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What are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are specific professional abilities that can be taught through education and training. They typically include the necessary technical expertise that employers expect their workers to have. Hard skills can mostly be quantified, measured, defined, or evaluated in some way.

Every job requires hard skills that are industry-specific and usually form the basis for the job requirements. Recruiters will look for hard skills in a resume to gauge how well a candidate will be able to perform the core components of the job.

A study, done by LinkedIn, shows the most in-demand hard skills that employers look for.

Top Hard Skills Employers Look For:

Rank

Skill

Description

1.Blockchain

Understanding blockchain technology and being able to program blockchain applications for storing, verifying, and securing data.

2.Cloud computing

The ability to create cloud computing solutions, manage integrated environments, store and secure data, and migrate information from onsite servers to the cloud.

3.Analytical reasoning

Knowing how to use deductive reasoning to find patterns in information.

4.Artificial Intelligence

The ability to do research into new capabilities and systems, develop AI software and processes, and build hardware.

5.EX design

Using design thinking to improve the employee experience of the workplace.

6.Business analysis

Being able to evaluate business processes, develop and implement solutions, modernize systems, and develop optimization strategies.

7.Affiliate marketing

An ability to use affiliate marketing to sell and promote products or create business leads.

8.Sales

The ability to sell products or services, improve sales processes and company culture, and build rich relationships with customers or clients.

9.Scientific computing

Using computer simulations to solve complex problems.

10.Video production

The ability to conceive, plan, and produce high-quality video content.

Database management skills.

Mathematics skills.

Programming language skills.

Leadership skills.

Web and mobile development skills.

Human Resource skills.

SEO/SEM skills.

Business Operation skills.

Data analysis skills.

Foreign language skills.

Administrative skills.

Writing skills.

Finance skills.

Project management skills.

What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are subjective skills that relate to the way people interact with each other. Soft skills are also known as people skills, interpersonal skills, or personal skills and are personal traits that shape how a person works on their own and with others. Usually, they are not taught but are rather the natural result of emotional intelligence and life experience.

Unlike hard skills, soft skills are difficult to quantify. It can be hard to prove proficiency in a soft skill, but they are necessary to create a positive and functional work environment. Soft skills are also mostly transferrable between jobs or industries.

A recent LinkedIn study showed the most in-demand soft skills.

Top Soft Skills Employers Look For:

Rank

Skill

Description

1.Creativity

The ability to understand, think about, and solve problems in innovative ways.

2.Persuasion

Using multiple forms of communication to influence the way people behave and think.

3.Collaboration

The ability to work productively with others to achieve common goals.

4.Adaptability

Being able to adjust to changing conditions in environments characterized by uncertainty.

5.Emotional intelligence

The ability to identify and process emotions as well as pick up on other people's emotions.

Communication skills.

Attention to detail.

Problem-solving skills.

Critical thinking skills.

Work ethic.

Dependability.

Interpersonal skills.

Open-mindedness.

Time management skills.

Organization.

Leadership skills.

Willingness to learn.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills:

Hard Skills

Soft Skills

Technical skills.

Innate, natural abilities.

Learned through education and training.

Acquired through life experience.

Industry specific.

Transferrable across industries.

The Value of Hard Skills in a Resume:

Each job has mandatory hard skills that are required to successfully perform the core components of the work. You will also need to have a certain level of proficiency in each hard skill that is required to competently do your work and give you the advantage over other candidates.

Some professions, such as technical positions, will have a higher demand for hard skills and so will value them over soft skills.

The Value of Soft Skills in a Resume:

Soft skills help recruiters determine the type of person you will be to work with and if you will fit in with the company culture. Some professions, such as sales and human resources jobs, will also place more value on soft skills than on hard skills as they will require face-to-face interactions.

While hard skills will get your resume noticed, soft skills will help you to stand out and compete with other applicants. Since it's generally easier to train a new employee in a hard skill than it is to train one in a soft skill, recruiters are looking more and more for applicants with certain soft skills. Another bonus of adding soft skills to your resume is that they are transferable, meaning they can be used across industries in different types of jobs.

How to Highlight your Skills:

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How to Highlight your Skills:

A step-by-step guide to showing your soft and hard skills in your resume.

1. 

Showcase your skills in your resume.

1.1 

Highlight your hard skills in different sections of your resume.

Highlight your hard skills in different sections of your resume.

When applying for a technical job where hard skills are in higher demand than soft skills, you should put your skills section near to the top of your resume. This way, the hiring manager can quickly see the most important information as it relates to the position they want to fill. An example of this can be seen in functional resumes.

Other jobs require examples of how you have used your hard skills in your previous jobs. In this case, you will want to highlight your skills in the Professional Experience section of your resume. This can be done by demonstrating how a particular skill was used to solve a problem and achieve a positive result.

Hard skills can be emphasized by adding any certifications, licenses, and specialized training that were completed to achieve the skill.

1.2 

List your soft skills.

List your soft skills.

Soft skills can be showcased through measurable accomplishments and results. So, when listing them on your resume, you should always pair them with a measurable result. Applicants can also include soft skills in the professional experience section of their resume in the form of accomplishments.

If you have attended training or a workshop for a soft skill, you should definitely add this to your resume to demonstrate your expertise.

2. 

Highlight your skills in your cover letter.

2.1 

Use your previous work experiences to focus on one or two hard and soft skills.

Use your previous work experiences to focus on one or two hard and soft skills.

Your cover letter is the place where you can bring anecdotal evidence to demonstrate your skills by using examples from previous work experiences. You should also show how you can transfer your skills to the job you are applying for.

You should include at least one relevant and well-developed soft skill that gives the employer some context for why you would be a good fit for their company. Employers will particularly want to hire those whose soft skills align with the company's goals, values, and mission.

3. 

Call attention to your hard and soft skills in an interview.

3.1 

Show your soft skills.

Show your soft skills.
  • Arrive on time for your interview.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Answer questions honestly.
  • Asking follow-up questions.
  • Dress appropriately and in a professional style.
3.2 

Elaborate on your hard skills.

Elaborate on your hard skills.
  • Describe your experience and training.
  • Provide a physical or digital portfolio.
  • Correctly answer technical questions related to the work.
  • Ask follow-up questions related to the work.
  • Pass the skills tests.
3.3 

When discussing your skills, use the STAR technique.

When discussing your skills, use the STAR technique.

Sharing specific previous work experience stories that directly relate to the requirements for the job you are applying for is the best way to highlight your hard and soft skills. When telling your story, use the STAR technique:

Present the situation.

Describe the task at hand.

Explain the actions that were taken.

Describe the result achieved.

CV vs. Resume

Key differences between CVs and resumes, and when to use them.

FAQs:

What are 5 hard skills?

  • Database management skills.
  • Programming language skills.
  • Web and mobile development skills.
  • SEO/SEM skills.
  • Data analysis skills.

What are 7 soft skills?

  • Creativity.
  • Persuasion.
  • Collaboration.
  • Adaptability.
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.

Why are hard and soft skills important?

Listing both hard and soft skills in your resume is important because employers often look for candidates who show a combination of skills to gain a comprehensive idea of their abilities.

What are the hard skills?

Hard skills are the necessary technical expertise that can be taught through education and training. They can mostly be quantified, measured, defined, or evaluated in some way.

Can soft skills be taught?

Soft skills are generally innate, natural talents and cannot be taught. However, they can be learnt and developed through practice.

Is being hardworking a skill?

Being a hard worker can be considered a soft skill. However, it is not something that can be demonstrated on your resume or in an interview so it is better to add more actionable soft skills to your resume.

Why are hard skills important?

Hard skills are important as each job has mandatory hard skills that are required to successfully perform the core components of the work. Without the particular hard skills required for the job you want to apply for, you will not be qualified to do the job.

Is public speaking a hard skill?

Public speaking is considered to be a soft skill as it requires good communication skills, enthusiasm, and the charisma to engage an audience.

Is being friendly a skill?

Friendliness is more of a character trait than a skill, although it can be developed and improved upon through practice. Friendliness should not be added to your resume or cover letter but can be demonstrated in your interview with the recruiter.

What are soft skills on a resume?

Soft skills on a resume are those professional skills that help recruiters to determine the type of person you will be to work with and if you will fit in with the company culture. They can also be used to help you to stand out and compete with other applicants.

What is a hard skill on a resume?

Hard skills on a resume are mandatory qualifications that are required to successfully perform the core components of a job. A certain level of proficiency is also required in each hard skill listed on your resume to prove that you are capable of doing the job.

What are employable skills?

Employability skills are skills and behaviours additional to academic qualifications that are necessary for every job.

What are hard skills in nursing?

The hard skills for nursing will depend on the essential job duties of each specific nursing role. However, some common hard skills include:

  • Urgent care and emergency care.
  • Checking and monitoring vital signs.
  • Patient transport.
  • Patient safety.
  • Technology skills.
  • Administering injections.
  • Preparing IV lines.
  • Changing dressings.
  • Inserting catheters.

Is teaching a hard skill?

No, teaching is a profession that requires a wide array of hard and soft skills, such as childcare, coaching, curriculum knowledge, disciplinary action, and test theory, as well as patience, organization, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Is customer service a hard or soft skill?

Customer service is considered to be a soft skill as it requires personal interactions with other people.

What are examples of IT skills?

  • Coding.
  • Communication.
  • Knowledge of networks.
  • Time management.
  • Configuration management.
  • Database administration.
  • Critical thinking
  • Emerging technologies.

Why are soft skills important?

Soft skills help recruiters to determine the type of person you will be to work with and will help you to stand out and compete with other applicants. Since it's generally easier to train a new employee in a hard skill than it is to train one in a soft skill, recruiters are increasingly looking for applicants with certain soft skills.

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