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Technical skills are the abilities, knowledge and expertise that allow individuals to do specific job-related tasks. Many people associate the term “technical skills” with STEM fields and roles. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. However, the truth is technical skills are involved in almost any job description, not just STEM-related industries. Whether you work in project management, want to be a data analyst, work in customer service or your expertise lies in information technology, your duties will make use of technical skills.
Technical skills can be described as hard skills that relate to the ability to undertake specific jobs and tasks. This is why certain technical skills will be listed as requirements for fulfilling a job role. Technical skills often overlap with computer skills but can also include different abilities. For example, research and troubleshooting are technical skills, but not computer skills.
Your main concern as a job seeker should be to make sure your CV and cover letter reflect the needs of the jobs that you are applying for. This guide includes everything you need to know about CV technical skills including:
When considering your CV, hiring managers and recruiters will be looking for specific technical skills and relevant work experience. As such, it is important that you list the right technical skills on your CV if you want to increase your chances of moving forward in the hiring process. Your CV needs to show employers you have the right technical skills to get the job done effectively.
You can show off your technical skills by listing them of course, but you can also show how you’ve used them in your work experience. For example, on a data analyst CV, a job candidate can showcase data analysis technical skills by stating:
“Collated social media site traffic and conversion data to provide insight into marketing and content scheduling weaknesses, resulting in changes that led to 9% rise in conversion rates and interactive engagement on all platforms.”
Technical skills vary by industry. The technical skills that are most relevant to your field of employment may be entirely different from those that are relevant to other fields. However, there are some technical skills that are widely applicable to many different fields of employment and roles. Here are some examples of technical skills commonly listed on CVs submitted to a number of different fields:
If you need some CV technical skills inspiration, review our CV examples for specific jobs and industries. Comparing the skills on the profiles of people who are on the same career path can be incredibly beneficial for pinpointing the right skills and creating the best CV possible.
Depending on your field, the technical skills you highlight will vary, but how you present those skills will be similar. Here are some ways you can highlight your technical skills on a CV that will catch hiring managers’ eyes.
Take a few moments to consider your technical skills. You want skills that are relevant to the industry that you are applying for and that you are proficient in. If called upon, you should be willing and able to prove your technical proficiency in those skills.
Employers are looking for specific technical skills on your professional CV. Look over the job advertisement and research the company you are wanting to work for. Take note of those technical skills and tailor your CV to feature those skills, along with other relevant hard skills and soft skills.
Now that you have selected the right technical skill set to show that you are a qualified candidate, you need to strategically place those necessary skills in your CV skills section, work experience section and in your CV summary or objective section.
CV skills section
Depending whether you select a chronological, functional or combination CV format, is how you’ll organize your skills. A functional CV will present a longer and more detailed list of skills, organized in categories and with a concise explanation of each. A chronological CV will focus more on work experience with a simple list of bulleted skills.
Example of technical skills for a functional CV:
Technical writing – Wrote a 30 page manual for point of sale operating systems.
Microsoft powerpoint – Created a 17-slide presentation for the training of computer programmers.
Methodology development – Assisted with the executive leadership team to create systems automation.
Design: Photoshop, Illustrator
Example of chronological CV technical skills:
CV work experience section
In addition to listing your technical skills in your skills section, you can give examples of technical skills for a CV in your work experience section. This section details your past relevant jobs with bulleted accomplishments, quantifiable metrics and major achievements to underline your proficiency.
CV summary or objective
A summary statement or objective containing 2-3 sentences showcasing your background and top achievements that relate to your technical skills and soft skills.
Detail-oriented programmer highly experienced with code writing, software computing and a flair for quick creation of innovative solutions. Looking to use extensive knowledge of engineering and intricate programming skills to help boost data management efficiency. Expert certification in Java, Ruby, Phyton and C#.Net.
For more help integrating your skills in your CV, CVHelp offers plenty of CV writing and job search resources. For example, our CV writing guide can help you write a powerful CV and our CV Builder allows you to build a CV in minutes.
The best part of technical skills is that they can always be learned and improved upon. Here are a few ways to improve your technical skills and help climb the ladder of success:
There are unlimited training resources online that can help in any job role and industry. Whether you’re interested in learning or improving SEO (search engine optimization), programming, content editing, management skills or other areas, you can join an online course to learn or improve your skill set.
Online training/courses include:
If you prefer in-classroom training with an instructor present, you can find certification classes at your local community college or other professional learning institute. A key advantage of learning in a group setting and experienced leader is that you get immediate feedback and personal attention.
Here are some examples of major certifications:
There is no better experience than real-world experience. Make your every day on the job a learning, training and development experience. Use your daily work tasks as a way to learn more technical skills and improve on the ones you do have. If you are looking to learn additional technical skills to expand your current job position or be considered for career advancement, speak with your supervisor or ask a colleague to train you. The more technical skills you learn, the more transferable skills you will have for future job searches.
To learn more about different types of skills you can feature in your CV, check out these valuable CVHelp resources:
Important technical skills are industry specific, from digital-related skills to physical work responsibilities. As per Forbes, “So, if you’re a nurse, your technical skills will include inserting IVs, reading patient charts, and all the other tasks wrapped up in delivering patient care. If you’re a truck driver, your technical skills revolve around being able to safely drive a huge truck and deliver cargo where it’s needed. And so on and so on, whether you’re a plumber, hair stylist, accountant, lawyer…” It’s always a good idea to refer to technical skills examples for a CV to see what other industry professionals are saying on their CVs.
The most important technical CV skills depend on the specific skills required for the job. If you work in a physically demanding job like auto repair, plumbing, electrical or painting, you’d consider your skills from on the job training as most important. If you work in a computer-related environment like IT, web development, engineering, data entry and graphic design, you would be featuring computer program names and technical knowledge as your technical skills. Remember, only list technical skills that you are proficient in performing because at some point in your job search, you will be asked to back up those skills.
There is no need to list all of your technical skills. Just focus on three or four of the strongest technical skills you have that match the skills required for the job position you are applying to. This leaves room for you to include other relevant hard and soft skills in your CV that you want to make the hiring manager aware of. When using our CV Builder, you will be guided with a CV template showing the adequate number of skills to include on your CV.
If you want to know which skills to add to a technical skills list for a CV, you should first review the job description and title. Look at the required competencies and qualifications as well as the keywords in the job posting. Highlight the areas where your soft and hard skills overlap with these needs. CVHelp has lots of CV-building tips and valuable career advice.
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