soft skill”. But many things like technical writing and documentation take real hands-on ability. Companies always need people who can take complex topics and break them down in an easy-to-digest way.

Key communication hard skills include:

  • Technical/instructional writing
  • Copywriting and editing
  • Journalism and media production
  • Translation services
  • Visual design and data presentation

Computer Skills

Most jobs today require using some kind of digital tool or software. To get work done, you need a solid grip on the technical applications for your role and industry. And with technology always evolving, updating your software know-how is a must.

Important software-related hard skills span areas like:

  • Cloud platforms (AWS, Azure)
  • Business software (CRM, ERP)
  • Productivity apps (Microsoft Office, Google Workspace)
  • Web and mobile development
  • Design programs (Adobe Creative Cloud)

Language Skills

For businesses going global, being multilingual is a precious hard skill. It allows you to communicate directly in someone’s native language. This way, you can connect in ways automatic translation can’t match.

Foreign language skills unlock new opportunities, whether Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Hindi, Russian, Portuguese, or even sign language.

Programming Skills

More and more, software is taking over all industries and aspects of our lives. Even non-technical roles increasingly benefit from coding abilities.

Key programming hard skills include:

  • Programming languages (Python, Java, C++, etc.)
  • Web development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  • Mobile app development (iOS, Android)
  • Database management and querying
  • Software testing and debugging

Project Management Skills

Companies live and die by their ability to execute major projects and initiatives. That’s why professionals with stellar project management abilities are so valued. They have the vital skills to plan, organize, and steer complex cross-functional efforts to successful completion.

Some core project management skills:

  • Methodologies (Agile, Scrum, Waterfall)
  • Task scheduling and timeline management
  • Resource allocation and budgeting
  • Risk assessment and mitigation
  • PM tools (MS Project, Jira, Smartsheet)

What Are Some Hard Skills For Different Roles?

Software Developer or Engineer

Different roles need different specialized hard skills to tackle their day-to-day responsibilities. Here’s a rundown of typical must-have hard skills for some common positions.


These financial professionals live and breathe numbers, figures, and fiscal data. Their core role is to analyze and report on an organization’s financial performance and compliance.

Key accounting hard skills include:

  • Accounting principles and standards (GAAP, IFRS)
  • Financial reporting software (QuickBooks, FreshBooks)
  • Forecasting and auditing procedures
  • Taxation regulations and laws
  • Data analysis and visualization

Social Media Marketers

Companies rely on these people to build brand awareness and connect with customers online. These savvy professionals blend creativity with data-driven tactics across multiple platforms. 

For social media roles, you’ll want skills like:

  • Content creation (copy, graphics, video)
  • Channel management (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Social media analytics and advertising
  • SEO and digital marketing
  • Design and multimedia tools

Customer Services Representatives

Whether via phone, chat, or in-person, customer service reps are the face of a company to its clients. They field inquiries, troubleshoot issues, and ensure satisfaction daily.

Most sought-after customer service skills include:

  • CRM and ticketing systems
  • Product/service expertise
  • Call handling and familiarity with IVR
  • Billing systems and payment processing
  • Problem-solving and PC proficiency

Web Developers

Web developers are the architects and builders of our digital world. Pursuing a web dev role requires job seekers to master an array of technical skills:

  • Front-end languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  • Back-end languages (Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, etc.)
  • Frameworks and libraries (React, Angular, Django, Node.js, etc.)
  • Database management (SQL, MongoDB, etc.)
  • Cloud and deployment tools

SEO Specialists

A large part of business now happens online. Companies need someone to gain visibility in those all-important search results. These digital marketers combine technical and creative skills to drive qualified traffic.

The top skills for SEO roles are:

  • Search engine algorithms and ranking factors
  • On-page optimization
  • Link-building and off-page tactics
  • Data analytics and rank-tracking software
  • Content marketing and copywriting

Graphic Designers

They are the creative masterminds behind the visuals that grab our attention. Their hard skills bring branding and messaging to life through eye-catching graphics.

Here is a list of hard skills for the graphic design job:

  • Design software (Adobe Creative Cloud)
  • Typography and layout principles
  • Photo editing and vector illustration
  • Printing and color management
  • UX/UI design for digital interfaces

Video Editors

Video content is exploding across platforms. Editors are in hot demand to stitch together polished final cuts. These production pros take raw footage and transform it into compelling stories.

Here are some hard skills for applying to this role:

  • Video editing tools (Premiere Pro, Final Cut)
  • Motion graphics and visual effects
  • Color grading and audio mixing
  • Screenwriting and storyboarding
  • Encoding for web/mobile delivery

Machine Learning Researchers

AI is taking the world by storm, driving innovation across industries. At the forefront are ML researchers pioneering this cutting-edge field by mastering hard skills such as:

  • Programming (Python, R)
  • Algorithms and data structures
  • Statistical modeling and analysis
  • Neural networks and deep learning
  • Big data tools and frameworks


Crafting compelling content is an art in itself. Copywriters are the wordsmiths behind those catchy taglines, product descriptions, and marketing materials that reel us in.

To thrive in this role, you’ll need skills like:

  • Writing and editorial skills across different styles
  • Proofreading and attention to detail
  • Understanding branding and messaging
  • Basic design software for layouts
  • Research and ideation abilities

Security Professionals

With cyber threats on the rise, companies rely on security engineers to safeguard their digital assets and data. These tech experts build robust defenses by applying specialized hard skills such as:

  • Network and system administration
  • Firewalls, antiviruses, and threat detection
  • Cryptography and encryption
  • Ethical hacking and penetration testing
  • Compliance standards like CISSP, CISM

How to Include Hard Skills on a Resume

When showcasing your hard skills on your resume, do so in a way that grabs the attention of the hiring manager and proves your qualifications for the job. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Select the Right Hard Skills to Spotlight

This depends entirely on the specific role and company. Your goal is to present a precise match between their needs and your expertise. Don’t bury the hiring manager under a laundry list. Only focus on the handful of hard skills that directly prove you’re cut out for this job.

  • Start by carefully reviewing the job description. Identify the core hard skills and qualifications mentioned.
  • Cross-reference these with the skills being emphasized in other similar job listings. You can even look for profiles of people currently in those roles on LinkedIn to see what hard skills they’re pushing.
  • Once you pinpoint the most relevant and desired skills for that opportunity, make those your top focus.

Put Them in The Skills Section

With your high-priority hard skills identified, it’s time to give them a dedicated spotlight on your resume. Most people include a straightforward “Skills” or “Core Competencies” section to lay these out.

Group related hard skills together under subheadings for easier reading. If you’ve got certifications or licenses, definitely mention them too. They provide third-party proof of your skills in those areas. Use consistent formatting and clear descriptions to ensure they’re easy to scan.

Here are two examples of how to include hard skills in dedicated sections:

Web Developer

  • Programming languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python
  • Frameworks: Node, React, Django, FastAPI

Digital Marketing

  • Social media platforms: Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, Instagram Ads
  • Email marketing tools: Mailchimp, Marketo
  • Analytics tools: Google Analytics, SEMrush
  • Content creation: Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator)

Use Your Experience Descriptions

Don’t just list your previous job duties and responsibilities. Talk about how you have used your skills to achieve impressive results. This will give a clearer picture of your exact technical competencies in action.

Here are some good examples you can follow:

  • Implemented data-driven marketing strategies utilizing platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, leading to a 30% increase in conversion rates within three months.
  • Developed a scalable e-commerce application using Django, integrating a complex SQL database system that handled over 10,000 transactions daily. This contributed to a 40% boost in client transaction efficiency and reduced downtime by 30%.

Put Them In The Opening Summary and Headline

You may even want to mention certain hard skills that are absolute musts for the target role upfront. This introductory paragraph is the first thing a reviewer sees. You can strategically name-drop vital skills here, so they definitely won’t be missed.


  • Highly adept Data Analyst with over 5 years of in-depth experience in data interpretation and analysis. Proficient in using advanced Excel functions, SQL, and Tableau to transform raw data into actionable insights that have driven company growth by 20% over three years.

Just don’t go overboard. A few precise, hard skills that quickly communicate your key value and fit for the role are enough. Leave the full comprehensive lists for later on.

Similarly, you might choose to add a core hard skill into the actual title or headline of your resume like this:

  • Data Scientist with 5+ Years of Experience Specializing in Machine Learning and Large-Scale Data Analysis

Little tactics like this stick your prized hard skills into a hiring manager’s mind right off the bat. Keep in mind that you’re only spotlighting hard skills that are legitimately essential to the specific job.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Learn Hard Skills?

Dive into online courses, workshops, or boot camps that specialize in the skills you’re after. Don’t shy away from practicing these skills in real-world projects or internships. Nothing beats hands-on experience.

What Hard Skills Are In Demand These Days?

Right now, the job market is hot for tech-savvy skills like data analytics, software development, and digital marketing. But let’s not overlook the classics like project management and financial forecasting. Tailoring your skill set based on what’s trending can seriously up your game.

Is Writing a Hard or Soft Skill?

This one is a bit tricky. It morphs between hard and soft depending on what you’re penning down and where you’re applying them. For general communication, they lean towards soft skills. But, if you’re drafting technical manuals or crunching data into reports, that’s hard skills territory.

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At the end of the day, hiring managers need to see clear evidence that you possess the core hard skills for a role. That’s what hard skills for resumes are all about – marketing yourself as the ideal skilled candidate. I hope our chat about hard skills helps you shine in your next job application. Best of luck landing that next opportunity.

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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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