Technical Skills Definition, Examples, and How To List Them on Your Resume

Chelsy Meyer  | 

Not all skills are equally valuable across industries. Some skills are transferable, and some are more specialized. Technical skills can be highly valuable on your resume because they can be both. Whether the position you’re applying for explicitly lists your technical abilities or not, they can help you qualify for a position, or stand out among other candidates. For those that have an interest and skill set in the technical field, it’s important to understand which of your attributes are the most valuable and how to relay that skill set on your resume.

What Are Technical Skills?

Technical skills tend to be rooted in computer technology, mechanics, science, and/or math, and are good examples of hard skills. Not only are technical skills easier to quantify than some of the desirable soft skills, but they are also a bit harder to come by in a candidate because of the skill level needed.

IT Skills

Today, when someone is talking about technical skills, they are referring to a set of computer technology based skills. These skills go further than the basic computer skills that many companies require for a wide variety of positions. Information Technology (IT), for instance, comprises the storage, organization, retrieval, and sharing of information. IT skills are a bit more specialized and should have some sense of experience or accomplishment associated with them. Whereas many soft skills don’t require the associated experience, employers want to see what IT skills a candidate has, and how they’ve been used in a similar setting.

Technical skills can mean a number of things, but because of the tech age we are in, these skills are usually associated with IT or computer technology based hard skills. The reason for that is that nearly every industry has been affected by technology. Because of that, IT skills have become highly transferable between industries. Usually, soft skills tend to be more transferable, but technical skills are special because they are both a hard skill and a transferable skill in one.

Technical Skills List and Examples

Each industry will have its own set of technical skills needed to qualify for a position within it. However, some technical skills are more relevant than others, and tend to be the most in demand over a variety of different industries.

Programming/Coding

Programming and coding is basically the process of creating software. This technical skill involves understanding a lot of complex parts of IT. Even if you’re not applying to be a coder or a programmer, understanding the basic language and process of programming is helpful in understanding the big picture of a software program and how it works. This is one of the technical skills that is only going to get more useful with time.

Project Management

Many of the necessary attributes of a manager can be considered soft skills: good communication, leadership abilities, customer service experience, etc., however, project management also involves a lot of technical hard skills as well. Managing a project means creating a package that allows customers to understand the data that shows a project’s success. It’s about resources, budget, and construction. Each industry will have its own method for relaying data to a customer, and it’s up to the project manager to use that technology well.

Big Data Analysis

Without data analysis, a company would have no idea how their business is being run, how successful their practices are, or how to relay information. Data analysis is about collecting information and then interpreting what that information means. Big data helps with company strategy, recognizing opportunity, and troubleshooting problems, and is applicable in nearly every industry. For this reason, big data analysis jobs will continue to grow exponentially.

Technical Writing

Technical writers basically take all of the complex information gathered by IT professionals, developers, engineers, and analysts and explain it in a way that is easily understood. Being able to relay information between technical experts and those without technical experience is something that many employers find valuable in a variety of different capacities.

Information Security

With all the information flowing through our world built on technology, information security has become highly valuable. Those who have skills in information security are able to keep data safer while also pinpointing a system’s vulnerabilities and how to fix them. A data breach can put a company and their customers in danger, so information security is highly important and, therefore, growing rapidly.

How To List Technical Skills on a Resume

Having technical skills is one thing, but relaying those skills on a resume is another. Although you should always cater each application or resume to each individual job listing in order to be successful in a world of applicant tracking systems, there are a few ways to go about highlighting your technical skills on a resume. Just be sure your skills are keyword specific to the job posting you’re applying for.

Technical Skills Section on Resume

One way to go about listing your technical skills on a resume is to have a technical skills section. This is especially useful if the position you’re applying for is in a technical field or industry because it’ll be the most relevant. By each skill, contextualize your training for recruiters in order to create a narrative for you skills.

Listing Technical Skills Certifications and Education

If you have certifications or education to back your technical skills, you may consider highlighting your technical skills in your certifications and education section. This is great because the section itself associates your skills with accomplishments that prove your skill set.

Incorporating Technical Skills Into Your Work History and Experience Sections

If you’ve gained much of your technical skills as a result of on the job training, incorporating your technical skills into your work history is a great way to show your technical experience. Even if you have a degree or certification to show your technical skills training, many employers still prefer seeing how you’ve used that training in real world experience.

Technical skills are specialized skills that showcase the difficulty of a hard skill with the transferability of a soft skill. Because technical skills mostly refer to skills in computer technology, they are applicable in many different industries. If you have any of the most sought after technical skills, you’re already a leg up on many candidates. When you’re listing technical skills on your resume, do so with strategy and purpose and recruiters are sure to see the value you have to offer.


Image source:https://depositphotos.com/

Chelsy is a writer from Montana who now lives in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She enjoys talk radio, cold coffee, and playing Frisbee with her dog, Titan. Follow Chelsy on Twitter @Chelsy5

This post was updated October 17, 2018. It was originally published October 2, 2018.