“The work environment is very important in determining how enjoyable work is. It is very important to work with smart guys who have a superior level of intellectual bandwidth and still have softer skills.” Kumar Mangalam Birla, billionaire industrialist, philanthropist, and chairman of the Aditya Birla Group.


When building a resume and preparing for job interviews, there are many different factors to consider, such as your education level, previous work experience, and references, not to mention the interview itself. But, two other very important things are essential to qualifying for a job, and you should always highlight them on your resume: hard and soft skills. 

Let’s check the difference between hard skills and soft skills, what they are, and how to include them before applying for jobs.


What Are Hard Skills?

They are an employee’s ability to perform a specific task. That ability often requires technical knowledge or training. This involves specialized information that you’ve acquired during your life, including that from education or other work experience.

For example:

If you’ve worked in food service or retail, you may know how to use a point-of-sale system.

If you’ve studied a foreign language, you may be able to speak it fluently.

If you want to work as a textile designer, you will need to know how to use drafting software.

In other words, hard skills include things an employer can test for or measure, such as:

Proficiency in a foreign language


Affiliate marketing

Inventory control

Surgical proficiency

Business analysis

Cloud computing


Proficiency in specific computer programming



Cash flow management

The list of hard skills is as long as the number of different professions worldwide.

For new employees with little practical experience or track record, these can be measured in terms of test scores and recent degrees or certifications.


What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are general characteristics relevant to personality traits. You’d like to see some soft skills in all employees regardless of their position or expertise, while other soft skills make sense in certain jobs and are less important in others.

For example, you may be seeking a job in Human Resources but lack prior knowledge of data analysis tools. Suppose you have references that can attest to the effectiveness of your soft skills, such as empathy, open-mindedness, and communication. In that case, an employer may choose you over another candidate with stronger hard skills but who lacks the same level of soft skills.

On the other hand, networking and relationship-building skills might be essential for sales and marketing but irrelevant for engineering. Likewise, leadership abilities make sense for people who will manage a team no matter their department.

Here is a list of soft skills that most companies are looking for in employees:

Emotional intelligence


Critical thinking





Social skills


Interpersonal communication





Willingness to learn




How to include hard and soft skills before applying for jobs?

Let’s some ideas on how to include these skills before applying for jobs.

– Consider including a “skills section” on your CV, which is especially important for positions with specific technical skills requirements. For clues on what to include, carefully review the job posting you’re applying for in the “requirements,” “education,” or “desired skills” sections of the employer post. 

– Elaborating on your experience and training.

– Providing a portfolio (digital or physical).


Highlight your skills throughout the interview process by:

– Showing up on time or early to the interview (punctuality or dependability)

– Maintaining eye contact (active listening)

– Speaking clearly when prompted (effective communication)

– Answering questions about your resume and experience honestly (integrity)

– Asking follow-up questions (active listening)

– Share specific stories from your experience that directly relates to the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for. When you’re telling a story, begin by presenting the situation, describe the task at hand, explain your actions, and end with the result you achieved.


Interesting fact: Soft and hard skills are incredibly useful—and often necessary—in making it through the interview process and landing a job. However, recruiters say that 89% of hires that don’t work out are due to a lack of soft skills. 




Accomplished: highly trained or skilled.

Underwhelm: fail to impress or make a positive impact on (someone); disappoint.

Open-mindedness: being receptive to a wide variety of ideas, arguments, and information.

Factor: a circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result or outcome.

Personality traits: a quality or characteristic that distinguishes the character, action, and attitude of a person.



Come up with: think of an idea or plan.

“Who came up with that idea?”

Get rid of: remove or become free of something that you don’t want.

“Let’s get rid of these old files to make more space.”



Fifty-fifty: divided into two equal parts.

A lost cause: a hopeless case, a person or situation having no hope of positive change.

Related Articles:


Transferable Skills https://www.englishpriority.com/identifying-your-transferable-skills/


4 skills to Develop Emotional Intelligence https://www.englishpriority.com/4-skills-to-develop-emotional-intelligence/


Improving our Networking Skills https://www.englishpriority.com/improving-our-networking-skills/




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