A compelling resume makes good use of both hard and soft skills to demonstrate a candidate’s proficiency and qualifications. As such, it is necessary that any applicant make use of both to improve overall resume success and increase his or her chances of getting an interview and hopefully a job.
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
Before discussing several different ways of including both types of these skills into a resume, it is important to understand the difference between soft skills and hard skills.
Hard skills: Hard skills relate to specific skill sets you might have, such as speaking a foreign language; programming in Perl, Python, or Java; mobile development, or statistical analysis.
Soft skills: Soft skills speak more to your character or personality. For example, soft skills could be dependability, creativity, empathy, or organization.
Perhaps the easiest way to differentiate between the two skills is like this: hard skills are often gained through education or specific training, whereas soft skills are developed in your everyday life experiences. Or put another way, hard skills are your technical knowledge, whereas soft skills include your workplace habits.
If you review almost any job description, you will see that employers are searching for candidates that possess a combination of both hard and soft skills. For example, suppose a company is looking to hire a senior software engineer. The job description for that position would likely seek someone who is good at problem solving, critical thinking, and leading others (soft skills), but also someone who is proficient at web development or DevOps who can program in several languages (hard skills).
How to Include Hard and Soft Skills on Your Resume
Now that you understand the difference between hard and soft skills, it is time to look at several different ways of working them into your resume.
First, look at the resume of Bastein Vidé.
Bastein opted to include skill, strength, and trait sections in his resume. You will see that under skills, he listed the different hard skills he possesses, along with his proficiency with each. Under strength and traits, he provides his soft skills. This is an effective way of not only showing what skills you possess, but how they are weighted. Your resume certainly does not need to be as detailed as Bastein’s resume, but consider using a skills section that highlights your abilities most relevant to the position.
Next, consider Mark Hawking’s resume.
Mark took a different approach than Bastein. Rather than having designated sections for his hard and soft skills, Mark opted to include relevant traits into the verbiage he used to summarize his experiences working with different companies and in different roles. This approach allows recruiters to “see your skills in action” and how you have applied them to prior work.
Lastly, look at Tancy Badien’s resume.
Tancy’s approach blends the styles used by both Mark and Bastein above. Tancy not only has designated sections for her hard and soft skills, but she also incorporates those skills when describing her prior work experience. Overall, Tancy’s approach is most effective. Designated sections allow a recruiter or hiring manager to quickly glean your qualifications without having to search through your resume. However, including traits in your job summaries also shows how you have previously used and applied your hard and soft skills.
Hard skills and soft skills are both necessary to find career success. While people learn, gain, and develop these skills in varying ways, you should cultivate both hard and soft skills prior to applying for jobs.