The Difference Between Hard And Soft Skills
Hard resume skills are all the practical, industry-specific tools and know-how needed for a job. Hard skills are quantifiable and usually learned in school, on the job, or training. Hard resume skills can usually be tested and are sometimes verified during the hiring process.
A modern trend we see across the millions of resumes created with Resume.io is that more job seekers use hard skills to optimize the keywords on their resume. This strategy is an especially important step for candidates applying to larger companies who are likely to use Applicant Tracking Software to automatically filter and score resumes based on a list of keywords in the job description.
Soft resume skills are usually aspects of your personality, work style, or effectiveness that are harder to measure or quantify. Soft skills are especially important for positions of leadership or positions where you are interacting with customers.
Once hiring managers assess your hard skills to know you can get the job done, they look to your soft skills to know if you can get the job done well. For many modern offices and creative start-ups, a company culture fit could be the edge over someone with the same hard skills. Soft skills speak louder in some situations.
Profession-specific examples of hard and soft skills
Hard skills : Surgery, Post-Operative Care, Emergency Medicine, Diagnosis.
Soft skills : Team Management, Leadership, Compassion, Empathy.
Warning: Employers Want To See Where You Used Each Skill Too
In general, employers want to see where and when you used each skill . So dont just rely on a Skills section.
Also, put effort into your resume summary paragraph.
I typically read those sections first as a recruiter. Thats where I can see which key skills youve used most in your career.
In fact, even if you put your skills section very high up on a resume, I usually skip it and only return to read it AFTER I check out your recent work experience and bullets!
The bottom line is: Recruiters and hiring managers dont want to see a big list of skills with no reference to where each skill was used at least not at first. And they especially do not want to see a long list of soft skills. Theyre mostly looking for hard skills and key skills from the job posting when they first glance at your resume.
So keep this in mind when writing your skills list. The hiring manager might skip it and look for your experience section first.
This resume section still has value as a secondary place to show off your abilities and core competencies, and as a place to fill your resume with great keywords so you can get past the ATS .But the biggest mistake I see job seekers making is relying on the skills section too much to get interviews or get the employers attention.
How Should I Format A Skills Section
Hopefully, at this point youve been convinced to keep your skills section intact and perhaps even to add a couple things you hadnt thought of before. But how do you best present all this important information in a way that isnt just a jumble of keywords? That might be okay for an ATS, but no human being wants to read that.
If you have a long list of skills, think of subheadings as beautiful things that make even the most unruly mess of words look sleek and organized. Group your skills into reasonable categories, then name each group of skills something appropriate. For example, if you happen to be multilingual, a good subheading for all the languages you speak would be, unsurprisingly, Languages. Or if youre a designer who also codes, label your sections Design and Technical. Start each category on a new line with the subheading in bold at the beginning of the list. Thats it!
If your skills only fill one to two lines, you can change the section to Skills and Interests or Skills and Certifications and add the appropriate additional subheadings for interests, certifications, awards, and the like.
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Example Of An Ats Skills Report
Depending on the program, the ATS scan also gives weight to your core skills. Based on the words you use and the frequency of each, the computer will parse your resume and generates a report that briefly explains to the employer how skilled you are. The screenshot below was pulled from our in-house ATS softwareâthe same tech big companies use to parse your resume.
Youâll see our ATS pulled information about computer systems , foreign language proficiency, and problem solving skills in addition to the industry and the core skill .
This information was generated from a resume submission, as opposed to a ZipJob professionally written resume, so other IT-related computer programs, degrees, and so on were not optimized for the ATS. Weâll talk about how to optimize your resume for ATS scans next.
Curious about what your resume says to an ATS? Try ourfree review.
How To Include Data Analysis Skills In Your Resume
If you have these skills, its only a matter of time before you land a job.
Here are some keywords that can help make the task easier:
1. Perform Data Visualization.
- Mention your expertise with data visualization tools, such as Tableau, Databox, etc.
- Explain how you used them in previous business settings and the results you achieved.
2. Perform Quantitative Analysis.
- Here, you can highlight how you performed a quantitative analysis in the past and the tools you used.
3. Proficiency in Statistical Analysis.
- Mention your deep working knowledge in statistical techniques, including correlation, regression, skewness, kurtosis, extrapolation, etc.
4. Proficiency in Machine Learning.
- Mention the techniques you know like the Apriori algorithm, Random Forest technique, Recommender system, etc.
- Explain how you used it in previous organizations for predictive analytics.
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What Are The Best Skills To Put On A Resume
Its no secret that many hiring managers spend only a short amount of time looking at a resume before deciding whether to pass on a job candidate or add them to the shortlist. What you may not know is, employers today are looking for both hard and soft skills on your resume. Read any job posting, for example, and you might see the following requests:
- Computer skills
- Collaboration talent
- Problem-solving abilities
These skills and attributes, and others we discuss in this post, are essential for todays workplace. Hard skills are the technical skills required to accomplish the tasks and responsibilities associated with the job. Theyre acquired through practice, education and training. Theyre measurable and easy to advertise: You either have the desired technical skills and experience, or you dont. Your work history and certifications will speak to them.
Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, reflect ones personality and personal attributes. They can relate to an ability to fit into a companys work culture, handle stress, communicate clearly or play well with others, for example. They may be soft, but theyre important skills for a resume: When job candidates possess comparable experience levels and technical skills, soft skills can tip the balance.
See later sections for tips on how to showcase soft and hard skills on your resume. But lets talk first about which skills employers are looking for.
How To Convey Your Level Of Skill Proficiency
The difficult thing with a resume is that it is difficult to indicate that level of proficiency you have in a certain skill. If your ability with Excel is basic, you might think twice about including it in your skills section, but not including it might mean that the ATS rejects you before a hiring manager has even read a word.
One easy solution for this is including a skills section that has a graphical representation for the level of skill . This is quite basic, but it is effective and will allow you to include those must-have skills without having to overplay your experience.
It is true to say that your experiences will give an indication of your proficiency in certain skills, so dont waste too much resume space in detailing exactly what level of skill you possess in a certain area. That will come at a later stage in the interview.
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Soft Skills To Include On Your Resume
Before we dive into hard skills and ATS optimization, lets talk about soft skills. Soft skills, like communication, time management, and teamwork are more subjective in nature and easily transferable. But that doesnt mean theyre not important.
Recruiters and hiring managers want to know that your soft skills are well matched to the job. And the easiest way to communicate these abilities is to explicitly list them on your resume.
Here are 10 skills that employers love to see:
- Work Ethic
What Are The Hard Skills For A Resume
Hard skills for a resume are technical skills, or special knowledge or abilities that professionals use to complete tasks specific to their role. Individuals can learn hard skills through experience, education, or training. Usually, hard skills vary according to the role, but some are common to several industries. Unlike soft skills, employers can test and objectively measure the hard skills of a candidate.
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Skills To Put On A Resume
“Skills” are generally understood to be the things you are good at, but you should be highly selective of which skills you include in your resume. This is because both the job you are applying for and the company you will interview at have very specific skill requirements. With a tailored set of skills, your resume will stand out.
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What Are Computer Skills
Computer skills refer to the knowledge and set of abilities that allow you to use computers and new technology efficiently and effectively. Basic computer skills include: word processing software, access the Internet, manage files, or create presentations. Advanced computer skills include: accessing databases, advanced spreadsheets knowledge, and coding.
Computer skills comprise the vast majority of technical skills that companies desire from their employees.
For example, reveals that such skills as cloud and distributed computing, statistical analysis and data mining, data presentation, or marketing campaign management are among the top sought-after computer skills. Let’s see in detail what the most important computer skills are.
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What Is A Resume Skills Section Why Is It Important
Having a section dedicated to an applicants skills makesit easy for recruiters to check qualifications quickly. For candidates, its anotheropportunity to add keywords and highlight their skills, in case the recruiterdidnt read through their professional history.
The resume skills section is often listed after the professionalexperience section, but some resume templates have the skill section at aseparate column on the left or right-hand side of the document.
Some candidates group their skills according to the main responsibilities of their job.
Using a template such as those available through Envato Elements and GraphicRiver makes your professional skills look more organized and easy to read for the recruiter. Above is an example of how to list programming skills on a resume , which clearly shows the applicant has more experience when it comes to programming compared to graphic design .
Tips To Match Your Skills To Job Requirements
When adding resume skills, it helps to know your audience. As you apply to jobs, consider three sources to understand how your audience might react to the resume skills: the job description, the company, and the industry.
Read the job description to understand the important keywords and tone of voice. How does the job description talk about skills? Are there any required skills? Be sure to list and talk about skills on your resume in a similar way the job description uses.
Research the company to figure out the company culture. Does the company put an emphasis on innovation and learning? Does the company seem like it would have an appreciation for creative skills or like they might put a stronger emphasis on soft skills? Know what type of skills the company values overall and be sure to include those skills on your resume.
Understand the industry to align the skills on your resume with the expectations of your industry. Demonstrate your experience and industry knowledge by talking about the skills on your resume exactly the way an industry insider would expect.
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Include Skills In Your Work Experience
Another effective way to demonstrate your technical skills is through your work experience section. Including your skills in the work experience section allows you to demonstrate their impact on your previous employment. For better results, ensure you quantify your achievements by using measurable terms like figures or percentages. Also, use action words for a more effective resume.
How Should I Organize My Skills
You should use your skills as keywords throughout your resume. Some excellent places to include skills on your resume include your resume summary, your work experience, and your skills or core competencies section.
Once youâve identified which skills should be featured in your skills section, you can hone in on how to organize the content.
First, you want to title the section as âSkills,â âCore Competencies,â or something similarly recognizable.
âThe section headings should be very straightforward,â warns Jennifer.
âMost ATS systems are programmed to understand basic section headings i.e. âWork Experience, Education, etc.â If you get too creative with the headings it can confuse the ATS scans and skew your results. When it comes to your skills, I like to use âCore Competenciesâ or âCore Proficienciesâ.â
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How To Find The Best Skills To List On Your Resume
Before you begin writing your resume, familiarize yourself with the hard and soft skills associated with the job you want.
The best way to identify these important job skills is to analyze job openings in your industry. Take this job ad, for instance. For your convenience, weve highlighted soft skills in green and hard skills in yellow:
In this ad, you can quickly pick out several good skills to put on your resume. This includes a range of technical skills needed for the position, as well as many soft skills that help define the best candidate for the role.
Once youve looked at several such job ads, youll have a clearer idea of what job skills hiring managers are looking for.
How To List Skills On A Resume
There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to deciding where to put the skills on your resume. According to our friends over at online resume-builder Zety.com, skills are so very, very important that they should show up all over your resume. Not just in the resume skills section.
In other words, it is imperative that there are elements of your skills throughout your resume, including your resume objective/summary and experience sections.
In addition, there isnt one right answer for where to include your skills, because just like everything else in the job interview world
It depends on the industry, company and position you are interviewing with/for.
For example, for a job where technical competencies are of the utmost importance, it is often beneficial to list the skills closer to the top of the resume, right underneath the resume objective or resume summary statement.
However, if through your research you determine that the hiring manager will put more weight into your experience, you may want to lead with your experience and put the skill section further down your resume.
At the end of the day, the selection of the skills themselves is the most important thing.
After all, most hiring managers will easily find your skill section regardless of where it is on your resume.
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Why Is It Important To List Skills On A Resume
Skills are one of the most important components of a resume. Beyond education, knowledge and experience with specialized skills are what employers look for. Your individual skillset shows what you’re capable of on the job. If your list is diverse, you become that much more marketable because you’re able to do more than the average candidate.
How To Create A Resume Skills Section
When you write a resume, its important to organize the content so its succinct and easy to read. A three-column, three-row highlights section near the top of your resume, just above your professional experience, is a helpful way to list the nine soft and technical skills that speak directly to the postings required qualifications. Its also a good place to add keywords youve identified.
You dont need more than a couple words here to show what you bring to the table. This should be a bulleted list a reader can quickly scan. Complete sentences will come in your work history.
Here are some examples of what professionals from different industries could list in this section:
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So What Does This All Actually Look Like
Heres an example of a good skills section for someone who is looking for work as a designer:
Visual Design:InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, XD, Animate, Lightroom3D Modeling & 2D Drafting:Rhino, VRay, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Autodesk Fusion 360Programming:Grasshopper, Processing, HTML, CSSInterests:Sailing, running, cooperative board games
And here is one that is less good:
InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, Quark, Rhino, Grasshopper, VRay, AutoCAD, After Effects, Premiere, XD, Vectorworks, Processing, Animate, Autodesk Fusion 360, HTML, CSS, Microsoft Office, typography, teamwork, creativity, multitasking, sailing, running, cooperative board games
The difference, as you can see, is all about pulling out relevant hard skills and breaking them up into relevant subheadings. Even though this section is short, it still needs to be easy to skim . Bullets and subheadings prompt the reader to start reading again. And as a bonus, they cue the reader on what broad skills the candidate has.