If you’re seeking a new job or want to change careers, it’s the perfect time to polish your resume. Yet, it’s not only your latest working experience that needs updating; it’s your unique skills for your resume as well.
Sprucing up a resume can be a real challenge sometimes, particularly when you can’t decide what skills to list and what to omit. Highlighting specific skills can make or break your resume and help you stand out from other candidates.
We’re here to help you make the best choice for your unique skills and talents and make your resume shine. So, let’s dive in!
When building your resume, you should list two types of skills: soft (personal) and hard (technical).
Though both types are equally important, hiring managers and employers prefer soft skills.
Some of the unique skills that may set you apart from other candidates include (but are not limited to) critical thinking, problem-solving, time and project management, organization, data analysis, leadership, etc.
When adding skills to your resume, it’s not sufficient to just list them; you should also back them up with accomplishments and results you achieved.
Hard vs. Soft Skills: Which Ones Are Better?
The former are also known as technical skills and are closely related to specific positions and industries. They commonly involve skills and qualifications obtained through formal education or training, such as programming, marketing, or languages.
The latter, referred to as personal skills, are tied to interpersonal skills that are typically intangible and sought after in the majority of jobs. They incorporate people, social, and communication skills, along with character traits and attitudes that employers look for in all candidates.
Although both skill types are essential for a resume, hiring professionals—even 97% of them—favor solid soft skills. The reason for this preference lies in the fact that excellent soft skills allow employees to adapt faster to changing circumstances. This further enables them to acquire new knowledge or reskill when required.
As opposed to soft skills hiring, which is popular nowadays, previous hiring based on hard skills and qualifications turned out to be inefficient at some point. As many as 89% of employees who were hired for their technical skills lacked personal skills.
Therefore, though you shouldn’t neglect hard skills, you should give preference to soft skills in your resume.
18 Unique Skills to Include in Your Resume & Stand Out
While you undoubtedly have many exquisite skills and talents, not all of them should be listed in your resume.
The most convenient way to find out what unique skills are required for jobs is to peruse the job advertisement and then add those skills to your resume.
We’ve compiled a list of 18 useful resume skills that will set you apart from the dozens of other candidates; let’s see what they are.
#1. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is viewed as an indispensable skill that enables employees to assess not only facts and data but also ideas and creative proposals. It is valued since it allows the team to come up with the best solution or steps to take and reach the most favorable decision when working on a specific project.
This skill is sought after in a vast array of job advertisements, regardless of the role. Hence, as every employer wants to hire a candidate who can reason from available facts, critical thinking is an in-demand asset to have in a resume.
Closely related to critical thinking, problem-solving skills allow for resolving any problems and obstacles that emerge in a workplace creatively and without much ado. Hence, these skills are highly prized on a resume, particularly for positions in tech or customer support, which are designed to offer solutions to specific problems.
Though similar, problem-solving skills shouldn’t be confused with critical thinking. While some candidates may excel at evaluating data and facts, not all of them can work out a practical solution. Therefore, it’s not surprising why problem-solvers are wanted outside of customer service positions.
#3. Project Management
Project management skills demonstrate that you’re able to monitor projects, assign tasks efficiently, and successfully complete all assignments in a timely manner. These skills are highly appreciated as they can boost productivity, streamline workflows, and lead to fruitful project results.
A person with solid project management skills is impeccably organized and able to juggle multiple responsibilities effectively while keeping others on board with the goals and objectives of the project. Such skills are a great asset for anyone applying for any leadership or management position.
#4. Cross-Cultural Competence
Cross-cultural skills refer to the ability to not only understand different cultures but also to recognize their significance. Such skills are particularly valuable in organizations that cherish an inclusive, diverse, and collaborative company culture.
These skills enable employees to effectively communicate with both colleagues and business partners without any bias against their background, culture, habits, or preferences.
Cross-cultural competence is particularly sought after in multinational companies hiring overseas, as it enables employees to engage with their coworkers in culturally appropriate manners and thrive in multicultural working environments.
#5. Data Analysis
As the business world gets digitalized, data analysis is becoming an extremely in-demand skill. Companies are seeking professionals who can collect and analyze data for different stakeholders. Thus, being able to analyze and evaluate large collections of data is a priceless skill to have.
This high-earning skill blends critical thinking and communication skills with machine learning and algebra. If you can collect raw data and turn it into actionable insights, you’ll be a valuable resource for any company.
Self-motivation drives you to take the initiative to undertake necessary tasks, get the job done, or resolve any potential problems. Despite what employees may think, bosses don’t like to micromanage or keep lighting a fire under their workers.
The truth is that employers love engaged and motivated employees who are willing to go above and beyond. Self-motivation indicates that you’re ready to put in a bit more effort compared to other candidates to get the job done even before the deadline.
Besides, self-motivation lets you boost your productivity and makes you feel proud of every accomplishment of yours. Thus, by developing a strong sense of self-motivation, you can become more persistent and drive for more goals.
#7. Virtual Collaboration
Virtual collaboration represents the capacity to effectively communicate and collaborate with your teammates without being physically present in the same space. Different digital tools, such as chats and video conferences, can simplify virtual cooperation. Thus, being familiar with such software may earn you bonus points from the hiring manager.
Having solid virtual collaboration skills will undoubtedly make you a more favored candidate for employers hiring overseas. In case you’re already employed and have developed strong virtual collaboration skills, your employer may allow you to shift to a remote and more flexible work schedule.
#8. Time Management
Time management refers to the ability to use your time wisely, prioritize tasks, and work efficiently to meet deadlines. Employees with strong time management skills also know how to plan ahead, delegate assignments, or request help when needed, all with the aim of finishing all their tasks on time.
These skills allow you to get all the work done without wasting any precious time. Yet, time management doesn’t only imply prioritizing your assignments; it also means respecting other team members’ expectations in order to coordinate with the team.
Hence, it’s no wonder why time management is an in-demand skill for various positions, regardless of the industry.
#9. Organizational Skills
Organizational skills are among the most important soft skills you can have as an employee. Similarly to time management, organizational skills help you plan, prioritize, and achieve your goals in a timely manner.
As their name suggests, these skills enable you to keep your work organized and focus on various projects without feeling overwhelmed, as well as boost productivity and efficiency at the workplace.
Organizational skills are not about having your desk tidy and organized but the capacity to swiftly adapt to the company's organizational structure, so this is what employees often seek in a candidate.
No matter what is going on, either within a company or the entire industry, employees need to be able to adapt quickly. Working environments do change constantly—old team members may be replaced with new ones, a company may be taken over by a larger corporation, etc., urging everyone to embrace changes and acclimate to them.
As market trends tend to fluctuate, it’s necessary to be adaptable in order to react quickly to new circumstances and bypass potential obstacles. Having solid adaptability skills will help you embrace new priorities or technologies that a company might adopt without wasting too many resources.
#11. Leadership Skills
Leadership skills are typically related to managerial positions. However, even if you’re not applying for such a role, employers look for candidates who have such skills.
These skills enable employees to motivate their team members, facilitate discussions, step up when there is a problem to be solved, or offer help when a new team member needs to be trained.
Therefore, no matter what position you’re applying for, you can greatly benefit from having strong leadership skills, so don’t hesitate to list them in your resume. Demonstrate that, besides taking initiative, you’re able to lead as well.
Teamwork will never stop being a skill that every employee should have. This skill doesn’t only imply being able to work in a team; it also means being able to resolve conflicts successfully, cooperate, mediate, exchange ideas, etc.
Even if you’re sort of a lone wolf and prefer to get the work done alone and on your own, you still should picture your work in the broader context of the company’s mission and objectives. This involves communicating with your coworkers and collaborating with them to achieve the best possible results.
Given that teamwork is one of the most coveted unique skills for a resume, feel free to list it in yours as well.
#13. Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills, refer to the way you interact with other people. Given that these skills are of utmost significance in any working environment, it’s not surprising why they are among the top skills sought after in candidates.
Regardless of your position, your career path will require constant and consistent interaction with others. While you may be excellent in a technical aspect of your job, you must also have good interpersonal and communication skills in order to thrive in your career.
Thus, solid people skills are among the unique talents for a resume that everyone should include.
#14. Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution skills are a must for customer support or managerial positions. However, as disagreements may arise in any position, these skills are nice to have to be able to handle conflicts effectively, notwithstanding the role.
Clashes and disputes within a team or company may negatively affect productivity and create a toxic or hostile environment. This may further lead to undesirable departures or low morale among the employees, which is, again, reflected in the low productivity.
In such a situation, having a team member with strong conflict resolution skills can be extremely valuable and of great help in resolving the issue. If you’re such an employee, list them as unique skills for your resume.
Creativity is typically associated with art, design, or photography. However, those aren’t the only fields that can benefit from this quality.
Fresh ideas and new approaches to existing problems help businesses overcome potential challenges and grow. Thus, the ability to think creatively is an invaluable skill to have in a dynamic modern work environment. It allows you to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas to approach problems from a new perspective.
Hiring managers will pay close attention to candidates whose resume demonstrates they can think creatively and offer innovative solutions. Hence, do not hide your creativity from them; show that you are able to see the larger picture.
#16. Attention to Details
Paying close attention to details is necessary to be accurate and meticulous in your work. No one likes making mistakes; in the business world specifically, they can be rather costly in terms of both time and money. To avoid expensive slips, it’s necessary to be extremely careful with what you’re doing.
Strong attention to even minute details and being able to follow instructions thoroughly will set you apart from people whose goal is to get the work done and head home. Thus, no matter what role you’re applying for, hiring managers will appreciate your attention to detail, as they can be sure you will be conscientious with your work.
#17. Active Listening Skills
Having solid active listening skills indicates that you’re a good communicator who understands what your interlocutor is trying to convey. Such skills are closely related to communication skills, as communication always goes both ways. Therefore, adding active listening skills to your resume may suggest that you’re able to communicate clearly with other people.
This is of particular importance if you’re applying for a position in tech or customer support. These skills allow you to remain patient with clients, acknowledge what they have to say, and respond to their concerns or resolve the issue they may be struggling with.
#18. Work Ethic
A strong work ethic implies that you value your work and are willing to put in extra effort to achieve positive results. People who possess this trait are disciplined, responsible, reliable, and dependable. They never slack or leave their work unfinished, nor do they complain every now and then about minor inconveniences.
Employers value candidates with a strong professional ethic because they are committed and motivated to perform well. They also strive to yield good results and meet company objectives, ultimately contributing to its growth and success.
Work ethic is among the unique skills for resumes for freshers, as it will let the employer know they’re motivated to succeed in the role.
How to Add Skills To Your Resume
When adding unique skills to a resume, it’s not enough to carefully choose which ones you’ll include; the way you do it matters as well.
When listing both soft and hard skills, make sure that they are relevant to the role you’re applying for. To do so, tailor your resume by researching the job advertisement and making a list of the required skills. Don’t cheat by adding skills you don’t have; hiring managers will see you through during the interview and reject you as a candidate.
Make sure that you don’t just list skills without backing them up. Every candidate can be an excellent problem solver or have exquisite leadership and project management skills. However, hiring professionals want to see actual examples of you putting those skills into practice and yielding particular results.
This could be a bit more challenging than tailoring your skills, but it’s not unattainable. After you’ve mentioned your skills in the designated section, support them by listing your achievements or responsibilities that flaunt these skills.
If you’re just starting out, changing careers, or are struggling with what unique skills to list, focus on transferable skills. These skills are not job-specific but can be seen as an advantage for the position. They are referred to as ‘transferable’ because they can be transferred from one role to another, despite the industry.
Choosing what skills for a CV or resume to list can be a real struggle sometimes. Besides being constrained by the limited space designated for skills, you may be confused about whether to focus more on hard or soft skills.
Due to the budding hiring trends, you should prioritize soft over hard skills. Yet, keep in mind that solely listing them will not be enough; you should support them with responsibilities, actual accomplishments, and results.
If you’re uncertain about what to include, we hope that our unique skills examples will help you make up your mind and craft a stellar resume!
Unique Skills for Resume FAQ
#1. What are the top skills to list on a resume?
The top skills hiring professionals will love regardless of your profession and industry include:
Top Skills for Resume
Project and time management
Work ethic and self-motivation
Attention to detail
Teamwork and conflict resolution skills
Interpersonal and communication skills
Critical thinking and problem-solving
Active listening skills
#2. How many of my technical skills should I highlight?
When adding skills to your resume, you should list no more than 10-15 of them in total. However, given that hiring professionals favor soft skills, you may want to prioritize them over hard skills. Therefore, a good balance would be to list a maximum of five technical skills and then add up to ten soft skills.
#3. What are the most unique talents?
The most unique talents and skills worth adding to your resume include but are not limited to:
Talents and Skills