Fake content
Skip to main content

Make your skill set known: How to highlight your professional strength in a resume

Make your skill set known: How to highlight your professional strength in a resume

Your resume is an information-packed document designed to pique the interest of hiring managers. To do this, you must push the essential information to the front, ensuring that hiring managers can quickly grasp significant points about your employability and capabilities. Understanding where and how to highlight professional strength in a resume is crucial to crafting a compelling resume that will inspire potential employers to reach out and make that coveted call.

What are strengths in a resume?

Resume strengths are distinctive skills and talents that uniquely position you for the job you're seeking. These capabilities demonstrate the value that you offer to potential employers. You will illustrate why your application differs from other job seekers by including strengths on your resume. Emphasizing your abilities and professional strength in a resume should help you make it to the next step in the application process and land an interview.

"Consider keeping a separate list of strengths for your personal use. Turn to this list as a reference tool when updating your resume for various employers."

How to emphasize strength in a resume

Tailor your resume strengths to the job for which you're applying. While you may have a standard resume as a starting point for your job applications, you should continually adjust it to incorporate the elements most relevant to the specific position you want. Consider keeping a separate list of strengths for your personal use. Turn to this list as a reference tool when updating your resume for various employers.

Review the job posting carefully for the top skills and accomplishments the employer desires. Cross-reference this posting with your list of strengths and update your resume to include as many matches as possible. Remember that you want to closely align your resume with the desired experience and skills outlined in the job description.

Target the following three prime places to include your strengths on a resume:

  • In the summary: Mention three to five strengths in the brief resume summary that tops the page. This short paragraph is the first (and sometimes only) thing hiring managers look at on your resume. Deliver an information-packed overview that immediately touches on skills and accomplishments that equip you for your desired job.
  • In your work experience: Your resume should list your previous employers and include a bullet point list of your achievements in that position. These points offer prime placement for your strengths.
  • In the skill section: A skills section is an optional inclusion on your resume. If you have critical strengths that you couldn't work into the previously mentioned sections, you can highlight them here.

Valuable strengths to highlight on your resume

Consider some of these key strengths as you build out your resume. Mention how you've demonstrated these qualities and specify how your strengths have helped previous employers achieve success within their businesses. Get started with the following ideas. 

Leadership and teamwork

Professional leadership and teamwork equip you to work effectively with others as part of a group and as the head of the pack. You can demonstrate your strengths in this area by mentioning your accomplishments in forming successful teams, promoting open dialogue, providing constructive criticism, handling conflict, and cooperating with others on large projects.


Communication skills include both your written and verbal ability to share information with others. You can mention strengths such as increasing employee engagement with internal newsletters, hosting successful seminars, providing actionable feedback, maintaining strong client relationships, and practicing active listening to demonstrate your strengths in this area.


If you're strong with analytics, you can quickly and accurately assess data and make relevant decisions based on this information. You may highlight past accomplishments like collecting information, drafting reports, and creating intuitive visualizations to help others understand the data. Detail any specific tasks you've completed in this area, such as "maintained an active database of client information that informed our targeted marketing tactics and increased sales by 23%."

Customer service

While you can build your customer service skills in many ways, this inborn strength is also one that comes naturally to many. If customer service is one of your distinctive strengths, demonstrate it by detailing the number of customers you've successfully converted into loyal clients or by mentioning your specific triumphs under challenging situations. 


To demonstrate strong management abilities, you should highlight your accomplishments in task delegation, time management, budgeting, and organization as they relate to your overall management of others. Detail how much money you saved the company with your new scheduling paradigm. Mention the specific accomplishments of the teams you led and explain how many people reported to you. 


If you're applying for a position that requires some out-of-the-box thinking, demonstrate your strengths in the area of creativity. The best way to do this is to detail a particularly creative project you accomplished. Mention that you spearheaded the public art project in your town, designed a new interface for your company's app, or spearheaded a wildly original marketing campaign. Show off the areas where your creativity shines.


Negotiation is a valuable strength in sales, marketing, and upper management. Make your negotiating savvy known by including the most impressive statistics in this area. Mention the time you closed on a sale by negotiating a small discount that tripled the overall size of the order or highlight the unbeatable vendor pricing you settled. Use numbers as much as possible to make the most impactful case in this area.


Problem-solving is the ability to develop a fast and effective solution when faced with an unexpected situation. Consider the most difficult challenges you've faced in your previous positions. How did you creatively solve these issues and guide your team to success? You can demonstrate this strength the best by offering a detailed explanation of some of the tricky cases where your inspired solutions came to the rescue. 


Staying organized can mean the difference between a smooth, professional interaction with a client and an embarrassing disaster as you scramble to find the correct file, data, or pen and paper. Employers want organized workers who know how to find their tools quickly, whether it's a hammer or a spreadsheet. Mention your dedication to organization in your summary or skills section, and add specific examples where possible. 

Time management

Time management is the ability to make the best possible use of each minute you spend on the job. If time management is one of your strengths, you may have had people say that they're amazed at what you can do with a day or that they don't know how you get it all done. You can demonstrate your time management capabilities by mentioning the number of jobs you've completed ahead of schedule or specifying that you aim to submit assignments at least 48 hours before their final deadline.

Highlighting your strengths in resume form is a great way to demonstrate that you have distinctive traits suited for the position. A thoughtfully tailored resume with the right skills will help you get out of the resume pile and onto the interview calendar. You can get your application started today by uploading a resume to CareerBuilder and start searching for new opportunities. 

More tips for building a solid resume:

Review the essential skills for professionals and managers and consider which ones you can include.

Learn about soft skills to make sure there are no overlooked strengths you haven't yet featured.

Check out the most important traits employers seek in their new hires for more inspiration on qualities that count as strengths.