In today’s technology-driven job market, having strong software skills is crucial for success in the majority of industries. A well-rounded set of software skills is bound to help you stand out from the competition, whether you’re a software developer, marketer, designer, or accountant.
Highlighting relevant software programs, languages, and tools you’re proficient in is one of the easiest ways to show position-specific prowess.
Keep reading to find out which software skills to add to your resume and how to do that best.
Software skills are hard, technical skills that enable you to use various programs within different careers and roles.
Some of the most prominent software skills used in the professional environment include proficiency in databases, programming languages, enterprise systems, design, spreadsheets, web development, and presentation software.
You should always work on improving your software skills in order to stand out in a competitive job market. To do that, you can take online courses, work on personal or open-source projects, attend workshops and conferences, and more.
What Are Software Skills?
Software skills are the technical skills and knowledge that you need to use computers and different programs. They could be a requirement for almost any position that you’re applying for, whether you’re a nurse, an office manager, or a programming language expert.
That being said, certain professions use software skills more heavily than others. If you’re making an IT resume or a technical resume, these skills and experience in relevant software will likely be their focal points.
Jobs with Software Skills
Some of the professions that use software skills the most include:
Software engineers and developers
Web designers and developers
Data analysts and scientists
Network and security engineers
7 Software Skills To Include in Your Resume
Let’s examine some of the more prominent software skills that you could include in your resume.
A database is, by definition, a set of organized data that can be stored and accessed electronically. Databases are an important part of many software systems and are needed to run various businesses.
They can store everything from customer information and product inventory to financial transactions. Moreover, candidates who possess a strong understanding of how to manage and store data effectively can design scalable, efficient, and reliable databases.
In many data science, software development, and IT jobs, being able to work with different database technologies is a valuable skill. It can help you create robust applications and make informed decisions about data management.
Databases Skills Examples
Here’s an example of how you could demonstrate proficiency in databases on your resume:
Implemented database backup and recovery procedures to secure data and enable its recovery in the event of an outage
#2. Programming languages
Programming languages are the building blocks of software development. They are the essential tools used by computer programmers to build websites, apps, and various other digital products.
In a professional environment, it’s often crucial to have deep knowledge of at least one programming language. That will make you more employable and allow you to pick up new languages more quickly.
Programming Languages Examples
Here’s how you could highlight programming languages as software skills for a software engineer resume:
Created and implemented RESTful APIs in Python to integrate with other systems
#3. Enterprise Systems
Enterprise systems are large-scale software solutions. They are used by big organizations, such as government agencies or corporations, to facilitate and manage their operations. For example, they are used for managing finances, supply chains, customer relationships, and more.
Proficiency in enterprise systems is considered a highly valuable skill since it requires more than software prowess. One also needs to have a deep understanding of how large organizations and complex business processes work, making these skills sought-after in industries such as finance, logistics, and manufacturing.
Some examples of enterprise systems include Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP.
Enterprise Systems Example
Let’s see an example of a candidate showcasing these skills on their resume:
Conducted system testing and provided training to end-users to ensure smooth adoption and efficient use of the SAP system
In terms of software skills, design is the process of making a software product's visual and user-centered parts. Some of the most notable careers in software-based design include user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) design.
The process of design in the software development field doesn’t only involve conceptualizing and creating the look of a product. Designers also work on functionality and usability and strive to turn a piece of computer code into an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly experience.
Software-related design skills generally revolve around knowledge of color theory, typography, design principles, and specific tools such as Figma or Adobe XD. Apart from being used by designers, these abilities are particularly useful to software developers and product managers.
Here’s how you could demonstrate them on your resume:
Worked closely with project managers and developers to prototype and design wireframes for 7 web and mobile applications
Spreadsheets bear some resemblance to databases, though they are much smaller in scope and come with limitations. They allow users to organize, analyze, and manipulate data in a tabular format. Their strength lies in their ability to be easily understood by a wide range of users.
Because of all of this, spreadsheets can be used for financial modeling, budgeting, forecasting, keeping track of different data, making reports, and more. Individuals who are adept at manipulating spreadsheets can use them to do complex calculations, create user-friendly graphs and charts, and perform data analysis with ease.
These skills are particularly useful to candidates who are going for the roles of data analysts, business analysts, financial analysts, and project managers. Some popular examples of spreadsheet software include Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, and Apple Numbers.
Let’s see how you could demonstrate these skills in an example:
Automated financial reporting processes utilizing advanced spreadsheet skills to reduce manual effort by 45% and increase efficiency by 20%
#6. Web Development
These skills are valuable for many roles, such as software engineering, front-end development, and full-stack development. Furthermore, by having them on your resume, you might also show recruiters that you’re a creative thinker and troubleshooter.
Web Development Examples
Here’s an example of web development skills demonstrated in a resume:
#7. Presentation Software
Being proficient in presentation software allows you to create brief, concise, captivating, and information-packed presentations. Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Apple Keynote are the most common types of software used to make these. To effectively use presentation software, a person should:
Have a deep understanding of the content they are presenting
Know the audience they are presenting to
Create clear and visually pleasing slides
Use graphics and charts to reinforce key points
Deliver a presentation in a concise manner
Presentations are a common way of sharing information and communicating ideas in various settings, such as business meetings, conferences, and classrooms. That makes presentation skills valuable for the roles of marketers, sales professionals, trainers, and educators, among others.
Presentation Software Examples
Here’s how you could highlight your proficiency in these software skills on your CV or resume:
Created charts and infographics to develop presentations using PowerPoint and Keynote, illustrating complex data and information effectively
How to Add Software Skills to Your Resume
When it comes to effectively adding software skills to your resume, two concepts are vital: relevance and specificity.
When it comes to relevance, you should start by making a list of the software skills that are related to the type of job you’re looking for. By researching the job ad and the company, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact abilities that recruiters want to see.
Here’s an example of a job ad and how it could ask for particular software skills:
Title: Full-Stack Developer
We are looking for an experienced full-stack developer with a strong understanding of software development practices.
Write clean and efficient code
Design, develop, and maintain web applications
Experience with at least one back-end programming language such as Java, Ruby, Python
Knowledge of database systems (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL)
While it’s important to create an easy-to-read list of skills for recruiters to see on your resume, you should also validate them through examples.
One of the best ways to do this is to list relevant skills next to related work achievements and results in your resume objective, summary, professional experience, and some optional sections. To make your skills even more credible, you should use numbers and percentages to quantify those accomplishments, as well as strong action verbs and power words to make them stand out.
It’s recommended to add levels of knowledge next to the software skills included in your resume to qualify them as “beginner,” “intermediate,” or “advanced.”
How to Improve Your Software Skills
Improving software skills is an excellent way to stay competitive in the job market and advance your career.
Here are 5 expert tips to help you improve your software skills:
You can take online courses on platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning. They are convenient and give you the ability to learn at your own pace.
Practice on personal projects to gain hands-on experience and apply what you’ve learned.
Participate in online forums and engage with like-minded individuals. You can take part in discussions, ask questions, explore various topics, and learn from other people’s experiences.
You should attend workshops and conferences related to the software or the set of skills that you want to improve. They give you the opportunity to learn from experts, network, or even showcase your abilities to potential employers.
Contributing to open-source projects is another great way to both improve your software skills and showcase them to recruiters and potential employers.
7 Courses to Improve Software Skills
There are many courses that you could take to improve your software skills. The majority of them can be taken online, too. Here are some of the most prominent ones:
Courses for Software Skills
Online Software Engineering Course by Flatiron School
Full-Time Remote Software Engineering Bootcamp by Coding Dojo
Software Development Lifecycle Specialization by Coursera
24 Week Software Engineering Immersive Course by App Academy
Full Stack Web Dev Course by Lambda School
Software Engineering Bootcamp by Tinkful
Software Engineering Immersive Online Course by General Assembly
The bottom line is that a well-rounded and position-specific set of software skills on your resume can greatly enhance your chances of getting hired in today’s job market. Recruiters are often looking for candidates who have proven skills in various apps, programs, and coding languages.
That's why you should do your best to figure out which of these skills they want most before showcasing them properly on your resume.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep working on your software skills. That can help you position yourself better on the market and stand out among other tech-savvy professionals.
Software Skills FAQ
Here are answers to some of the most common questions asked about software skills.
#1. What are basic software skills?
Basic software skills represent proficiency in the most commonly used software. For example, they represent elementary working knowledge of email, operating systems, the MS Office package, Google Drive, spreadsheets, internet browsing software, presentation-creating tools, and so on.
#2. What software skills are in demand?
Some of the most in-demand software skills range from proficiency in basic programming (e.g., knowledge of C, Python, Java, C++, C#, etc.) to data engineering (e.g., data analysts, data developers, and cloud computing engineers). There’s also UI/UX design, video editing, CRMs, low-code platforms, and data visualization.
#3. How do you list software skills on a resume?
There are two ways to list software skills on your resume:
Create a concise list of software skills related to the position in the skills section.
Mention some of the most important skills throughout your resume next to relevant achievements and results obtained to make them concrete.
You should utilize both methods while crafting your resume for optimal results.
#4. Is Microsoft Office a technical skill?
Competence in the Microsoft Office suite is a technical skill that can be rather important in many different positions. Your role could require anything from elementary working proficiency in MS Word to being able to make complex formulas and do advanced calculations in MS Excel.