What are hard and soft skills?
If you're looking to level up your skill set, hard skills are like secret weapons that can set you apart in today's competitive job market. Hard skills are technical skills that are typically acquired through education, training, or relevant work experience – and we’re sure you already have a ton of hard skills up your sleeve! Whether you're an expert at operating farm machinery, a pro at bookkeeping, or a world-class coder, hard skills are the key to mastering specific tasks. They require a unique blend of knowledge and tools, and listing your hard skills on your CV can help highlight your expertise in a specific domain.
But wait, there's more! Hard skills are just one piece of the puzzle. Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal superpowers that can truly make you shine. Think time management, leadership, and communication skills. When combined with your hard skills, soft skills form a powerful combination that can help you stand out to employers.
In this guide, we’ll focus on hard skills, hard skills examples, and how to best convey your hard skills on your CV to impress and engage employers. Let’s begin!
Hard Skills Examples
Hard skills empower individuals across virtually every industry, shaping the modern work landscape and allowing candidates to showcase the diverse talents and capabilities that help move industries forward. If you need some help identifying your hard skills, check out our list of examples:
Artistic: Drawing and illustration skills, sculpting, painting, photography, web design skills
Computers: Programming skills and coding knowledge, web development, data analysis, cloud computing
Construction: Carpentry skills, concrete work, knowledge of safety regulations, welding, plumbing
Engineering: Data analysis, proficiency in CAD software, product design, project management skills
Finance: Accounting, financial planning, financial modeling, budgeting, tax knowledge
Marketing: Social media management, content marketing, copywriting, knowledge of SEO, advertising
Repair: Computer repair skills, mechanical skills, electrical repair skills, automotive repair skills, HVAC repair skills
Retail: Customer service skills, cash handling skills, product knowledge, inventory management
Writing: Proofreading skills, copywriting, research skills, storytelling skills, SEO writing
Think of these examples as the tip of the iceberg, a sneak peek into your vast treasure trove of skills. Each job application is a chance to unleash your professional potential, showcasing only the most relevant abilities. Just be sure to read the job description over a couple times: it'll help you understand what skills employers are looking for!
How to craft a job-winning skills list for your CV
To create a captivating list of hard skills for your CV, let's kickstart an exciting brainstorming session! Imagine yourself as a skill-wielding superhero: what are your professional strengths? Do you have any skills listed in the job description? Don't underestimate even the tiniest skills, as they could be the secret weapon that catches the eye of potential employers. Once you've completed your comprehensive skills list, you'll be able to return to this list when applying for new jobs.
Tailoring your CV to the specific requirements of each employer is a key ingredient for success. Customised CVs can significantly enhance your ability to differentiate yourself from other candidates, increasing your chances of making a lasting impression and standing out from the crowd. Ultimately, tailoring your CV to the specific requirements of each employer is a key ingredient for success.
How to present your hard skills section
When creating a CV, some individuals prefer to mention their skill proficiency level. They might use terms like "Expert," "Advanced," or "Intermediate," or even include a bar chart to show their expertise visually. It’s not always necessary to include your skill level, but you can include it if you’d like!
Optimising your CV for the ATS
To create an impactful CV, it's important to optimise your skills section to the job you're applying for. This can help you beat the ATS, otherwise known as an Applicant Tracking System. ATS are algorithms or software that has specific criteria that ranks candidates, so if your CV doesn't align with this criteria, your employer might not even see your CV!
This is why carefully tailoring your CV for every new job position is essential. To achieve this, we recommend incorporating appropriate keywords, particularly hard skills, that hold significance to the prospective employer. If you possess any skills mentioned in the job description, it is essential to include them in your CV.
Hard skills FAQ
If you’re keen to learn more about hard skills, here are some of our most commonly asked questions about including hard skills on a CV:
Should I list hard and soft skills seperately or together?
Usually, it's best to avoid separating your skills into distinct hard and soft skill sections. This is because some skills fall into a gray area! By presenting your skills as a cohesive whole, you can provide a more comprehensive view of your capabilities to potential employers.
Is being fluent in another language considered a hard skill?
Being fluent in another language is truly a remarkable skill, and it's one that can be considered both a hard and soft skill! If you like, you can make your CV stand out from the crowd by creating a separate section titled "Languages" and listing any relevant language proficiencies here.
Is customer service a hard or soft skill?
While customer service is typically considered a hard skill since it requires training and experience, communication, listening, and empathy all required for exceptional customer service, and are generally considered soft skills!
Should I include statements such as “team player” on my CV?
No. It's best to focus on specific technical abilities instead of using vague terms like "team player" and "hard worker." For example, you can emphasise your leadership skills or effective communication capabilities to help stand out to employers.
How should I list typing skills on a CV?
Capture employers' attention by listing your typing skills as word processing skills, showcasing both your typing speed and productivity. Let them know just how fast and efficient you are by specifying the number of words you can produce per minute. By using the term 'word processing' instead of just 'typing,' you'll make your statement more engaging and showcase your technical expertise.
What is the best way to list skills on my CV?
To make your skills section more captivating, we suggest arranging your sills using bullet points. This way, employers can quickly and easily read through your skills. If you need some inspiration, take a look at our collection of CV examples on the cvapp.nz website!