Know Your Hard and Soft Skills

Know Your Hard and Soft Skills

by Makenzee R. Taylor, on July 26, 2022

You may have heard the terms hard and soft skills before. But if you haven’t given them much thought, here is why it is important to know your hard skills and soft skills.

While you’re going through the job application process, employers first skim your resume and pick out your hard and soft skills to see if you possess what they are looking for. After setting up an interview, the employer may ask you to identify or explain what your hard and soft skills are. Some candidates don’t know the difference between these types of skills, which shows their lack of preparedness during an interview.

To avoid this problem, here’s an overview of both categories of skills.

Hard Skills 

Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. These are skills that you have learned throughout your life. They are learned in a classroom, through books or other training materials, or on the job. When you are updating your resume, it is important to list those special hard skills for when an employer is looking at it and decides whether you are fit to join their team.

Some examples of general hard skills:

  • A degree or certificate 

  • Computer skills

  • Math skills

  • Programming skills 

  • Language skills 

  • Machine operation

  • Communication skills

And examples of job-specific hard skills:

  • Accounting 

  • Electrical engineering

  • Graphic design

  • HTML

  • Patient care

  • Social media

  • Writing


Soft Skills

Soft skills are primarily subjective and much harder to quantify. If you ever hear phrases such as, “people skills” or “interpersonal skills,” those are references to soft skills. Employers want to know how well you’ll be able to work as a team or interact with others. 

Some examples of general soft skills:

  • Communication

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Leadership

  • Motivation 

  • Problem solving 

  • Teamwork 

  • Work ethic 

And some specific examples of soft skills:

  • Constructive feedback

  • Innovation

  • Mentorship

  • Negotiation

  • Prioritizing

  • Problem-solving

  • Strategic thinking

A tip to remember during the job application and interview process is to emphasize your hard and soft skills since both are important to landing a job. And if prepared, you can emphasize other valuable skills if you lack a certain trait they are looking for.

Remember, it is important to consistently highlight skills through your resume, cover letter (if necessary) and during an interview.

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Makenzee R. Taylor

Makenzee is an HR Assistant with LandrumHR Workforce Solutions. She is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in marketing. Born and raised in Northern California, Makenzee enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the beach, traveling and binge-watching TV shows in her free time.

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