24 May, 2022

article1Daljeet Kaur Lal

Hard skills vs Soft skills: What's the difference


When considering recruiting new employees, many companies first ensure that employees have the practical knowledge needed for the job. After all, wouldn't you hire a master gardener to fight skyscraper fire? However, hard skills are essential, but experienced companies have other types of challenges to cultivate skills. What is the difference between soft skills and hard skills? Facts have proved that hard skills vs soft skills aren’t an either/or proposition. It is a valuable package that is jointly cultivated by potential and long-term employees.

Hard skills vs soft skills

It is essential to fully understand the difference between soft skills and hard skills before writing a job description or designing a study plan. How can you hire or train for something that is only a vague concept? Fortunately, the difference between soft skills and hard skills is apparent. One is easy to measure and define, while the other is a little hard to judge. Hard skills are measurable talents and abilities. They are usually job-specific and can be learned through school education and on-the-job training. Soft skills are less defined skills and are generally suitable for a particular job and a universal skill.

Think of hard skills as the skills you write on your resume or the areas in which you hold certifications. Soft skills are skills that help you build long-term relationships with colleagues and customers. Do not underestimate the importance of hard skills to soft skills. In the next section, we will discuss what soft skills and hard skills are.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are technical knowledge and training acquired through your life experiences, career, and education. For example:

  • Anyone who has worked in a food service or retail store will know how to use a point-of-sale system.
  • Anyone who has taken an accounting course will know how to use Microsoft Excel.
  • If you have learned a foreign language, you can speak fluently.

Each job requires industry-specific technical skills. For example, if you want to become an architect, you need to know how to use drawing software. Many other industries have tests in place, requiring prior skills and knowledge essential for career success. Other employers may teach specific technical skills on the job.

How can you gain more hard skills?

You can learn Hard skills. That means you can acquire hard skills through the training course. These courses can be accessed by your current job, university or via the Internet. If you are using an online system to acquire new hard skills, your employer must approve the course.

Hard skills examples for resume

Some of the hard skills for a resume include:

Hard skills for resume
  • Bilingual or multilingual
  • Network security
  • Adobe software suite
  • Database management
  • SEO/SEM marketing
  • Marketing campaign management
  • Data mining
  • Statistical analysis
  • User interface design
  • Programming languages (Perl, Python, Java)
  • Mobile development
  • Storage systems and management

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are more difficult to quantify than hard skills and refer to an individual's ability to work independently and collaborate with others. For example, good written and verbal communication is considered a soft skill. Many soft skills are innate, but you can acquire them. For example, you can practice writing emails to improve your written communication skills at work.

Hard skills are necessary to be successful in a particular position, but soft skills help you succeed in the workplace by interacting with others actively. Examples of soft skills include communication and leadership qualities.

How can you gain more soft skills?

  • Soft skills are best achieved through real-life experience. Whether it is teamwork, communication, emotional intelligence, or something else, these skills are developed when we are around other people. That can happen at work or in private life. You can also learn by enrolling in a soft skills courses.

Soft skills examples for resume

Here are a few Soft Skills Examples for a resume that an employer might be looking for:

Soft Skills Examples for resume
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Curiosity
  • Conflict Management
  • Management
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Organization
  • Perseverance
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Awareness
  • Time Management
  • Self-Awareness
  • Work Ethic


Top skills employers look for

Each position requires specific hard skills, but employers are increasingly looking for candidates with specific soft skills. It is usually easier for an employer to train a new employee with complex skills like using a particular computer program than training employees with soft skills like patience,but  how you can develop your soft skills.

Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with varied skills - a combination of soft and technical skills. Candidates with this skill set are highly competitive in an evolving technology-centric economy. If you have the top skills employers seek applicants for employment, include them in your CV and cover letter and mention them in your interview.

Emphasize both hard and soft skills

Both are important, so during the application process, emphasize hard skills and soft skills. This way, even if you do not have the company's hard skills, you can highlight the soft skills that you think are valuable for the position. For example, if you have participated in multiple group projects in this job, please emphasize your experience and skills as a team member and your ability to communicate with them.

How to highlight your skills?

Highlight skills in your resume and cover letter to ensure that your potential employer understands your capabilities. Weave in mentions of your skills in the job interview.

  • Incorporate skills into your resume

Your resume should include a skills section that lists relevant skills. You can also show your skills in the job description. For example, if the job you are applying for requires legal knowledge and the ability to communicate well with customers, you can include a similar experience in your job description.

  • Include relevant skills in your cover letter

The cover letter is also an opportunity to highlight these two skill sets. However, it is better to show that you have them rather than you say you have them when it comes to soft skills. For example, instead of saying "I have leadership skills," someone said, "In my work at ABC, I steered the sales team to record the numbers and created a bonus structure that produced an excellent performance."

  • Share your skills during a job interview.

During an interview, STAR's interview response skills will help you demonstrate your soft skills. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result, and answers questions about the behavioural interview. It includes talking about work-related challenges, the role you played and what you did, and the consequences of your actions in response to the outcome's activities.


To be a balanced employee, you need soft skills and hard skills. "For example, software developers who know how to code and can communicate at all levels of the organization" are more effective at work and more attractive to employers. Therefore, when applying for a job, be sure to prove all the skills, qualities, and knowledge, which will make you a good contender.

article1Daljeet Kaur Lal


Daljeet Kaur Lal is an HR Trainer who has extensive work experience of over 11 years. She is now working with Edoxi Training Institute, Dubai. She develops and executes various HR training programs to ensure that employees have the skills and knowledge to meet the organization's objectives.

She is passionate about learning new things. She enjoys spending her free time reading favourite books and listening to all-time favourite melodies in English and Hindi. She is also keenly involved in Adventurous activities and loves to travel a lot. 

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