7 Important Skills To Include On Your Tech Resume

by | Resumes & LinkedIn

Deciding which skills to put on your tech resume can be a confusing task, since the industry is constantly evolving. What are the best skills to include on your resume if want to land a job in tech, and how do you strategically incorporate them into your career document?

Keep reading to learn which skills you need to include on your tech resume if you want to be a competitive applicant and sought out by recruiters.

Do People Still List Skills On Their Resume?

Yes, job seekers still list their skills on their resume, and doing so is particularly important if you’re changing careers or looking to land a role in tech, since you want to quickly communicate how your background and experience are relevant to the industry. Listing your skills on your resume makes it easier for the recruiter and hiring manager to connect the dots between your work history and career accomplishments and their open position.

Including relevant skills, or keywords, on your resume allows recruiters to swiftly locate your resume in the applicant tracking system (ATS). Importantly, though, you don’t want to stuff your resume with dozens or hundreds of keywords in an attempt to manipulate the hiring process. Tech recruiters are savvy and can quickly see through this charade. Instead, you want to choose relevant keywords that align with the language of the job posting.

How Many Skills Should I List On My Resume?

While there is no perfect when it comes to the skills you should list on your tech resume, 10 to 15 is a good benchmark, so long as you address the various qualifications listed in the job posting. You can also maintain a master list of your skills that you customize using keywords from the job posting.

Additionally, you want to adjust your skills based on each company that you apply to. Doing this not only makes it easier for recruiters to find your resume in the ATS but also allows the reader to digest your background and experience more quickly. For instance, if your background is in “human resources,” yet your target companies call the function “people operations,” you’ll want to use the latter since they’re likely using “people operations” when searching through their ATS.

Note: While your resume should be limited to a few pages, you can include additional skills on your LinkedIn profile since you have additional space, and integrate keywords throughout your profile. Similarly, though, you’ll want to mirror the language used in the job descriptions so that your profile can be easily found.

Should I Rate My Skills On My Resume?

Resume templates found on Canva and other graphic design websites often use a skills bar or similar graphic where you attempt to display your abilities visually by portraying a level of mastery, but mastery is by its nature subjective. However, you want to avoid rating your skills on your resume, particularly if you’re looking for a role in tech, as employers are often looking for data-driven candidates and a skills bar doesn’t showcase that.

Rating your skills can also result in unnecessary questions like, how did you come up with the rating, and who are you comparing your skills to? The only exceptions to this would be for software and language proficiencies. If you speak three languages, for instance, you can list them in the following format:

  • English (Native)
  • Spanish (Fluent)
  • French (Conversational)

7 Skills To Include On Your Tech Resume

While your experience, abilities, target company, and whether you’re applying for a remote role will ultimately determine the keywords you include on your resume, there are common skills that tech companies tend to look for in job applicants. Here are seven skills to consider including on your resume if you’re looking for a job in the tech industry:

  • Project Management
  • Cross-functional Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Relations
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Executive Influencing
  • Customer Service
  • Data Analysis

Adding Job-Specific Skills To Your Resume

In addition to these broad skills, you’ll also want to add skills that are specific to your job function. For instance, if you’re seeking a product management role, here are some of the types of job-specific skills you might include on your resume:

  • Product Leadership
  • Market Research
  • Customer Insights
  • Feature Planning
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping

Again, please remember that you want to allow the job posting to guide you in choosing which job-specific skills and keywords you include in your resume, since your role as the applicant is to make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to place you in the “yes” pile.

Adding Leadership Skills To Your Resume

If you’re targeting a management role at a tech company, you’ll also want to think about adding relevant leadership skills to your resume. Here are some examples of the types of leadership skills tech companies are often looking for in candidates:

  • Staff Recruitment
  • Team Leadership & Development
  • Culture Building
  • Budget Management
  • Executive Influencing & Presentations

Adding Technical Skills To Your Resume

Finally, this is the tech industry, after all, so you’ll want to include relevant technical skills on your resume if you’re seeking a role that requires them. You might be tempted to include every software and programming language you’ve ever been exposed to, but this often isn’t necessary and can actually hurt your chances of landing a role since many tech companies are only looking for specialists.

Instead, consider creating a master resume that lists all your technical skills, and then only include the relevant ones based on the company and position you’re applying to. This approach makes it easier for you to consolidate your job search documents and for the employer to assess your relevant technical skills.

How Do I Include My Skills On My Resume?

Now let’s explore how you incorporate these skills into your tech resume. You want to make it easy for a prospective employer to identify your transferable experience and how it relates to their hiring needs. In other words, don’t make their job harder than it needs to be, since recruiters and hiring managers already have enough on their plates.

With this in mind, there are several places where you can list skills on your resume. For starters, adding a dedicated skills section immediately following your career summary can help recruiters see whether you have the skills they’re looking for in applicants. Then, consider adding a keyword to the beginning of each bullet point accomplishment on your resume, as this allows readers to skim and quickly locate your transferable skills.

You might find it helpful to set a timer and spend 20 minutes tailoring your resume with relevant skills for each job application you submit. This allows you enough time to customize your resume without getting pulled into perfectionism mode.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of nuances involved in writing a modern-day tech resume, and choosing which skills to include is just one part of the process. If you’re finding writing your resume to be challenging, please feel free to contact me or schedule a consultation. I’m here for you! You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).

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