What are Hard Skills

Hard Skills

What are Hard Skills?

These are technical skills that are teachable. One learns hard skills in the course of their life experiences. 

You must highlight these in your cv, resume, and cover letter to optimize these skills for a job interview.

Hard skills can range from education to the skills you might have learned in your workspace, like –

  • A Content writer- efficiency at search engine optimization
  • A software engineer- learning various languages such as Perl, Python, Java, Ruby, etc., through the college experience.
  • A mobile journalist- learning how to use a camera. 

How do you measure hard skills?

Hard skills are quantifiable skills and usually do not have underlying concepts of human behavior and psychology, which are part of soft skills.

Knowingly or unknowingly, we are being tested on our technical capabilities, “the hard skills” throughout our lives. 

Examples of quantification or metrics of hard skills 

  • Entrance exams like C.A.T., JEE, AIIMS 
  • Aptitude Tests on proficiency in skills like I.C.T. (Information communication technology) like typing speed and English proficiency 
  • Presenting and demonstrating tasks like asking a social media intern to curate a social media optimized post.
  • Comparison – Asking two individuals to conduct the same task and measuring it based on time and quality of the outcome delivered.

How do you develop and enhance hard skills? 

Skill training for hard skills is more convenient than soft skills as they do not take years of conditioning as they are more cognitive and less emotional.

Every individual indeed has a different level of ability to learn skills, especially technical ones and towards whom they are not naturally gravitated. But, these hard skills can be polished with consistent time and effort. 

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” – Oprah Winfrey 


  • Get formal education-

 collect certificates, diplomas, and licenses for the skill you want to acquire

  • Keep testing yourself – 

Push yourself and keep trying. With time you can increase your skill and efficiency 

  • Gather knowledge from on-the-job experiences- 

Do internships and programs 

  • Books- 

Even though not everybody likes to read in an age that is so influenced by technology, if you like books, research the books that can help you be more proficient at the skill you are trying to learn.

  • Online sources- 

It is web 3.0, even though apprenticeship and mentoring programs are great if, due to circumstances, you can not go for the options above,

Just search the internet for the skill you want to acquire. There are hundreds of sources. You can choose the one that suits you best!

If you are more of an audio-visual person, you can take online sources like watching YouTube videos, or if you like to learn while you drive your car to work, you can listen to a podcast.

Top Hard skills that are in demand amongst employers

    • Basic Coding
    • Statistical analysis and data mining 
    • Data presentation
    • Affiliate marketing
    • Project Management
    • Web Analytics
    • SEO/SEM Marketing
    • UX Design
    • Cloud Computing
    • Blockchain (Bonus – https://www.ted.com/topics/blockchain )
    • Cloud computing
    • App Development
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Video Design
  • Product design
  • Data Analytics

Importance of hard skills 

Most hiring organizations require hard skills in candidates so they can perform their very role in the organization. For the same, they usually ask for written documentation for the hard skills necessary for hiring. These documents can include your degree, certificates, etc. 

These are an absolute necessity as all companies aim for a profit, and selecting candidates no matter how good they might be at their soft skills does not do it!

Example: A chef might have excellent interpersonal skills, but his role as a chef would never produce good results unless he has the necessary cookery skills.

How to highlight your hard skill?

These are a must mention in your 

(Hard skills are more of a necessity to mention in the formal documents)

  • Show don’t tell 

Even though, Soft skills come more handy during the interview process. It would help if you utilized the hard skills too by adding them to the flow of your conversation with the interviewer.

Example – If you have done a course on ux/ui designing, you can use this to your advantage by telling the hiring organization about this.

when asked about circumstances that highlight your soft skills or hard skills, you can apply the STAR Technique for this

Example –

Position for an H.R.

“The organization I worked with previously had major differences in the expected quarterly profit and the actual one, the accountant working on the project gave me the reports and thought i would let it slide but as i had previously done a course on accounts and due the efficiency i hold with technology i gathered the errors and reported it to my senior. They really appreciated this and even gave me a raise the next quarter  .”

  • Match them to the Job description 

Every job requires a distinct skill set. You do not want to mention how skilled a fisherman you are in an interview for a content writer.

Examples of matching hard and soft skills to JD

A teacher 

Hard skills – 

Degree and other professional qualifications like,

  • B.Ed
  • Schooling 
  • Career history and quantitative skills you learned with the experience
  • Certificates or Awards for teaching.

Management head 

Hard Skills

  • B.A.
  • M.B.A.
  • Typing speed
  • Knows several languages

 Other examples of hard skills- 

As each occupation requires a separate skill set, here are other examples of some hard skills for a variety of professions: 

  • Accounting
  • Administrative
  • Bookkeeping
  • Analytics
  • Auditing
  • Automotive Technology
  • Medical Diagnosis
  • Nursing
  • Banking Operations
  • Budgeting
  • Word processing 
  • Carpentry
  • Construction
  • Database Management
  • Design
  • Editing
  • Electrical
  • Engineering
  • Financial
  • Hardware
  • Healthcare
  • Java Script
  • Languages
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Marketing Research
  • Mechanical 
  • Optimization
  • Pharmaceutical Coding
  • Pipefitting
  • Python Programming
  • Project Management
  • Proposal Writing
  • Reporting
  • Science
  • Software
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Teaching
  • Technical Writing
  • Testing
  • Translation
  • Transcription

Hard skills vs Soft skills

Hard skills 

  • Technical 
  • More quantifiable 
  • Gained through career, education etc 
Soft skills

  • Also known as interpersonal skills, common skills, core skills, people skills or human skills
  • Less quantifiable
  • Shaped by nature and nurture

Key takeaways

  •  Hard skills are technical skills that can be learned with time and effort.
  • Highlight these skills!
  • Find a balance between hard skills and soft skills. 

Now that you are aware of hard skills and how you can enhance them,It is your turn to sharpen your sword of hard skills and fight the battle to get your dream job, Rather win that battle!



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.