Hard skills

July 27, 2023
Technical qualities that may be taught and enhanced through practice and repetition are called hard skills. Such abilities are essential for completing or succeeding in any work. Soft skills vary from hard skills because they are more challenging to teach and essential in establishing and maintaining a pleasant work environment. Soft and hard skills may be presented during an interview using the STAR technique, which can describe situations and establish one's talents to the employer.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are distinct abilities, capacities, and qualifications that a person may exhibit measurably. Hard skills are learnable abilities that allow people to accomplish profession-specific activities or may be necessary for a particular career. Employers look at candidates' hard skills indicated on their résumé when hiring new workers. While job-specific hard skills are desirable, so is competency in more general hard skills, such as second language fluency. Hard skills usually involve activities required to execute a job, such as using particular software, tools, or other equipment. They may be acquired via experience or training, schools, apprenticeships, online courses, and certification programs. Certifications, degrees, and licenses may demonstrate a possible recruit's abilities.

The concept of hard skills

Hard skills are the technical abilities required to accomplish a profession or get a new one. They are often industry-specific. A financial analyst, for instance, would need an entirely distinct set of hard skills than a carpenter. However, hard skills may be helpful in a variety of sectors. Fluency in a second language, for instance, might assist both the analyst and the carpenter.

Recruiters and hiring managers look for hard skills on your CV during interviews. A certificate, degree, or other certification is preferable to back up your hard skills. Experience is often regarded as a certification that verifies hard skill proficiency. Some potential employers assess job seekers' hard talents. For example, someone looking for a job in editing may be required to complete an editing test.

Hard skills are concerned with actual talents and capabilities, while soft skills are concerned with behaviors and personalities, like social and communication abilities. Soft talents are less concrete and more difficult to teach. Employers often want a combination of hard and soft abilities. Soft skills are more intangible and more challenging to assess immediately, but they may be just as vital on the job over time. Both hard and soft talents are required for success in nearly every career, and having both on your CV is vital while job looking.

Categories of hard skills

Hard skills are the specialized knowledge and talents necessary for work success. These abilities may be learnt and defined, assessed, and quantified. They are most typically used to compare prospects for employment throughout the recruiting and interview process. Employers in specific sectors may even evaluate applicants' hard skills to ensure they can perform what their résumé promises. Whether you get the job, your employer may reassess your hard skills to see whether you are ready for a promotion or a transfer. The following are examples of common hard skills:

·       Knowledge of computer software

·       Designing graphics

·       Data examination

·       Project administration

·       Marketing

·       Copywriting

·       Foreign languages in computer programming

·       SEO stands for search engine optimization

Soft skills vs. hard skills

Hard skills have universal norms that apply regardless of the company, sector, or society in which they are performed. Soft skills norms might fluctuate based on business culture and coworker expectations. For example, the rules for creating code remain the same regardless of where a programmer works. On the other hand, a programmer may communicate easily with other programmers about technical issues but struggle when speaking with senior managers about the status of a project or the need for help.

Hard skills may be acquired via schooling, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. Competency levels may be specified, and there is a clear route to obtaining them. Accounting, for example, allows you to study fundamental and advanced accounting courses, obtain a degree, acquire professional experience, and pass the certified public accountant (CPA) test.

Soft skills are not often seen in school or college curricula. They are, however, taught through programs that assist individuals in improving communication, collaboration, and people-management skills. Some examples of common soft skills are:

·       Communication

·       Teamwork

·       Adaptability

·       resolving issues

·       Dispute resolution

Please ask your company whether they provide or pay for leadership training or team-building initiatives for their staff. Many firms may cover hard- and soft-skill training for their workers if they want you to enhance one of your hard or soft abilities.

Examples of hard skills

Accounting is a job that requires a stringent set of hard skills. The ability to use the Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel, is assumed. It is also necessary to be familiar with industry-specific software, such as tax preparation software and Intuit QuickBooks.

Accountants must be able to create and understand financial statements and other accounting reports, design and execute effective financial reporting methods and plan and implement accounting controls.

Some of the other talents accountants require may be soft skills. They must be able to successfully connect with customers while being courteous while dealing with external auditors.

The significance of hard skills

Hard skills are required for almost all job types nowadays, including most professional occupations. In addition to listing an extensive set of required hard skills, job postings will typically specify the desired verification forms (such as certifications or degrees) that candidates must possess to be considered for the position. Having the necessary "hard skills" shows that you can do the work and do it well.

Possessing hard skills is essential for many professions and businesses; sometimes, a worker's hard skills are crucial to avoiding disastrous outcomes. For instance, a surgeon has to have highly refined technical skills to prevent unintended injury to a patient, and a pipefitter needs to be meticulous in applying technical skills to prevent hazards like gas leaks.

In addition, many businesses prioritize candidates with strong interpersonal skills since they are often just as important as technical abilities when it comes to getting the work done.

Hard skills that can be added to a resume

Include any technological talents you have learned and any foreign languages when mentioning hard skills on a resume. List your hard skills that apply to the job you seek. These are usually stated in job ads. Below is a list of hard skills, organized by category, that you may add to your resume;

1.     Ability to collect and analyze data

In fields like research, data science, and financial analysis, the ability to collect and analyze data may be crucial to your success. Or, in fields like marketing and sales, where processing information is crucial, they may provide the basis for quantifying and evaluating performance and making plans.

They include:

·       Analyzing the business

·       Analysis of clients

·       Analyzing data

·       Information technology

·       Excavating data

·       Disclosing information

·       Data display

·       Visualization of data

·       Economic analysis

·       Forecasting

·       Study of the market

·       Analyses of statistics

·       The SWOT analysis examines an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

·       Analytical tools for the web

2.     Hard communication skills

When listing soft skills, communication abilities may be the first to come to mind. However, according to Muse's Cultivitae creator and career counselor Emily Liou, communication skills may be considered hard skills when they include doing highly specialized tasks and requiring a knowledge foundation. One of the few transferable abilities you might include on any job application is the ability to speak a second language.

They include:

·       Educational writing

·       Creating Weblogs

·       Article composing

·       Copywriting

·       Revisions and clarifications

·       Writing proposals for funding

·       Writing for the media

·       Formulating a proposal

·       Studying and writing up

·       Create a technical report

3.     Task-oriented skills

These abilities characterize the things you can accomplish to carry out the duties of your position. Though task-oriented or functional abilities are required in any occupation, the specific competencies required for any role might vary considerably.

For instance:

·       Competence in operating a particular class or model of vehicle

·       Managing client accounts

·       Accounting

·       Budgeting

·       Cashiering

·       Calendaring

·       Educational leadership

·       Coding

·       Optimization of conversion rates

·       Making presentation slides

·       Managing data in a database

·       Generate leads

·       Studying the market

·       Timetables for hiring

·       Optimization of search engines

·       Management of social media platforms

·       Preparing taxes

·       Typing

·       Examining the user experience (UX)

·       Web page layout

·       Welding

4.     Methodologies

Methodologies are predetermined procedures for accomplishing a job's duties or a sequence of activities. Even if it is not explicitly stated as a necessity for the position, it is essential to highlight your familiarity with the organization's preferred methodology, structure, strategy, style, or other guiding standards and principles if the job description refers to them.

For instance:

·       ABM, or account-based marketing,

·       Sprint to Challenger Design

·       Internet-based, or "inbound," marketing

·       Learning via inquiry

·       Movement-based instruction

·       Methodologies for managing projects or creating software (including Agile, Kanban, Scrum, and Waterfall).

·       Guides to writing in the styles of the Associated Press, the American Psychological Association, the Chicago Manual of Style, Merriam-Webster, and the United States Government Publishing Office may all be found in the Sandler Six Sigma toolkit.

5.     Coding expertise/languages skills

Knowing programming languages allows you to create innovative technological tools. They are essential for those in computer-related industries like software and web development but also valuable in other tech-related careers. Knowing HTML might be helpful if you use a CMS like WordPress.

For instance:

·       ADA convenient development

·       Designing new APIs

·       Creation and development of applications

·       C++

·       CSS

·       Managing database

·       Using Git, HTML, and Java for debugging

·       JavaScript

·       Python

·       Node

·       Tornado

·       React

·       Ruby

6.     Software-related skills

This category includes all the tools and apps you have used to complete tasks or perform any portion of your job (including interacting with coworkers). For instance:

·       Software used in keeping financial records, such as QuickBooks or Sage 50.

·       After Effects, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop are all part of Adobe's Creative Cloud.

·       CRM is software for managing customer interactions (like NetSuite, HubSpot, or Salesforce).

·       Tools for analyzing data (like Looker, QlikView, and Tableau)

·       Search Console or Google Analytics

·       Office Suite by Google (Docs, Drive, Forms, Meet, Sheets, and Slides)

·       e-learning platforms (like Moodle, Schoology, and Moodle)

·       Excel, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Teams, and Word are all part of Microsoft 365.

·       Software for organizing and coordinating group efforts on a project; examples include Airtable, Asana, Jira, and Trello.

·       Internet-based communities (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok)

·       Tools for holding virtual meetings (like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or Zoom)

Including soft and hard skills on a resume

You may showcase your hard and soft skills relevant to the post by adding a "Skills" section to your resume whenever you create or update it. Looking at the job description might help you figure out what qualifications to highlight in your CV. In the prerequisites, education, or desired skills section, you may find a description of the hard and soft abilities that prospective employers value.

Assessing hard skills

Hard skills are tangible and measurable; persons with hard skills may be tested to demonstrate their ability in each hard skill. There are quantifiable criteria, not only a subjective opinion, that may be used to hard talent. Additionally, an individual's competency in any given hard skill may be compared to those of other people with that same hard skill.

Typing, for instance, is a difficult skill to master. Two people who can type may be evaluated for speed and accuracy, establishing who is more skilled. Certifications, degrees, and licenses may also demonstrate a person's capacity for a hard skill. Personnel managers may assess a person's hard skills during the interview process by administering a test.


Every position, from firefighter to marketing executive, requires a certain skill set, frequently a blend of hard and soft skills. Whether you are looking for a new career or applying for your first, understanding which hard skills are required and acquiring those talents means you will have a greater chance of getting recruited or promoted in your chosen area. Some hard skills will frequently be valuable throughout various occupations and vocations. Many trades demand specific hard skills for building, architecture, plumbing and electric, and engineering jobs. To be employed and succeed in the office, you will need hard and soft skills, which you can constantly improve.