By Oleander Johnson
Navigating the professional and personal experiences in your life can be challenging. Often, situations require various skills to ensure you can address them correctly. Some skills focus on providing technical solutions, like when a family member asks you to help fix their computer or internet router. Other skills necessitate good character, like approaching a disgruntled colleague with empathy and compassion can soothe a potential outburst.
Of course, no one is a virtuoso at everything, which is okay. More importantly, you should understand what these skills are and how they contrast. That way, you will be better equipped to use or develop the skills necessary for handling different people and tasks. Keep reading to learn about the difference between hard skills and soft skills, which is more important, and how to decide on the skills to highlight in your resume.
What is the Difference Between Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills?
The main difference between hard and soft skills is how they are acquired and used. Hard skills are competencies you learn to complete a specific task or job. Some people have a natural talent for specific hard skills—like painting—but that individual still needs to train their technical skills. Soft skills relate to character traits, such as creativity and dependability. While you can orient yourself to embody these characteristics, to a degree, they are often innate to your personality. Here are some more examples of hard skills and soft skills:
- Computer programming
- Web development
- Foreign languages proficiency
- Graphic design
- Civil engineering
- Project management
- Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing
- Critical thinking
- Work ethic
Which Skills Are More Important?
Both hard and soft skills are equally important. No matter the industry, employers usually want their employees and potential candidates to possess a combination of both skill sets. In the workplace, you must have the hard skills to perform your job correctly while also using crucial soft skills like time management and listening to ensure you meet your deadlines and can communicate effectively with your colleagues. But ultimately, the skills you need most will depend on your position and what your employer or job requires.
What Hard Skills and Soft Skills Should You Include on Your Resume?
When you are ready to create a resume or update one, consider adding a skills section to highlight your capabilities more efficiently. Otherwise, the hard and soft skills you include in your resume should relate to your previous roles and the new positions you seek. Be truthful about your skills, as the employer may require you to prove that you have them. You could go into further detail about how your hard and soft skill sets applied to your previous roles or how they might benefit the new position.