Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: Definition, Differences, Examples

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: Definition, Differences, Examples

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Once in a while, we all need to hold an interview: for a new project or even a completely new job. It becomes quite a stressful period even for experienced employees and everyone is looking for a way to simplify the process.

Unfortunately, every hiring manager has specific requirements and criteria, so it becomes quite difficult to prepare for an interview in advance. Luckily, we have analyzed thousands of interviews and talked to interviewers to find out what they are looking for the most.

It turned out that experience and skills are the most important elements of any CV, and even if you possess a necessary list of skills for resume, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be asked additional questions during an interview.

Usually, these skills are divided into hard and soft ones. Hard skills concern technical training and knowledge, while soft skills are features of your character, i.e. communication, leadership and so on. Both of them are crucial for hiring managers and you need to be sure that you present these skills properly.

In today’s post, we will compare hard skills vs soft skills and will provide you with the best examples. Just use our lists and you will never have to worry that your resume is irrelevant or that your interview answers are boring.

Hard Skills Examples

As we have already mentioned, hard skills include your technical knowledge and various courses that you have attended throughout your life, including education, training, and career. For example:

  • If you have worked in retail, you probably know the principles of the ‘point-of-sale’ system;
  • If you have studied French at school, most likely you can speak French fluently;
  • If you had an accounting class back at college, you may be advanced in MS Excel.

All the skills above are hard ones and can greatly enrich your resume. However, keep in mind that not all of the skills must be included in your resume: only those, which are relevant for a particular vacancy.

For example, if you are looking for a job as an architect, your hard skills for resume must include proficiency in different drafting and drawing programs. Moreover, you should also have a license, as it is required by NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards). This organization also holds examinations and tests to make sure that architects have the necessary skills and qualifications.

It doesn’t mean that you need to master all the applications and programs that are used in your field but it is highly advisable to know them and to devote enough time to sharpen your skills.

If you are only starting to learn a certain skill, it is better not to include it to your resume. Human resources representatives will surely ask you about it and you may experience a few awkward moments. So even if you know how to order a meal in German or to discuss the weather in Japanese, it is better to improve your language skills before adding this point to your resume.

Hard Skills Examples

Here are some of the hard skills that you can add to your resume:

  • Foreign language. You can write that you are bilingual/multilingual;
  • Managing databases;
  • Adobe software;
  • Statistical analysis;
  • Microsoft Office;
  • Marketing campaigns;
  • Programming languages (i.e. Java, C++, Ruby, Python, and others);
  • Development of mobile applications;
  • Typing speed;
  • Design of user interface;
  • Information mining;
  • SEO marketing.

Technical skills are the foundation of every resume, so you need to devote much time to writing this section and polishing it!

Soft Skills Examples

Soft skills are traits of the character and your habits that influence the way you work and interact with others. For example, the ability to be a team player and to provide quality communication is one of the key skills any employer is looking for.

Others also look for people,who are able to deal with stress or to be active listeners. Even though soft skills may not be directly related to the vacancy, they are still very important to your career and can greatly influence the outcome of an interview.

If hard skills are necessary to perform tasks and responsibilities at work, soft ones are crucial to create a stable and positive environment. That is why all hiring managers devote attention to the soft skills section and prepare a few questions to make sure that the candidate is not only professional but can also become an organic part of the team.

Here are examples of soft skills that you can include to your resume:

  • Open-minded;
  • Integrity;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Teamwork;
  • Reliability;
  • Empathy;
  • Readiness to study;
  • Interpersonal skills;
  • Creativity;
  • Organizational skills;
  • Work ability;
  • Friendliness.

As well as with hard skills, you need to include only relevant soft skills to your resume. For example, if you want to become a developer of applications, you may not need organizational skills or friendliness.

Make sure you understand what skills the employer is searching for and highlight them in your resume.

How To Highlight Your Skills Throughout The Interview & in CV

Most of the hiring managers keep applicant tracking,which is greatly influenced by the way candidates are able to present themselves in an interview or in a resume.

Here are a few tips that will help you to highlight your skills in the best way:

  • Follow the structure. When your resume and cover letter are properly structured, it becomes much easier for employers to find necessary information;
  • Be honest. Managers would want to find out whether your skills are true, so there is no point in embellishing your qualification and personal traits;
  • Back every skill with relevant experience. If possible, tell about a degree or certificate,quantitative results or situations, when your skills were performed in the best way.

Examples of Soft Skills and Hard Skills on a Resume

Here is an additional hard and soft skills list that may boost your imagination:

  • Honesty;
  • Cooperation;
  • Small business administration;
  • Personal energy;
  • Dependability;
  • Easy-going with team members;
  • Good spelling and grammar;
  • Time management;
  • Hard communication skills;
  • Drug-free.

Together with solid work experience,the above skills will make you a great candidate for any vacancy!

What’s the Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

By now you already know what hard and soft skills are, and how important they are for an interview processThe only difference between these skills is the way they are collected and applied in the workplace.

For example, hard skills are usually obtained during education or training. A job seeker needs to prove the mastership of a certain technical device or machine, software or program.

While soft skills are personal characteristics, which some people develop throughout their lives. They appear when you organize your schedule, communicate with co-workers or face challenging situations. Soft skills are not so easy to integrate with the job description,so you need to know exactly what skills are relevant and required for a particular position and company.

If you still doubt whether you possess the necessary skills or want to enrich your resume, read our list of hard and soft skills. We are sure that it will be of great help and you will feel more confident during an interview!