Eight Skills for a Killer Resume

See also: Finding a Job

Have you ever wondered what are the best work-related skills to put on a resume or CV? Plus, which of those skills can deliver life-long job security, the chance to work almost anywhere you want, and better than average income? Well, hiring managers in every industry have their preferences, but overall, there are at least eight skills that will serve you well no matter what career path you choose.

An equally relevant question is how to acquire these key capabilities. Because it's not enough to say, "I'd like to learn how to negotiate and how to lead teams." Figuring out where to go and how to gain that kind of knowledge is an integral part of the success puzzle for every ambitious adult.

Here's a no order of importance listing of the top eight career skills, along with what they consist of, and how to acquire them.


Negotiation is invaluable in many fields, even people who take a few classes or learn it through their jobs can move to the front of the job search line. Owners and entrepreneurs often seek out applicants with refined communication skills to negotiate contracts, prices on large orders, terms of real estate deals, and more. Many colleges offer stand-alone certificate programs or seminars that teach negotiating from start to finish. No matter what your current job, consider adding this universal talent to your arsenal.

Transportation and Fleet Management

Transporting goods from Point A to Point B is at the heart of multiple industries, both at the wholesale and retail level. That's why it's essential for anyone venturing into the transportation field to understand at least the basics of fleet management. If you doubt the crucial role that commercial trucking plays in the economy, just look around at how many big rigs you see on a typical highway commute.

Many fleet managers begin as drivers, which is an ideal way to learn the transport business from the ground up. Fleet management skills are so closely connected with what professional truck drivers do, there's perhaps no better place to begin learning this vital skill.

Leadership and Organizing

Like negotiating, both leadership and organizational acumen come from sources other than books. Fortunately, there are many excellent leadership seminars, webinars, and in-person weekends where virtually anyone can pick up the main techniques. For most working adults, though, learning to lead comes from real-world, job-based experience. The same can be said of organizing. If you want to add these generalist talents to your resume, sign up for a leadership weekend and hone your organizational expertise by taking online classes that explain how to organize corporate projects of all kinds.

Human Resources

The entire human resources field is undergoing a transformation. Learning how things are done in the modern HR office will instantly set you apart from other job seekers. One of the major factors causing the change is related to a brand-new way of hiring. Not long ago, when resumes arrived in digital or hard-copy format, they were screened by human eyes, for the most part. Nowadays, companies prefer to use applicant-tracking systems, or ATS.

These high-level programs automatically read and scan thousands of resumes at a time. You can take online classes that dive into the intricacies of ATS as well as other components of the HR career field. It's not all about hiring, but the jobs do call for excellent interpersonal skills (for live interviewing) and the ability to evaluate candidates objectively and according to legal standards.


Accounting is a love-it-or-hate-it profession, and most of the people who end up there have chosen the career because they love it. Many financial institutions and government agencies, for instance, require many entry-level employees to have at least two college accounting courses under their belts. One of the best things about the field is that you can learn basic and intermediate level concepts via online, self-paced study. Even if you're someone who will never work as an accountant, it's wise to take two or three classes to round out your education. Hiring managers always seem to note the number of accounting credits that applicants have earned, even when the job at hand is not a numerical one.

Financial Planning

If you know how to balance your online checking account and have even a small amount of experience making budgets of any kind, you can honestly claim a familiarity with financial planning when you write your resume. Better yet, take one or two online webinars to acquire the rudiments of making company budgets and dealing with money. Don't expect to land a finance job unless you have a degree in the subject. But this is one time that a little bit of knowledge is a good, not dangerous, thing.


Obviously, the most powerful force in the entire global economy in the past quarter-century has been the advance of technology in every realm of endeavor. If you plan to go into law, medicine, finance, real estate, engineering, teaching, or just about any of the other top professions, a few computer courses will serve you well. Plus, if you aim for any of the tech-related fields, like digital security, programming, or others, it's essential to have as much IT education as possible. In fact, many college students headed for law school choose to major in computer science. Take online or traditional college coursework to acquire this important talent.

Writing and Editing

Even in the computer age, you'll stand out as a job candidate if you can write simple, plain sentences and correct the writing of others. Learning to write well is not something people pick up during a weekend cram session or a single online class. If you feel the need for improvement in this area, try to find a stand-alone course that focuses on basic writing skills. Avoid offerings with the word creative in their names, and stick to titles like business writing, or corporate editing.

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Develop the skills you need to get that job.

This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

Drew Allen is a financial enthusiast, seasoned blogger, music and sports fanatic. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter fishing and boating. He is dedicated to his 15+ year career in the banking, mortgage, and personal finance industry.