Essay Sample on Combining Hard & Soft Skills: A Must-Have for Any Applicant's Resume

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1050 Words
Date:  2023-03-01


Hiring managers usually look for the perfect combination of hard and soft skills in an applicant's resume. Hard skills refer to skills that rely upon hands-on technical knowledge gained through experience and education. On the other hand, soft skills refer to personality attributes intrinsic to an individual. Both of these skills are vital because they enhance productivity and efficiency in workplaces, which ultimately leads to successful work output for any individual possessing these skills. For successful performance in any job, an employee ought to possess both hard and soft skills. Therefore, this article will differentiate these two sets of employee skills with outlined examples. The paper will also demonstrate some best ways for an applicant to demonstrate their particularly soft and hard skills in their resumes to increase their chances for consideration in any job application.

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Differences Between Hard and Soft Skills

Skills are what drives the marketability of any job applicant to their potential employers. Any aspiring job applicant should possess both hard and soft skills. The main difference between hard and soft skills is how an individual acquires them and how an employer applies them in the workplace. Hard skills are acquired through education, training, repetitive tasks, or experience. An individual is not born with hard skills, but they gain them from learning in either an academic environment or through job apprentices. (Laker & Powell, 2011)

Soft skills, on the other hand, represent an individual portrayal of attributes that are intrinsic to their personality. They are skills that demonstrate that an employee can be the best fit anywhere their traits are required. Soft skills can also be learned through interaction and social experience. Soft skills are attributes like interpersonal traits, communication, and leadership manifested when one is faced with challenging aspects in the workplace (Laker & Powell, 2011). Hard skills are attributed to the efficiency and productivity of an employee, which leads to employee satisfaction while soft skills are essential for facilitating communication and thus contribute to customer satisfaction. Soft skills unlike hard skills are immeasurable and cannot be displayed by physical documents like certificates. (Laker & Powell, 2011)

Hard Skills

Hard skills are measurable and teachable technical skills required for any job. They are gained through experience from job apprentices and education. Hard skills are manifested through proficiency and efficiency. Hiring managers identify hard skills on resumes and job seekers represent them in the form of certificates, degrees, and other touchable qualifications. An individual is not born possessing these skills, so one is required to learn from books, training, and schools in a bid to hone these skillsets. There is a specific and direct path toward achieving these skills. That is, an individual has to follow some outlined requirements to achieve specific hard skills. For example, to become a proficient accountant, one has to study particular hard skills in school and gain some experience in the workplace. When a person gains hard skills, they usually remain proficient with the skill in the entirety of their career. (Laker & Powell, 2011)

Hard skills are diverse depending on the career type. Some of the most popular hard skills nowadays include:

  • Multilingual proficiency,
  • Network security proficiency,
  • Computer programming proficiency,
  • Typing proficiency,
  • Machine operation knowhow,
  • Degrees and certifications,
  • Database management proficiency,
  • Different types of marketing (SEO or SEM),
  • App development,
  • User interface development, and
  • Statistical analysis (Culpin & Scott, 2012)

Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that show how an individual relates and works with others. Soft skills are vital to any job seeker. While hard skills exhibit how an employee will be effective in performing technical tasks, soft skills help in establishing a perfectly functional job environment, an element that fosters good working relations and consequently to customer satisfaction. Soft skills are not taught in school curriculums or read in books but are usually naturally internalized in an individual via the predominant emotional intelligence. Strong soft skills are hard to measure and generally develop among most humans. As a result, most hiring managers prefer employing candidates with stronger soft skills than hard skills. (Malsam, 2019)

Some of the most required soft skills in the market today include:

  • Empathy,
  • Communication,
  • Good listening,
  • Teamwork,
  • Open-mindedness,
  • Critical thinking,
  • Organization, and
  • Problem-solving (Robles, 2012).

Ways for an Applicant to Showcase Soft and Hard Skills in Resumes

Soft and hard skills are vital components to be included in resumes when applying for career opportunities. These skills differ from one individual to another. Every applicant needs to develop ways to demonstrate their hard and soft skills appropriately to gain an advantage over other job seekers. Some of the tips that enhance these skills are explained below. The applicant ought to endeavor to closely match their skills with the required requirements, a tact that will make a job seeker the best appealing candidate among the others. A job seeker should also elaborate on their soft skills. They can also capture the attention of hiring managers by striving to demonstrate their skills in the resume rather than merely listing them. For example, a resume lacking errors will provide an insight for the employer that the applicant possesses excellent communication skills, which can be of great importance in putting the applicant way ahead of the others. (Kerr, 2019)


Hard and soft skills are vital components for consideration by human resource managers. Hard skills are vital in outlining the level of expertise of an applicant for that particular position. Soft skills demonstrate the personality traits of an applicant and expound whether that applicant will be successful to co-work with others or not. A good candidate needs to exhibit a perfect combination of the two skills.


Culpin, V., & Scott, H. (2012). The effectiveness of a live case study approach: Increasing knowledge and understanding of 'hard' versus 'soft' skills in executive education. Management Learning, 43(5), 565-577. DOI:10.1177/1350507611431530

Kerr, M. (2019, June 6). Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills | Differences & Importance | ResumeGenius. Retrieved November 29, 2019, from

Laker, D. R., & Powell, J. L. (2011). The differences between hard and soft skills and their relative impact on training transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 22(1), 111-122. DOI:10.1002/hrdq.20063

Malsam, W. (2019, January 9). Hard skills vs. soft skills: Understanding the benefits of both. Retrieved November 29, 2019, from

Robles, M. M. (2012). Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in today's workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 453-465. DOI:10.1177/1080569912460400

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Essay Sample on Combining Hard & Soft Skills: A Must-Have for Any Applicant's Resume. (2023, Mar 01). Retrieved from

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