28 September 2023

Skills To Put On Your CV

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You’ve found your dream role. Read through the job description and know it’s the perfect fit.

Then comes the tricky part. Choosing what skills to put on your CV. Skills that’ll make an employer jump for joy and want to rush you in for an interview.

But – how do you know what skills to put on your CV? Read on for some juicy tips…

What skills should I put on my CV?

Before you rack your brain for all the skills you’ve ever learnt, go through the job spec and highlight the ones the employer needs. Typically, these are listed. If not, check the ‘roles and responsibilities’ section as this’ll give you a good idea of skills to put on your CV.


Say you’re applying for a data analyst role and see this in the job description…

  • Interpret data to answer key strategic questions
  • Prepare spreadsheets, charts and presentations that summarise data and draw conclusions on key business objectives.

This tells you that IT and analytical skills are your golden ticket to bagging this role. So you’ll know to put them down on your CV. Make sure to back these up with real life examples though as that’s where the magic lies and gets you seen.

Remember, employers don’t expect to see a glowing CV at this point. However, they are looking for transferable skills. So if you used your analytical skills to navigate your team on the Duke of Edinburgh expedition at school, mention it.

Not only does it show you’re a map reader, but a firm leader too. 

Is there a must-have set of skills?

While you’ll need to tailor your CV to each role you’re applying for, employers have a specific set of soft skills they’d like to see from their candidates. These include:

  • Communication – whether it’s written or verbal, the more you’re able to communicate with your colleagues, customers and stakeholders, the better the results
  • Organisation – this isn’t just about having a neat and tidy workspace, it’s about hitting deadlines, prioritising work, and being able to manage other team members
  • Teamwork – collaboration is the key to success, and employers want people who can work in a team, bounce ideas and support one another’s growth 
  • Problem-solving – issues crop up from time to time, so you’ll need to deal with them calmly and rationally, without letting the pressure get to you
  • Attention to detail – you’ll need this in any role, whether working with clients or colleagues. Great attention to detail shows competence and boosts your credibility
  • Creativity – thinking outside the box is an asset, as it means you’re on the lookout for new ways of doing things. Employers want innovators, so be sure to get this down
  • Emotional intelligence – being mindful of your emotions and those of your team goes a really long way. High emotional intelligence strengthens relationships and builds a tighter work culture where everyone feels comfortable and motivated to do their best
  • Time management – regardless of what you’re applying for, good time management boosts efficiency and productivity, allowing you to deliver work on time, stress-free.

Should you put hobbies on your CV?

Absolutely – 100% yes! Especially if they include community activities. Hobbies enhance your CV and give employers an insight into your interests and personality. Besides, they very much count as skills. So use them wisely! 

What kinds of hobbies should I put on my CV?

When choosing which hobbies or skills to put on your CV, always include ones that are relevant to your application. If you’re applying for a role in graphic design, having computing and photography or even web design as hobbies will go way further than fishing or football.

Best hobbies to put on your CV

Don’t know which hobbies to put down? Here’s a list and what they reveal about a candidate:

HobbiesWhat it shows about you
ComputingGood with technology
TennisKeeps fit and healthy, great team player
Puzzle solvingAnalytical, likes solving challenges
Playing chessSmart, strategises, and thinks before taking action
WritingGreat communication skills, spelling and grammar, creative
TravellingOutgoing, sociable, cultured, adventurous
BabysittingGood with children, take on responsibility
Charity workSocially conscious, kind, compassionate
Organising eventsGreat leadership, organisational and customer service skills
GymDisciplined, motivated to achieve goals


Are you a member of any uni society? If so, get this onto your application too! Uni societies range from sports and debating to subject-based societies like Business and English.

Societies boost your employability as they give you key transferable skills that employers want. Don’t miss them out!

As important as it is to know what skills to put on your CV, it’s also best to avoid certain hobbies that might cause a conflict of interest with an employer. Or risk you falling into a stereotype. 

Certainly, don’t include anything like lock picking or ghost hunting.

As it could leave a negative impression and hurt your chances.

Happy CV writing!