How to Balance Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

17 Aug 2023 | 3 min read | By JobBabu | Career Tips | 1361 Views

As the companies grow, it becomes difficult to manage their staff, be it office appraisals, staff demands, job training in newer areas, etc. Companies keep re-thinking hiring strategies in the processes in the pre-hiring engagement and assessments which would help them identify candidates that would help the company grow exponentially. 

With the technological advances escalating upwards, applying for a job has become pretty timeless for candidates for all sorts of roles. But for that matter, it also means increased competitiveness among candidates to get that one job. So, how does HR pick the right one for the job in this pool of talent war? Here’s where the skill set of a potential candidate comes into the picture. 

Most gifted employees are indispensable even if they are difficult people, organizations need to deal with them because they cannot be replaced easily. What makes them stand out from the crowd of ordinary? The right blend of hard and soft skills. 

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are those skills that determine the ability of a person to get the work done. For instance, if you wish to hire an accounts assistant, you’ll see if he’s good with numbers or does he knows how to read financial statements, right? That’s what a hard skill is, which can hit a bull’s eye once hired. 

Here are some hard skills examples one can learn to go in any field-

  • Technical/Computer Skills

You can consider web development (HTML, C++, Javascript), STEM skills, prototyping, automated billing system, payment processing, CRM platforms, etc. 

  • Analytical Skills

Research, forecasting, data representation, resource management, data engineering, metric interpretation, reporting, diagnostics, etc.

  • Marketing Skills

SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, writing, social media management, CRM, UX Design, funnel management, google analytics, data visualization, etc. 

  • Management Skills

Business strategy, project management, financial modeling, performance tracking, budgeting, office management, negotiating, logistics, etc.

  • Language Skills

Proposal writing, email writing, journalism, academic writing, storytelling, business writing reports, content management, etc.

How to put these hard skills into your resume? 

  1. Read the job description and identify the skill-related keywords.
  2. Create a list based on what you find.
  3. Highlight these strengths in your resume.

Where to list these hard skills in your resume?

  1. Put the most relevant skills in the “skills section” of your resume.
  2. Use examples in the achievements section to showcase your professional skills.
  3. Mention 2-3 skills in the summary statement of your professional job profile. 

What are soft skills?

Soft skills determine whether you’ll be a right fit for the company’s culture or not. One does not get any training related to soft skills. These soft skills can’t really be taught in one afternoon; rather these personality traits are obtained through life experiences. They include people and social skills which define how you interact in the workplace, handle the responsibility, or seek improvement among others. 

Here is the list of soft skills that one must add to their resume irrespective of any field they wish to get into-

  • Time Management:

Managing time means working efficiently and effectively. Employers in every industry look for staff that can make optimal use of their time on the job. 

  • Communication:

The best employers need leaders that can exercise care in their ability to listen and respond to customers and fellow employees.

  • Adaptability:

Adaptability in the workplace means being flexible and able to change in order to become successful. 

  • Problem-solving skills:

The ability to solve problems quickly and innovatively is what the majority of hiring managers seek in potential employees. 

  • Teamwork:

Regardless of your role, you need to be able to work well with others and convey your teamwork skills to hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employers.

  • Creativity:

Bringing out-of-the-box ideas to carry tasks and carry challenging situations at work. 

  • Leadership:

It is the ability to mentor, train and guide others. No matter what industry you wish to get into, employers across every industry look into a candidate’s ability to lead a team. 

  • Interpersonal skills:

Interpersonal skills are all about how well you interact with others, tend after relationships, and make a positive impression on those around you. 

  • Work ethic:

Work ethic relates to valuing work and putting in the effort to yield results. It’s a soft skill that employers in literally every job you’ll ever apply for will appreciate. 

  • Attention to detail:

Here’s another skill no employer will reject - the ability to be thorough and accurate in your work. Paying attention even to minor details is what sets apart dedicated employees from those who just want to get the job done and go home.

How can you showcase these soft skills in your resume?

  1. Tailor soft skills in your resume according to the job role you wish to apply to. The more specific you are, the more well researched and to the point your resume looks. 
  2. Back up your soft skills with facts and experiences else, the recruiter won’t take you seriously. You can show teamwork skills while working on a group project in your past experience. 

How hard and soft skills matter?

Hiring Managers keep trying and testing various methods to find the right candidate for this talent war. But without a doubt even today, referrals are one of the best sources of hiring. Whether through social media or company programs, referrals are used by employers to tap networks beyond what the company can reach for itself. For employers who are adopting new technologies and next-gen recruiting platforms, activating employee-based social referrals is becoming an important aspect of their recruiting strategy. 

Although, a social recruiting strategy cannot be built entirely on posting and tweeting job openings on social media. Organizations need to adapt and take advantage of the newest methods of engaging with their socially savvy audience and stakeholders in two-way communication. For most target candidates and top talent hanging out on social media, employee referrals have taken a whole new meaning.

Trends say that applicants shall start emphasizing both hard and soft skills in their resumes in order to get selected. This way, even if the applicant lacks a particular hard skill required by the company, balancing it with a particular soft skill would be valuable in the position. 

For example, if the job involves working on a number of group projects, the candidate must emphasize his/her experience and skills as a team player and ability to communicate with team members. Although employers typically equally include both technical and soft skills, it is almost always the latter that they value more. 

Employers pay close attention to the following traits: teamwork, attitude, communication, creative thinking, work ethic, decision making, positivity, work drive, leadership, time management, motivation, flexibility, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, conflict resolution, empathy, diligence, etc. Hence the right balance of both hard and soft skills is equally necessary for one's career growth and getting success in their dream