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Hard Skills or Soft Skills - Which is More Important?
6 March 2018
When applying for jobs, one of the first things that comes to mind particularly when writing a CV is the skills we possess, and how these can be applied to the job we want. But what are these different kind of skills, and which type carries more weight on your CV?
The first step is noting the two types of skills recruiters look for – hard and soft.
What are hard skills?
Hard skills are those which we can learn through training, for example:
- Computer skills
- Industry related knowledge
- Foreign languages
- A degree
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are those which can be described more as character traits, which are typically self-developed. For example:
- Communication skills
- Teamwork skills
- Good work ethic
So now you know of the two different categories, the next step is tackling how to present these on your CV. It’s evident that hard skills are easier to convey on paper, as it is usually less difficult to back them up. For example, explaining that you have impressive advertising and branding knowledge can be easily evidenced through your business degree.
Soft skills are a little but harder to back up, but you can usually do this through examples of achievements in your previous experience. For example, demonstrating your leadership skills by being appointed supervisor.
The question is, which of the two categories do employers value the most?
Many jobseekers first assumption is that hard skills are the ones that will get you the job. Although these skills are of course incredibly important and useful to your job search, they aren’t the be all and end all. Many employers now place tremendous value on soft skills that we hold instead, that can indicate whether or not we will fit in with a company and its culture.
Realistically, employers will be looking for a combination of hard and soft skills to ensure you’re the perfect fit for their role. With a mix of skills, they will know that you hold the industry knowledge to complete tasks efficiently and to their standard, whilst also demonstrating the characters traits they value within their company culture.
Now that you know the basics, why not put your skills to the test?