In a job application, the majority of employers look for two sets of skills among applicants. You might have heard about soft and hard skills already. But, are you aware what these skills mean? Do you want to know the difference between soft and hard skills? Get to know the essential information by reading through this article.
Soft Skills – Defined
Commonly known as “interpersonal or people skills”, soft skills are the subjective skills that a person possesses. These skills are harder to measure. Generally, soft skills help an employer determine how you connect or interact with co-workers in the corporate setting.
What are some of the soft skills?
- Flexibility and versatility
- Communication skills (oral and written)
- Problem-solving capacities
- Work ethics
- Patience and persistence
- Stress management
- Networking skills
- Management abilities
Now, that you get a background about soft skills. Let’s go to the definition and description of hard skills.
Hard Skills – What Are These?
If soft skills are something that’s difficult to calculate, hard skills are those that are easy to measure. These are teachable skills that we acquired from either education or training. You might not be aware but hard skills are knowledge and abilities that we learned from the classroom, reading books and other materials that you encountered.
Below are hard skills that you may find necessary for your job hunting.
- Bilingual language (foreign and local)
- Certificate or degree
- Computer skills (programming, software applications etc.)
- Technical skills (machine operation)
Hard skills can also include those basic skills in physics, finance, chemistry, accounting, statistics and other subjects that you took up in your education. In a business setting, hard skills are which the company rules stay and stick. Meanwhile, soft skills are where the company rules can change for some time based on how the culture and orientation of the company change in the passing of time.
The kind of people and environment that you work with can somehow affect your soft skills. While hard skills may not be changed but can be improved along with the advancement of education and knowledge acquired.
Your employer can easily determine your soft and hard skills even if you don’t label them separately. Most employers do recognise every skill and ability that you possess but they give importance to some essential skills that they require for the company.
It’s necessary that you know the differences between these two sets of skills so you know how to highlight them in your resume. If you have a background with both soft and hard skills, you will learn the best ways on highlighting each of them in your curriculum vitae.
Your knowledge of these two skills can help you in your future professional endeavours. As much as possible, you have to keep these in mind for best results for your job search.
Ask any hiring manager why most people fail and they will invariably chalk it up to weak “soft skills” rather than a lack of the technical qualifications. This is not because the technical abilities are not important. It is simply due to the fact that soft skills are primarily natural to the person whereas the technical abilities can be learned. I have noticed more and more over the last couple of years that hiring managers are using our tests to evaluate candidates for many non-sales roles. I believe this is a very healthy development as it will reduce job turnover and increase the likelihood that the new employee will succeed.
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