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March 07, 2016

How to Land the Job: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

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“I love job hunting!” said no one, ever. Whether you’re new to the market or a seasoned professional looking for your next great gig, job hunting is stressful. You’ll be constantly bombarded by various buzzwords and best practices, not really knowing what will truly help you land the job. Fear not! We here at WunderLand are here to help you decode some of the newer buzzwords: “hard skills” versus “soft skills.”

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Hard Skills

Let’s start with defining hard skills - these are the technical skills and qualifications needed to do the job. When applying online, hard skills are the keywords that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are searching for. If your resume doesn’t make it past the electronic gatekeeper, you may not even land the opportunity to speak to a human being.

Some examples of hard skills include:

  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite
  • HTML and CSS
  • Foreign Language Proficiency
  • SEO/SEM expertise
  • Google Analytics Certification

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Soft Skills

Once your resume has passed through the ATS, a recruiter or hiring manager may reach out to you to set up an interview. The recruiter or hiring manager will dig deeper into your knowledge of the hard skills, but may also begin to ask questions that pertain to your soft skills which usually refer to your personality.

Some examples of soft skills include:

  • Positivity, passion, and enthusiasm
  • Team-oriented aptitude
  • Self-motivated
  • Adaptability
  • Confidence

Employers are essentially seeking well-rounded candidates. These soft skills can give employers an idea of how quickly you can adapt to change, solve problems, and manage/mentor a team. According to CareerBuilder, 77% of hiring manager and HR professionals said soft skills are just as important as hard skills.

The recruiting experts at WunderLand recommend the reviewing the following questions to help you prepare for soft skills based questions:

  1. What motivates you and why?
  2. What is your ideal company and working environment?
  3. Describe your communication style.
  4. How do you handle stress?
  5. What do you do in your free time?

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In summary, “hard skills” get your foot in the door and “soft skills” can help you to land the job. If you’re on the market, reach out to one of the ‘Wunderful’ recruiters at WunderLand. We are more than happy to work with you with making edits to your resume to help you land your dream job!

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WunderLand is a team of Talent Acquisition Experts who connect companies with in-demand digital, marketing and creative talent. The experience, insight and market knowledge we provide have earned us loyalty and a reputation for quality.

 

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