Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s The Difference?

Hard skills vs. soft skills; Employers look for applicants with hard and soft skills during any job application and interview process.

Successful candidates will make sure to put both skill sets on display. To do so effectively, it helps to understand the difference between these two types of skills. So, what’s the difference?

This article will review the differences between hard and soft skills, what employers possibly look for, how to highlight your skills, and examples of each skill.

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What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are teachable skills or skill sets that are easy to measure. Often, you will learn hard skills in class, through books or other training materials, or at work.

These hard skills are often listed in your cover letter and your resume and are easy for the employer to recognize. Examples of Hard skills include:

  • Degree or certificate
  • Good typing speed
  • Machine operation
  • Proficiency in Computer programming
  • Foreign language proficiency
Read also: Tips for improving your negotiating skills

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills, however, are responsive skills that are very difficult to measure. Also known as “human skills” or “interpersonal skills,” soft skills are related to how you interact with others. Soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Inspiration
  • Patience
  • Conviction
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interaction
  • Time management
  • Work ethic

Unlike Hard skills, identifying certain evidence of soft skills is difficult. If the employer is looking for someone who knows the programming language, you can share your grade in the classroom or identify the program you created using the language. But how can you show that you have soft skills?

  • Make a note of your soft skills and point out specific situations where you have used them.
  • Just saying you have it doesn’t prove anything. Instead, your best bet is to show that you have this quality by sharing examples of times you used it and the impact it brought.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills – Best Skills Employers Look For

Although some hard skills are required in any position, employers are increasingly looking for job applicants with some soft skills recommendations.

This is because it is often easier for an employer to train a new employee with a hard skill (such as using a particular computer program) than to train an employee with soft skills (such as patience).

Among the top skills employers want for potential employees are analysis, communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills.

Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with mixed skills, which are a combination of soft and technical skills. Students with this set of skills are highly competitive in a developing, technologically oriented economy.

If you have the best skills employers are looking for in an employee, include them in your resume and cover letters and mention them during the interview.

Emphasize Both Hard And Soft Skills

Since both are important, emphasize both your hard and soft skills during the job application process.

This way, even if you do not have the hard skills that a company needs, you can emphasize some soft skills that you know can be valuable instead.

For example, if a job involves working on team projects, emphasize your knowledge and skills as a team player and your ability to communicate with team members.

Read also: Top Crucial Finance Skills That Employers Value

Skills To Write Down And Skills To Avoid

The type of skills to be highlighted in your resume, cover letters and interview time vary depending on the kind of job you are applying for.

If you are looking for an administrative position, for example, communication skills, customer service skills, business letter writing experience, and stenography (Shorthand) skills are useful to write.

When a position is related to management, it is important to demonstrate oversight experience and leadership skills, such as the ability to deliver and solve problems.

Interpersonal skills such as empathy, patience, and communication are also important qualities that you need to develop.

Reading the job description carefully will give you an idea of ​​the type of job-related skills that the employer requires of applicants.

You will not find in that description, however, skills that you do not list, including software or technical information that is no longer relevant such as MS-DOS or Lotus 1-2-3.

The same goes for skills you do not have or are not related to the job in question. Experience as a graphic designer, for example, will not work in place of human resources.


Summarily, what is the difference between hard and soft skills? Hard skills refer to work-related knowledge, and skills employees need to perform their duties effectively. Soft skills, on the other hand, are personal qualities that help employees succeed in the job.

Are you an employer looking for employees with the best skillset for your company?; or are you an employee looking for ways to highlight your skills? We hope you got the satisfaction from this article.

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