60+ Important Technical Skills For A Resume (With Examples)

By Kristin Kizer - Jun. 17, 2021
Skills Based Articles

Find a Job You Really Want In

The first thing you’re going to realize, if you’re looking for a job, is that the modern job market is nothing like it used to be.

Suddenly, the world is telecommuting and conducting business virtually and Zoom has become a household word. Companies are scaling down, cutting back, and changing the way they do business.

Today’s job market is highly competitive and suddenly there are a lot of recent graduates and seasoned veterans out there looking for a job — probably looking the same one.

So how do you become the stand-out candidate and land a job in 2021?

Having the right technical skills is probably the best thing you can do, but knowing what those skills are can be a little confusing.

What Are Technical Skills?

Technical skills are the abilities or the knowledge you need to perform a specific task. They are often considered a hard skill, or a skill you learned through education or training. The interesting thing about the modern job market is that almost everyone needs some technical skills to do their jobs.

The first thing most people think of are tech jobs; a computer programmer needs to know how to code and program to be successful, and those are just a couple of the technical skills they need for their occupation. A statistician might need to know big data analysis and database management to do their job correctly. But those career paths are inherently very technical.

What about other professions?

Because we rely so much on technology, technical skills have spread into almost every job. A server at a restaurant might need to know point-of-sale software, and having that knowledge might get them more jobs more easily. Today’s trash collectors work in a high-tech portable office. That’s right, their trucks are decked out with all types of technology that they need to know how to operate.

These examples illustrate the wide variety of jobs that require technical skills and the even broader scope of technical skills there are.

Types of Technical Skills

When you’re looking to nail a job, you stand a better chance of impressing your future employers if you have technical skills in a few key areas. Obviously, if your job requires some specific skills, you’re going to need those, but you might also find that these can help your chances of getting hired.

  1. Data analysis. We are a world that’s fueled by data. It’s so prevalent in business that just about anyone can benefit from having some sort of data management or analysis background. Big data is a newer field and it deals with incredibly enormous amounts of data.

    The ability to sort through that data and narrow it down into data sets that can be used is very desirable. This skill crosses fields and is used in science, business, marketing, medicine, advertising, government, urban development, and more.

    Examples of data analysis technical skills:

    • Big data analysis

    • Data analytics

    • Data mining

    • Database management

    • Database design

    • Documentation

    • Calculating and statistical analysis

    • Modeling

    • Research and reporting

    • Database software certifications

    • Information management

    • Numeracy

  2. Coding and programming. Coding and programming often go hand-in-hand, but they’re not the same thing. Coding is basically taking regular language and translating it into something the computer understands. Many people have a remedial understanding of a little coding, like using HTML to create page breaks or underlining.

    Programming is more involved as it’s part of software development and includes planning, design, testing, and deployment. Not every profession needs coders and programmers but those computer jobs sure do.

    Examples of coding and programming technical skills:

    • HTML, Python, JavaScript, C++, SQL, etc

    • Query Software

    • Data structures and algorithms

    • Source control

    • Text editors

    • Integrated development environment

    • Database management and creation

    • Testing basics

    • Software release

    • Information security

    • Cloud/SaaS services

    • Hardware Description Language (HDL)

    • Hardware verification tools and techniques

    • Artificial intelligence

  3. Social media skills. Once upon a time, just having a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram account of your own was enough to qualify you to say you have social media experience. Not so today.

    Everybody has some accounts and there are a ton of different social media platforms these days. Now, to claim you have social media skills you’re going to need to talk about analytics, management tools for accounts, any paid advertising you’ve done, campaigns you’ve headed — if you know what all of this is, then you’re on the right path.

    Examples of social media technical skills:

    • Content management systems (CMS)

    • Video Creation

    • Photography

    • Digital media

    • Blogging and blogging platforms

    • Search engine optimization (SEO)

    • Analytics

    • Social media management systems

    • PPC and paid advertising

    • Social media platforms

  4. Project management. Being incredibly organized used to be the hallmark of a project manager, now the technical knowledge behind this job includes knowing how to use scheduling software, performance tracking programs, financial modeling or accounting programs, project lifestyle management, and of course you’ll need to know a bit about the industry.

    In addition, some companies like it if you’re trained in Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Lean Thinking, or another popular approach to managing teams and customers.

    Examples of project management technical skills:

    • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

    • Microsoft Office Certifications

    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

    • Productivity Software

    • Telecommunications

    • Human Resources Software

    • Accounting Software

    • Team management software

    • Benchmarking

    • Scheduling software

    • Task delegation and management

    • Quality control

  5. Technical writing. Technical writing is not easy. It requires an ability to dive deeply into a topic, understand high-level data, and then translate that data into something that the average person, or someone with a moderate level of knowledge, can understand.

    The thing about technical writing is, if you can do that with a degree of success, then you can write just about any business material and be good at it. Writing is a crucial part of the business world because communication is so important. Employers want to hire people who are good writers and who know how to get data out there without confusing or frustrating the readers.

    Examples of technical skills for technical writers:

    • Source documentation

    • Solid grammar skills

    • Microsoft word and office

    • Research

    • Subject matter experience

    • Data gathering

    • Content management systems

More Technical Skills

The above skills are fairly general skills that can help your resume stand out. If you have a little bit of a work history in each of these fields, it’s going to look good. Having mastered some of these skills is even better. But this is by no means the only technical skills there are.

There are career specific skills and credentials necessary for many jobs and some that can also play across different professions. Some addition types of technical skills include:

  • Blueprint design

  • Medical billing

  • Medical coding

  • Electronic medical records

  • Sonography

  • Structural analysis

  • Mechanical maintenance

  • Manufacturing

  • Inventory management

  • Logistics management

  • Accounting and finance

  • Sales and marketing

  • Website design

  • Graphic design

  • Point-of-sale software

How to Improve Your Technical Skills

Some job seekers will instantly be able to pick out a few of these technical skills that they have, they might even think of some that aren’t listed. Then there might be some people who feel like they need to boost their resume. It never hurts to brush up on your technical skills or add a few more to your resume. You can do this in a number of ways.

  1. Take some classes. It obviously depends on the skill, but there are classes being offered for just about anything. There are online classes, in-person classes, technical classes that last just a few hours, and then there are degrees you can obtain after years of school. How much you want to dedicate to improving your skills is totally up to you.

  2. On-the-job training. Why not learn from an expert? You can apply for official apprentice programs or internships to gain a certification or you can go a more informal route and just spend some time shadowing an expert. For some people, this hands-on training is the best way to learn.

  3. Dive in. If you love to do and experiment, you can learn a lot by trial and error on your own. You don’t have to have a degree or a certificate to be skilled at something, just doing it over and over can be all you need to feel like a pro.

  4. Stay updated. Technical skills can evolve and change over time. Imagine if you only knew how to use the very first version of Microsoft Word, it was released in 1983 and came on a floppy disc. Today, knowing how to use that version is an utterly useless skill. That’s why staying on top of technology is so important, no matter what field you’re in.

How to Highlight Your Technical Skills

When you’re applying for a job, you want to mention your technical skills, especially the ones that are required for that position. There are a few different ways to showcase your accomplishments and technical knowledge and you can use one, a combination, or all of them to create the most appealing application possible.

  1. Technical skills in a resume. This depends on your field and your experience. If you learned different skills in different positions, then you might want to bullet-point the skills under each job listing. If you’ve stayed in the same field, then adding a skills section to your resume (after your professional history or after your education) is a good way to point out your proficiencies.

    While a skills section is useful for hitting keywords for skimming hiring managers and recruiters, it’s important that you also include some accomplishments with each of your most valuable skills. To determine which skills are most important to the employer, read over the job description and see which skills are mentioned multiple times or otherwise emphasized as critical.

    Then, list at least one accomplishment that relates to using that skill in your work history’s bullet points. That will back up and contextualize your otherwise hard-to-prove skills section. You can also mention one technical skill in your resume’s summary statement, as a way of instantly catching the hiring manager’s eye.

    Also, note that keywords are immensely important for applicant tracking systems (ATS) which most large companies use to parse resumes before they reach a human reader. Make sure that you are as specific as possible with how you phrase your technical skills.

    For example, if you’re particularly talented with multiple analytics programs, list them all out (Google Analytics, HubSpot, etc.) rather than just writing “analytics.”

  2. Technical skills in a cover letter. Your cover letter is a brief introduction to who you are and why you want to work for that particular company.

    It’s also a great place to list your most relevant technical skills and how they make you a good fit for the job. The thing to be careful of here is not listing obvious skills. If you are a secretary looking for a job at a drafting firm, they will expect you to know Microsoft inside and out and you don’t need to mention that. But if you’ve had some CAD training then they might find that particularly exciting.

    Just like your resume, avoid giving boring job descriptions and instead focus on achievements that will contextualize your successes in a way that really impreses recruiters. If you can tell one good (but brief) story about a time you leveraged your skill set to accomplish something great, you’ll have a great lead-in prepared for your interview.

  3. The addendum. In some cases, a resume and cover letter simply aren’t enough. It depends on the job and the career the individual has had, but there can be certifications that come with technical skills that you’ll want to attach to your application.

    This not only proves you have the skills, but it reinforces your qualifications. If you’re in a field where you’re constantly learning new things and adding skills, then you might want to add an entire sheet devoted to your technical skills as an addendum to your professional resume.

  4. Technical skills during an interview. How you discuss your technical skills in an interview depends on who’s interviewing you. For a phone screening with a recruiter who has very little grasp of the technical details of your job, you want to keep your conversation direct but simple enough to understand.

    For example, instead of going into the details of how your latest Python project was able to scrape demographic data and visualize the data simultaneously, stick to just saying something along the lines of “I’m proficient at using Python and have used it for many projects, including several recent ones.”

    But when you get to further stages of the interview process where you’re meeting with a hiring manager who’d be your supervisor or talking to potential coworkers about the technical details of projects that are in progress, it’s time to step up your technical lingo and show off your depth of knowledge.

    Just be careful not to oversell your talents or exaggerate your past accomplishments. You’re not the only “expert” in the building, so it’s only a matter of time before someone realizes you’re not as experienced as you claim to be.

    Plus, hiring managers to respect a candidate who admits what they don’t know but can still frame it as an exciting learning opportunity rather than an embarrassing defect.

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Kristin Kizer

Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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