What are hard skills and soft skills?
Today, skill-building is essential to empower individuals and increase their acceptance in the business organisation. Skill is something that an individual can bring to a table that adds value in solving a problem or completing a task.
So what are hard skills and soft skills?
Having a learning attitude and extraordinary skills of both hard and soft skills are essential for achieving success in life. Companies don’t only seek employees’ sound at the technical and educational part. But also, they look for good personality traits. Hence, both hard and soft skills are necessary to succeed in the job.
When preparing your resume and cover letter for an interview, it’s necessary to highlight your skills correctly. Make sure you don’t exaggerate or write untrue things, as the interviewer will catch your lie instantly during the interview.
For instance, if you write that you are punctual but are late for the interview, they will know you are not punctual and question your dependability.
Job/work skills can be divided into Hard skills and Soft skills. Hard skills relate to your technical knowledge skills. On the other hand, soft skills define your attitude and personality. To understand them in more depth, let’s discuss the difference between the two in detail.
What Are Hard Skills?
Hard skills are concrete skills that you learn through education or specific training. These skills are distinct to a particular job requirement and are required to do your work. They include competencies like using a specific machine, software, or other tools.
For example, if you’re a chef, cooking will be a hard skill as you’ll require to do the job. At the same time, for a cashier, a hard skill for him would be using the cash register. Similarly, an electrical technician needs to use specialised tools and machines.
These are the skills you learn in school, on-the-job training, or previous work experience. These skills are objective as once known; they are difficult to forget. They need to be done at the workplace physically and can be measured.
Some of the Hard Skills Include:
- Programming Software and Languages
- Knowing Multiple Languages
- Digital Marketing
- Tech Skills
- Project Management
- Typing Speed
- SEO Marketing
- Certification in a Specific Industry
- Computer Skills
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are often more seen as a personality trait. Soft skills are also called interpersonal, people’s or, social skills that are valuable in everyday situations. Those are not specific to a particular job.
Soft skills are difficult to develop; they only come with proper practice and experience. Moreover, they come naturally to some people, whereas others may not have an easy time with them.
They are hard to evaluate as they are difficult to communicate well with your cover letter or resume. So instead, the employers get a good understanding of your soft skills during the interview or first few weeks of the job.
Soft skills are crucial in office premises, especially while communicating with other people or confronting a difficult situation for the first time.
Some of the Soft Skills Include:
- Team Work
- Time Management
- Active Listening Skills
- Problem-Solving Skills
- Efficient Communication
- Effective Communication
- Willingness to Learn
How to Include Hard Skills and Soft Skills in your Resume?
You have to consider the job’s description while mentioning your skills in the resume, cover letter, or during the interview. You need to pick the keywords up and understand the job requirements.
Your type of skills may vary with the kind of job you want. So do your research and edit your resume accordingly. The employer gets an idea about your ability to succeed by reading your skills.
Recruiters have less time to view every resume, so make sure you list down your skills in a concise manner.
A good option is to list and highlight your previous specific awards and achievements in a separate skill section. That will help the recruiter to understand you better and shortlist your resume quickly if he finds you a perfect candidate.
Suppose you’re applying for a software programming job. Then you need to mention your hard skills of all the education you have regarding programming, work experience, and software you can use. To pursue that job efficiently, you also need to inherit soft skills like team management, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.
How to Highlight Your Skills During an Interview?
The best way to highlight your skills during an interview is by providing examples and proof. Finally, you make it to the interview phase, and now you have the opportunity to display your hard skills with the use of soft skills.
To showcase your hard and soft skills efficiently, you should talk to the recruiter about how you used your skills previously. You can share specific stories from your experience that directly relate to the job interview requirements you’re interviewing for.
We recommend you use the S.T.A.R method technique during an interview. With this method, you can provide examples that can structure your discussion so that the interviewers can easily understand.
For instance, if you are answering any situational question, you need to narrate how you skillfully used your combination of hard skills and soft skills to achieve the target. You start by analysing the problem, evaluating alternative options, and selecting the best decisions.
Please make sure your answers are relevant and not assumptions. Then, the recruiter will be impressed with your answers and be confident to take you to their firm.
Despite their differences, you will need both hard and soft skills to become more hireable or be successful in your current job.
As quoted by an American entrepreneur, founder and CEO, Amazon, Jeff Bezos, “What’s dangerous is not to evolve.”
Without soft skills, you will find it difficult to use hard skills in the practical world. So focus on continuously working upon your soft skills. The more we focus on skill development, the more competitive and valuable you will be.
Mireille Guiliano quoted, “Intelligence, knowledge, or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.”