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What are Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

soft and hard skills

Knowing the skills to include on your resume and the ones to leave off can be tricky. When it comes to creating your resume not all skills are created equal!

We all know that our resumes are like a condensed snapshot of all our collective skills, experience, attributes and achievements. It doesn’t matter whether you are a recent graduate looking for their first career break or a seasoned professional who may be considering a career switch, we all want our resume to stand out from any other job candidate going for a job.

The main difficulty we all have when preparing our resume is knowing which of our skills each employer really want to see. If we do have some insight about what they are looking for, it is not always easy to know exactly how to include them in your resume.

When you are looking to add value to your job application, you should take a look at your hard and soft skills and know how to combine them together to help land you an interview.

Firstly, lets take a closer look at what your hard and soft skills actually are:

So what exactly are hard skills anyway?

You can describe your hard skills as those specific abilities which help you carry out your job. These skills are essentially teachable ones that you learn and can build on through dedicated training. If you are chasing certain careers, then your hard skills will be considered as essential for that role.

Some examples of hard skills you will need for a particular field may include:

  • A degree or higher educational equivalent in the field
  • An industry specific certification or qualification
  • Bookkeeping and accounting training
  • Coding ability
  • Computer skills
  • Fast typing skills
  • Multiple language skills
  • SEO marketing

How to list your hard skills on your resume

Your hard skills are pretty straightforward to include on your resume. In most cases these skills are the one that a recruiting officer will be scanning for when they look over your resume. If you have multiple hard skills then it will be important to highlight and draw attention to those that are the most important to the role that you are applying for. These will be the skills that have been included in the job description, so they will be pretty easy for you to pick out.

Try to structure your resume around the most important hard skills needed for the role and you cannot go wrong. You will be highlighting your strongest hard skills in this way and drawing the attention of the recruiting officer who reads it.

OK, so what are soft skills?

Soft skills are those self-developed talents and attributes that are not specific to a particular job. A lot of soft skills are developed over time and are gained with your life experience as well as your workplace and social experience. These are your skills that require no formal training to be able to learn them. You may think from this description that soft skills are not that important, but in fact quite the opposite is true. Soft skills are in demand across a whole range of different industries.

Soft skills are an amalgamation of lots of different things. These include your character, attitude, personality and social skills that can all add up to some great employment qualities that recruiters are looking for.

For example, here are some soft skills that are considered to be very desirable by many employers:

  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good team working and networking skills
  • Having a good work ethic
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership qualities
  • Perseverance and determination
  • Problem solving and logic
  • Project management abilities

Including Soft Skills on your Resume

Soft skills are much more difficult to prove on paper, so getting them across on your resume may need a bit more thought. An effective way of communicating your soft skills would be to show examples of when your skills were put to good use.

Saying that you have good problem solving skills will not be enough to convince your reader, so give an example of when you used your problem solving skills to resolve an issue at work would be much more convincing.

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