How to Include Hard and Soft Skills in Your Resume

Through your education and work experiences, you’ve collected quite a bit of know how. Whether it be learning specific programs or tools for your industry or learning how to be more adaptable in the workplace, you want to make sure your resume reflects your skill set.

When it comes to applying for jobs, skills are categorized as hard and soft skills. Hiring managers across the board claim that both hard and soft skills are equally important when searching for candidates. But what is the best way to showcase both in your resume?

Hard skills vs. soft skills:

Hard skills are specific job knowledge, acquired through experience or education, usually tailored to an industry. Hard skills examples include knowledge of another language, photoshop expertise, or certifications. These are advantageous to show if you are applying for a new job within the same industry and using the same systems. Some skills may be required for a certain job. If you are looking for a first job, a job in a different industry, or to advance within your industry, it might be helpful to determine commonalities in hard skill requirements and then gain those skills.

Soft skills are harder to pin down but just as important to hiring managers looking to see how you will fit the company. Soft skills show how you handle yourself in the workplace, whether by communication, teamwork, or problem solving. The 5 soft skills the best employees possess are:

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration
  3. Self- Motivation
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Time Management

Traditional wisdom says to leave these for your cover letter. However, if hiring managers are only reading the cover letters for the top tier of applicants, you don’t want to miss your opportunity by not showcasing soft skills in your resume. 

How to show your hard and soft skills:

When working soft skills into your resume, The Muse advises:

Make sure each bullet point describes a skill the hiring manager is looking for, then use facts and figures to show—not tell—just what a “skilled manager” or “effective communicator” you are.

Make your resume stand out by quantifying your skills. This proves to hiring managers that you are the candidate your resume suggests. By showing quantifiable skills, such as increasing sales of X product by 40% in 6 months by initiating a marketing campaign in Spanish, employers will not only be able to see your hard skills, proficiency in Spanish, but also see you are motivated and entrepreneurial- two soft skills recruiters find highly desirable.

While there may be wiggle room in judging teamwork, whether or not you are trained in Engineering CAD Software is non-negotiable. This is why it is important to showcase these skills within the resume. Listing accomplishments is appropriate when it comes to your hard skills, as these are less subjective. A hybrid resume allows you to best display both your hard and soft skills.

Using the hybrid resume:

A hybrid resume combines the best attributes of chronological and functional resumes, by having a designated area for your work history and an area for listing your skills. Incorporate your soft skills into your work history. Hard skills are best presented in a list, as they do not require the same contextual proof.

Hybrid resumes split sections better feature content. In addition to these benefits, the hybrid resume is especially effective for candidates submitting applications at companies using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Applicant Tracking Systems filter through resumes for keywords. ATS’s then rank applicants according to a hiring manager’s priorities in a candidate. The more skills in your resume which match the company’s profile, the better you rank.

[Featured image: Shutterstock]

By James Hu

James Hu is the founder and CEO ofJobscan, an analytics tool that helps job seekers land more interviews by comparing one's resume against any job description for keywords and match rate. Jobscan's Resume Writing Guide and Resume Formats provide everything you need to know about resumes to standout to recruiters and make it past ATS. James has previously spoken on Fox Business News, Harvard Medical School, and General Assembly.