The COVID economy has thrown the job market into disarray over the past two years. Although, employers are now hiring talented workers in droves as they expanded their workforces. As a result, if you’re looking for work, you have probably noticed that you’re now up against some stiff competition. It’s a tough job market out there, and you’ll need a well-crafted resume to help you land the job you want.


And when we say carefully crafted, we’re talking about a resume that’s targeted to the job you’re going after. Don’t kid yourself: every job, even those with the same title, is unique. How you detail your skills and experience on your resume can impact how far you move along in the hiring process.


If a company decides to extend an offer for a position, the compensation they choose is easily influenced by the skills on your resume.


What are the Key Talents to Include in a Resume?

It’s no secret that many recruiters scan through resumes for only a few seconds before determining whether or not to move a candidate forward in the interview process. Employers look for both hard and soft skills on resumes, which you may not be aware of. For example, you may find the following soft skills listed in a job posting:


  • Leadership experience
  • Computer skills
  • Ability to communicate
  • Organizational expertise
  • People abilities
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • The ability to collaborate

These qualities and skills, as well as those discussed in this article, are necessary for jobs today. The technical abilities needed to complete the job’s tasks and obligations are known as hard skills.


Practice, education, and training are all ways to obtain hard skills. They’re quantifiable and simple to promote: you either have or don’t have the required technical abilities and expertise. Employers  will be interested in your employment history and certifications.


Soft skills, for example, interpersonal skills, reflect a person’s personality and personal characteristics. Employers may prefer a candidate to have the capacity to integrate into a company’s work culture, handle stress, communicate properly, or collaborate well. They may be “soft” skills, but they’re crucial for a resume: soft skills can tip the scales when job candidates have similar levels of experience and technical competence.


Tips on how to highlight soft and hard skills on your CV can be found in the following sections. But first, let’s talk about the abilities that companies are seeking.

Soft Skills

Make no mistake: a hiring manager is just as interested in your soft skills as they are in your technical talents. Smart managers understand that an experienced, well-trained candidate who doesn’t fit into the office or company culture, communicates badly with clients and coworkers, or freezes under deadline pressure can have a significant negative impact on the company.


Your resume — and, later, how you portray yourself at the interview — should convince the employer that you are not just capable of doing the work but that you will also contribute to the team’s success.


Don’t know which soft skills to use to communicate that message? Remember that each job application should include a customized resume. So look over the job responsibilities you’re targeting and figure out which of your talents will help you succeed on the job and in the workplace.


Consider the following 15 soft talents and personal qualities, as well as why they are valued by employers:


1. Adaptability

2. Communication skills

3. Understanding intricacies

4. Collaboration and teamwork

5. Creativity

6. Client service

7. Leadership

8. Empathy

9. Decision-making abilities

10. Multitasking

11. Positive attitude

12. Problem-solving skills

13. Self-motivation

14. Time management

15. Work ethic


Hard Skills

Include specific proficiencies and certifications when listing hard talents on your resume. Front-end web developers, for example, might show their knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as any other technologies listed in the job posting.


Meanwhile, a financial controller’s resume skills might include a strong background in GAAP or SEC reporting, and an administrative professional’s skills might include a CAP or MOS certification.


Listed below are 15 skills in high demand across all business sectors:


1. Data Analysis

2. Accounting or Bookkeeping

3. Data Privacy

4. Mathematics

5. Human Resources

6. Enterprise resource planning

7. Process automation

8. Multilingualism

9. Research skills

10. Project management

11. Product design

12. Writing and editing

13. Search engine optimization

14. Software proficiency

15. Typing skills


Remember that your resume should show examples of how you’ve applied the hard talents that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. For each position you’ve held, make a list of concrete, quantitative accomplishments wherever possible.


Show your key accomplishments for each job that you have had. For example, conversion and click-through rates if you’re a digital marketer. If you’re a project manager, highlight projects that were completed on schedule and on budget, as well as the impact they had. You want to show that you’re a results-oriented professional, as we’ll go over below.


How to Align the Skills on Your Resume with the Job Description


Many businesses use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to store resumes in a central database. Recruiters search the database utilizing relevant keywords based on the skill sets necessary to determine matches for the job they are trying to find candidates for. The ATS will usually rank the resumes according to the most relevant match for the skill sets searched. That’s why you should modify your resume and cover letter with keywords and phrases that match the job description that you would like to get hired for. Although, you never want to falsely represent your skills.


You wouldn’t just say “experience with software for creative professionals” if a company is searching for a graphic designer who knows how to use the Adobe Creative Suite. List the software by name, indicate your level of skill, and, if applicable, include your Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) certification.


Use comparable phrases in your resume. If an employer is looking for an accountant who is an “expert in accounts receivables,” an ATS is unlikely to be impressed by a resume that simply states “documented customer payments” as a responsibility.


Things NOT to Include In Your Resume


Now that you know what you should include in your resume, here’s a rundown of what you should avoid:


1. Don’t exaggerate or mislead.

2. Keep the numbers real, and don’t leave them out.

3. Don’t misuse words or phrases.

4. Always proofread before sending.

5. Avoid anything that may cause a misunderstanding.


The Bottomline

Your resume, as well as the skills shown on it, should be a true and accurate representation of you, your job experience, and your capability.


However, assist the hiring manager and recruiters by tailoring your resume to their specific requirements. That is to say, be deliberate and thorough. When interview invitations are extended, the time and effort you put into writing your resume will pay dividends.


It’s time to put your capabilities to good use!

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Aiyaz, VP of Recruitment and Staffing

Aiyaz Uddin

VP, Recruitment and Staffing

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Aiyaz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team by strategically positioning clients to attract, engage, and pipeline the most sought-after talent in information technology utilizing open-source intelligence, talent solutions, and machine learning tools for federal and local government contracting firms, and commercial employers. Aiyaz has a proven track record of success in matching the right talent with the right opportunities, leading to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.


As a leader in the industry, he is constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to improve our services and deliver the best results for our clients and job seekers.

Aiyaz is a certified tech recruitment professional with an MBA in Finance & Marketing along with M.Sc. Psychology. Additionally, his drive to seek new and innovative approaches to talent acquisition led him to speak on LinkedIn Talent Solutions by LinkedIn and HackerEarth’s Tech Recruiting Conference Hire 101.

Under Aiyaz 's leadership, XA Talent has become a trusted partner for companies looking to grow their teams and job seekers looking for their next great opportunity. Aiyaz and our team are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for everyone we work with.


Get in touch with XA Talent today, and let us help you find your next great opportunity.

Peyton Brooks, VP of Workforce Development

Peyton Brooks

VP, Workforce Development

As a firm believer in continuous development and self-improvement, I attained a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Howard University and a Juris Doctor Degree from The George Washington University Law School.


My passion for service to the community drove me towards the workforce development industry, where I have been in active pursuit to change the trajectory of lives and shape communities ever since. With nearly a decade of experience doing so, I have helped thousands of individuals obtain access to more short-term, affordable, and convenient upskill and reskill opportunities across the nation.


Given my vast industry expertise, I provide management consulting services to workforce
development organizations helping them with customized solutions, specialized curricula, strategic partnerships, and employer engagement. My consulting leverages deep technical knowledge as well as strategic and tactical approaches to provide the best solutions with data-driven outcomes. 


My proven experience in building workforce development systems have led me to develop and evangelize best practices for workforce development programs that include the following outcome-based attributes:

– Livable wages and sustainable careers in high-demand industry sectors
– Job placement-focused programs with strong employer partnerships
– Data-driven understanding of regional skills gaps; and
– Comprehensive skills training that includes practical application work experience with career coaching.


My ability to thrive in the workforce development industry is attributed to my strong interpersonal skills, which have enhanced my capabilities to understand what people truly mean to communicate when attempting to express their business challenges. This trait has set me apart from the rest, as I can identify and resolve the root cause of challenges resulting in proper alignment of investment to desired business outcomes.


Therefore, as a leader of cooperative outcome-focused efforts, I would like to connect with
professionals who are interested in collaborating to improve communities and change the trajectory of lives through sustainable career attainment.

Abigail Jpones

Abigail Jones

Chief Marketing Officer

As a CMO passionate about innovative, results-driven marketing strategies, I help companies accelerate tech talent acquisition, enhance executive visibility, and build impactful brands. My entrepreneurial experience, including building startups in London, fuels my work as as a Chief Marketing Officer at XA Talent.

At 𝗫𝗔 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁, my role transcends traditional marketing, designing marketing strategies with talent in mind to strengthen talent pipelines and enhance company reputations. A successful organization begins with its people, and our approach ensures we attract individuals who can best contribute to and thrive within your organizational culture. These strategies are continuously refined in response to technological disruption, ensuring that securing brilliant minds enables your company to grow consistently and achieve its broader goals, furthering your mission to make a meaningful societal impact.

We specialize in tech talent acquisition and executive search while working closely with CEOs and senior leaders to manage their executive branding, which significantly impacts and enhances their employer brand. This collaboration enables them to hire on demand, build influential alliances, and foster advocacy for sustained business growth.

Additionally, I provide 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗠𝗢 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, helping companies develop strategic marketing plans, drive thought leadership to enhance brand visibility. As a speaker, I share insights on entrepreneurship and marketing, aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders. My mission is to merge innovative marketing strategies with recruitment solutions to foster talent development and organizational growth.

When I’m not strategizing, you can find me attending marketing events and exploring new technologies and trends to bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Personally, I have lived in five countries – Malaysia, Australia, Dubai, the UK, and the US.

✈️an avid traveler
📑completed my MBA in London
👩🏽‍🍳love to experiment with new recipes at home
🤸🏽‍♀️absolutely love Pilates to strengthen my mind and body!

If you are interested in learning how to use your voice to build a strong workforce, connect with me and stay updated with my latest insights.

Evan Jones, Founder and CEO

Evan Jones

Founder and CEO

After 20 years of delivering IT management consulting and infrastructure operations & management services to the federal government (XA Systems, LLC https://xasystems.com/) and hiring thousands of employees over the years, Evan and his team have developed a system that scales a company's personnel recruitment with culture-driven candidates who contribute to the success of the business.


As a technology-based business focused on continual process improvement, the methods he and his team have developed have been improved over the years and are centered on employer branding and recruitment marketing that results in a pipeline of engaged candidates ready to be hired on demand. He believes every business can succeed and create an impact if they are willing to take uncomfortable action with the right tools and knowledge. He’s determined to stand in the gap and provide the tools and knowledge businesses need.


To date, he has played a role in the growth and development of more than 30 companies. He has worked behind the scenes of SMBs and massive 8 to 10-figure companies helping them overhaul their processes, reinvent their recruitment marketing strategies, and drive growth, both in net profit and an overall employer reach into job seeker communities.


With a passion for business transformation, Evan has developed his own technology, an enterprise SaaS solution, ServeOptics, that delivers service support performance metrics to IT leaders who need actionable insights to make informed business decisions. The more visibility of operations that exists with real-time performance metrics and automated reporting, the more efficient and effective companies can be in their service support operations, which enables a business to gain a significant competitive advantage in their industry.


Evan is interested in connecting with forward-thinking business professionals who want to collaborate on business opportunities or discuss how his recruitment system can enable a business to attract top-tier candidates, employ on-demand, and retain its best employees.