Hard Skills on Your Resume: A Complete Guide

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You’ve likely heard about the importance of soft skills for career growth.

But are they enough to help you grow and land your dream job?

No.

Furthermore, the way you present your hard abilities on your CV matters a lot. Hard skills are just as vital as soft skills, if not more so.

You should keep in mind that to grab your interviewer’s attention, you need to show the best of your hard skills in your resume.

Let us show you how to do this like a pro.

Here is a comprehensive guide for you on what, why, and how to add hard skills to your resume that stand out.

Let’s dive in!

What are hard skills?

Before we move ahead, here is a basic understanding everyone should have.

Hard skills are skills or specific abilities that are learned through formal education, training programs, or certification courses and are directly applicable to your job.

Certain tasks, jobs, or roles require certain skills. To further aid an employer in understanding a candidate’s abilities and fit for a position, they can also be explicitly mentioned on a CV or resume. Hard talents may frequently be measured.

Examples of hard skills are

  • Programming:
  • Python
  • Java
  • C++
  • Ruby
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Swift
  • SQL
  • R
  • Graphic Design:
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Sketch
  • CorelDRAW
  • User interface design
  • User experience design
  • Typography
  • Color theory
  • Digital Marketing:
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Google Analytics
  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Digital advertising
  • Project Management:
  • Agile methodologies
  • Scrum management
  • Risk management
  • Resource planning
  • Budgeting
  • Quality control
  • Stakeholder management
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Accounting:
  • Financial reporting
  • Auditing
  • Tax filing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Budget analysis
  • Financial forecasting
  • Accounts payable/receivable
  • Compliance
  • Cost accounting
  • Data Analysis:
  • Statistical analysis
  • Predictive modeling
  • Data mining
  • Database management
  • Machine learning
  • Data visualization (e.g., Tableau)
  • Excel advanced functions
  • Reporting
  • Big data technologies
  • Engineering:
  • CAD software (e.g., AutoCAD)
  • Circuit design
  • Thermodynamics
  • Structural analysis
  • Prototyping
  • Quality testing
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Project lifecycle management
  • Compliance standards
  • Language and Translation:
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Arabic
  • Russian
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Legal Skills:
  • Contract drafting
  • Litigation
  • Corporate law
  • Intellectual property
  • Real estate law
  • Legal compliance
  • Research and writing
  • Mediation
  • Family law

Why are hard skills on a resume important

Whether your communication, collaboration, or presentation abilities are excellent, if you are going for an engineering job, your employment will be determined by how well-versed in the field you are in.

Soft skills are great to add on, but whether you get the job will depend on your technical or hard skills.

In summary, hard skills are essential for carrying out job-specific tasks that call for previous knowledge, education, or training. Employing managers frequently look for candidates with a blend of hard and soft talents that will help them accomplish their jobs well.

Differences between hard and soft skills

Take hard skills such as cooking north Indian food and soft skills such as cooking food on time, with cleanliness, managing a team, etc.

Do you see the difference?

So the difference between hard skills and soft skills lies in their nature and how they are applied in the job.

Here are the key differences:

  • Hard skills are specific, measurable, and teachable, such as marketing, programming, data analysis, etc. Soft skills are interpersonal people skills. These skills are less tangible and develop over time. Skills such as communication, management, and problem-solving are examples of soft skills.
  • Hard skills are important for performing job-specific tasks, whereas soft skills are often seen as complementary skills that boost a person’s ability to work smoothly.
  • While soft talents are transferable, hard skills are highly particular to the job (e.g., understanding how to use SEO in digital marketing). For instance, having strong managerial abilities is crucial for anyone working in sales, education, or digital marketing.
  • The importance of hard skills is very crucial early in a career, whereas as you progress in your career, soft skills become increasingly important.

In short, while the hard skill gets one qualified for the job, the soft skill is what makes someone excel at their job.

How to add your hard skills on your resume

Do you want your resume to stand out?

If yes, you should know how to add hard skills to your resume.

You’d be shocked to know that only 55–60% of candidates focus on hard skills. So here is an effective approach to showcasing your hard skills on your resume.

  • Use the skills section effectively.

Start by adding a specific hard skills section on your CV. Make sure it’s positioned toward the top following your summary and contact details.

  • Tailor your skills to the job description.

It may look obvious, but many candidates overlook this.

Therefore, pay attention to the hard skills listed in the job posting and highlight any experiences that align with them. To let employers know right away that you are qualified for the role, include keywords from the job description.

Pro tip: Use the same language as in the job description.

.
  • Quantify your hard work.

The best way to demonstrate the impact of your skills is by quantifying them. Back your hard work with data and specific examples to show its impact.

For example, if you are skilled in marketing, then show how you’ve used your skill to achieve a specific goal. You can talk about how your marketing skills helped a brand scale its launch or boost its social media presence.

  • Highlight certifications

If you have completed any courses or training, be sure to prominently feature these on your resume. You can add this to a separate certifications section.

  • Use your professional summary.

Your professional summary should be relevant, short, and captivating. Make sure to add the most relevant and high-value skills for that particular job.

The motive for adding your social media is to let employers see your work online and how this is beneficial to their company. Last but not least, this helps the candidates build credibility before going for the interview.

These are a few effective ways you can add hard skills to your resume. This approach will help you look even more appealing in the competitive job market and land your dream job.

How to develop hard skills

If you invest some time, hard skills can be learned through various resources. Some of the most common and proven ways are:

There are a wide variety of courses online that you can opt for. Take the most relevant and authentic courses online. Before signing, make sure they have great reviews, and if they offer certification, that’s the icing on the cake.

  • Participating in workshops and training

Joining training and workshops led by experienced professionals. They charge a minimal fee, but this will help you get more in-depth information from someone who is doing that work currently.

  • Working as an Intern

Another way to learn a hard skill is by doing it practically. If you are at a beginner level, you can choose to work as an intern at a startup. These days, companies are hiring mass interns.

Important note: 

There are a ton of fraudulent companies out there that invite you to serve as an intern for no compensation. But keep in mind that your efforts and time ought to be compensated. Thus, be careful not to fall for these frauds and get compensated.

  • Reading and researching

Furthermore, reading and researching are excellent methods to keep up with current trends and gain a thorough understanding of the sector. To receive updates, you may also use some neat tools like Google Trends.

Following industry leaders and professionals, taking courses, working as an intern, or keeping yourself updated with the latest trends are some great ways you can use to build some hard skills.

And the best part is that everyone may access some great materials that are available online these days.

Careers that rely heavily on hard skills

Several careers rely on hard skills, such as:

  • Software engineering
  • Accounting and finance
  • Architecture
  • Pharmacy
  • Engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical, etc.)
  • Web development
  • Graphic design
  • Data analysis
  • Medical professions (doctors, nurses, and technicians)
  • Legal profession
  • Automotive technician
  • Biotechnology

Particularly in these professions, a great deal of knowledge and expertise are necessary to accomplish certain technical jobs.

General hard skills to include in your resume

However, if you’re concerned that your CV lacks industry-specific hard abilities, these broad hard skills can help you stand out.

These skills include:

  • Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Ability to use basic data analysis tools and software
  • Familiarity with tools like Trello, Asana, or Microsoft Project
  • Managing social media platforms for businesses
  • Hands-on experience with various digital tools and platforms
  • Ability to produce clear and effective documents, reports, or user manuals
  • Basic skills in graphic design
  • Understanding of basic financial concepts

But if you’re missing two or three of these fundamental hard skills, think about picking them up.

TL;DR

Here’s everything we have covered till now:

  • What are the hard skills?
  • Why hard skills are important
  • Differences between hard and soft skills
  • How to add hard skills on your resume
  • How to develop hard skills
  • Careers that rely heavily on hard skills
  • General hard skills

Need help on how to add these hard skills?

Do you have more questions about how to create an ATS-friendly resume?

Get answers from my team here.

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