Job Requirements: The Importance of Hard Skills and Soft Skills in the Workplace

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Employment recruiters carefully screen resumes for specific job requirements, industry-related keywords, and to basically determine whether or not the interested candidate is the right match for a job.

Both hard and soft skills are equally important criteria in the resume screening process.  Employment recruiters carefully screen resumes for specific job requirements, industry-related keywords, and to basically determine whether or not the interested candidate is the right match for a job. High tech electronic scanners can detect specific key words in a resume in a matter of seconds. It’s imperative that you include the right keywords and the required job skills in your resume as to grab the reader’s attention. Once your resume passes the screening process you could get a call from the hiring manger to move forward.  Only qualified applicants will be considered further for an interview. So you will need to tailor your resume to the employer and the position you are targeting to be considered.  You will need to find out…what specific hard skills are required for the job you are interested in?  What are the soft skill requirements?  Be sure to list these skills in your resume if you meet the job requirements. You might ask…do I need to list both hard skills and soft skills?  That simply depends upon what is listed in the job description and you also want to present an impressive resume displaying all of your skills. So the answer is, yes.

The Importance of Hard Skills

What are hard skills?  Your hard skills are your primary skills (technical, administrative, professional) that are needed to perform a particular job. They are tangible, observable and easily measurable.  Hard skills are acquired through training and education.  What type of training and experience do you have?  What discipline is your college degree in? You will need to compare your hard skills with that of the job you are targeting because there are specific hard skills that the hiring manger looks for when screening resumes. If you find that your hard skills listed in your resume do not match that of the job description then you are not qualified for that particular job. Some examples of hard skills are: customer service, accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial analyst, data entry, library science, scientist, counselor, computer technician, executive, CEO, manager, supervisor, programmer, teacher, nurse, sales forecasting, writer, project management, recruitment, and administrative assistant. Hard skills also include your academic degrees, pertinent licenses, certifications, and computer lingo.  Naturally, there will always be a need for hard skills in the job market.

The Importance of Soft Skills

What are soft skills? Your soft skills include your personality traits or character traits, your interpersonal skills and your social skills. They are intangible, less measurable, and not so easy to observe. However, you can detect soft skills in an individual by observing their behavior, how well they interact with others, and their ability to effectively lead others. Do you have good people skills?  Do you have good leaderships skills?  How about communication skills?  Some examples of soft skills are: communication skills, problem solving skills, analytical skills, facilitation skills, leadership skills, coaching skills, motivation skills, adaptability, articulate, innovative, patient, and competitive spirit.   Hiring managers will specifically list the required soft skills in the job description if determined needed to perform a particular job.

Concluding, you will find that an employer will generally list hard skills in a job description.  Why? Because when a hiring manager is looking to fill a certain job request, they must describe and list the particular skill needed as to grab the attention of interested candidates. However, that does not mean that they don’t require that you have any soft skills. And in other instances an employer may list soft skill requirements in the job description to attract only certain candidates and narrow the search.  Bear in mind that your soft skills are as equally important as your hard skills in the workplace.  No doubt, your hard skills may land you the job but your soft skills will help you attain future advancements and promotions in your chosen profession.  Good people skills are essential in attracting and retaining loyal clientele that will ultimately increase company profitability.


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