Resume Technical Proficiencies Definition (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 7, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Besides formal education, proficiencies are important traits that hiring managers consider when assessing a candidate's employability. Technical skills are essential to all jobs in various industries. Understanding what technical skills are and highlighting them in your resume can help you when applying for a job. In this article, we discuss what technical proficiencies are and why they're important, share examples of technical skills, explain how to improve them and provide tips on how to display your technical capabilities and keep them up to date.

What are technical proficiencies, and why are they important?

Technical proficiencies, also known as hard skills, are characteristics individuals gain as they perform digital or physical tasks. They are the knowledge and abilities needed to perform various tasks at work. They traditionally relate to fields with mathematical, mechanical, and information technology aspects, though almost all modern career fields have an aspect of technical proficiency. For example, grocery shop managers may have the technical skills to operate inventory management software to maintain fresh produce in their shops.

Technical abilities change with time and with the industry. For example, a software engineer uses technical skills such as software architecture and programming languages to develop software. A marketing assistant may use technical skills, such as CRM software, to manage clients. Most jobs now rely on technical skills, which may mean that gaining these proficiencies can improve your employability and job search experience. These proficiencies also enhance your confidence and can make completing your work easier. Technical roles within organizations can sometimes earn higher salaries because employers are willing to pay more for specialized skills.

Examples of technical proficiencies

Technical skills are often transferable from one industry to another. This means that an ability such as customer management can be enough to land a job as a customer service agent. A welder may be proficient in customer management, but an employer may place more emphasis on the welding ability. Here are skills needed by employers for most jobs:

Programming

Programming and coding are essential skills to many jobs today. While job descriptions may not explicitly state that programming knowledge can be a requirement, employers may give preference to candidates with experience in coding. Employers may not limit these proficiencies to IT-related fields alone. For example, a marketing assistant may require HTML programming knowledge to post content on an organization's website.

Some popular programming languages include:

  • SQL

  • Java

  • JavaScript

  • Perl

  • Go

  • PHP

  • C/C++

  • R

  • C#

  • Python

  • Ruby

  • Swift

Related: 6 Fundamental Programming Concepts (With Tips to Improve)

Project management

Project management proficiencies are:

  • budget planning

  • task management

  • risk analysis and management

  • project planning

  • benchmarking

  • performance review

  • quality assurance

  • scheduling

  • task delegation

  • task management

Related: Understanding Project Management Methodology (With Examples)

Product management

Product management roles require a variety of technical abilities. Some of them include:

  • product roadmaps

  • product life-cycle management

  • agile method

  • QA testing

  • user experience (UX) design

  • programming skills

  • scrum methodology

  • requirements gathering

Related: Top Product Management Skills

Big data analysis

Data has become an essential aspect for businesses and organizations. From agriculture to teaching, every field uses the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data to gain insight into trends and success. Organizations obtain data from consumers and users and analyze it to benefit from this data. Employees usually carry out the analysis. Data analysis proficiencies valued by employers include:

  • data mining

  • quantitative reports

  • modelling

  • database management

  • modification

  • database design

  • quantitative research

  • analytical skills

  • statistical analysis

  • calculating

  • documentation

  • data analytics

  • needs analysis

Related: How To Become a Big Data Analyst (With Salary Expectations)

Industry-specific technical proficiencies

As technical abilities vary by industry, it's essential to note the proficiencies you are looking forward to working within a specific industry. Employers can write most of the required skills in job descriptions. You can explore job posts in your field and note similar technical capabilities in a list. Here are some proficiencies you may see on job postings:

Software development

Technical expertise is essential for this sector. Some of the critical skills are:

  • applications

  • coding

  • debugging

  • modelling

  • implementation

  • documentation

  • software testing

  • network security

  • maintenance

  • network architecture

  • infrastructure

  • operating systems

  • information and communications technology (ICT)

Related: Top Skills for Software Developers

Design

Some skills associated with design include:

  • graphic design software

  • HTML

  • UX research

  • sketching

  • user modelling

  • responsive design

  • prototyping

  • wireframing

  • CAD software

  • colour theory

  • interactive media

Related: What Are the Skills of a Graphic Designer? (With Examples)

Marketing

Marketing and advertising use a variety of modern technologies. Some marketing skills include:

  • content marketing analytics tools

  • search engine optimization

  • analytics tools

  • digital media

  • social media platforms

  • copywriting

  • content management systems

  • content creation

  • automated marketing software

Related: A Guide to Digital Marketing Specialist Skills and Duties

Health care

Some examples of competencies in this field include:

  • electronic medical record software

  • sonography

  • medical billing

  • medical coding

  • first aid certifications

Technical writing

Examples of technical writing skills are:

  • requirements gathering

  • email

  • memos

  • technical documentation

  • research

  • subject matter experts

  • client relations

Related: A Comprehensive Technical Writing Definition (With Types)

Productivity software applications

Specialized software is in use in most organizations. Productivity software is one type of software used to enhance work performance. The most basic types of productivity software in use today are word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. When writing your resume, you may consider whether it's necessary to include that you are proficient in productivity software. The job description guides this, as some jobs do not require knowledge of productivity software.

If you have general experience using the software, consider leaving the skill set off your resume. If you decide to include the productivity programs, add them with specialized aspects of the program that you know. For example, instead of being general by stating, "Expert in spreadsheet software," you can be more specific and write, "Expert in spreadsheet software, including pivot reporting and macros. You may leave these details off your resume for other listed technical skills as required in the job description.

Related: 14 Best Productivity Tools to Boost Workplace Productivity

How to improve your technical proficiencies

There are many benefits to improving your technical capabilities. If you're switching to a new job or seeking promotion within an organization, it can help to develop your skills. Here are a few ways you may improve your skills:

1. Enroll in courses for different proficiencies

Dedicated training programs and classes can help you improve your proficiencies. Since there are free online and in-person studies, it's easy to enroll in a course and begin studying right away. Consider looking for courses that provide certifications when you complete them, so you have proof of your qualifications to include on your resume.

Related: 11 Popular IT Certifications to Advance in Your Career

2. Learn from a professional

Professionals have usually gathered experience over the years that can help you understand the field well. A professional may have worked on their proficiencies over a long time. This means they can advise you on how to best work on and improve your proficiencies.

The best approach is to select an individual in your field or the field you wish to work in and request them for guidance and mentorship. You can also consider self-study options. This includes reading books and taking online lessons that are prepared by experienced professionals. This method works best for individuals with great self-motivation. You can create time to study and work on the skills you've earned to improve your technical skills.

3. Learn on the job

For jobs with specialized processes or equipment, employers list proficiency in the specific processes and equipment as a desired skill for the role. After hiring, employers usually train employees as they work. Industry related-workshops can also help you gain insight into various skills for maximum productivity.

4. Experiment

As you progressively improve your skill set, apply them in different areas of your career. This helps you understand the proficiency better, and you know how to approach your work with improved skills. Use different areas, for example, a friend's website or a colleague's blog, to experiment with your improved skills. Experimenting reveals which area you may have neglected or which area you have greatly improved on. You may additionally take on challenges to help improve your skills as you solve the problem.

Tips on how to display your technical proficiencies

Hiring managers learn of a candidate's qualifications during the interview and while reviewing resumes. The following are tips you can use to display your technical skills:

  • Add the skills to your resume: You can write your proficiencies in the resume's objective or your work history section. It's good practice to examine the keywords used in the job description.

  • Highlight these skills in your cover letter: You may opt to speak of some skills you have in the body of your cover letter. You may also casually mention a situation where you used these proficiencies at work.

  • Ask questions during the interview: As you discuss how the skills are critical to the organization, the interviewers may note how you speak of a particular skill, such as your ability to code.

Related: How To Improve Your Skill Set and Keep Skills Current

Tips on keeping technical proficiencies up to date

The following are some ways you may use to keep your technical skills updated:

  • Use the skills as frequently as possible.

  • Refresh your skills using continuous education.

  • Read articles, journals, and news to stay up to date with advancements in technology.

  • Keep your skills relevant by adapting to changes.

  • Network and attend industry-related functions.

  • Research industry leaders on their social media pages or website.

  • Volunteer for roles that may require you to use your skills.


Explore more articles