Skip to content
effective salary negotiation

Top 8 Skills To Put on a Resume

Crafting a compelling resume for an executive position requires more than just listing your work experience and education. It is essential to highlight specific skills that demonstrate your qualifications and suitability for the specific job role. In this competitive job market, knowing which skills to put on your resume can make all the difference. In this article, we will explore the top 8 skills to include on your executive resume, how to align them with job descriptions, examples of both soft and hard skills, and how executive education programs can help you enhance these skills.

What are the top 8 skills to put on a resume?

  • Leadership skills

As an executive, strong leadership skills are paramount. Highlight your ability to lead teams, make strategic decisions, and inspire others towards achieving organizational goals.

  • Strategic planning

Showcase your expertise in strategic planning and your capacity to develop and execute long-term business strategies that drive growth and profitability.

  • Communication skills

Effective communication is crucial in executive roles. Emphasize your ability to convey complex ideas clearly and persuasively, both verbally and in writing.

  • Change management

In today’s dynamic business environment, companies value executives who can lead and manage change effectively. Demonstrate your experience in change management and your ability to adapt to evolving circumstances.

  • Financial acumen

Executives often have budgetary responsibilities. Highlight your financial acumen, including budget management, financial analysis, and revenue growth strategies.

  • Team building

Showcase your talent for assembling high-performing teams and fostering a collaborative work culture that drives productivity and innovation.

  • Problem-solving

Executives are expected to solve complex problems. Provide examples of your problem-solving skills, including critical thinking and decision-making abilities.

  • Adaptability

Executives must adapt to evolving industries and technologies. Highlight your willingness to embrace change and your ability to stay current in your field.

How to match resume skills to job descriptions

Tailoring your resume to the job description is crucial. Nowadays, many companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to narrow their application choices. Hence, you need to customize your resume and cover letter by using the keywords that appear in the job listings. For example, if an employer is looking for a graphic designer with mastery in Adobe Creative Suite, do not just mention “experience with software for creative professionals.” Instead, list the software by name, give your expertise level, and—if you have it—highlight your Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) certification. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your resume skills match the job descriptions.

  • Thoroughly analyze the job description: Start by carefully reading the job description provided by the employer. Highlight the key skills, qualifications, and requirements mentioned. Pay attention to both hard skills (technical competencies) and soft skills (interpersonal qualities).
  • Create a master list of skills: Begin by creating a master list of your skills, including technical skills, industry-specific expertise, and soft skills like leadership, communication, and adaptability. Be comprehensive.
  • Identify overlapping skills: Compare your master list with the skills listed in the job description. Identify skills that align with those requested in the job posting. These are the skills you should prioritize on your resume.
  • Tailor your resume for each application: Customize your resume for each job application. Highlight the skills that are most relevant to the specific role you are applying for. Rearrange the order of skills on your resume so that the most important ones align with the job description.
  • Provide concrete examples: When listing skills on your resume, accompany them with specific examples from your work experience that demonstrate how you have applied these skills effectively. This adds credibility to your claims.
  • Use keywords: Incorporate keywords and phrases directly from the job description into your resume. Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for specific keywords, so this can increase your chances of passing through this initial screening.
  • Quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, quantify your achievements related to a particular skill. For instance, instead of saying “Improved team productivity,” you can state “Increased team productivity by 15% within six months.”

Examples of soft and hard skills on a resume for executive positions

Soft skills

  • Emotional intelligence: Showcase your ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others. This skill fosters effective relationships and leadership.
  • Conflict resolution: Highlight your aptitude for resolving conflicts and facilitating productive discussions among team members.
  • Adaptability: Demonstrate your capacity to adapt to change and navigate uncertainty confidently.
  • Decision-making: Emphasize your history of making sound decisions, considering multiple factors and potential outcomes.

Hard skills

  • Financial analysis: Detail your expertise in financial analysis, including budget creation, revenue forecasting, and cost management.
  • Data analytics: If relevant, mention your proficiency in data analytics tools and your ability to derive actionable insights from data.
  • Project management: Highlight your experience in project management, showcasing successful projects you have overseen.
  • Market research: If applicable, emphasize your skills in market research, including competitive analysis and trend identification.

How to discover skills the company values

To determine which skills are most valued by the company, research the organization thoroughly. Review the company’s website, annual reports, and recent news articles. Additionally, reach out to current or former employees on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to gain insights into the company’s culture and priorities.

  • Company website: Explore the company’s official website. Look for sections like “About Us,” “Mission and Values,” or “Our Culture.” These often provide insights into the skills and qualities the company values in its employees.
  • Annual reports: Review the company’s annual reports, if available. These documents typically contain information about the company’s strategic priorities and areas of focus. Look for clues about the skills and competencies they emphasize.
  • News and press releases: Search for recent news articles or press releases related to the company. News about awards, innovations, or expansions can reveal the skills and achievements the company values.
  • LinkedIn research: Use LinkedIn to research current and former employees of the company. Pay attention to the skills listed on their profiles, especially for individuals in similar roles to the one you are targeting.
  • Networking: Connect with current or former employees of the company through professional networking platforms. Engage in conversations to gain insights into the company’s culture and the skills they consider essential.
  • Job postings: Analyze multiple job postings for the company, even if you’re not currently applying to those positions. This can provide a broader view of the skills they consistently seek across different roles.
  • Interviews and information sessions: If you have the opportunity to attend interviews, information sessions, or networking events hosted by the company, take advantage of these opportunities to ask questions about the skills and qualities they value in employees.
  • Contact the HR department: Reach out to the company’s human resources department or recruitment team. They can often provide valuable information about the skills they prioritize when evaluating candidates.

By employing these strategies, you can gain a deeper understanding of the skills and qualities that matter most to the company you are interested in. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your resume effectively and position yourself as an ideal candidate during the application process.

Top executive education programs for skill improvement

Executive education programs offer an excellent opportunity to enhance your skill set and further your career. Here are a few noteworthy programs:

Michigan Ross Chief Technology Officer Program (CTO)

The Michigan Ross Executive Education Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Program is a comprehensive 8-month multi-modular program that includes live online modules balanced with classroom modules at the Michigan Ross campus at Ann Arbor and Los Angeles, USA. The program is designed to prepare future-focused visionary leaders capable of leading global organizations amidst a rapidly evolving business and technology arena. With this program, you will be ready to succeed as a transformational CTO with a growth mindset, approach, and skills to lead the integration of strategy, innovation, and cutting-edge technologies.

Michigan Ross Chief Operating Officer Program (COO)

The Michigan Ross Executive Education Chief Operating Officer (COO) Program is an immersive 8-month multi-modular program that includes live online modules balanced with classroom modules at the Michigan Ross campus at Ann Arbor and Los Angeles, USA. The program is designed to prepare you to excel in your leadership journey as a future-focused and inspired COO. The program will empower you with insights, knowledge, and best practices in strategy, leadership, operational excellence, and innovation needed to navigate the complex landscape of modern business with confidence.

UCL GBSH Healthcare Executive Program

It is a comprehensive 8-month multi-modular program specifically designed to empower healthcare leaders with the tools they need to drive forward impactful innovation and change for global healthcare. This uniquely targeted program is offered by the University College London Global Business School for Health (UCL GBSH), the world’s first business school dedicated to health.


MIT Professional Education – Technology Leadership Program (TLP)

It is a multi-modular program delivered by MIT faculty on campus and live virtually and geared towards the development needs of the next generation of technology CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and emerging leaders. Global technology leaders and practitioners learn to lead transformational growth by developing an understanding of exponential and digital technologies and innovations, and the methods and mechanisms to apply best practices within their organizations, sectors, and industries. Geared toward technology CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs, this program focuses on exponential technologies, digital innovations, and leadership methods.

MIT Professional Education | Technology Leadership Program


In a competitive job market, having the right skills on your executive resume can set you apart from other candidates. By showcasing leadership, strategic planning, communication, change management, financial acumen, team-building, problem-solving, and adaptability skills, you can demonstrate your qualifications for executive positions. Additionally, matching your skills to job descriptions and highlighting both soft and hard skills can help you tailor your resume effectively. Lastly, consider enrolling in executive education programs to further develop and refine these essential skills, ultimately enhancing your career prospects in the executive landscape.

When filling out your resume, focus on skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Tailor your skills to match the specific requirements of the position.

A skill on a CV or resume refers to a specific ability or competence that you possess and can apply in a professional context.

To list skills on a resume, create a dedicated “skills” section and include both hard and soft skills. Be concise, use bullet points to highlight your abilities, and ensure they align with the job you seek.

Back To Top