If you are a job seeker, you would know all about the importance of skills. Whether it is an initial screening of applications, or the final rounds of the interview, the right set of skills can make or break the deal.

The two types of skills recruiters look for are hard skills and soft skills.

While hard skills are honed and earned over time, soft skills are interpersonal and a part of your personality.

In this blog, we will discuss the difference between soft skills and hard skills, followed by the list of skills for resumes popular amongst the recruiters, and tips on how to list skills in a resume.

But first, let us understand what hard skills and soft skills are. Let’s get started!

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are technical skills that you can learn and master over time. These skills are quantifiable.

Most of the hard skills are suitable for a specific field or job profile and can be acquired through courses, training, or certifications.

These skills define how proficient you would be for a job profile and help the recruiters decide whom to hire. A foreign language, certifications, computer skills, etc., fall under the category of hard skills.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are interpersonal features that enable people to form relationships, collaborate, and cooperate in a work environment.

They define who you are by examining your personality, character, emotions, and people skills.

Unlike hard skills, you can not learn soft skills but can further hone them for your benefit.

For instance, if you dislike talking to people, you can not learn to like it. However, you can learn to enhance your communication skills and understand how to communicate effectively.

Difference between soft skills and hard skills

It is very crucial to identify different skills and how they affect the recruiting process. One of the differences between hard skills and softs skills is how you acquire and use them.

  • Hard skills are job-specific technical skills gained through practice and training. They help the recruiters find the perfect candidate with the relevant knowledge and qualities.
    On the other hand, soft skills are interpersonal qualities that define your workplace behavior. These are a part of your personality and help the recruiter understand whether you would be a good fit for their organization.

  • While hard skills can be developed, through education and experience, soft skills are in-built and are a part of your personality and nature.

  • You can showcase hard skills through years of experience, certifications, technical knowledge, portfolios, and skill tests. Soft skills are displayed through your behavior, habits, verbal and non-verbal communication.

Both hard skills and soft skills are important, as hard skills train you for the job, and soft skills enable you to do your job efficiently. The right balance of both these skills on your resume is the perfect recipe to get hired.

Hard skills Vs Soft skills

Here are some of the crucial differences between hard skills and soft skills.

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Defines suitability to a particular job role Is a part of your personality
Easy to measure Can not be quantified
Specific in nature General in nature
Can be learned through training Can only be enhanced
Specific to a field or job Applicable universally

Examples- hard skills Vs soft skills

Here is a list of the top 10 hard skills and soft skills that can impress recruiters and help you land your dream job.

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Proficiency in languages Communication skills
IT Skills Troubleshooting and problem solving
Marketing Adaptability
Public relations Creativity
Graphic designing Leadership
Adobe Photoshop Emotional Quotient (EQ)
Sales Time management
Affiliate marketing Flexibility
Inventory control Attention to detail
Coding Strategic thinking
Bookkeeping Interpersonal skills
Business analysis Conflict resolution
Network security Social skills
SEO/SEM Multitasking
Data mining Management skills

You can use the soft skills from this list but the hard skills that you include in your resume or cover letter depend on various factors.

Read on to figure out what skills you must include in your application and how many skills are too many skills.

How to include Hard skills and Soft skills in a resume?

Showing off skills is considered a great way of showcasing talent and ability. However, when it comes to including skills on a resume, 5-10 skills can do the trick for you. Here is how you can list 5-10 relevant skills on your resume.

1. Identify the skills employers are looking for

We all have different qualities, and each skill set goes well with various job profiles. But it’s not always necessary that your skills are enough for the recruiter.

So, while applying for a job, identify the exact skills they are looking for. The best way to do it is by analyzing the job description.

Job descriptions define what the recruiters are looking for and can help you gauge the skills needed to land the job. Then all you need to do is make a list of those skills, identify the ones you have, and include them in your resume.

2. Use bullet points

Skills separated by commas can look clustered and may hamper your chances of getting hired. So, instead of writing your skills in a paragraph, use bullet points.

Using bullets makes your resume comprehensive, neat, and organized, making it easier for the recruiters to go over your skillset.

Doing this can boost your chances of getting shortlisted and getting hired.

3. Include soft skills in more than just the ‘Skills’ section

It is easy to highlight hard skills as they stand out and define your technical knowledge and range of skills. But soft skills are a part of your personality and must reflect through your work too.

One of the best ways to do this is to talk about your previous job responsibilities in line with your soft skills. Let us show you how!


Here, soft skills like creativity, leadership, time management, team player, efficiency, problem-solving, and troubleshooting are evident. It will help the recruiter understand your strengths, and how you use these soft skills to get work done.

4. List your skills in order of relevance

A study shows that recruiters spend about 7 seconds on a resume while scanning applications.

This means you have less than 10 seconds to attract the recruiter to your application. So, make sure you list your skills in the order of most relevant to less relevant.

For example, when applying for a marketing job, skills like affiliate marketing, SEO/SEM marketing, social media marketing, communication skills, etc., can get the recruiter interested.

Since you have so much to do in so little time, the best idea is to draw attention to the most relevant skills first.

Further, position the list of skills on the first page of your resume, somewhere on the top or side (if you have columns).

This will help the recruiters understand that you have the right skills for the job and will intrigue them to go through your application in detail.

In conclusion, we just want to emphasize on how important skills can be while looking for a job. All you need to know is the difference between hard skills and soft skills and how to use them to your benefit.

We hope with this blog, you now know the difference and will be able to use them well.

All the best!

Guides Career Advice