Hard Skills, Soft Skills, Technical Skills, Work Environment
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 14 December 2016
Finding the Balance Between Technical (Hard) and Soft Skills
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Angie Chang

Job interviews can be quite the daunting task. No matter what we do, it is hard to ever feel fully prepared for them. However, finding the balance between your technical skills and your soft skills can boost your confidence and increase your chances of getting hired. This balance helps your employers see you as an all-around candidate. So what is the best ratio? Let’s talk about each type of skill first and go over each one more thoroughly. 

Soft Skills

These skills include your interpersonal, people skills. They represent your personal attributes, personality traits, and communication abilities. It is said that soft skills are less quantifiable than hard skills, but play just as an essential of a part in customer-focused jobs. Soft skills are not taught in school and have to be learned by trial and error. Although there are books and guides to improving your soft skills, you have to apply the tips you’ve learned and be adaptable as every person and situation is different. That is why some companies value this kind of skill more because it can be correlated with a more promising applicant. 

The best work environment is a nurturing one where co-workers provide support and are able to build each other up. Negative attitudes and bad tension are detrimental in a workplace, which is why companies look for applicants with good soft skills. If someone is good at the job but has a negative effect on his/her coworkers, then it would be far more worth it for the company to find someone else who has those hard skills AND good people skills

Technical Skills

Technical skills are the tangible and practical skills that you have gained. These skills are vital for your ability to get the job done. These skills can easily be learned with the right time and effort. You can learn hard skills in school, online or from books. There are designated levels and direct paths as to how to excel at a hard skill so that you can cater your lessons to your skill level. Some examples of technical skills include computer programming, web design, writing, etc. Having a range of these skills also makes you a well-rounded individual. Companies could choose to value soft skills more because it is harder to teach soft skills over hard skills. 

Hard skills are defined rules. For example, programming is programming and you complete it in a certain way. Soft skills, on the other hand, are skills where there are no set rules. You have to be able to adapt to different audiences. People understand concepts differently and in order to effectively teach someone or get a point across, you have to adjust your communication style accordingly. There are jobs though that require little soft skills and more hard skills; Albert Einstein is a great example of someone brilliant who did not easily work well with others. Read here for a list of hard vs. soft skills. 

When you're applying for jobs, think about the kinds of skills needed, the amount of communication that will be necessary and then assess for yourself which of the two skills to promote more. There is no perfect balance between these two types of skills, but the goal is to not just list words or skills. You need to provide examples and proof that reinforce your employer’s confidence in you. 

Strengthen both your hard skills and soft skills by working on a project with ProSky! You can reinforce your hard skills by learning specific skill sets in B2B, social media, or digital marketing. Practice your soft skills by working alongside other people who are trying to achieve the same goal you are.