52 Hard Skills To List on a Resume and Why They're Important

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 4, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Listing field-specific hard skills on your resume can help you present yourself as a qualified candidate when applying for a job. Possessing hard skills that are relevant to the job can also allow you to more effectively perform your duties in your industry. It's important to understand what hard skills are and how they differ from soft skills, as well as why you may benefit from them professionally. In this article, we discuss what hard skills are, offer some examples of them and explain why they're beneficial.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are abilities you acquire through education, training and experience that often pertain directly to a specific job or industry. You may also develop these skills through more informal methods, such as pursuing hobbies or interests that require those skills. Hard skills differ from soft skills, also known as interpersonal skills, which are more general traits, like communication and problem-solving, that apply to a wide range of jobs.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Why is having hard skills important?

Hard skills are important because they are often requirements to apply for certain positions. When preparing to work in the career path of your choice, it's beneficial to examine the most common hard skills that companies list in job postings so you can develop the most important ones for your field. Developing your hard skills can prepare you for more professional opportunities or advancements.

12 examples of hard skills

Here are some common industry-specific hard skills, along with explanations of what they are and how they help in a professional setting:

1. Automotive servicing

Automotive servicing skills are the abilities to work on a car, truck, SUV or similar vehicle. Servicing may include assessing the state of a vehicle in order to identify and fix any problems. You can also develop specialized automotive servicing skills, such as working exclusively on semitrucks or restoring auto bodies after accidents.

2. Blockchain

A blockchain is an integral part of many modern financing options, including cryptocurrencies. It serves as a secure method of enabling and tracking digital transactions for both finances and intangible digital assets. Developers and programmers could use blockchain skills when finding a way to make digital transactions more secure.

3. Carpentry

Carpentry skills involve working with wood in order to create structures or other wooden objects. Carpentry is a hard skill that demonstrates an ability to work with your hands. Carpentry skills often apply in industries like construction, but a carpenter may also work on contract jobs with companies in other industries that require specific builds or projects.

4. Copywriting

The ability to craft engaging copy that aligns with a client's need is a versatile skill that may apply across a broad range of industries. Individuals with copywriting skills can use their talents in a variety of ways within their professional career, from writing advertising copy on a sales page to ghostwriting articles or books for companies or other professionals. Writers can specialize in a specific industry or on a specialized topic, like business or nutrition.

5. Digital security

As technology becomes increasingly important, the need for digital security continues to grow. Being skilled in digital security shows a potential employer that you understand best practices for operating devices and setting up digital networks. This also gives you the ability to protect your company from hackers and prevent data breaches or financial theft.

Related: How To Become a Cyber Security Analyst

6. Foreign languages

Being multilingual is a valuable skill in many professions, particularly when working in areas with higher numbers of non-English speakers. Possessing the ability to speak multiple languages allows you to communicate and connect with a wider range of clients or customers, increasing your value in your position. When listing a foreign language as a hard skill, list the language or languages and the level of fluency you possess.

7. Graphic design

Graphic design abilities allow you to lay out images and text in order to create appealing designs. It's an important skill if you wish to work in fields such as marketing, as it has a large part in both establishing a company brand and creating effective advertising campaigns. When listing graphic design as a hard skill on your resume, cite the programs you use or the type of designs you create.

Related: How To Pursue a Career as a Graphic Designer

8. Macroeconomics

Someone knowledgeable in macroeconomics can understand market trends and economic principles as they apply to the general economy rather than companies. Most financial professionals, such as financial advisers and financial research analysts, possess excellent macroeconomics skills. Macroeconomics may also help you seek a job in politics as a policy adviser, as it allows you to analyze the financial effects of proposed bills in order to guide a politician or party on whether it would be a good policy.

9. Photo editing

Photo editing skills indicate you can take a photograph and edit it using photo software or other techniques. Photo editing allows you to make a photo as aesthetically appealing as possible using techniques such as color or lighting adjustment and cropping. Photo editing is a popular hard skill for individuals working in creative fields.

10. Programming languages

Computer programming is the ability to write code for software, programs and applications. Programming languages are a core component of many development positions, such as software, security and web development. When listing programming languages on your resume, you can include the language and skill level.

Related: What Is Software Development?

11. Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization is the process of customizing content on a webpage in order to make it rank higher in search engine results. Often, a search engine optimization specialist targets specific keywords when creating or updating content on a website. With the increasing importance of online marketing, search engine optimization is a valuable and important skill if you're seeking opportunities in the marketing field. Search engine optimization is also a popular skill for individuals in online careers, such as content creation, copywriting or web development.

12. Video editing

Video editing is the ability to adjust footage into a final coherent video. Video editing skills allow you to analyze the needs for a scene or a piece and choose the best shots and cuts to tell the intended story or message. You could use this hard skill to work in film or television or edit content for a company's web presence or marketing efforts.

40 additional hard skills

Hard skills exist across all industries, with many skills that are common to a broad range of fields. Other hard skills are specialties, which are valuable in a smaller range of possible professions, but often have a higher value within those fields. Additional hard skills include:

  1. Accounting

  2. Acting

  3. Budgeting

  4. Cinematography

  5. Civil engineering

  6. Cloud computing

  7. Color correction

  8. Contract writing

  9. Copy editing

  10. Data analysis

  11. Database management

  12. Data entry

  13. Data mining

  14. Electrical engineering

  15. Encryption

  16. Home inspection

  17. Illustration

  18. Interior design

  19. Investigative journalism

  20. Machine learning

  21. Marketing

  22. Medical diagnostics

  23. Microeconomics

  24. Patient care

  25. Plumbing

  26. Photo composition

  27. Photography

  28. Pipefitting

  29. Project management

  30. Public speaking

  31. Search engine marketing

  32. Server maintenance

  33. Social media

  34. Split testing

  35. Software proficiencies

  36. Statistical analysis

  37. Storytelling

  38. Survey design

  39. Web development languages

  40. Virus protection

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