Employers are continually looking for well-rounded candidates, those who have both hard and soft skills. Successful candidates know this and will be sure to include both on their resume. But to be effective at this, it’s essential to know the difference between the two.
Hard Skills – These are teachable abilities or skill sets, that are easily measured. You may learn these skills through schooling, training courses or material, or even on the job. When listed on your resume, these skills are more easily identifiable to potential employers. They could include:
• A degree or certificate
• Proficiency with computer programs
• Project management
• Foreign Language
Soft Skills – These skills are usually personality-driven and more difficult to measure. They relate to the way a person interacts with others and usually include:
• Communication skills
• Time Management
• Work Ethic
On a resume, it’s hard to display specific evidence that you possess soft skills. To highlight these skills, make note of them on your resume, and then share examples of times when you’ve used them.
So, what are the top hard and soft skills that employers often look for? While hard skills are typically necessary for success in any position, employers increasingly seek out candidates who possess soft skills. Hard skills are easy to train, as opposed to trying to teach a soft skill, like work ethic. Employers more often look for soft skills in communication, analytical, and interpersonal abilities.
And while soft skills are highly desired in a candidate, a combination of hard and soft skills is ideal. Be sure to emphasize your hard skills along with your soft skills during the application and interview process.