Hard skills vs soft skills

Hard skills vs soft skills: What they are and how to use them to your advantage

in Knowledgebase on December 19, 2022

The hard and soft abilities that support your accomplishments show that you are a good fit for the position. This blog post will demonstrate how to emphasize them during the hiring process. You could believe that being able to describe two broad types of talents is very simplistic in a world of nuanced behavior, yet it has been demonstrated that an employee’s performance depends on the combination of their Hard skills vs soft skills.

Therefore, it is crucial for any job applicant to comprehend the debate over hard talents versus soft skills

Both kinds of abilities are sought after by employers, although the specific skills needed will vary greatly depending on the position. We discuss methods for including both hard and soft skills into your professional story. Only if the recruiting manager can see how you succeeded will you be given the job (on top of quantifying your impact).

Here is what we will consider:

The difference between hard skills versus soft skills?

What are soft skills? What are hard skills?

How can you develop hard skills vs. soft skills?

Highlighting hard skills and soft skills on a resume

Which hard skills—and which soft skills—will land you the job of your dreams? They frequently cooperate with one another rather than compete with one another.

Expert Tip: Do soft skills really matter so much? In the 2019 Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn, hiring managers ranked soft skills as their top new priority. They are simple to measure using psychometric testing, and a growing share of interviews will focus on how your actions affected your outcomes.

What is the difference between hard skills and soft skills?

Hard skills are the technical and practical knowledge and skills that individuals require to successfully perform their jobs. They can be developed during the course of a career and polished through education or training.

Soft skills are character traits and abilities that make it easier for you to collaborate with others and succeed at work. Different soft skills will be prioritized by different roles. The best employees will be those that aren’t scared to take on new tasks and succeed.

Let’s examine the differences between hard skills and soft skills in more detail using some instances.

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What are soft skills?

Soft skills are personality qualities and characteristics that are related to how you approach your work, frequently centered on how you interact with others. These are characteristics that people often have outside of the workplace, and they can be cultivated as workers interact with and respond to various situations.

Employers appreciate soft skills because they can guarantee the critical marginal performance advantage when all else is equal. Top soft skills are listed below with illustrations:


The best-laid plans can always fall apart since you never know what is around the bend. How can you use your imagination to come up with a solution? Which of the possible directions will result in the best result? Use your ingenuity and resourcefulness to come up with a solution because you don’t want this problem to prevent you from moving forward.


  • Creative thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Troubleshooting
  • Organizational skills
  • Planning

Positive attitude

You could believe that positivity (or lack thereof) is a personality attribute that cannot be changed, yet there are a variety of soft skills that depend on positivity, mental toughness, and quiet optimism. A straightforward reason to continue moving forward is the first step in the power of perseverance and completing a challenging endeavor. Any setback may be overcome if you practice positivism.


  • Charisma
  • Outgoing
  • Friendly
  • Motivating
  • Mental resilience
  • Persistence


When you collaborate with others to attain a common objective, the best outcomes are obtained. Collaboration is one of the most effective soft skills since getting a diverse collection of people to move in the same direction is not an easy task. Can you relate to others who hold different opinions? Can you settle a dispute when your feelings are high?


  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Tolerance
  • Conflict resolution


These days, adapting your behavior to the situation seems to be the norm. How do you respond when the ground trembles beneath you? When uncertainty strikes, can you control your tension and express yourself to others clearly? When circumstances are unclear, people will look to you for leadership if they perceive you as a flexible thinker.


  • Flexibility
  • Follows instructions
  • Stress management
  • Communication
  • Customer service

Work ethic

One cannot undervalue the importance of persevering. Making it a habit to focus hard and push through an overwhelming workload has several benefits. One of the most crucial soft skills is the ability to use a deadline as a motivator rather than a threat. Developing your capacity for productivity has enormous advantages.


  • Determined
  • Motivated
  • Focused
  • Deadline-oriented
  • Time management

Critical thinking

Using critical thinking techniques, we can work out the best course of action when several options seem equally viable. The best outcome will occur if you take in the opinions of those around you and do your study in the appropriate locations. Critical thinkers can influence projects’ directions and assist in guiding those around them.


  • Observation
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion
  • Analytical skills
  • Strategic planning

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are the specialized knowledge and abilities that people frequently need to perform their professions. They are learned on the job and honed with practice and additional education. Employers would prefer to teach someone the hard skills if they already have the correct soft skills, but job offers will be difficult to come by if a job seeker cannot demonstrate that they have the necessary hard skills (than the other way around).

Depending on your position, hard skills can vary greatly, but there are many that are essential for many different roles and professions, including technical skills, sales and marketing, for example.

Technical skills

There is a growing need for technical talents across a variety of vocations. They aid in streamlining procedures, bringing businesses closer to their clients, and improving results. Technical skills can be quantified, and the road to proficiency has been tried and tested.


  • Network security
  • Programming
  • Data Science
  • Cloud computing
  • HTML
  • AI

Sales & Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, the sales and marketing processes are far more scientific. Through the years, our consumer-driven society has refined the skill of communicating with and influencing consumers. In an A/B test, even the tiniest adjustments might produce wildly divergent outcomes. Hard talents in sales and marketing can significantly impact the bottom line.


  • CRM systems
  • SEO/SEM marketing
  • UI/UX design
  • Social media
  • Web design


Anyone with managerial aspirations and those who hold diverse financial roles must be financially literate. Knowledge of the many kinds of software and technology allows you to spend more time on the more delicate components of your job, including encouraging others to act once you have completed some trustworthy study.


  • Accounting software
  • Financial modeling
  • P&L management
  • GAAP
  • Auditing
  • Risk


Other hard skills can increase your influence at work in a variety of ways. Learning a new language can open up a world of opportunity, being able to express oneself clearly in writing can save you time from having to explain yourself, and the mysterious dark arts of effective project management are still a mystery to many. Whatever you do, there is a difficult skill you can learn to improve your performance.


  • Languages
  • Graphic design
  • Copywriting
  • Project management

How can you develop hard skills vs. soft skills?

Hard skills can be learned by enrolling in a training program or studying in a variety of ways, then honed in the workplace. There are particular competencies that must be learned before being used.

On the other hand, soft skills are developed via experiences and reflection. You can only evaluate the effects of your actions after the fact since you can never be sure how you might need to act in a particular situation. The key to developing your soft skills is knowing your impact on those around you and learning from your failures.

Employers use behavioral and situational interviewing approaches to assess soft skills. They place you in a hypothetical or real-world setting and inquire as to how you would (or did) address a specific issue. Their assessment of how you would perform in the role will then be influenced by your responses.

Highlighting hard skills and soft skills on a resume

On your resume, it’s crucial to demonstrate how your hard and soft abilities have evolved.

Know the skills that will be required for each position (they should ideally match your experience to a considerable extent) and highlight achievements where these skills were essential to your success.

Where to showcase hard skills vs. soft skills

When writing your resume, there is no need to differentiate between hard skills and soft skills. Do not be hesitant to mention multiple skill types in the same sentence because they can all be connected to the example of professional accomplishment. The following places are where you can spread them:

Summary. Your most memorable career anecdotes should be in the summary section. This would be the appropriate forum to share any unique hard or technical skills you may have. Since soft skills are more difficult to define concisely and are hence uncommon, try delaying the inclusion of them on your resume until later.

The section on skills. Although it seems straightforward to showcase both hard and soft skills in the skills section, the truth is more nuanced. Although you may opt to mention a soft skill that is outside the job sphere, it is not desirable to list soft abilities here as they are meaningless without the context of achievement. Hard talents and credentials are more impressive, but only include them if they will set you apart from the competition. Don’t list a long list of technical abilities that the majority of competitors can also mention. That will not dazzle anyone.

working history. You can demonstrate both your hard and soft talents in the employment history area. You sometimes don’t even have to spell out which talents were necessary for a given accomplishment because you can assume that your resume will be read by someone who is an authority in your field. Make a list of the most important hard and soft abilities needed for the position, choose your career’s best-fitting achievements, and then let your tale take care of the rest.

Key takeaways

In order to land your dream job, it’s essential to share your blend of Hard skills vs soft skills abilities.

Recruiters may not give as much attention to your claims about your soft skills because they are more difficult to measure, but once you enter the interview room, you can be sure that employers will be paying close attention.

Tell a fairy tale about how your abilities allow you to make a difference.

  • Select hard and soft talents that are appropriate for the job.
  • Describe how your career has helped you acquire these talents.
  • Include relevant talents in the appropriate sections of your resume and cover letter.
  • You don’t want to come across as one of the crowd, so try to be as distinctive as you can.

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