When you are applying for a job or writing your resume / CV, be sure to include a good list of hard skills you possess and give examples of them.
Hard skills are needed for all types of business areas and job positions.
On this page you will learn:
- What are hard skills? Definition.
- What is the difference between hard skills and soft skills?
- Most common hard skills list employers look for.
- Useful tips for listing your skills in a job application.
- Hard skills vs soft skills infographic in PDF for free download.
- A Quick Quiz: What do you know about hard skills?
What are hard skills?
Despite the fact that, there are much more information and examples of soft skills, hard skills are vital for business and professional development.
What exactly hard skills mean?
These are teachable abilities that can be defined and measured much more than soft skills. Hard abilities are easy to quantify. Soft abilities are personal-driven and subjective skills.
Some of the best examples of hard skills are a degree or certificate, foreign language knowledge, programming, mathematics, and etc.
Hard skills require specific knowledge! It is where comes the main difference with soft traits. For better understanding hard skills vs soft skills connection see the infographic at the end of this post.
Good examples of soft skills are communication skills, leadership, adaptability and problem-solving skills.
So, as you see it is really hard to measure and quantify soft abilities. But on the other hand, hard abilities are much more measurable.
As the hard skills are much more evaluated, it is easier for the companies to compare job candidates according to their hard knowledge and abilities.
With this in mind, you have to put in your resume or CV a really good list of your qualities, certificates and other documents that prove your hard skills!
Soft skills related to your personal characteristics and traits are difficult to prove but play a very important role in the company’s decision to hire a candidate for a particular job position.
Business Dictionary defines soft skills such as “Communicating, conflict management, human relations, making presentations, negotiating, team building, and other such ability, defined in terms of expected outcomes and not as a specific method or technique such as statistical analysis.”
Which skills are more important – hard or soft?
Of course, both of them are equal.
Balance is the best answer here. Make sure that your resume and CV contain enough skills of the both types.
Hard Skills List
The particular hard skills list depends entirely on job position you are applying for. The following examples show better the hard skills vs soft skills difference and connection.
- If you are applying for a software developer, some of the best hard skills are the ability to use one or more development language such as Java, C++, Smalltalk, PHP, .NET, and etc. Examples of a software developer soft skills are the ability to work successfully in a team, good communication skills, etc.
- If you are a project manager, you can list in your CV hard skills such as expert knowledge of project management methodologies as the Waterfall or Agile, business analysis knowledge, certifications as PMP, PRINCE etc. Hard skills are important for working with different types of PM software such as Project Management Tools, Risk Management Tools, Workflow Management Software, and Gantt Chart Software. Project manager skills also include knowledge for different UML diagram types.
Important soft skills of a project manager are leadership skills, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, decision-making and etc.
- For bakers, important hard skills are the ability to work with operating kitchen equipment and to have specific knowledge of different cook methods. Important soft skills: attention to detail, flexibility, adaptability, willingness to learn.
Although needed abilities depend on the job position, there are some common hard skills that are very popular in our high-tech ages. Here is a list of them:
- Basic Computer Skills
It is not a surprise that almost every type of job has a strong connection with computers. Examples of basic computer skills are the ability to work with Windows, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook Express, Windows Share Folders. If you need education or additional learning for these essential computer skills, here are some very helpful courses and books:
1) Microsoft Excel – Excel from Beginner to Advanced
2) Master Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 the Easy Way
3) Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint Training With Certificate
- Data Analysis
Analyzing some kind of data is a common part of many job positions and responsibilities. Big data is a key resource for many big data companies and businesses. So, it is obvious that data analysis is among the most common hard skills required.
In addition to that, you need knowledge for working with a range of software and tools such as data visualization software and flowchart software and etc.
There are many reasons to learn data analysis: want to start a new career, want to develop your hard skills in your current career, or you want to know how to use, collect, analyze, and present data for any purpose. If you have one of the above reasons, here are 2 important courses that can help:
1) Complete Introduction to Business Data Analysis:
2) Data Science A-Z: Real-Life Data Science Exercises Included
The both of the above courses are with a very high level of customer reviews and at an absolutely affordable price.
- Mathematics and Numeracy skills
Mathematics and numeracy skills are crucial for the majority of business fields – finance, IT, accounting, construction, building, manufacturing, engineering, logistics, medicine, trade and more.
- Knowing Foreign Languages
Although English is the official business correspondence language for many countries, it is a big advantage to know other languages. Examples of the most required languages are German, Spanish, French, Chinese.
- Planning Skills – these abilities are in a tight connection with many professions and business fields such as marketing, project management, engineering, business analysis, sales, logistics, construction, and etc. Also, there is a good range of tools and techniques for good and effective planning that you can learn to use.
As we mentioned above, hard and soft skills are of equal importance. They complement each other.
Here is a list of the most common and valuable soft skills required in a wide number of job descriptions:
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Time management skills
- Willingness to learn
- When you are considering what type of hard abilities to include in your resume look at the job description qualification section. This is the place where companies list the required degree, certificates, and technical skills.
- Always attach your certificates when applying for a job. Certificates are the proof for your hard skills!
- If you are learning something new or attending courses at the moment of the application, put them on your CV too. They develop your skills and qualifications and increase your opportunities to win the job.
Download the following Hard skills vs soft skills infographic in PDF for free download.
A Quick Quiz:
What do you know about hard skills?
What is the definition of hard skills?
Teachable skills that can be measured. They are easy to quantify and require specific knowledge.
Personal-driven and subjective skills. It is really hard to measure and quantify hard skills.
Skills related to your personal characteristics and traits. It is very difficult to prove them.
None of the answers are correct.
Which of the followings is NOT an example of hard skills?
Foreign language knowledge
A degree or certificate
Which of the followings is NOT related to the hard skills?
Easy to quantify
Characterize your relationship with other people
Require specific knowledge
How can you prove your hard skills?
With certificates, education degree, awards and etc.
You cannot prove that you possess hard skills.
Maths and physics are:
Examples of hard skills
Examples of soft skills
Adaptability and flexibility are:
Which of the following lines contain only hard skills?
An industry specific certification, SEO marketing, time management skills, creativity.
Foreign language skills, coding ability, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills.
Bookkeeping, the ability to work with Microsoft Word, machine operation ability, computer programming.
Hard skills can be learned in school and from books. True or false?