Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?

In a resume, as in a cover letter, applicants should indicate their job skills, but not everyone knows the difference between the hard and soft skills. Understanding it is necessary to direct your professional development, accelerate your career and increase salary levels. We’ll explain everything in this article and give you some tips on how to make these skills your allies.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?

What is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Skills?

Hard skills are professional, technical competencies that can be demonstrated, evaluated, and tested. They are unchanged for a specific profession and do not depend on which company or in which team a person works.

Soft skills are the opposite of technical skills, they are universal socio-psychological qualities that do not depend on the profession but directly affect a person’s success. These qualities can both depend on the character of a person, and be shaped with experience.

Read More: The Top 10 Skills Recruiters Are Looking For

54% of the employees indicated they have not included soft skills in their resume and they made a gross mistake that could cost an interview. Today, to be a competitive specialist requires more than professional skills. A study by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center notes that 85% of job success depends on well-developed soft skills and only 15% on hard skills. Nowadays, artificial intelligence can be called for help to solve technical problems, but it will hardly ever be able to replace a person in matters of communication, strategic or creative thinking.

List of Hard and Soft Skills Employers Want to See

For a successful career, it is important not only what skills you have, but to a greater extent whether you know how to use them correctly. Without specific hard skills, soft skills may not be required at all. But most importantly, hard and soft skills work well in pairs, because the former help a person find a job and do it with high quality, and the latter help them become a successful specialist in their field.

LinkedIn has compiled a list of the most in-demand skills in 2020. The research was carried out with the help of a huge database of 660+ million specialists and 20+ million jobs.

Soft Skills Examples

  • Creativity

Companies are increasingly looking for people who can creatively solve problems in everything from programming to public relations. The ability to look at ordinary things from a different angle can only be developed in practice since it is impossible to acquire academic knowledge in this area.

  • Ability to persuade

An employee who can explain to his colleagues, convey to them not only “what” but also “why” is appreciated. To climb the career ladder, you need to learn how to prove your point of view, negotiate effectively, exchange ideas, convince colleagues or partners to act in your best interest. Emotional intelligence, empathy, and influence psychology can come in handy here.

  • Teamwork

This is one of the most popular requirements for candidates for almost any job. And for good reason. Indeed, a highly organized team can achieve more than one person. Where communication is well established, productivity also increases. Because everyone knows their role and function and works for a common goal.

  • Adaptability

The only thing that is constantly present in our life is change. To stay competitive, you need to accept reality and learn to cope with stressful situations with a positive attitude. People who can quickly find footholds, switch, change direction with the company will always be valuable employees.

  • Emotional intelligence

Employers value the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to their own and other people’s emotions. It is important to maintain emotional balance in all situations, even the most stressful and critical, to feel your emotional state and act in accordance with it. The ability to manage your own emotions affects relationships in the team, helps to interact correctly, and to take into account the mood of colleagues.

Hard Skills Examples

  • Blockchain

Suddenly, blockchain has become a top hard skill. Blockchain is the latest technology, attention to which has grown along with the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Today it is relevant not only in the area of finance. People are already trying to use blockchain for storing and processing personal data in marketing, computer games, and others.

  • Cloud computing

At the heart of the popularity of cloud computing is the idea of flexibility and business convenience. Therefore, companies need qualified specialists who develop cloud systems.

  • Analytical thinking

Data and analytics are one hundred percent trend in recent years. Well-developed analytical thinking allows specialists to efficiently cope with even the most difficult task and find several possible options for solving it. A specialist with developed analytical thinking can independently make decisions and lead a company to success.

  • Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence allows computers to “learn” to perform tasks that humans cannot by processing large amounts of data. According to PwC, AI will drive North America’s GDP growth by 14.5% by 2030, or about $ 10.7 trillion. And for those who work with artificial intelligence, this is an opportunity to get a place in the sun.

  • UX design

The main goal of a user experience design is to create the most comfortable conditions for users interaction. The developers create all conditions for the user to be friendly to the web resource, trust it and not lose interest.

  • Business intelligence

Business Intelligence is a set of tools and technologies for collecting, analyzing, and processing data. Using BI, information from different sources is converted into convenient and understandable analytics, which is now very important for companies.

  • Affiliate Marketing

Advertising and marketing are one of the fastest-changing areas with new tools emerging regularly. Nowadays, affiliate marketing has replaced traditional advertising with affiliate posts in social networks and special projects on websites.

  • Sales skills

It’s hard to imagine a company that doesn’t need sales managers at all. This skill is highly valued because you always need specialists who can competently conduct a sale, work with objections, and communicate with people of different temperaments.

  • Scientific computing

Computational science is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field. It uses advanced computing power to solve a variety of problems related to software architecture and data science. Companies need specialists who can create machine learning models and analyze large datasets using programming languages like Python, MATLAB, and more.

  • Video creation

Cisco estimates that in 2022 there will be 82% of the world’s Internet traffic, and video is also the key to Generation Z. This means that specialists who create video content will be in demand in the coming years.


Today, it is the combination of hard and soft skills that enables hiring managers and recruiters to evaluate a person. It is necessary to list your skills on your resume and cover letter, but it’s always worth emphasizing them with facts. To impress the employer, the applicant must correctly indicate their competencies.

If you’re looking for a job, ResumeEdge is here to help you create the perfect resume for your desired position. Professional writers analyze companies, their required job-specific skills and include in your documents only the most relevant for a particular company – nothing superfluous. With ResumeEdge, your resume can not only easily pass ATS, but also entice an employer to invite you for an interview, so feel free to contact us.

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