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Soft Skills Hard Skills

8 minutes

When looking to hire a new employee, one of the things employers are looking for is a person with the right skills for the job they're seeking to fill. But did you know that there are different types of skills that employers are looking for? These different types of skills are often described as either hard skills, and these are reflected in your knowledge and ability to do a particular job, and then soft skills, which are tied to your personal characteristics and interpersonal skills. We all have hard as well as soft skills, and both of them are important when it comes to finding and keeping a job. Employers want to make sure that you have the proper balance of these skills. But first, let's look more closely at what hard skills as well as soft skills are, so you can better understand them. Hard skills are specific skills that you have learned, and they can be taught as well as learned. Hard skills are often those that are listed in a job posting. The announcement will list the specific skills necessary to perform the job. Some examples of hard skills include the ability to operate machinery or cooking, welding, computer repair, or auto mechanics. Again, these are all referred to as hard skills. When an employer looks at a resume, they can easily pick out the hard skills that you have to see if you are right for the job. Hard skills are reflected on your resume as your education, your training, as well as your work experience. Now, soft skills are sometimes known as people skills, and they're quite critical from an employer's point of view. However, when looking at your resume, it's very difficult for the employer to pick up on what soft skills you have. Some examples of these soft skills are cooperation, flexibility, courtesy, dependability, personal appearance, and a positive attitude. During an interview, employers will be observing you and talking with you to see if you have the soft skills that they are looking for. I should also stress that soft skills are harder both to teach as well as learn. These are attributes that you have acquired throughout your life through experience and observation. You weren't taught these skills explicitly in a class; rather you came by them naturally throughout your life. So how do you show an employer the soft skills that you have to offer? A small amount of reflection prior to the interview will prepare you to go in and show the employer the quality of all your soft skills and how you will use them if you're hired for the job. You should begin by recalling how you have drawn upon your soft skills in the past, whether at home, in school, or on another job. Then be prepared to bring these various examples of soft skills to the interview. For instance, if you wanted to demonstrate that you are dependable, you might share that you used to be on the basketball team and that you never missed a practice. Or to demonstrate your ability to cooperate, you might describe how back when you were in high school, you worked with a group to construct the float for the homecoming parade-- how the whole group had to cooperate. That within the team, everyone had different design ideas as well as abilities and that you worked with everyone on the team to make the decisions necessary to make sure that the float got done. Furthermore, to show an employer your ability to be flexible, you might say, "You know, one evening, I was supposed to work until eight o'clock, but my co-worker didn't show up, so my boss asked me to stay until 8:30, and I did." To come up with your own examples of soft skills that you have, it might be a good idea to talk with your family members, your friends, or your teachers and ask them what soft skills they have seen you display. You may also want to practice how you're going to prove to an employer that you have these soft skills, so rehearse prior to the interview. After all, it is always a good idea to do a practice interview with a friend or a family member in order to be prepared.

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Viewers learn the difference between "soft skills" and "hard skill." Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured; however, soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as etiquette, getting along with others, and engaging in small talk. Both skill sets are needed for successful employees. Part of the "Getting a Job" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 8 minutes

Getting a Job
Episode 1
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 2
9 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 3
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 4
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 5
9 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 6
12 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 7
9 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 8
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 9
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 10
10 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12