The technical skills you get in any job are part of what make you truly unique as a professional. Some of these professional skills can take years to master, so they naturally deserve to be spotlighted on a CV!
Is it enough for them to just sit alongside “leadership skills” or “communication skills” in your skills section? Or is there another way of highlighting your technical skills to help convey why you’re the best candidate for the role?
In this blog, we’ll discuss the following:
- What are technical skills?
- How do I include technical skills on my CV?
- List of technical skills by industry
- Examples of technical skills based on tools and job duties
- What are examples of technical competencies?
- Plus, our advanced tips for technical skills in a CV
But wait, what actually are technical skills?
Technical skills in a nutshell
Technical skills fall into a more specialised and specific category of skills. They’re more than just hard skills. In fact, professionals with technical skills may have to use complex tools, such as specialisd software and hardware and number-based methodologies and systems. Additionally, professionals in more complex disciplines such as engineering often require years of rigorous training in their field. Technical skills are often related to STEM fields, hardware tools or computer programmes.
Ok, but how do I know my technical skills? Think about all the tools you use to get results: hardware, software, processes and methodologies. Common tools like Word will be mastered by most people (honestly, it's about as technical as making a coffee in the morning), but there are many other disciplines that are far harder to master. This is what sets you apart from others: these are your technical skills.
How to include technical skills on your CV
You should definitely fill the skills section with the skills the rarest technical skills you possess. Don’t forget the simple skills, however, as they help you pass the ATS test! You can also elaborate upon how you delivered results related to these skills in your employment history. Check out our CV examples to see how to do this!
1. Include the skills in your work experience section
It's possible to show your technical ability with graphics or symbols in a skills list, but actually quantifying what your professional skills have brought to previous employers is a surefire way to capture the attention of potential employers. The best place to outline your biggest hitting technical skills for CV writing is in the work experience section.
Try to pick the skills most relevant to the job you’re applying for. If your best career achievement isn’t relevant to the role, think carefully whether it needs to be included.
2. List the very rarest technical skills in your summary
While a programmer, business analyst or data scientist will be expected to have some competence inferred from their experience and previous titles, it doesn’t hurt to highlight your expertise, particularly if these skills are rare or exclusive.
There's no better place to highlight your technical ability than the professional summary (otherwise known as a personal statement) and no more powerful way than a simple list. “I can do this, this, this, this and this.” If your technical skills examples set you apart, they'll be the perfect opener for interview questions.
3. Find the most graphically impressive (and space saving) way of describing your skills
Space is always tight on a technical CV because there's so much to include, so any format that best represents technical skills can be a winner.
An effective skills section that highlights your skill level can be incredibly powerful. You should still describe skills in accomplishments, but nothing beats saying you're expert at X, Y and Z. Be sure to represent your skills accurately: if employers find out you’ve over-embellished or exaggerated your skills, you run the risk of losing the job altogether!
Which technical skills are in demand?
To gain insight into what technical skills are most sought after in your industry, it’s a good idea to look for job ads for your role and related roles: they can be a good indication of what skills you’ll need to succeed.
Some ads are better than others, but every good employer will make clear the professional skills expected from future employees. The most common technical skills should be listed, but if not, still expect them to come up in interviews. Doing a bit of research now will really help later!
List of technical skills for CVs
Here’s a list of technical skills for CVs based on various professions and industries.
Computer science technical skills
- Software and hardware tools
- Programming Languages
- Math - Calculus, Linear algebra, Statistics
- Automation systems
Marketing technical skills
- SEO / SEM / SEA
- Programmatic advertising
- Google Analytics
- Social media platform tools
- Content management tools
- Wireframe tools
- CRM tools
- Media surveys and focus groups
Technical skills for finance and accounting
- Intuit QuickBooks
- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
- ERP systems
- Sage 50 Accounting
- Tax software
- Microsoft Excel
- Financial statements
Technical skills for engineers
- CAD Software
- 3D modelling
- 3D design
- Systems design
- QA testing
- The MathWorks MATLAB
- Visual Basic
Technical skills for software engineers
- Coding skills
- Product testing
- Code testing
- Data structures and algorithms
- Source control
- Integrated development environments
- Operating systems
Data science technical skills
- Big Data
- Data Analytics
- Data Mining
- Database design
- Database management
- Needs analysis
- Quantitative research
- Quantitative reports
- Statistical analysis
Technical skills in healthcare
- Knowledge of HIPAA
- Medical practice management
- Data entry
- Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Electronic Medical Record (EMR) management
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- PACS & VNA software
Technical skills for media production
- Video editing
- Graphic design
- Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, etc.)
- Color grading
- Photo retouching
- Data visualisation
- Knowledge of specific camera models and/or equipment
What are the top tech skills for 2024?
According to Forbes, here are the important tech skills for 2024 and beyond:
- AI Tools and Platforms
- Data Communication
- UX Design
- Digital Marketing
Do you see any skills you have on this list? If you do, go ahead and show them off!
Technical skills examples (tools and job duties)
- Enterprise Systems: Payment processing, automated billing systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRMs like Oracle Netsuite or Salesforce), business continuity planning, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs like SAP, Oracle).
- Computer Technical Skills: MS Office, Google Drive, spreadsheets, email, PowerPoint, databases, social media, web, enterprise systems.
- Spreadsheets: Excel, Google Sheets, OpenOffice, comparative analyses, pivot tables, macros, link to database, vertical lookups.
- Business Analysis Tools: Amazon Web Services AWS software, Microsoft Access, Oracle JDBC, Transact-SQL, Eclipse IDE, Apache Groovy, Oracle Solaris, UNIX, C#, Data analytics, Data modelling, BI tools and applications
Programming languages will become increasingly important across industries, so exploring coding could set your career on a whole new trajectory if you become good at it. As workplaces digitise, these skills will soon be must-haves on many CVs.
What are technical competencies?
Technical competencies are pretty much the same as technical skills. Competency comes from the Latin "competens" (meaning "sufficient qualification"). Basically, competencies are skills learned and practiced to the point it's second nature. Whether building a database, writing code or analysing data, your technical competencies in these areas ensure you succeed. For some jobs, technical competencies are essential.
From an interview and CV perspective, take your interviewers on a journey of how you developed these competencies. Mention them early in your career story, and show how you achieve impressive results as they develop.
Advanced tips for technical skills in a CV
Most technical skills are a constant work in progress. Some extra steps can present them well in a CV:
1. Take courses or certifications
There are countless online certifications and in-person courses at various levels for every technical skill, and once you start learning a skill, there's always a course for the next level. This means there’s always room for growth!
2. Online or remote self-study
Remote study options have expanded and improved dramatically over the years. Taking a technical qualification from authorised institutions has never been easier. Feel free to list any relevant online or remote study achievements in your CV!
3. Individual mentoring
Mentioning in your CV how you learned technical skills from a mentor shows self-awareness and human connection many technical candidates may lack. Absorbing others' experience gives perspective, and including mentoring skills can also demonstrate your leadership skills. Did somebody say winning?
4. Job-based learning
Almost always, employers provide training alongside your normal job. Include some of these in your CV to show you'll improve technical skills above and beyond.
- Technical skills are a specific hard skill type - the tools, systems and methodologies you know.
- They're valued as they're far easier to quantify than soft skills.
- In STEM careers, these professional skills should be central to your career story.
- Your role, industry and tasks can spark ideas of technical skills to include - you'd be surprised how many you take for granted!