Hard skills are an important type of skill you need to include on your resume. What do you need to know about featuring hard skills to a resume?
How to Add Hard Skills to Your Resume
When you write a resume, you need to include a variety of skills to show that you know how to do a specific job. You can typically divide these skills into hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are learned skills that you need to fulfill regular duties in your job, and they’re often skills employers list in the job description. Here’s what you need to know about filling out your skills section with hard skills.
What Are Hard Skills?
Finding Hard Skills That Work for Your Resume
Not every hard skill is going to work for every job application. Hiring managers want different things for different jobs and industries. Here’s how you can find examples of hard skills to include on your resume.
Resume keywords from the job description
The first thing to do is look at the job description. This is known as looking for resume keywords. It helps you develop an understanding of the skill set a particular recruiter wants in a job. If you’re applying to a data analysis job and the job requests someone who’s great at Microsoft Office Excel, has exemplary people skills, and understands QuickBooks, that means you want to include all three of those skills somewhere within your resume. Potential employers put what they’re looking for in the job description, so draw from that information.
Although LinkedIn is mostly meant for networking, it can also help you in your job search. Especially if you’re applying to a job with a fairly large set of employees, consider going online and seeing what types of skills they’re listing. If you see a lot of people discussing things like adaptability and critical thinking and significantly fewer people mentioning computer skills and job-specific skills, you might want to lean more toward those soft skills.
Resume examples in your industry
Lastly, you can check out resume examples from your industry to see what people are including on their resumes in general. Other job seekers have also done a lot of work, and people looking for the same job probably have a lot of career advice to give. This can also give you a good idea of the ratio of soft skills to hard skills you might want to consider, as some jobs require more or less hard skills and soft skills.
How To Prove Your Hard Skills
How can you show a hiring manager that you actually have the skills you’re claiming?
For technical skills and other hard skills, it may be as easy as taking a certification test. For example, if you speak a foreign language, you can take a test to certify those skills. Additionally, some online courses for job training give you a certification once you’ve completed them, which can help you add to your resume and show off a variety of skills.
Additionally, reference these skills all throughout your cover letter and resume. This can be a bit more difficult than for soft skills, but referencing your hard skills in multiple places throughout your job application (e.g., showing how you’ve used your hard skills in previous jobs) makes it more likely that your hiring manager will take your skills seriously.
FAQ: Hard Skills
Hard and soft skills are both important, but what’s the difference between the two? The simplest way to explain the two is that hard skills have to do with things you can learn in a classroom, while soft skills have more to do with personality traits and your ability to connect with others. Here are a few soft skills to give you an idea:
- Time management
- Emotional intelligence
- Interpersonal skills
- Active listening
- Work ethic
Abilities like marketing skills can be called hard skills, as they can be taught and learned. However, being able to understand and connect well with the people around you requires soft skills. Both of these elements are important for success.
It depends primarily on your resume format as well as what other people in your industry are doing. You can have as few as five skills or as many as 12. Take your cue from the number of skills you’re seeing in resume examples. Remember that a resume builder like the one at ResumeNerd can also help you narrow in on the right number of skills.
The best hard skills will typically be ones you use every day, that you have certifications for, and that are considered standard in your industry. For example, if you’re an accountant, you’ll need to include budgeting in your skills, but this probably won’t be important if you’re a retail worker. It’s all about determining the right hard skills for your resume.