Explains soft skills vs hard skills


In job descriptions, employers often ask for a combination of soft and hard skills. Hard skills are related to specific technical knowledge and training while soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, communication or time management. Both types of skills are necessary to perform and advance in most jobs successfully.

Soft Skills

These skills prove you’d be a great fit anywhere. They’re part of your personality, but you can learn them, or get better by practice. They are subjective skills that are much harder to quantify. Also known as “people skills” or “interpersonal skills,” soft skills relate to the way you relate to and interact with other people.


  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Persuasion
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Work ethic

Just saying you have the skill isn’t very meaningful. Instead, your best bet is to demonstrate that you possess this quality by sharing examples of times when you used it.

Hard Skills

These skills show you’re great for a specific job, but nobody is born with them. They are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Typically, you’ll learn hard skills in the classroom, through books or other training materials, or on the job. These hard skills are often listed in your cover letter and on your CV and are easy for an employer or recruiter to recognize.


  • Speaking a foreign language
  • Degree or certificate
  • Typing speed
  • Machine operation
  • Computer programming

How to include your skills on a CV

When updating or creating your CV, you might consider including a “Skills” section that highlights your abilities most relevant to the position. This is especially important for jobs with specific technical skills requirements. For ideas on what to include and prioritize in your skills section, carefully review the job posting.

But will you get the job if you stuff your CV with all the top skills or even the top 10 soft skills? Probably not. But you can pick the few the hiring manager needs and get the interview.

Hard and soft skills the employers want to see might be found in the “requirements,” “education” or “desired skills” sections of the post.

These skills are both necessary to find career success. Although people gain and develop these skills in different ways, you can learn and develop both hard and soft skills before applying for jobs.

Good luck!



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