Heath Alva
Posted June 7, 2021

The most in-demand technical skills in 2021 and how to list them on your resume

Discover what technical skills are most relevant in 2021 and learn how to list them on your resume (with examples)
Heath Alva
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The most in-demand technical skills in 2021 and how to list them on your resume
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Technical skills are the specific knowledge and skills you need to carry out a job.

Without them, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to perform the required tasks.

For example, to design a building, you’d need technical skills in architecture. To build the building, you’d need technical skills in construction.

Highlighting your technical skills on your resume is a great way to let your potential employer know that you’re a good fit for a job.

This article will reveal some of the most in-demand technical skills in 2021 and give real-world examples of how to include them in your resume.

What are technical skills?

Technical skills are also known as hard skills. They are the technical abilities required to perform tasks within a particular role.

These skills are teachable, but employers often prefer candidates who already have the right skills, over people they have to train themselves. This is why hiring managers look for them when assessing whether a candidate is qualified for a position.

Not every employer will look for the same technical skills. These skills can vary wildly from occupation to occupation. The technical skill set of a veterinarian is completely different from that of a journalist.

Technical competencies can usually be tested and measured more easily than soft skills — which we’ll describe next.

Hard skills vs. soft skills

Soft skills — also known as human skills — set us apart from machines. They’re the human element of your work. Communication, empathy, and collaboration are just three examples of soft skills.

Soft skills are more difficult to teach and measure than hard skills. For instance, you can usually test someone’s construction skills a lot easier than their communication skills.

Some people may naturally possess more soft skills than others, but you can develop these skills through experience.

Many soft skills, like self-discipline, are required for almost every job, regardless of occupation, even though you may never take a class or earn certification in their name.

The image below shows the most in-demand soft skills in 2021.

(Image Source)

As you can see, the top human skills are:

  • Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Problem-solving
  • Accountability
  • Influencing skills
  • Investigation
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Curiosity
  • Self-discipline

Examples of technical skills to include on your resume

The type of technical skills and know-how you include on your resume will depend on the job you’re applying for.

Read the job description to make sure the skills on your resume are the ones your potential employer is looking for.

If you need further inspiration, read on for a list of some of the most popular technical skills.

Sales, customer service, and marketing skills

Sales, customer service, and marketing personnel will always be in demand.

Even so, the top skills required for these professionals change with the current market trends.

The image below shows the top skills in sales, customer service, and marketing in 2021.

(Image Source)

As you can see, the top skills in these areas are:

  • Presentations
  • Selling techniques
  • Customer service
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Business development
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Sales process
  • Negotiation
  • Business to business
  • Written communication
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

Digital marketing skills

Digital marketing is a growing niche within the field of marketing.

Digital marketers design and implement marketing strategies on websites and social media.

Some examples of digital marketing skills include:

  • Content management systems
  • Content development
  • Social media & mobile marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Google analytics
  • Web analytics
  • Marketing automation software
  • Networking
  • Digital media
  • Blogging

Project management skills

A project manager must have a blend of technical and human skills.

You can gain some of these skills through experience. For others, you may have to take a project management certification, such as those offered by the Project Management Institute.

Some popular technical project management skills include:

  • Agile — a project management methodology
  • Scrum — a framework for managing projects using Agile methodology
  • Budget planning
  • Workflow management software such as Trello
  • Computer skills
  • Kanban boards — a visual form of task management
  • Project planning
  • Performance and quality control
  • Operations
  • Human resources (HR)
  • Instant messaging software such as Slack
  • Communication software such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Skype
  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft Office

Graphic design

If you want to get into graphic design, the good news is you don’t need a four-year degree to get started.

For example, this course teaches you the basics of user experience in six weeks. LinkedIn also teaches graphic design through its learning platform.

Some examples of graphic design technical skills include:

  • Originality
  • Artistic qualities
  • Imagination
  • Knowledge of the latest trends
  • Business vision
  • Ability to transform an idea into an image
  • Photoshop
  • Video and image creation
  • HTML
  • Illustrator
  • Adobe (Fresco, Fonts, Spark, Stock)
  • Typography and print design
  • InDesign
  • Dimension
  • User experience (UX)

Technical writing

The ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and concisely is essential in business.

If you have a way with words, you might want to consider technical writing.

Technical writers are responsible for producing written material for a business.

This includes reports, press releases, web content, manuals, and more.

Technical writing skills include:

  • Being a subject-matter expert (SME)
  • Managing relationships with clients and manufacturers
  • Business communication (email, phone calls, instant messaging)
  • Gathering requirements
  • Writing technical documentation

Accounting and finance

Although it can take six to eight years to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), don’t let that discourage you.

You can access entry-level accounting positions with a two- or four-year accounting degree.

The image below shows the top technical skills in accounting and finance in 2021.

(Image Source)

As you can see, they are:

  • Accounting
  • Operations
  • Auditing
  • Sales
  • Planning
  • Forecasting
  • Budgeting

Other core accounting and finance skills include:

  • FreshBooks
  • Sage
  • QuickBooks
  • Wave accounting
  • Inventory management
  • Analysis
  • Enterprise Research Planning Tools

IT and tech skills

The IT industry continues to boom, which is great if you’re interested in getting into IT and tech.

You can acquire many of these skills without a four-year degree. For example, you can start learning to code for free with Code Academy.

Programming skills

One of the most important skills for programmers is their programming language abilities.

The image below shows the top-five most-wanted programming languages in 2021:

(Image Source)

Some other examples of in-demand coding skills include:

  • Python
  • SQL
  • Java
  • Javascript
  • CSS
  • Cloud computing
  • Mobile development
  • Front-end development
  • Backend development
  • Systems analysis
  • Debugging
  • Configuration
  • Testing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Network architecture and security
  • Operating systems
  • HDL
  • HTML
  • Ability to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in tech

Software development skills

There are four main areas of software development:

  1. Web development
  2. Mobile development
  3. Systems development
  4. Test automation development

As a developer, you may have experience in more than one area — make sure you highlight this on your resume.

Other core skills for software developers include:

  • Eclipse
  • IntelliJ
  • Mercurial
  • SVN
  • Git
  • Jira
  • Hudson
  • Jenkins
  • Writing and testing code
  • Deployment
  • Issue management
  • Source control management
  • Creativity
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Mathematical abilities
  • Attention to detail
  • Familiarity with the latest trends and their impact on your business or sector
  • Teamwork skills

Data analysis and management

The ability to analyze and manage data sets will continue to grow in demand as more companies go through digital transformation.

If you enjoy analyzing data and statistics, data analysis might be a good choice for you.

Fortunately, you don’t need a degree to get started as a data analyst. MIT offers a six-week course that teaches the basics of data analysis and management.

The image below shows the most sought-after data skills in 2021.

(Image Source)

As you can see, the top data analysis and management skills are:

  • Data science
  • Python
  • SQL
  • Machine learning
  • Data engineering
  • R
  • Data analysis
  • Computer science
  • Big data
  • Apache Spark
  • Basic math
  • Statistics
  • Apache Hadoop
  • Extract Transformation Load (ETL)
  • Data modeling
  • Java
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Algorithms
  • Data architecture
  • Data warehousing

Some other core data analysis skills include:

  • Oracle
  • Google BigQuery
  • Cloudera
  • DataStax
  • Analytical skills
  • Quantitative research and reports
  • Data management
  • Database design and management
  • Information security

How to show technical skills on your resume (with examples)

First, carefully read the job description and decide which of your skills matches the requirements.

Then, follow these three steps to add them to your resume.

1. Create an eye-catching introduction

Use this section to highlight your most relevant technical skills, experience, and qualifications.

Example:

Dependable construction worker and supervisor with over five years’ experience. Efficient worker who ensures projects are finished on time and under budget. Skilled in power and hand tool use, site management, and supervision of construction teams. Helped Jackson Developments reach their building goals.

2. Add a technical skills section

Add a technical skills section below the introduction. Give details of your specific skills and experience.

Create a bulleted list, as they are easier to read. Add details to each bullet point if necessary.

Example:

  • Power and hand tool use
  • Construction site cleaning and prep
  • Scaffolding building
  • Heavy machinery operation, including forklifts
  • Construction supervision
  • Project management — including estimating, bidding, scheduling, workflow, funding, logistics, and quality control.
  • Architectural design
  • Blueprint reading

3. Demonstrate skills in your professional experience section

Use this section to prove your technical skills by highlighting your past professional experience.

Example:

Construction Project Manager

Jackson Developments

September 2016 — May 2021

  • Developed project budgets and ensured financial planning objectives were met.
  • Organized and managed construction projects, from planning to delivery and reporting.
  • Carried out quality control during and after project builds.
  • Ensured site safety and adherence to building plans.

Technical skills are the key to getting your next job

Knowing how to present them in the right way can make you stand out from other candidates.

Why not head over to our job search to find your next opportunity and practice listing your technical skills on your resume?

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