When identifying the skills you possess, you’ll probably notice that some are tangible and some are more abstract. And guess what — both are important! When employers are searching for new talent, they will likely be looking for a good balance of the two. Likewise, the best employers will also be looking for training and educational opportunities to help you grow and develop both types of skills.
What are Hard Skills?
Of the two, hard skills are easier to quantify and measure. You might learn these types of skills in a class, a course, or some type of schooling. Maybe you even learn it on the job. These are the kinds of skills that are obvious to include on your resume and are often directly related to the tasks you perform in a role or position.
Some examples are:
- Proficiency in a second language
- Computer programming
- Database management skills
- SEO skills
- Administrative skills
- Writing skills
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are sometimes thought of as people skills or interpersonal skills. It’s much harder to measure and define these. It’s also a bit more challenging to train and develop these skills as they often come from life experience. However, these skills are important because they are ones that allow people to work together well on a team and fit in with a company culture.
Some examples are:
- Time management
Weaving the Two Together
While you may put the two in separate buckets to categorize them, they impact each other greatly. For instance, higher creativity (soft) might improve your writing (hard). Better time management and organization (soft) might help you be better with administrative skills (hard). It works in reverse as well: learning and developing hard skills can improve some soft skills. They work in tandem.
One of the main differences is that hard skills can be demonstrated with a degree or certification, whereas soft skills must often be shown by the results that they created for a situation or a project. Hard skills are generally easier to train for (since they are so much easier to measure), which is why it’s important to make your relevant soft skills known (especially when searching for a job). They also help an employer determine if you are the right fit for the company’s culture.
To Sum it Up…
Both are important. And even though developing soft skills might be harder, it’s actually not impossible! We offer many training courses that help build communication, teamwork, and leadership skills (that are considered soft). And it’s always worth it to learn new skills — and improve upon the ones you already have.
“Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.” -Dale Carnegie