Hard skills vs soft skills: the difference between them, what are the most sought after and how do we balance them?

When recruiting or rather, when scanning your resume, recruiters look primarily at your hard and soft skills. Now you’re probably wondering what these skills are and if they’re listed correctly in your resume? You need to keep the following in mind: Successful candidates always make sure that they highlight both types of skills and are equally important.

Next, we will show you what those hard skills and soft skills are, how you improve them, but also how you balance them.

Table of Contents:

  1. Hard skills and soft skills: What do they represent?
  2. How to improve your hard skills
  3. The value of hard skills in a CV
  4. How to improve your soft skills
  5. The value of soft skills in a CV
  6. The balance between hard and soft skills

Hard skills and soft skills: What do they represent?

Hard skills are the skills to be learned, the technical skills and the required knowledge you need to do an activity. Usually, they are learned at school, from books, at workshops or even at work. Obviously, they differ depending on the field of activity.

If you want to work in IT, for example, you need to know a programming language (such as JavaScript) and develop your logic, among other things. If, on the other hand, you need to use a foreign language, you must have good knowledge of grammar and phonetics to be able to express yourself correctly and make yourself understood.

Soft skills instead are the skills that are useful to have at any job. Because most jobs involve interacting with people, skills such as patience, empathy, and teamwork will rank you as a desired candidate.

In short: Hard skills define your level of expertise; soft skills describe character traits and interpersonal relationships.


·       Bilingual or multilingual

·       Database management

·       Knowledge of the Adobe package

·       Network security

·       SEO / SEM marketing

·       Analysis

·       Programming Languages

·       Integrity

·       Communication

·       Openness

·       Adaptability

·       Creativity

·       Team player

·       Empathy

How do you improve your hard skills?

All skills – whether we are talking about hard skills or soft skills – are improved by practice. It is advisable to take courses to improve the soft skills / hard skills you need to succeed in the current labor market, which is constantly changing. Also, as the technical requirements of many jobs continue to adapt to trends, be prepared to learn continuously. Improve your general skills by getting involved in different types of activities, such as: classroom courses; online courses; MOOC type courses; ANC courses; postgraduate courses; internships; books; research, following specialized forums; go to trainings; get involved in research projects, etc. Lifelong learning is becoming commonplace today. For example, in some states, real estate agents have to take between 22 and 90 hours of training every two years to continue to be eligible for their job. In some countries, lawyers who move from one part of the country to another have to take a new bar exam.

The most sought after technical skills that an employer will look for in your resume depend on the industry in which you want to work and are generally easy to identify. Find out and then look for the right courses for you.

The value of hard skills in a CV

Each job requires mandatory hard skills that are necessary to successfully complete daily tasks. You will also need to have a certain level of expertise for each skill required in order to successfully complete your business.

Some professions, such as technical positions, will require more hard skills and thus they will be appreciated more than soft skills.

How do you improve your soft skills?

Unlike hard skills, where you can prove a certain skill by showing a diploma/certification, soft skills are harder to prove. After all, anyone can say “I know how to work in a team” or “I’m super organized”. If you want to make arguments when you say that you have such qualities, you can either present recommendations of a former manager or colleague, or come up with concrete examples.

To improve your soft skills, get involved in team projects or take on leadership roles that provide opportunities for personal development. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this at the office, consider volunteering. It’s a surefire way to learn soft skills! You can also develop/improve specific skills by participating in thematic trainings, courses, seminars, which you can then put into practice. But don’t waste time going to a team management course, if after that you will work alone.

According to LinkedIn, the five most sought soft skills by employers today are:

creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and team management.[1]

The value of specific skills in a CV

Soft skills help recruiters determine the type of person they will work with, but especially if you fit into the organizational culture of the company. Some professions, such as sales and human resources jobs, will also give more importance to soft skills than to hard skills because interaction with people is more intense.

While hard skills will catch the eye of the recruiters, soft skills will help you stand out and compete with other candidates. A bonus of adding soft skills to a CV is that they are transferable, which means they can be used in different industries and in different types of jobs.

The balance between hard and soft skills

While certain hard skills are required for a position, employers are increasingly looking for candidates with soft skills. This is because, although it is easy for an employer to train a new employee in a particular hard competency, it is much more difficult to train an employee in a soft competency.

So, work on both. Get really involved in any training related to the development of your skills to ensure your expertise in a field.

Interviews for a new job can be tiring and unpleasant. No matter what we do, it’s hard to feel fully prepared for them. However, finding the balance between hard skills and soft skills can boost your confidence and increase your chances of being hired. This balance helps employers see you as an ideal candidate!

[1]Keep an eye on our site because we are going to discuss them in more detail!

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