Before we get into all the details about the best strengths for resumes, answer this: Have you ever noticed how, when you're introduced to someone new, it's the little things that stick? It's like finding out you both love that same obscure band or that you grew up in the same town, wandering the same familiar streets.
It's funny how these resonating details become etched in our memory—the things that strike a chord with us.
And here's the interesting part: this principle can be effectively woven into your job applications through the strategy of highlighting your strengths. Think of it as a way to make sure that recruiters don't just forget you in the sea of resumes.
But let's be real—the"showcase your strengths in your resume" advice might seem straightforward, but in practice, it's anything but. (As a corporate recruiter, I've seen way too many job applications that manage to miss this mark entirely.)
To help you put this advice into practice, I've put together a list of 12 must-have strengths for your resume. Plus, I've gone a step further by sharing over 60 examples of how to seamlessly incorporate these strengths into your resume, leaving a lasting impression on recruiters and hiring managers.
By the way, if you want to perfect your resume, you should also check these blog posts:
Ready? Let's dive in.
Why Is It Important to Showcase Your Strengths in Your Resume
Your resume is a snapshot of your professional journey, and it's crucial to make a strong first impression on potential employers.
Adding strengths to your resume will help you:
Align with job requirements: Job openings typically include a list of desired qualifications and skills. When your resume showcases strengths that align with these requirements, hiring managers can easily see that you possess the qualifications they seek.
Put most relevant skills and qualifications in the spotlight: Whether it's your technical skills, leadership abilities, or problem-solving capabilities, highlighting your strengths allows employers to see the value you can bring to their organization.
Grab the attention of hiring managers: Hiring managers spend just a few seconds scanning resumes before deciding whether to delve deeper into your work experience or move on to the next applicant. Clearly outlined strengths grab their attention and make them want to learn more.
Key Core Competencies for Your Resume
When crafting an impressive resume, showcasing your core competencies is essential. These skills and abilities make you stand out and demonstrate your potential to contribute to the company's success.
Four key areas of core competencies include:
Technical skills refer to your ability to use specific tools, software, or equipment to perform tasks effectively. These skills are often highly sought after by employers, as they demonstrate your proficiency in utilizing technology to solve problems and achieve results.
Commonly required technical skills include:
MS Office: Excel, Word, PowerPoint
Communication tools: Google Suite, Slack, Microsoft Teams
Data analysis tools: Excel, Tableau, Python
Programming languages: Ruby, Java, SQL
Graphic design software: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Canva
Analytical skills are crucial for evaluating information, identifying patterns, and making data-driven decisions. And, here's the inside scoop—hiring managers love seeing analytical skills listed as strengths on your resume. They suggest your proactive use of information and potential to deliver substantial value.
Some examples of analytical skills include:
Data analysis & interpretation
Root cause analysis
Effective communication is essential in any professional setting. Strong communication skills allow you to articulate ideas clearly, collaborate with colleagues, and build relationships with clients or customers.
When highlighting your communication skills on your resume, consider including the following:
Leadership skills demonstrate your ability to guide and motivate others toward achieving organizational objectives. Even if you are not in a formal leadership position, these strengths can show employers that you can lead and inspire others, making you an asset to any team.
Some examples of leadership skills include:
Coaching and mentoring
It's vital to showcase your core competencies.
Technical, analytical, communication, and leadership skills you possess demonstrate your ability to contribute effectively to any organization. However, it's equally important to carefully tailor your resume to each job application, emphasizing the core competencies most relevant to the position you are applying for.
With that in mind, let's explore essential resume strengths―encompassing both soft skills and job-specific traits―that underline your core competencies and ensure recruiters remember you.
Must-Have Strengths for Resume: Soft Skills + Examples
Soft skills are the secret ingredient to crafting an impressive resume that catches the eye of hiring managers. These skills can be applied across various roles and sectors, and even more importantly, they prove your versatility and adaptability as a candidate.
Here are some key soft skills with examples and how they can make your resume stand out.
#1 Adaptability and Flexibility
Adaptability and flexibility are highly valued skills in any work setting. Employers seek individuals who seamlessly navigate new challenges and adjust to shifting priorities.
If adaptability and flexibility are crucial for the job you're targeting, put these strengths on your resume:
Adapting to diverse teams
Managing shifting priorities
Here's an example to clarify the importance of these skills. Let's say you worked on a project where the original plan had to be scrapped due to unforeseen circumstances. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, you quickly regrouped, assessed the new situation, and came up with an innovative alternative plan.
This is undoubtedly an impression you'd want recruiters to have in their minds when they come across your name.
#2 Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solving skills are essential in any job, regardless of the industry. Being a strong problem solver shows you can think independently and overcome obstacles.
Here are strengths to put on your resume to showcase this skill:
Innovative problem solving
Complex problem solving
Data-driven problem solving
These skills showcase your ability to handle difficult situations with composure and find practical solutions.
#3 Time Management Skills
Time management is a highly valued skill that ensures productivity and the ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage your time effectively.
If this skill is critical for the job you're targeting, make sure to add these strengths to your resume:
Efficient workflow management
Effective goal setting
Planning and scheduling
#4 Teamwork Skills
Employers want to see that you can collaborate effectively with colleagues, contribute to a positive work environment, and achieve shared goals as part of a team.
To provide evidence that you're a great team player, add these strengths:
Adaptability in team settings
Problem-solving in groups
#5 Creativity and Innovation
Surprisingly, creativity and innovation tend to slip under the radar since many people take these strengths for granted. But hear me out: highlighting creative strengths on your resume is vital, as they take businesses forward.
Here are a few strengths to add to your resume to position yourself as a creative professional:
#6 Critical Thinking Skills
Having strong critical thinking skills is crucial in any job. And you should emphasize them wherever you get a chance. They involve analyzing information, evaluating different perspectives, and making informed decisions — qualities that every employer envisions in an ideal employee.
Here are some strengths you can add to your resume to demonstrate your critical thinking:
To demonstrate your critical thinking skills in the later stages of the hiring process, highlight instances where you have successfully solved challenging problems or made strategic decisions based on careful analysis.
#7 Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and empathize with the emotions of others. It plays a significant role in building positive relationships and effective collaboration in the workplace.
If this is a skill you need to demonstrate in your job application, list these strengths:
Hello new resume, hello opportunities!
#8 Resilience and Perseverance
Resilience and perseverance are extremely valuable strengths for both personal and business aspects of life. They stand for your ability to overcome obstacles and stay determined while maintaining a positive attitude.
Here's what you can add to your resume to showcase these strengths:
Problem-solving under pressure
Here, you can share instances where you have faced challenges, learned from failures, and ultimately achieved success through persistence and determination.
Job-Specific Skills as Your Resume Strengths
Job-specific skills directly relate to the position you are applying for. They target all the right requirements and make you a more qualified candidate.
Let's enrich our must-have resume strengths list with some of the most valuable job-specific skills.
#9 Sales Skills
Sales are a crucial aspect of every business. The ability to persuade and communicate effectively shows potential employers that you can drive revenue for the company. And trust me—no hiring manager wouldn't want a skilled sales professional on their team.
Some key sales skills to highlight on your resume include:
Sales funnel management
Account mapping and targeting
Want to take your job application up a notch? Add data. Check out the list of best resume metrics for sales.
#10 Customer Service Skills
Customer service skills are essential for positions that involve interacting with clients or customers. These skills show you can provide exceptional service and professionally handle customer inquiries and concerns.
If you're applying for a customer service job, list these strengths on your resume:
Handling difficult customers
Upselling and cross-selling
The second best thing you can do to enhance your resume? Add tangible metrics to prove your impact. Check out word-for-word examples of resume metrics for customer service.
#11 Marketing Skills
Knowing how to advertise and position a product or service on the market is vital. And promoting your company, its products, and services is a key aspect of each job, even if you don't work in marketing. So, don't hesitate to showcase your marketing skills.
Whether it's your expertise in major marketing platforms or your knack for captivating customer interest, these strengths vividly demonstrate your ability to communicate persuasively and craft impactful marketing strategies that yield tangible results.
Some essential marketing skills to include on your resume are:
Market research and analysis
Target audience segmentation
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Social media management
Email marketing campaigns
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising
Marketing automation tools
Marketing campaign planning
Conversion rate optimization
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) integration
Btw, marketing thrives on data. So, take your job application to the next level by adding marketing metrics to your resume.
#12 Project Management Skills
If you're applying for a role that involves overseeing projects, you must include skills demonstrating your ability to plan, organize, and execute projects successfully.
Here are a few key strengths you can list:
Project strategy and planning
Resource allocation and management
Budgeting and cost control
Project tracking and reporting
Agile methodology implementation
Waterfall methodology execution
Whether someone meets you for the first time in the cafe, at work, or in your resume, they will remember things about you that resonate with them. So, ensure you provide recruiters with every reason to hold a positive and lasting impression of you.
Listing strengths on a resume is a great way to do so. They outline your abilities and skills, picturing your value to potential employers.
Finally, here are some additional tips that can help you enhance your resume even more:
When describing your strengths, use quantifiable achievements to support your claims.
Craft concise summary statements that highlight experiences where your strengths shine.
Tailor your resume to match the specific job description and requirements for each position you apply to.
Bookmark this blog post to keep this list of resume strengths with examples at hand.
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Hi—I'm Ana! A recruiter, HR consultant, and founder of ByRecruiters.com. My career advice and job search tools have been featured in Yahoo News, The Muse, Jobscan, A Better HR Business, Starter Story, and other global media. Since 2018, over 8,000 professionals worldwide have used my resume templates to land new jobs. Ready to join them? Your success story starts here.