Centuries ago, one of the most rare and respected skills that medieval people could develop was mnemonics – the ability to memorize things. In an age where literacy was low and written texts were expensive, the power to remember thousands of stories and songs was highly valuable and extremely well-paid.
Very few people can memorize such large amounts of information today (genius Magnus Carlsen can), but in a modern era where one can find the answer to almost any question in seconds, such a skill is essentially obsolete – just like nice handwriting, or knowledge of ancient herbology.
Our modern era requires modern qualifications and such special skills as digital literacy and time planning are much more employable in these days.
What are good skills high-paying employers value the most?
Employers define two separate categories of skills
First and foremost, there are two types of qualifications embodied in every resume: hard and soft.
Hard skills are based on IQ, and are the specific qualifications required to perform a particular job. Soft skills are based on personality traits and can be applied to every job. They are referred to as people skills, such as passion, positivity, and the ability to motivate coworkers.
Hard skills are particular, and soft skills are personal!
If you are wondering which skill type is best for your resume, the answer is a mix of both: a small amount of pivotal hard skills, and a few more trendy soft ones.
Scan through the job description of the position you are interested in and pick up important keywords that match your profile and work experience. These are the best hard skills for your tailored resume targeting your dream job.
(In fact, hard skills are so important to potential employers that, typically, the hard skill most desired in a candidate will be listed directly in the headline of the job description itself – just a little tip.)
Of course, you can find "transferable skills" listed in the job description too, but there are thousands of possible soft skills you might have; such qualifications represent your personality, and not your technical skills.
So, what are the most valuable work skills you can put on your resume that aren’t necessarily found in the job description itself? Check out the top 9 skills list (both soft and hard) desired by the highest-paying CEOs in the world today.
1. Time management
The ability to manage time indicates that you can lead a variety of projects with adequate knowledge of deadlines and expectations. By putting this skill on your resume, you show potential employers that you are organized and know how to avoid last-minute stress from procrastination.
Time management is a pivotal skill in the modern era in nearly every profession. In an interview, be sure to mention such keywords as short-term and long-term projects and give your interviewer real examples of how you have demonstrated this special skill in the past. Show it, don‘t tell it.
Synonyms for Time Management on your resume: Punctuality; Adaptability; Deadline Control; Time Planning.
If you are generally up-beat and enthusiastic, you should definitely include a characteristic such as "energetic" on your resume. According to most CEOs, this is one of the most important skills an employee can have.
Demonstrating a positive attitude each day inspires and motivates other team members, and can aid in climbing the career-ladder in the long run. Of course, if "energetic" doesn’t quite describe you, the best way to improve your attitude is through physical activity – which could aid your health as well as your employability.
Additional synonyms of Energy for your resume: Positivity; Positive Attitude; Multitasking; Dynamic; Enthusiastic; Fast Thinking.
3. Communication skills
Adequate communication is one of the top qualifications valued by all employers. Communication skills allow employees to express needs and work towards goals with co-workers and superiors – saving time, building relationships, and increasing productivity.
Whether you exercise your social qualifications through spending time with friends, visiting local bars, or any other means – social skills are necessary for any job and can be easily practiced. All you need is a group of people and a reason to chat. Consider including this good skill on your resume now!
Additional synonyms for Communication Skills on your resume: Teamwork; Collaboration; Interpersonal Skills; Emotional Intelligence; Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness.
Being adaptive is crucially important for all careers where projects and expectations change every month – and sometimes every week.
To adapt to the rapidly-changing demands of modern work, young employees also need to demonstrate agility – definitely a useful and professional skill to put on your resume.
Synonyms of Agility for your resume: Promptness; Adaptability; Resilience; Sharpness; Critical Thinking.
In corporate culture, integrity is a highly valued characteristic. Loyalty to your job indicates that you see yourself in your respective field for at least several years. For an employer, hiring employees is a huge investment – in fact, according to a study done by Deloitte, it costs an average of $4,000 and takes around 52 days for every new hire.
Thus, to reduce both the time and the cost of hiring, it behooves the company to find a candidate with integrity and work experience highly relevant to the position.
From the perspective of CEOs, two Integrity skills most employees lack is (1) Always doing what you say you will do (being reliable), and (2) Keeping track of yourself and your projects. Being reliable means that you are able to manage yourself, be organized, and prioritize what is important.
Don‘t search for any job, rather target the particular job that compliments your skills and interests.
Synonyms for Integrity on your resume: Honesty; Disciplined; Responsibility; Strong work-ethic; Self-awareness; Business Intelligence.
Time management and perseverance are pivotal, especially when performing time-sensitive projects. Willingness to sacrifice evenings, weekends and leisure activities demonstrates your dedication to and faith in the success of the project. This is a top-paid skill in the modern world and a key component of leadership. If you feel you have this professional skill – include it in your resume.
Consider additional abilities of Perseverance for your resume: Attention to Detail; Willingness to Learn; Certainty; Work Ethic; Initiative; Creativity.
7. Digital Literacy
Think twice before typing such skills as Microsoft Office on your resume. While you may think that this term indicates your ability to type text in Word or create a presentation on Powerpoint, your potential employer might assume you have knowledge of programming complex formulas into Excel.
Another dubious skill is Social Media Management. Your potential employer likely won’t be impressed with your ability to create a social media response to the "trending topic of the day." Only include this skill if you have true work experience using it – such as brand-building and managing multiple social media accounts, reading and analyzing corresponding data, or running paid marketing campaigns.
The term Digital Literacy, indicating basic computer qualifications, is an industry-wide standard that should certainly be listed on your resume. Beyond this, consider what exactly you can do with computers and list those specific skills only.
Synonyms of Digital Literacy for your resume's skills section: Computer literacy; Technical literacy; Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing; Social Media Proficiency; Photoshop Proficiency.
Leadership is one of the most valuable skills an employee can have – indicating the ability to work on time, under pressure, and to make calculated decisions while managing the often-stressful needs of a work team.
Including such a skill on your resume requires that you have experiences that demonstrate your ability to lead successfully. Be sure to stress your proof of leadership in your cover letter or during an interview if you have this skill.
Consider additional alternatives of Leadership/Management for your resume: Planning and Organization; Negotiation; Contract Negotiation; Strategic Thinking; Strategic Planning; Technical Sales; Risk Management; Risk Control; Business Analysis; Business Development; Critical Thinking.
9. Analytical skills
Analytical skills are the ability to analyze information and make counted problem-solving decisions. When faced with a huge amount of information, the ability to detect problems and patterns, interpret data, and find solutions is a far-reaching skill.
Even with a beginner’s ability to work with quantitative data and drive a company’s profit, you should consider putting this skill on your resume.
Synonyms of Analytical skills for your resume: Research skills; Forecasting; Financial Analysis; Search Engine Marketing; Data Mining; Data Modeling; Big Data; Data Warehousing; SAS (Statistical Analysis System); SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
When including skills on your resume, be specific and keep in mind what the employer desires most in an employee. The more you fit these desired characteristics, the more likely you are to get an interview.
Of course, a proficient "skills list" section on your resume is not the only factor that persuades a company to call you; this list only intrigues a recruiter. To fully impress a company with your resume, put some time into revising your "work experience" descriptions as well – with three basic rules: use numbers, include keywords, and demonstrate achievements rather than duties.
If your skills support your defined long-term career goals, and your experiences and education are tailored to a particular job position, you can create an extraordinary resume. The one that is worthy an interview call!