Hard and Soft Skills

There are two types of skills employers look for on your resume: hard and soft skills. Both skills play a very important role in helping you get your next job depending on the type of position you are applying for. What are hard and soft skills and how do they affect your chances of getting a job? We explore these questions in today’s blog post.

Hard and Soft Skills

There are two types of skills you can have and that you can add to your resume: hard and soft. What are these skills, we examine the differences below.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are skills you have that are teachable. These skills have been taught to you and are easy to quantify.

hard and soft skills

Hard skills include:

  • a degree or certification
  • typing speed
  • languages spoken
  • machine operation
  • technical skills

These types of skills are easy for an employer to recognize on a resume. If you are applying for a job that requires certain hard skills the hiring manager should be able to skim your resume and find the appropriate education or information required to confirm these skills. Including these types of skills on your resume conveys to the employer that you are skilled in a certain area; this plays a large role in deciding who to bring in for an interview when a job requires certain hard skills. Candidates with the appropriate skills will often be chosen or looked at first over candidates without the hard skills required.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are skills that are subjective. They are often known as ‘people skills’ and are not as easy to quantify in a resume.

hard and soft skills

Soft skills include:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Patience
  • Motivation

These types of skills are less easy to identify directly on a resume. Soft skills often change based on the company you’re working for. The way you communicate, for instance, could differ based on your co-workers and the type of environment you’re in. Soft skills are often learned on the job or in a situation, they can’t be taught directly out of a book. Soft skills can also be incredibly important on your resume. If a hiring manager is looking at many resumes with the same hard skills then the soft skills included on your resume can make a huge difference. Employers will look for candidates they believe will fit into their company culture and this can be decided by your soft skills.

It is important to include both types of skills on your resume if the job requires it. 77% of hiring managers have said that they think soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Employers are looking to hire people with a good balance of both types of skills. It is important you have the existing knowledge and hard skill to do the job but employers are also able to train new employees, meaning the soft skills, that are not teachable, are crucial when picking the right fit for their team.

Career Types

There are 3 types of careers that require different combinations of skill sets. They are:

1. Hard Skills & Little Soft Skills

These types of jobs required large amounts of education and training but very few people skills. These positions are often filled with brilliant people who may not work well with others.

Example: Physicists

2. Both Hard & Soft Skills Required

These types of jobs require some education but also require communication in order to succeed. This category is where most jobs fall. Most positions require some background experience in the field but also rely on customers or clients that have to be dealt with in order to grow the consumer base and/or business.

Example: Lawyers

3. Mostly Soft Skills & Little Hard Skills

These types of jobs require you to use your people skills much more than your knowledge or background. These jobs are often sales-based and require you to know more about your customer than about the product you are trying to sell. Successful people in this career type must be able to read the customer, communicate and sell their product effectively, and persuade the customer into buying.

Example: Salesman

Both hard and soft skills are important depending on the type of job you’re applying for Hard skills show that you have background knowledge in the field you’re applying to, while soft skills show that you are able to work with others and would fit into a company’s culture. When creating your resume be sure to evaluate which skills are important to focus on and promote in order to tailor your resume to your potential employer and help you land your next job.