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Top 5 Soft Skills and 5 Hard Skills to Include on Your Resume


What is one of the most crucial aspects of any job application? Submitting your resume. It's the key document that allows employers to assess your experience as a professional, determine how you stand out amongst other career-seeking candidates, and review your qualifications against those outlined in the advertised position.


Along with tailoring your resume to the job description and crafting it to leave a lasting impression, best practice involves citing relevant skills that would make you an ideal fit for the job. However, it can be difficult to determine which hard and soft skills you should highlight and which ones aren't worth mentioning. Besides – what's the difference between a hard skill and a soft skill, anyway?


To help you understand the two types of skills and how to masterfully incorporate both on your resume, we've outlined their key differences and listed the top five soft and hard skills that employers will view favorably on applications. 


Soft skills vs. Hard skills


The main difference between soft and hard skills is whether they deal with an individual’s emotional intelligence or tangible abilities/experiences.


Soft skills encompass interpersonal abilities that determine one's approach to work, both as an individual and as a part of a team. Examples of soft skills include effective communication, creativity, and collaboration.


Hard skills refer to the professional or technical proficiencies an individual has gained through career experience or formal training. These skills should pertain to the specific requirements of the role for which a career seeker is applying. For example, a hard skill that a marketing manager might include on their resume is a certification in a media analytics program.


The argument for including skills on your resume


Due to time constraints, particularly in larger companies, hiring managers often spend less than 30 seconds reviewing a resume. In this limited time frame, the skills section can play a vital role in determining whether you are invited for an interview and ultimately offered the job. This is because it highlights the most important professional skills you have acquired through work experience, training, and education.


It is also worth noting that resumes without a skills section may not even reach the hiring manager's desk, let alone secure a job interview. This is because most Fortune 500 companies, around 98.8%, utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) or recruiting software. These tools employ automated rules to filter out resumes that lack specific keywords. By including relevant keywords related to the position within the skills section, you increase the likelihood of your resume making it through this automated screening process.


Thus, given the limited time available for resume review, the skills section plays a crucial role in influencing interview decisions. Additionally, including keywords related to the position within this section is essential, as it improves the chances of your resume passing through automated screening systems utilized by many employers and recruitment firms.


What are the top 5 soft skills to include in your resume?


1. Teamwork


Collaboration is essential in most job positions to accomplish projects. Including this skill on your resume demonstrates your ability to achieve outcomes by effectively navigating the work process and managing conflicts.


2. Creativity


Workplace creativity involves generating unconventional ideas and inventive solutions to problems. This characteristic demonstrates your unique perspective when approaching complex concepts or challenges.


3. Communication


Effective communication skills are highly regarded by hiring managers due to their importance in project management, setting and meeting deadlines, and fostering collaboration. Additionally, this skill is valuable for nurturing client and customer relationships.


4. Strong work ethic 


Employers seek individuals with apparent discipline and solid determination. A commendable work ethic reflects your organizational skills and consistent ability to meet assignment deadlines. A recent article from Forbes supports this, stating “A hard worker is always willing to learn and will try to ensure that they understand and perform the job to the best of their ability. This is essential for any employer, as it means investing in a reliable and motivated employee who is open to learning new skills.”


5. Leadership


Employers value leadership skills and consider them especially important for managerial or senior-level roles. A leader must be proficient in overseeing and motivating their colleagues, possessing expertise in their field, and proactively driving initiatives towards achieving organizational objectives.


What are the top 5 hard skills to include on your resume?


(It is important to note that the following hard skills are a great baseline, but may not be relevant to all positions or industries. Include these at your own discretion.)


1. Customer service


Having proficient customer service skills is essential in various client and customer-facing roles. Whether you are applying for a server position at a fast-food restaurant or a supervisor role at a corporate company, it is vital to comprehend and cater to the consumers' needs.


2. Project management 


This hard skill indicates your ability to manage multiple projects effectively. Strong project management skills demonstrate the efficient handling of various assignments and increase the likelihood of advancing into senior-level positions.


3. Relevant certifications


Show that you possess an edge over other candidates by listing the professional certifications you have earned. Since many certificates do not require formal training, take advantage of courses or programs you can participate in via Internet platforms. For example, aspiring social media professionals may choose to earn a certification in social monitoring platforms such as Hootsuite and finance professionals may earn a certification to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).


4. Foreign languages


If you are fluent in two or more languages, you can gain a competitive advantage over other applicants. Being bilingual or multilingual can greatly enhance your communication abilities with clients or customers who require it.


5. Computer technology


Having fundamental software or coding skills and proficiency in applications such as Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and Adobe can help distinguish you from other candidates. Additionally, an understanding of new computer technologies such as artificial intelligence will make you an extremely valuable asset for employers seeking to implement its applications. For career seekers in computer, software, or technology fields, providing a more detailed list of technical skills and experience using specific technology may be more beneficial.





Now that your resume displays your skills and highlights your strengths as a professional, it's time to get your name in front of the right employers and secure your next ideal position. At Beyond TalentEdge, our recruitment experts use an applicant-centric approach that places your needs and aspirations as a career-seeker at the forefront. Additionally, through leveraging our long-standing connections with Greater Rochester Chamber and other top employers in the area, our team helps you locate and land the best career opportunities. If you want to learn more about partnering with our full-cycle talent acquisition firm, don't wait – contact us today!