Hiring Soft Skills Over Hard Skills


By: Jessica Carter

In job descriptions, employers often ask for hard and soft skills. Hard skills are related to specific knowledge and training, while soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, communication, or time management. When hiring soft skills over hard skills both skills are necessary to perform and advance in most jobs successfully.

The Difference Between hard skills and soft skills

The key differences between hard and soft skills are how they are gained and used in the workplace. Hard skills are usually gained through education or training. For example, a hard skill would be typing. No one is born with the instinct to type. Rather, it must be learned over time usually through some type of school or education. Soft skills are unique to the individual and more so a personal habit or trait than a learned skill. They are called upon when you manage your time, communicate with other people, or confront a difficult situation.   

How to highlight skills on your resume 

A resume is a great way to highlight your hard and soft skills. The best way to highlight both types of skills is by creating a skills section that highlights your abilities most relevant to the position. Skills employers want to see are found in the “requirements,” “education,” or “desired skills” sections of the post. Review the job posting for clues on what to include in your skills section. You can emphasize your hard and soft skills on your resume. For each skill, you mention, include a quantifiable example of how that skill allowed you to excel in the workplace. 

Hard skills and soft skills are both necessary to find career success. Although people develop these skills in different ways, you can learn and develop both hard and soft skills prior to applying for jobs.

How to emphasize your skills in a job interview 

There are several ways you can accentuate your skills during a job interview to highlight your hard skills. Try the following:

  • Become familiar with the specific hard skills in the job description. Choose three or four of the top hard skills you possess that relate to the job and go to the interview prepared with examples of how you’ve used each.
  • During the interview, provide the hiring manager with these examples. Use quantitative rather than vague examples to show your abilities in these areas effectively.
  • Use the STAR Method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result, when describing your hard skills.

To Highlight your soft skills in an interview, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Arrive early to your interview to show punctuality and dependability.
  • Many soft skills can be displayed during the interview without being directly talked about. For example, you can portray good communication skills by maintaining eye contact and practicing active listening.
  • If specific soft skills are mentioned on the job posting, arrive at the interview prepared to discuss these with relevant examples.
  • Use the STAR method to describe times you successfully used soft skills in the workplace.

There’s a place for both hard skills and soft skills in the workplace, eight out of 10 talent professionals say that soft skills are increasingly important to a company’s success. Soft skills and hard skills are both important. The good news is that both of them can be trained.


Indeed- Career Advice Soft Skills Over Hard Skills

Insight Global – Hard Skills VS Soft Skills

Glass Door – Soft Skills VS Hard Skills



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