Hard skills often get more attention in job search advice, because they’re easier to acquire. That might sound strange, given that hard skills can include things like data analysis, project management, and very specific and highly technical coding and programming skills.
How can something be “easy,” if it takes years to learn?
No skills are really easy to pick up, even if you’re talented and dedicated to learning. But, the fact is, if you have the aptitude, you can acquire almost any technical skill, given enough time and practice. Soft skills, on the other hand, take more awareness. For instance, you can take a class in effective communication, but unless you’re attuned to your coworkers and interested in listening as well as talking, you won’t become adept.
The Skills Employers WantRecruiters and hiring managers want both hard and soft skills in their new hires. To find out which ones will help your resume stand out, review the job description for keywords you can incorporate into your resume and cover letter.
Matching your resume and cover letter to the job description, as closely you can, will help you get chosen for a job interview.
Of course, it helps to know what you’re looking for, so here's a list of soft skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Because required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, and you can’t always count on job descriptions to give you the full picture, it’s also in your best interests to review our list of skills listed by type of skill.