What Are Hard Skills And Soft Skills

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Recruiters look for a mix of skills in order to hire the right applicant. These skills can be divided into two types: hard skills and soft skills. Just what makes a skill hard or soft? Why are both important? And how can you prove you possess these skills to an employer? This post explains more.

What is a hard skill?

A hard skill is usually a skill that is specific to a certain type of job. It involves experience carrying out a certain physical task. Such skills are often easy to measure – an employer may be able to quiz you on your knowledge or get you to demonstrate the skill to prove your level of competency. Having these skills could be important to show that you can carry out a certain job duty.

Examples of hard skills:

  • Stacking shelves
  • Driving a car
  • Being able to perform first aid
  • Speaking a certain foreign language
  • Knowing a specific programming language
  • Being able to use certain digital tools/software (e.g. Salesforce, Excel, TikTok etc.)
  • Being able to use certain physical tools (e.g. a deep-fryer, a construction crane, ultrasound machine etc.)

How to prove them to employers

As already mentioned, an employer may try to test your ability in these skills by asking questions or getting you to perform the task. However, there may be other ways to show that you possess a hard skill. To prove you have experience writing news articles or designing logos, you could provide a portfolio of your work. Alternatively, there may be formal qualifications you can state. Some hard skills may take years of training to get formally qualified, but there may be others you can easily obtain online such as this first aid certification at https://cprcertificationnow.com/products/first-aid-certification-online. Desired qualifications will usually be detailed in the job ad.

What is a soft skill?

Soft skills are skills that can apply to an array of different jobs. They tend to be personal skills that cannot be as easily measured. Soft skills can be just as important to getting hired as they can determine whether you have the right personality for the role and if you are a good fit for the company. They could even be viewed as more important than hard skills – often they are the skills that can set you apart from other applicants.

Examples of soft skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Leadership 
  • Time management
  • Team-building
  • Creativity
  • Public speaking

How to prove them to employers

Soft skills are much harder to prove, however it’s important that you do give some kind of evidence. One way to do this is to share stories of times when you displayed a certain soft skill. The best place to share these is in your resume. There are also tests that employers can carry out in an interview to determine these skills such as questions and role plays, so you should be prepared for these if you do claim to possess a certain soft skill in your resume. This guide offers more tips for proving soft skills https://www.aerotek.com/en/insights/how-to-prove-soft-skills-on-a-resume-and-in-interviews

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