Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills In Your Resume
There are endless skills that you can include on any resume, and you have to decide which ones will be the most effective. There are hard, industry-specific technical skills, as well as soft skills that every job demands.
Hard skills are technical abilities that are specific to a particular job and are often measurable. For software developers, their set of hard skills would include specific programming languages. Soft skills are personal skills or creative abilities that can come naturally or be strengthened over time. Some examples of soft skills are adaptability, self-motivation, people skills, time management, and the ability to work under pressure.
Some great skills employers love to see on your resume if you are looking for remote work are: written and verbal communication, the ability to work independently, time and task management, organization, comfort with technology, and specific knowledge of remote communication tools like Zoom, Skype, Dropbox, Google Suite, etc., shared Toni Frana, FlexJobs expert career coach.
Lets take a closer look at the skills section for your resume.
Note: FlexJobs is the longtime leader in helping job seekers find the highest-quality remote, work-from-home, hybrid, and flexible jobs. You can to our database of hand-screened job listings, as well as job search and career webinars, and many other great resources! Learn today howFlexJobs can empower your job search!
Top Soft Skills For Your Resume
There are tons of soft skills that you can include in your resume, but how do you know which ones to include? Here is a quick list of soft skills examples you should list on your resume.
Problem Solving Skills
No matter what the job is, eventually something will go wrong and employers want to know that youre capable of coming up with a quick and effective solution. In fact, there are jobs that are essentially nothing but solving problems for the company, the clients, or both.
Critical Thinking Skills
Being able to think rationally and thoughtfully is the basis of critical thinking. Employers want workers who can think through a problem or a project and determine the best steps needed. Critical thinkers come up with new and better ways to work, making it an invaluable skill to put on a resume.
Many organizations and industries covet employees who are dynamic and adaptable to every situation, or who have a natural ability to use a variety of methods and approaches in different circumstances to get the best end result.
Whether its written or verbal, being able to communicate with your boss, coworkers, and clients/customers in all situations is very valuable. The better you are at it, the better results you will generate.
Most jobs will sometimes require you to work with other people at some point, and employers want to know that you can succeed in a team environment. Some jobs will prize this skill more than others.
Fastest Ways To Obtain New Skills
Are you looking for your first job? Are you missing some of the required skills on a job posting? If so, dont worry. There are a range of ways for you to obtain the needed skills quickly.
If you are in need of a hard skill, this task is much easier. Hard skills are learned, so you can typically find an online resource, school, or curriculum to pick up the needed skills.
If you dont have enough time to attend class in person, there are a number of online learning platforms with courses that you can take online, in your spare time. Some examples of popular eLearning platforms include Lynda, Udemy, and Skillshare.
Learning soft skills are a little trickier. These interpersonal and personality traits are hardwired into humans, so the only way to get better at them is to practice, practice, practice.
If you cant practice soft skills while on a job, try to find some day-to-day activities that you can practice these skills during.
For example, if you need to work on punctuality, set a goal to arrive 5 minutes early wherever you need to be, no matter if it is for class or for coffee. Or if you need to work on your professionalism, pick up a volunteer job based in a professional, office setting.
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What Should I Do If My Skills Dont Match The Job Description
During your job search, youâre probably going to come across a job that looks perfect for your goals. Unfortunately, the employer asks for skills that you donât have. What should you do?
First, determine whether the skills are hard skills or soft skills. If a job requires specific technical skills to be successful and you donât have them, you likely shouldnât apply. You wouldnât do well in this position, and this is exactly the type of qualification that ATS scans are designed to filter out. You should spend your time on other job applications or learning those skills instead.
When youâre lacking soft skills, you can try to leverage similar experiences or transferable skills. You might not have experience managing a department, but you may have managed a project. Include that on your resume instead. If youâre not experienced at public speaking, mention your experience leading a meeting or being interviewed for a podcast instead. Do your best to relate the soft skills you have to the work experience you lack.
How To Structure Your Skills Section
When it comes to your skills section, there are a few different ways you can structure it:
- Experience level
We put together over 150+ resume examples so you can see how your skills section can be structured in practice. Browsing through our or our Word resume templates will give you a few more ideas, too.
These kind of breakdowns are not absolutely essential. You can just list all of your skills in your skills section provided you keep the number of skills to under 10.
First, you can break up your skills by category. This is most appropriate if you’re applying for a technical role since you can break up the different technologies you use by their category.
For example, as a data analyst you might want to break your skills up by the different facets of your job .
This breakdown of your skills can also work really well if soft skills are your biggest strength. For example, you can break your soft skills down by categories like leadership skills, customer service skills, communication skills, etc.
Another way to divide your skills on your resume is by your experience level with them. You can convey that experience either in terms of years of experience with that skill or by an experience rating you decide on .
Here’s an example of this skills breakdown in action:
And again, you can also just list all of your skills without categories like below if there are fewer than 10 skills:
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Skills Based Resume Templates Free To Download
A skills based resume template provides an applicant a lot of space to list their specific skills and abilities.
This is a great resume for job-seekers in trade industries including IT, various medical fields, and the electrician profession just to name a few.
All of the following resumes are available free to download.
File Name: 3 Column Skills Resume.docx
File Size: 6.2 KB
This resume template has 3 columns plenty of space to list all your skills.
This type of resume is especially useful to job-seekers in the trades or any industry that requires a lot of skills.
Have a strong professional summary to bring together the best of your abilities. Youll have more space to expand later.
File Name: Strong Summary Skills Resume.docx
File Size: 6.7 KB
This resume template uses a bolded professional summary to let the employer know youre qualified.
This can be a great resume to use when you have multiple attributes that meet the employers requirements.
The summary works best in one or two sentences.
File Name: 2 Column Functional Skills Resume Template.docx
File Size: 18.2 KB
This resume is great for both college students and graduates.
Your objective should be both a summary of your educational experience and your future aspirations.
If you have multiple degrees or are in a graduate program, theres enough space to describe all of your skills.
How Do You Choose The Skills To List On A Resume
Heres the deal.
You know what youre good at. You know the things you grew up doing as a kid, or the things you learned in school , or the activities you did after school .
So you should already have a list of things that you would consider yourself proficient in.
This is a good place to start.
Here are the steps for choosing the right skills:
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Best Skills To Include On A Resume
The skills section of your resume shows employers you have the abilities required to succeed in the role. Often, employers pay special attention to the skills section of your resume to determine if you should move on to the next step of the hiring process. In this article, we examine 10 important skills to include on a resume, as well as tips on how to best craft the skills section of your resume.
If you aren’t sure how to show your best skills on your resume, you can get professional help with our
Figure Out The Skills Needed For The Job
When applying for jobs, it is important to identify the set of skills that are needed. Picking out the needed skills will help you determine if you are a good fit for the role. It will also help you tailor your resume skills to the specific job you are applying for.
There are two main ways to determine the skills needed for a job.
The first is to dissect job descriptions and job postings that are posted on career websites and job boards. To do this, go through a job description and highlight each quality that describes the candidate the company is looking for.
For example, here is a job posting for a cashier position:
Then create a list of all the qualities described, making sure to write each skill using the same wording that is used in the job posting.
The second way to figure out what skills are needed for a job is to search for people on LinkedIn who are already performing the role.
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Tailor Your Skills To The Company/position
As you may have read in our other blog articles, it is always very important to tailor your job interview to the company and position you are interviewing with/for (for a more in depth look at our Tailoring Method article. This includes your resume and the skills you include on your resume as well!
As we mentioned before, the company will have a specific set of skills that they will require the successful candidate to have in order to do the job to their standard.
So as you might have guessed, it is absolutely essential that these skills make an appearance on your resume.
You need to spend some more time researching the company, and this means going through all of their various web properties including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Because they will leave clues about the types of people they hire, which will give you a better idea of the skills that you need to include in your resume. This especially applies to soft skills.
Ask yourself this. Do I have a similar skill-set to the types of employees they hire?
If the answer is yes, great!
If the answer is no read on!
And as we said before, REALLY dig into the job description to make sure you have a strong understanding of the skills that are required for the job, and make darn sure you put those skills in the skill section of your resume.
Layout For A Skills Based Resume
The ideal layout or format for a skills based resume would look something like this:
Your skills based resume may end up in a different order but let me explain my choices.
Writing A Professional Summary
Having the professional summary start off your resume is a great way to quickly summarize your professional qualifications. You let the employer know right away that you are a qualified candidate.
The professional summary should go right above the skills section.
Filling Out Your Skills Section
The summary is also a great way to lead in to your skills section. Your summary gives a general idea of your talents, while the skills section comes along and solidifies the individual skills that make you fit for the job.
How you organize your skills is a personal preference, but most people use a bullet point style of listing skills to make each one stand out. Its also a good idea to use a column type of structure to use as little space as possible to list many skills.
Laying Out Work Experience
On a skills based resume, the work experience section should include examples of you using the skills you listed above.
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What Are Language Skills
Language skills refer to additional languages you can communicate in apart from the one you used to write your resume. Employers assume that by writing a resume in a particular language, you are proficient in it. Your language skills are any additional languages in which you have a practical ability. While there are proficiency levels for beginners, employers only consider proficiency levels suitable for workplace communication.
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Basic Computer Skills Like Email And Microsoft Word
At this point, listing âemailâ or âMicrosoft Wordâ as skills is almost equivalent to listing âreadingâ or âbasic mathâ. Theyâre not differentiators â theyâre expected.
âBy adding as a skill, candidates may appear to be trying to add âfluffâ to their resume, i.e., that they are grasping for anything to include because they donât have enough relevant skills to list out,â says Peter Riccio, Founding Partner of recruiting firm Atlas Search.
One exception to this would be if youâve honed a very specific practice using these programs, such as â an access database from scratch and data from Excel and other databases,â says career coach . âNow that is worth mentioning in your skills section.â
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Talk To Professionals In The Field
If youre having a difficult time determining what skills an employer may want to see, consider contacting a professional already working in the industry or position similar to the one youre applying for. Find out what skills they consider most important, and identify which align with your own.
When creating a list of skills for your resume, only include those you know to be your strengths. If theres something youre still learning, dont feel pressured to include it because it appears in the job posting. If the employer mentions a skill you didnt include during the interview process, you can discuss how youre working to learn or improve for the role.
Why Are Computer Skills Important
Most jobs now require the use of computers, mobile devices or software applications in some capacity. Some employers will require prior knowledge or experience with specific applications, while others will offer on-the-job training. If you have a working knowledge of commonly used software, you may be able to more easily learn how to use new programs.
Whether youre employed in customer service, manufacturing, food service or tech, employers use computer applications to automate certain tasks, streamline communication and more.
Job applicants with computer skills are highly sought-after due to the increase of technology in the workplace. You can showcase your computer skills by identifying computer-related requirements on job postings and explaining on your resume how you meet or exceed those requirements with past experience.
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Tailor Your Skills To The Job
Relevance is key. Only list skills that are appropriate for the job you are applying for. You can figure out which ones are relevant by scanning a job listing.
Job ads usually list a set of requirements or skills they expect a good candidate to have. Make sure you dont leave any of those out on your resume.
For example, imagine you are applying for a line cook position in a restaurant:
Heres the job description. We have underlined your main responsibilities:
Here at ABCD we are committed to creating a one-of-a-kind experience for our guests. Our French restaurant is looking for a professional line cookfor the summer season to work directly under the supervision of our chef. Responsibilities include prepping and cleaning food, creating and cooking meals and cleaning up the working area. Impeccable attention to detail in food cooking and presentation is needed.
So from this, you understand that ABCD is looking for someone that:
- Is committed to excellence and is highly professional
- Works well under supervision, and with others
- Can prep, clean, and cook food
- Has great attention to detail in cooking and presentation
So, what you should mention in your skill section are:
Skills: food prepping, cooking skills, food presentation, attention to detail, heavy lifting, team-work.
You Can Also Learn Something New That Will Make You More Attractive To Employers
I recommend doing this by taking a course via and then adding it to your resume Skills section). This is a great option if youre job searching after being unemployed because it shows employers youre keeping your skills current and staying active.
You can learn soft skills like body language or hard skills like front-end web development, social media management, and more.
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