Most Wanted Hard and Soft Job Skills in 2021
Every job applicant, whether a longshoreman or a manager of an accounting firm, must have a skills section on their resume because hiring managers want to know if you have the specific abilities they are looking for. They want to be able to find them quickly.
There are generally two kinds of skills: hard and soft. Hard skills have to be learned, are often specific to a job or industry, and can be measured, like tools, software or medical techniques. Soft skills are innate personality traits and abilities or talents we are born with, like creativity, patience and reasoning.
What Skills Are Employers Looking For in 2021?
How important each type of skill is for employers depends largely on your industry, job title, and goals. For example, engineers need to know certain programming languages; graphic designers have to know some design-related software, and surgical nurses must be skilled in infection prevention techniques.
Other jobs place higher importance on soft skills. For example, teachers have to communicate, lead others and have the emotional intelligence to perform their jobs well.
The most in-demand hard skills in 2021
Your cache of hard skills should be directly related to the job and match as many of the requirements listed as possible. But be honest! If you don't have all the requirements, it doesn't mean you will be discounted. Your unique skill set can be an asset — as long as it's relevant.
The hard skills employers are looking for now cross industries and can be applied to myriad jobs.
The top 10 hard skills for 2021 are:
The most in-demand soft skills in 2021
According to Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), soft skills are more important than ever, and many hiring managers are noticing a "soft skills gap" in the talent pool. This means soft skills can help you stand out from the competition.
The top 10 soft skills for 2021 are:
A note about transferable skills
Do you know what your transferable skills are? If not, you're not alone. Most job seekers are hard pressed to answer this question.
Simply put, transferable skills are the hard and soft skills you can apply to just about any profession. While transferable skills are important for everyone to have, they are essential for job seekers who want to change careers or industries; are applying for their first job; want to move into supervisory roles, or have been out of work for six months or more.
The top 10 transferable skills in 2021 are:
How to highlight hard skills and soft skills on a resume
How you highlight your hard and soft skills depends on the resume template and resume format you choose, the position you're applying for, your job history, and where you are in your career. Choose your template and format wisely, and think carefully about what you've done and where you are going. Once you are certain of those, then it's time to prepare to write your resume.
Taking the time to gather your materials and make notes is an important step that will not only make the process of writing your resume smoother, but it could also help you stand out from the crowd. A well-thought-out resume shines to employers, after all.
To prepare your skills section(s):
- Read the job description and circle all the qualifications and requirements mentioned. Employers often created bulleted lists of requirements, but they can often be found in other areas of the post. Re-read the ad a few times to be certain.
- Create a heading called Soft Skills and another called Hard Skills.
- Think about your personality. Are you funny, shy, outgoing, serious, resilient, determined? These personal attributes are considered to be soft skills. Write down all the personality traits you're sure you have and then match them to required skills mentioned in the job description.
- Add some natural abilities to your soft skills list. Are you a born leader? Maybe you're a creative thinker or you're the type who gets things done; you might even be all of the above!
- Jot down all the technical knowledge and hands-on experience you have from previous jobs, school, training, hands-on experience and volunteer work. For example, if you are a nurse, you probably have a long list of medical procedures to add and if you're a graphic designer, you must have some experience with relevant software.
- If you have gaps in your employment, are trying for a supervisory role, taking on a new job, or entering a different industry, you should consider creating a transferable skills section, as well. Write down all the skills you have in that section that you can apply to the new job, even if you don't have experience in the role.
- Match up all your skills to the required and optional skills listed in the job description.
- Refine your ists and make sure you include the skills that pertain to the job, and then cull it again. You don't want to go overboard, so be honest, consistent, and relevant. Your skills should speak for themselves once you're hired!