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Hard skills vs. soft skills: what is the difference?

When it comes to your CV, not all skills are created equal…

No matter what stage you are at in your career, you’ll likely have a list of attributes which you can use to help you stand out from other candidates. The difficulty is knowing which ones employers really want to see – and learning how to include them effectively in your CV.

To help you add value to your applications, here is a quick guide to hard skills and soft skills, and how using both of them together could help you land your ideal job:

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are specific abilities which help people carry out different jobs.

They are teachable, meaning that you can develop them through dedicated training. And, for some careers, certain hard skills will be considered prerequisites.

Some examples of hard skills you will need for a particular field may include:

OK, So What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are those self-developed talents and attributes that are not specific to a particular job. A lot of soft skills are developed over time and are gained with your life experience as well as your workplace and social experience. These are your skills that require no formal training to be able to learn them. You may think from this description that soft skills are not that important, but in fact quite the opposite is true. Soft skills are in demand across a whole range of different industries.

Soft skills are an amalgamation of lots of different things. These include your character, attitude, personality and social skills that can all add up to some great employment qualities that recruiters are looking for.

For example, here are some soft skills that are considered to be very desirable by many employers:

“It’s no longer about what you know, it’s about how you can learn and adapt.”

Jacob Morgan

Soft or hard skills both are essential to success in school, your job, and life. I hope this article has left you with an appreciation for both types, as well as some ideas for how to develop them.

What questions do you have about hard and soft skills? Have you ever experienced a time when one mattered more than the other? We’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below.

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