While reading a job description carefully, you will find that it always asks for a blend of both hard and soft skills. The technical knowledge you need to get the job done is hard skills while personality traits like interpersonal communication, leadership or emotional intelligence are categorized as soft skills. In the modern-day workplace, one needs a balance of both hard and soft skills to get the job done successfully.
Soft skills are subjective and one can not quantify them easily. Soft skills are also known as “people skills” or “interpersonal skills”, and it defines how you relate and interact with the people around you. Soft skills make you a better employee for your traits of business etiquette, interpersonal communication or simply how you behave around other people.
The hard skills are differentiated by soft skills by the means of how to get these skills and how to use it in the workplace.
Hard skills are teachable and quantifiable and typically attained by getting a formal degree or by life experiences. These are the technical skills that fit the job like knowing how to operate a certain machine, how to work with certain software or you to write a piece of code in a certain programming language. While Soft skills are your habits and personality traits that define how you work on your own and with others in the community.
In continuously evolving technology-driven markets, recruiters look for potential employees with hybrid skills set i.e hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills help to complete the technical task while soft skills help maintain the positive and functional environment at the workplace.
Writing a generic resume cluttered with so many hard skills and machine-gun it to every job posting you see is the first thing that you should avoid in the job search. Read the job description carefully and pick the keywords to exhibit in your resume. Tailor your resume and cover letter accordingly using only the most wanted hard skills employer is looking for and complement them by mentioning related soft skills. Writing a precise and cohesive resume and cover letter is itself an advocate of your effective written communication soft skills.
Here is an example from BrightSpyre.com, for Soft Skills in a Job Description of Field Accountant needed.
In resume, soft skills are not usually mentioned under the skills set section rather showcased in the professional achievement section. To make your case strong in front of a recruiter your soft skills must be complementing your hard skills. For example, a graphic designer needs soft skills like creativity and hard skills like knowledge of adobe photoshop or illustrator to perform the job efficiently. Rather than putting your soft skills in a list with no context, tell the employer a story of how you achieved a certain task with your hard skills while how your soft skills helped you in the process.