Hard skills and soft skills – what is the difference?

We talk a lot about the kind of skills you should have in your arsenal – but what about hard skills and soft skills? How can they help boost your CV?

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are the kind of skills you’ll commonly find on a CV because they are the ones you have put the most time and effort into achieving. In other words, they are ‘hard’ because they must be taught. As such, you’ll find that college, university and online courses generally fall into this category, as the type of qualifications you’ll earn from these will put you in a better position to get a job.

However, if you’re still not sure if you can class a skill as ‘hard’, then ask yourself the following:

  1. Can the competence of the skill be measured through course levels? I.e. A Levels, Degree, etc.
  2. Can this skill be taught to others with a high success rate?
  3. Is there evidence of this skill i.e. a qualification at the end?
  4. Were you born with this skill?

Now this last question is a tricky one, as whilst you are never born with hard skills, hence the need to learn them, not all soft skills come from birth either. Some require practice, development and experience.  Likewise, not all hard skills will help you to get a job. For instance, some are more focused towards helping your hobbies and interests to flourish.

  • Examples of hard skills:
  • Coding
  • Language proficiency
  • Tiling and plastering
  • Administration tasks
  • SEO copywriting
  • Carpentry
  • First aid

What are soft skills?
Soft skills are not always as easy to evidence as hard skills as they don’t come with course certificates or a portfolio of work. No, soft skills are harder to prove, which is sad given that they can help you in your job in other ways i.e. help you to succeed in more than one job type.

Take for example leadership. This is a transferable skill which is beneficial across numerous industries yet isn’t exclusive to a set role.

Then there is the following to consider:
Soft skills can be achieved somewhat from learning i.e. through training and courses. However, it is more common for them to be a part of an individual’s personality i.e. some people are natural leaders who get better through experience.
Soft skills are not measurable and are hard to quantify.  Soft skills are beneficial in both working environments and in day-to-day social interactions.

  • Other examples of soft skills
  • Communication
  • Good manners
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict resolution
  • Adaptable
  • Creativity
  • Empathy

As you can see, having access to both of these skills can be asset so if you’re interested in maximising your CV then why not take a look at our range of online courses and see how they can benefit your hard and soft skillset?

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