Hard Skills and Soft Skills: what are they, what’s the difference between them and which ones should you include in your CV?

Hard skills e soft skills

Hard Skills and Soft Skills: what are they, what’s the difference between them and which ones should you include in your CV?

Today we are going to delve into the topic of hard and soft skills, exploring their definitions, their differences and provide valuable advice on which skills you should include in your CV.

In today’s job market, having expertise in a specific field isn’t enough to achieve professional success. Companies are looking for candidates that not only have a solid technical skill base, i.e., hard skills, but also applicants with transferable skills such as effective communication, leadership and problem solving abilities, these are also known as soft skills.

Understanding the difference between these two types of skills and knowing how to present them in your CV or resume, can make a big difference to the selection process when applying for a job.

In this article we will look in detail at what hard and soft skills are and provide practical examples and suggestions on how to identify the relevant skills for your professional field. We will discover how to balance both types of competencies and how to develop them in the best way to maximise career opportunities.

Hard Skills and Soft Skills: Definition and Examples

Hard skills are specific, measurable abilities related to an individual’s technical knowledge and practical expertise acquired through formal education or hands on experience..

These skills are tangible and can be evaluated objectively, often through testing, certification or previous work experience. Hard skills are fundamental in order to carry out a particular type of job or operate in a specific industry.

Hard skills can vary significantly depending on the professional field in question, but there are some common competencies which are required across multiple industries. Skills such as computer programming, accounting, project management, knowledge of specific software or the ability to use specialised equipment are categorised as hard skills. For instance, in the medical profession, hard skills can include the ability to perform specific surgical procedures or interpret certain diagnostic tests.

In contrast to hard skills, soft skills are transferable competencies which include the less tangible and more personal aspects of a person’s abilities..

These skills are often related to interpersonal relationships, communication, leadership, time management, problem solving and flexibility. They are skills that can have a positive influence on how one interacts with others, deals with challenges and achieves goals.

Soft skills are highly sought after in many work situations and can have a significant impact on an individual’s professional success. Common examples of soft skills include efficient verbal and written communication, empathy, teamwork, adaptability to change, time and priority management and creativity. These competencies are particularly beneficial in roles which require interaction with the public, negotiation, leadership or complex problem solving.

What is the difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

It is important to have a clear understanding of the difference between hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are specific, measurable competencies which are related to technical knowledge and practical ability gained through formal education or on the job experience. They are objective, tangible skills which can be evaluated and measured accurately. On the other hand, soft skills are cross-functional skills which are related to personal and relational aspects and a person’s individual abilities.

Finding the right balance between hard skills and soft skills is the key to building a well-rounded professional profile. Whilst hard skills demonstrate the ability to carry out specific tasks, soft skills complete the picture by providing interpersonal and transferrable abilities which allow effective communication, productive collaboration and management of daily challenges. So, the ideal candidates will be those who can successfully display a good balance between these two types of skills.

This will guarantee them a stronger, more versatile professional profile which will make them stand out in today’s competitive work environment.

Hard skills and Soft skills in a CV: Which ones to include?

When it comes to putting your CV together, it is crucial to identify the hard skills relevant to your specific job field. Carefully analyse the job description or the industry you wish to enter and identify the specific technical skills required. For instance, if you are looking for a position in IT, hard skills like proficiency in specific programming languages or expertise with specific software packages might be crucial to highlight in your CV.

In addition to listing the hard skills, you should carefully select the most relevant, complimentary soft skills related your desired role. Consider the transferable skills that have been requested in order to perform the role effectively. For example, if you are applying for a role that requires team working, you could highlight your collaboration, leadership and communication skills. On the other hand, if you are looking for a job which requires a high level of stress management and adaptability to change, you could underline your flexibility, resilience and problem-solving skills.

If you have any questions or want to stay informed about the latest trends and requirements in the job market, particularly for roles that require English language skills, feel free to contact me!