Resume Hard Skills

Hard skills are key points on a resume. What do you need to know so you can make the best use of them?



Table of Contents

  1. What Are Hard Skills?
  2. Ways To Determine the Best Hard Skills for a Resume
  3. FAQ: Hard Skills

What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are the quantifiable abilities and skills that enable you to do your job. When you’re seeking a new position, Unlike soft skills, which are more centered on intangible abilities that impact how you approach work and interact with others, hard skills are technical skills that showcase your professional know-how. It is crucial to display that you have the right hard skills when applying for a job; if you do not, it is unlikely that hiring managers will take step and contact you for an interview.

Examples of hard skills include:

  • Data analysis
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • SEM
  • Python
  • CSS
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Cloud computing
  • Photoshop proficiency
  • Graphic design
  • Database management
  • Excel
  • Google analytics
  • Project management

These are just a few of the specific skills that can be classed as hard skills. Each job will have its own set of hard skills associated with it. (If you’re looking for more information on soft skills employers look for, such as time management, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and a strong work ethic, visit our soft skills page.

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Ways To Determine the Best Hard Skills for a Resume

So, between hard skills and soft skills, which are best? Broadly speaking, hard skills are more important because they show you are capable of doing job-specific tasks. As such, you need to feature the hard skills that best fit the job you are applying for on your resume in order to attract potential employers. If you are unsure which of your hard skills best suit your job search, there are a few things you can do:

1. Check the job description.
Most of the time, the job description posted by potential employers will give details on the specific skills and work experiences recruiters are looking for in a candidate. Consider the job listing and include in your resume any skills you have that match what’s listed there. If your hard skills address the job posting, you will be more likely to catch the eye of hiring managers.
2. Look at LinkedIn profiles.
You will find that the social media profiles of successful people in your industry can help you get an idea of what kinds of skills are valuable. LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for professionals looking to develop their skills and progress in their careers.
3. Check resume examples.
Considering example resumes for inspiration can be incredibly helpful, especially if you haven’t undertaken a job search for a while or you are a recent graduate entering a new industry for the first time. Look at these resume examples for specific jobs as a guide to help you come up with the best resume skills section for your job search.
Certifying your hard skills

Whatever your skill set is, being able to back up your most important hard skills can be a major advantage, as recruiters will often prioritize those who have official qualifications or certifications. Whether you have uncertified management skills or foreign language proficiencies, taking the time to seek a recognized certification could increase your chances of landing your dream job.

If you have not undertaken official certifications or online courses, there are other things you can do to verify your hard skills. For example, if you have won awards or received some kind of recognition that show you’ve successfully used certain hard skills, you should include them in your resume (e.g., in a separate “Awards” section or in your work history section). Finally, back up your hard and soft skills by having examples from your work experience to showcase times when you used those skills well.

FAQ: Hard Skills

Q: Hard skills vs. soft skills: What’s the difference?

Hard skills are technical skills that concern your ability to do something, while soft skills are non-quantifiable skills that concern how you do things. For example, speaking a second language is a hard skill, while having good conflict resolution abilities would be classified as a soft skill.

Q: How do I know what my best skills are?

Your best soft and hard skills are determined by the evidence you can provide (training, experiences) that confirms how strong those skills are, and how relevant they are to the specific job your want. Assess the job description and the relevant skills you have in order to figure out which are the best to feature, and give these skills priority in your resume or cover letter.

Q: Is there a certain established number of hard skills?

No, any technical skill that is necessary for the completion of a job is classed as a hard skill. There is no hard and fast limit to the number of hard skills you can put on your resume as long as they are relevant to the job description you are applying for, although we usually recommend listing 8-10 skills at most.

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