The most important skills to list on a job application are those that are most relevant to the position. Most vacancy announcements list several key requirements or skills that the employer requires of a successful candidate. Demonstrating proficiency in those specific areas of expertise is vitally important.
Employers do not like to see resumes, curriculum vitaes or cover letters that appear generic. Tailor each application to the specific position and company to which you are applying. Address specific requirements of the position, especially any hard skills such as languages and computer programs.
While some skills are industry- or job-specific, many can apply more broadly to any field or position. Including these generic skills can also increase the visibility of a candidate to human resources. Some widely sought-after skills include self-motivation, basic math skills, computer skills, teamwork, ability to communicate and time management.
Instead of simply listing skills, list experiences that illustrate use of the skills. For example, if the position announcement indicates that the company is looking for a team-player, demonstrate an ability to function as a member of a team through listing work, volunteer or educational experiences that illustrate specific instances in which teamwork was essential to completing a project or task.