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The most in-demand job skills

CareerBuilder | August 17, 2021

Discover how to pitch your skills the right way, with the talents hiring managers are looking for right now.

When you’re applying for a job, your resume needs to do one thing above all else: stand out. Highlighting your skills shows the person at the other end of your resume that you can do the job. Those skills are the difference between sounding good for the role and proving you’re perfect for it.

These skills are the most in-demand for a wide range of jobs on CareerBuilder.com right now. Let’s show hiring managers you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for.

The skills you need to show off

We’ve counted the number of mentions each skill has on our job listings to show you which ones are the most popular. If you can boast one of these top three skills, which account for almost 13% of hundreds of skills listed, the job market won’t know what’s hit it. Sharpen up that resume and take a look at all our latest jobs.

Customer service is the most popular skill in the job market

If you can deal with customers, you’re in demand — customer service is listed on 5.8% of all our jobs. It’s the skill hiring managers want more than anything else.

Customer service doesn’t just mean dealing with people on the shop floor — it means talking to people over the phone, making sales, dealing with complaints and generally making people happy. It’s also a skill that is highly transferable. You can apply customer service talents when dealing with clients, or managing stakeholders when working on projects. It just shows you're a good people-person, and that’s exactly the kind of person people want to hire.

Sales is the second most in-demand skill for employers

Prove you can sell and you’ll do a good job of selling yourself. Sales is listed as a skill on 4.55% of our jobs. If you’ve got it, people want to see it.

Sales skills come into play in lots of different jobs, not just the ones you might think of straight away. While they’re obviously key for selling things, they’re also good for pitching work, getting sign-off on ideas and — perhaps most importantly — convincing your colleagues to go for a drink with you after work. Shout about your sales skills and the next deal you secure will be a new job.

2.4% of all jobs want business development skills

Business development is our third most popular skill for jobs. Hiring managers want to see that you can bring in the big bucks, manage projects and run with new ideas. Business development also shows that you’re a good networker — another soft skill that delivers solid results.

You don’t need to turn a startup into a multi-billion-dollar business to show you’re good at business development. Just demonstrate that you can pitch an idea and help bring money into the company. Hiring managers will love that.

How to make your skills stand out on your resume

If you’ve got in-demand skills, give them a starring role on your resume. While you should still mention them in your experience section, having a dedicated place will make them much easier to find.

Use bullet points to give examples. Talking about how you’re excellent at customer service and know how to pitch an idea to senior stakeholders is all well and good, but it isn’t as clear as writing it in a listed format, like this:

Excellent customer service experience

Took 150 calls a day in a busy call center, helping people buy new products and upgrade their services. Also handled complaints procedures in a professional manner to ensure customer retention.

Strong project management background

Pitched a new social media customer-service platform to senior managers, enabling us to process an additional 600 queries each day, while also saving the business $35,000 each year in telecommunications.

In-depth sales portfolio

Experienced in selling across a variety of platforms, such as telesales, in-store and email marketing.

Dedicate a section of your resume to skills and they’re sure to catch the hiring manager’s eye. Be sure to use the keywords the job description is looking for. If your resume goes through a computer before it reaches a human, it will scan for these terms.


Graphic of the top 10 jobs hiring now and the skills needed: Customer Service Sales, Business Development, Marketing, Relationship Building, Account Management, Lead Generation, Sales Opportunity, Customer Retention, Insurance Sales, Stocking, Retail, Communications, Leadership, Planogram.


The top 15 skills to put on a resume

Skill for resume

Percent of open jobs requiring skill

Customer service

5.80%

Sales

4.55%

Business development

2.40%

Marketing

1.55%

Relationship building

1.45%

Account management

1.21%

Lead generation

1.19%

Sales opportunity

1.15%

Customer retention

1.09%

Insurance sales

1.07%

Stocking

0.94%

Retail

0.94%

Communications

0.77%

Leadership

0.74%

Planogram

0.73%


The top skills for each state

Different states are looking for different skills when it comes to employees. If you’re looking for work across the USA, these are the skills you should highlight to land that interview.

Employers in New York want to see customer service, sales and marketing skills
If you’re applying for a job in the Big Apple, you should make a big deal out of your ability to serve, sell and market. Many hiring managers are searching for these skill sets, with 245 mentions of them across all our New York jobs. The city is such a tourist magnet, so put those skills to use in retail, entertainment or one of the city's many, many big businesses.

Use retail skills to land a job in Maine
Job seekers in Maine should show off their retail talents, because employers want to see skills in stocking, merchandising and planograms. Maine has a proud history of selling unique crafts, clothing, furniture and jewelry, and that past looks set to continue into the future as hiring managers search for the next generation of retail stars. Does that sound like you? Take a look at all our Maine jobs.

New Hampshire is hiring for skills in business development
Business is big in New Hampshire, so it’s no surprise that business development is the state’s most sought-after skill. This skill gives you the power to manage projects, liaise with stakeholders and ultimately bring money in — something every hiring manager wants to see. Customer service and customer retention are also in high demand in the state. If you can do all that, jobs in New Hampshire will be lapping you up.

The skills you’ll need to thrive in each state

State

Most Popular Skill

2nd Most Popular

3rd Most Popular

NY

Customer service

Sales

Marketing

CA

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

TX

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

FL

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

VA

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

DC

Customer service

Management

Administration

GA

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

IL

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

NC

Customer service

Sales

Marketing

TN

Customer service

Sales

Marketing

PA

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

IN

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

MD

Sales

Customer service

Business Development

MI

Customer service

Sales

Stocking

CO

Customer service

Sales

Marketing

OR

Sales

Customer service

Business Development

LA

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

DE

Customer service

Business Development

Sales

NV

Customer service

Sales

Marketing

ND

Customer service

Sales

Stocking

OH

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

AL

Customer service

Sales

Retail

NJ

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

MO

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

MA

Sales

Business Development

Customer service

AZ

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

OK

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

KS

Customer service

Business Development

Sales

UT

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

CT

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

ID

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

NH

Business Development

Customer service

Customer retention

HI

Sales

Customer service

Business Development

SC

Customer service

Sales

Marketing

MS

Sales

Customer service

Business Development

IA

Customer service

Business Development

Sales

AR

Customer service

Sales

retail

KY

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

MN

Stocking

Customer service

Planogram

WA

Sales

Customer service

Business Development

MT

Customer service

Business Development

Sales

WI

Stocking

Reset

Remodel

WY

Customer service

Business Development

Sales

NM

Customer service

Sales

Marketing

NE

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

ME

Stocking

Merchandising

Planogram

AK

Teaching ESL

Sales

Business Development

RI

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

VT

Stocking

Merchandising

Planogram

WV

Customer service

Sales

Business Development

SD

Sales

Business Development

Customer service


Find your next job today

Once your skills are shining bright, it’s time to put them into practice. Thousands of jobs are posted daily, so start applying! Those skills deserve to be seen.


Methodology

CareerBuilder looked at the number of job postings by position, industry and location in order to determine the most in-demand skills of jobs in different industries and different job roles. With the number of job postings, the team was able to identify the most popular jobs. The number of times skills were listed on job postings accounts for the popularity of the job skills.

The most in-demand skills for jobs by state were determined by the number of mentions of a particular skill for the most common or popular job posts in that particular state.

The data was pulled in June 2021.