20 Must-Have Skills to Put On a CV

Add these must-have skills for CV and show recruiters you have the ability to succeed in the role you’re applying for.



Skills for CV

If you want to get job interviews, you need to ensure your CV is packed with relevant skills employers look for. Skills demonstrate to recruiters and employers that you are capable of performing well with your skills set and that you are knowledgeable in your field.

Your CV skills section, alongside your work experience, can set you apart from the competition and help you land the job you want. Also, if a hiring panel does decide to offer you the position, the compensation figure they choose can often be influenced by the skills you include in your job application.

This article will show you 20 skills that companies look for in candidates, as well as how to include them on your CV.

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Hard skills vs. Soft skills

Employers look for candidates with the right balance of soft and hard skills.

Hard skills are abilities that are specialised in a certain job or industry. Typically, these more technical skills are learned in school, certification programmes, training materials, or on-the-job experience, such as foreign languages or equipment knowledge.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are capabilities that can be beneficial in a range of careers and industries. Soft skills are often referred to as people skills or social skills and include communication and problem-solving abilities.

To present yourself as a well-rounded candidate, it’s critical to highlight your best hard and soft skills as a job seeker. It’s also a good idea to think about how the two types of skills relate to each other, so you can talk about your skills holistically in an interview and show how you’ll excel in the role.

10 CV skills examples for every situation

Here are 10 good skills for CV you might want to list on your CV, as well as why they’re important to employers:

  • Communication:

    Verbal, writing, and presentation abilities are vital for getting along with colleagues, working efficiently, and solving problems in all jobs and industries. Communication skills are vital for any position.

  • Empathy:

    If you want to effectively communicate with co-workers, bosses, direct reports, customers, and clients, you must first understand their emotions. The capacity to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is a crucial trait for many job roles.

  • Creativity:

    Employers will pay close attention to someone whose CV demonstrates the ability to think creatively, challenge the status quo, and propose unique ideas.

  • Leadership:

    Employers search for people that can inspire and motivate team members, as well as act with honesty, fairness, and a strategic attitude, even if they aren’t hiring for a managerial position.

  • Adaptability:

    Whether you’re a new employee learning the ropes, or a long-time employee adjusting to different corporate goals, you will always face disruption somewhere. Companies seek people that can swiftly adapt to changing situations and are willing to try new activities.

  • Problem-solving:

    The ability to settle disagreements and develop innovative solutions to problems is highly valued by many employers when recruiting new staff.

  • Self-motivation:

    The best employees bring enthusiasm and work independently to achieve their goals, without needing their hands held. On your CV, give examples of when you’ve used self-motivation to solve difficulties and complete tasks.

  • Collaboration:

    Your ability to collaborate with others, both within and across departments, is extremely important, especially if the role you’re applying for requires teamwork.

  • Time management:

    Regardless of the position you’re applying for, time management is a crucial skill to have on your CV. Employers want to know that you can tune out distractions, fulfill deadlines, and make the most of your time at work.

  • Decision-making:

    Choosing to take actions that could significantly impact co-workers and customers, especially while under duress, is a skill valued by many employers.

10 skills examples for specific job industries

Here are 10 types of good skills for CV and skills examples that you could include on your CV:

  • Project management skills:

    Agile methodologies, risk management, strategic planning, budgeting, lifecycle management

  • Marketing skills:

    SEO, PPC, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, SEMrush, content marketing, copywriting, social media management, content management systems

  • Design skills:

    UI/UX design, typography, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, HTML

  • Writing skills:

    Editing, proofreading, blog writing, creative writing, technical writing, journalism

  • Web and mobile development skills:

    iOS App development, Android development, C#, Java, web architecture, development frameworks

  • Technical skills:

    Web development, software testing, programming, inventory management, customer service systems

  • Analytical skills:

    Data entry, critical thinking, deductive reasoning, business analysis, database management

  • Management skills:

    Coaching, commercial awareness, knowledge of HR, forward planning, managerial psychology

  • Computer skills:

    Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, Trello, Asana, Monday.com, natural language processing, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

  • Certifications and licences:

    While not exactly a hard skill itself, certificates and licences provide concrete confirmation that you have particular abilities. Be sure to include them in your CV.

What skills to put on a CV?

If you’re stuck on identifying your best skills, it’s important to consider your previous experience. Where have you seen success? Are there areas you’re often complimented on? Here are a few methods for determining key skills for your CV:


  • Ask your colleagues and managers: Others can sometimes assist you in identifying strengths that you may not be aware of. Make contact with a former boss or co-workers who worked closely with you. If you’re new to the workforce, reach out to former teachers or fellow students who know you well, or someone you regard as a mentor.
  • Chat with an expert: If you’re having trouble figuring out what talents an employer is looking for, talk to someone who works in the field or in a position comparable to the one you’re applying for. Find out which abilities they value the most and which ones correspond to your own.
  • Assess previous achievements:  Have you ever been recognised for achieving a certain goal or excelling in a particular area? If that’s the case, your abilities most certainly aided you in achieving this goal. Consider what skills helped you in reaching that goal.

How to list skills on a CV?

When it comes to determining where to mention talents on your CV, you have a few options:

  • In a separate skills section

    You can include a separate skills section that highlights keywords from the job description to reinforce your professional experience with skills that are required by or relevant to the company.

  • In your experience section

    It’s crucial to incorporate skills into the descriptions of your previous job roles. Here, you can add extra information and specific examples to illustrate your skills.

  • On a skills-based CV

    To include abilities on a functional CV, create skills sections (e.g., Organizational Skills or Computer skills) that list your accomplishments and key skills relevant to the position you’re going for.

Whatever kind of CV format you choose to use, its purpose is to show the hiring manager that you’re the best applicant for the job. You can distinguish yourself from the competition by paying attention to the type of applicant a company is searching for and drawing links to your abilities. 

One of the best ways to create an outstanding resume is to use the CVHelp CV Builder. It takes care of elements like fonts, designs, and deciding how to construct your layout, so you can focus on your skills and experience.

FAQ: skills for CV

Q: Should I list skills in my cover letter?

Your cover letter should complement your CV, so it’s a great opportunity to flesh out specific skills to show why you’re the perfect candidate for the role. So, whereas you might list transferable skills in a CV, you should explain how those important skills have helped you in your duties in a cover letter.

Q: How many skills should I put in my CV?

Don’t go overboard with your skill set. List the most relevant job skills to the position you’re applying for and include a decent mix of hard and soft skills. Don’t waste space by including skills that aren’t as relevant. For example, your knowledge of programming languages won’t be relevant for that culinary chef role.

Q: What other sections go in my CV?

Your CV should include the following sections: a header, a CV summary or objective, your skills, your work experience, and your educational credentials. You can review different CV formats, CV examples, and CV templates for inspiration at CVHelp.


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