When it comes to job hunting, you need to know what the difference is between hard and soft skills. You also need to know which ones you have to offer. Employers will often have a set criteria of skills they’re looking for in the right candidate. And this will be a balance of both hard and soft skills. Sure, they’ll review these skills in your CV. But they’ll also assess these skills during the interview.
What’s the difference between hard skills vs soft skills?
Hard skills are tangible skills that are easy to quantify and assess. Examples of hard skills are using Excel, customer service and marketing. But soft skills relate to your characteristics and behaviours and aren’t as easy to assess. Examples of soft skills are organisation, leadership and teamwork.
5 ways to showcase your skills to employers
There are different ways you can show your skills to employers. But don’t just pick one of these methods. You should use a combination to get the best results:
- Portfolio – Create a portfolio to show technical ability
- CV – List skills in your CV
- Cover letter – Detail achievements in your cover letter
- The STAR method – Give examples using the STAR method in an interview. This is particularly useful for competency-based interviews!
- Interview – Show soft skills throughout the interview
Hard skills examples
Marketing hard skills
Social media management
Using filing systems
Producing financial statements
Implementing accounting controls
Using software like Xero, QuickBooks
Knowledge of tax legislation
Soft skills examples
Marketing soft skills
Attention to detail
Attention to detail
How to develop your professional skills
You should always be looking for ways to improve your skills throughout your career. Here are a few ways to develop your skillset:
- Asking your current employer for more responsibilities
- Shadow other colleagues to learn from them
- Complete a course
- Gain a new qualification
- Request training
- Offer help to your colleagues
How do employers assess your skills?
Employers use different techniques to assess your skills. Before your interview, find out as much information as possible about the interview style. You don’t want any surprises!
- 1:1 interviews
- Group interviews
- Competency-based questions
- Trial shifts
- Psychometric tests
- Practical exams
- Probation periods
It’s a balancing act
Always remember that it’s never just about one or the other. The best job applicants are those that understand they need a good balance of skills. Not only do they need technical ability, but they also recognise they need the right soft skills too. So when doing your interview prep, always keep both types of skills in mind!
Ready to find a new career? Use the SonicJobs app to manage all your applications from your phone!