What Are Hard Skills? Definition & 51 Hard Skills Examples (2022)

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are job-specific abilities or knowledge learned through education, hands-on experience, or training. In practice, hard skills are either the technical skills needed to perform a certain job, or a general set of expertise, such as project management.

Typically, the hard skills needed for a position are listed in the job description’s “Requirements” section.

Here’s a list of some common hard skills for 2022 to put on your resume:

List of 24 hard skills for resumes in 2022

  • Copywriting
  • Smart Contract Development
  • Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  • Cashier skills
  • HTML/CSS/Javascript
  • Video Editing
  • User Interface Design
  • Language skills
  • Social Media
  • Graphic Design
  • Project Management
  • Computer Troubleshooting
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business and Data Analysis
  • Patient Care
  • Macro/Micro Economics
  • Server Maintenance
  • Automotive Services, Parts, and Design
  • Marketing skills (SEO/SEM)
  • Cloud and Distributed Computing
  • Database Management and Software
  • Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Photo Editing

What Are Hard Skills? Definition & 51 Hard Skills Examples (1)

51+ examples of hard skills for your resume

When writing your resume or preparing for an interview, having a list of your hard skills is essential. If you’re not sure what skills to highlight, here are some of the most valuable hard skills for resumes (and work) in 2022, broken down by category:

Computer Technology

Today, jobseekers generally possess at least a basic understanding of computer technology. And the number of jobs that require fluency with certain software and programming languages is increasing.

Show your prospective employer that you have the computer skills required for the job by highlighting some of these key computer hard skills:

Hard skills list

  • Microsoft Office Suite and Google Drive Suite
  • Social media
  • Pivot tables
  • Trello
  • Zoom
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Blockchain
  • HTML, Javascript, CSS
  • Swift, Python, Perl, XML
  • SAS, MySQL, Apache

Hard Communication Skills

While effective communication is often viewed as a soft skill, there are several ways that your strength as a communicator can be demonstrated as a hard skill. And effectively showcasing your hard communication skills can help you stand out from other candidates.

Here are some examples of hard communication skills you can put on your resume:

List of hard skills

  • Foreign languages
  • Digital communication
  • Copywriting
  • Presentations

Data Analysis

Data analysis is a hard skill that’s highly valued across a wide variety of industries, especially in finance. Employees who are good at eliminating waste and can save a company money and time are sought after.

Here are some general data analysis hard skills to highlight on your resume:

Hard skills list

  • Data mining
  • Data presentation
  • Resource management
  • Data engineering
  • Database management
  • Any use of data to explore a problem or make a decision
  • Reporting
  • Diagnostics

Certifications and Licenses

While they may not be hard skills themselves, listing certifications and licenses in your resume skills section is a great way to demonstrate that you have a mastery of certain hard skills.

If you have any certifications that are specific to the job or industry you’re applying to, clearly showcase those certifications on your resume.

Some common types of certifications and licenses include:

Hard skills list

  • Learning management systems, such as Blackboard, Canvas, or Eagle
  • Data management systems, such as Colleague
  • Healthcare related licenses
  • Certificates, awards, badges, and industry-recognized credentials

Marketing

The ability to convince people to purchase a company’s products or services will always be an invaluable skill to potential employers. After all, success in marketing directly correlates to an increase in revenue.

These hard marketing skills have become increasingly valued by employers in recent years:

List of hard skills

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Marketing Campaign Management
  • Google Analytics and Google Search Console
  • Content Management Systems (CMS), such as WordPress
  • A/B testing
  • Ahrefs, SEMrush, PageOptimizer Pro
  • PPC
  • MailChimp

Project Management

Project management is a hard skill applicable to a variety of industries, including information technology, healthcare, and construction. Because of this, project management skills have become extremely valuable to many employers.

Here are some hard project management skills to include on your resume:

Hard skills list

  • Agile methodologies, such as Scrum
  • Project management software, such as Trello and Zoho
  • PMP certification
  • Risk management
  • Strategic planning
  • Project lifecycle management
  • Budgeting

Design

Whether you’re a web designer or an illustrator, there are specific design techniques and software essential to doing your job.

Here are some examples of the hard design skills most desired by employers:

Hard skills list

  • User Interface (UI) Design
  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, etc.)
  • Design Software like Figma and Sketch
  • Digital Product Design Software, such as InVision and Zeppelin
  • Video Production Software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
  • Typography
  • Print Design
  • Illustration
  • Photo composition
  • Color correction

Cloud Computing

More and more businesses have turned to cloud computing as a convenient data storage and management solution. People who have the skills to build and manage cloud networks are in high demand.

The following are some examples of the kind of hard skills employers look for when hiring cloud computing professionals:

List of hard skills

  • Cloud Architecture
  • Storage and Data Management
  • Networking Communication
  • Cloud Middleware Technologies
  • Cloud Applications, such as JSON, Rest, and RPC

Writing

From writing blog articles to putting together presentations for clients, being able to write well is an essential hard skill for a huge number of industries.

Show off your ability to put pen to paper with these writing-related hard skills:

Hard skills list

  • Email writing
  • Copywriting
  • Copyediting (grammar, flow, syntax, spelling, punctuation)
  • Content management
  • Grant writing
  • Storytelling
  • Storyboarding
  • Writing press releases
  • Report writing
  • Formal presentations
  • Investigative journalism
  • SEO copywriting

Mobile & Web Development

With over 6,000 apps released per day on Android alone, the demand for web and mobile developers will only continue to grow. All of these websites and apps can only be created by people with the necessary mobile and web development hard skills.

Here are some examples of the kind of hard skills you need to become a successful developer:

Hard skills list

  • Software Revision Control Systems
  • Android Development
  • iOS App Development
  • Web Architecture and Development Framework
  • Angular and Node Apps
  • Swift, C#, Java, Objective-C

Network Structure & Security

A company’s data is priceless – if sensitive data is leaked or stolen due to faulty network security, it could cost a company thousands, if not millions, of dollars. IT professionals who have the skills to protect that data are in higher demand than ever before.

Being a company’s data shield is no easy feat, however, and requires a strong set of hard skills such as:

List of hard skills

  • Encryption Algorithms
  • Authentication Systems
  • Risk Assessment
  • Cryptography
  • Virtual and Host-based Firewalls
  • Incident response
  • Network monitoring software like Wireshark and Nagios
  • Virus protection software like Ping Identity, Portswigger BurP Suite, and Symantec

How to list hard skills on your resume

Now that you know the best hard skills to list on your resume, it’s important to know how to highlight them in a way that convinces employers you’re the best person for the job.

Watch our video below where our career expert Eva shows you everything you need to know about writing an impressive resume skills section that features your hard skills:

Here are three steps to effectively showcase hard skills on your resume:

1. Determine what employers in your industry are looking for

The best hard skills to include on your resume are the ones employers are specifically looking for.

So how do you find out what they want to see? Start by researching the position and reading the job ad. Hard skills are necessary for doing most jobs, so hiring managers will always state what skills they want candidates to have in the “Requirements” section of the advertisement.

Here’s a real example of a job ad for a web developer position that lists all the hard skills they want applicants to have:

What Are Hard Skills? Definition & 51 Hard Skills Examples (2)

2. Put your skills section at the top of your resume

Using a traditional resume format that emphasizes the candidate’s work experience is the best option for most job seekers. However, if you’re applying for a job in which specific hard technical skills are more important than anything else, such as a position in software engineering, add your skills section at the top of your resume.

By doing this, you ensure that hiring managers can quickly and easily find the most important information they’re looking for (your technical skills) at a glance. In a job where possessing or lacking a certain hard skill is the key to landing an interview, this simple change can be the difference between your resume earning you an interview and losing you one.

For a reference of what this looks like in practice, here’s an example of a java developer resume that lists skills at the top:

What Are Hard Skills? Definition & 51 Hard Skills Examples (3)

3. Highlight hard skills in your experience section

While simply listing hard skills on your resume is good enough for many jobs, it’s not the only way to showcase your abilities. If you really want to highlight your expertise in a certain area, the most effective way to do it is by providing real-life examples of how your hard skills helped you achieve certain accomplishments.

To do this, include bullet points in your resume’s work experience section that demonstrate how you utilized your hard skills to accomplish key goals for your previous employer.

Here’s an example of how one candidate effectively used their experience section to demonstrate their hard programming skills:

Developed and optimized programs performance using ASP.NET, C#.NET, and MS SQL, which streamlined processes, saving $170k costs

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