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Svilen Nikolov
Svilen Nikolov is an entrepreneur and a business author who found a passion for Human Resources Management while attending classes at the UPEI Faculty of Business in PEI, Canada.
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Resume Advice
Hard Skills on Resume: Top Hard Skills by Industry Sector

What are hard skills?Hard skills are technical skills needed to complete tasks using a pre-approved process, methodology, procedure, or technique. They usually involve the use of tools, software, or some type of technical equipment. These skills are mostly acquired through professional, technical, or academic education that often leads to a certification. The certification is awarded after a successful test or exam. This leads us to another characteristic of hard skills: they are easily measured, tested, and classified. Hard skills are industry-specific. As a result they are not easily transferable across organizational roles or industries. Although, this is possible in some cases. Some examples of hard skills are foreign languages, university or college degrees, industry certifications, coding, SEO, accounting, driving, cooking, etc.By contrast, soft skills, also referred to as “personality traits”, do not require the use of machinery or technical knowledge. They could be learned from the first day of our lives through experiences and are easily transferable. Some people are born with a better command of one or another soft skill. Some soft skills include communication skills, leadership skills, analytical thinking skills, proactive skills, team working skills, self-motivation skills, etc. In recent years, soft skills are increasingly valued by employers and a sure predictor of success.Hard skills are very important on your resume because employers require them in order to give you the job. They usually fill in a bigger part of the job specification section. Still, they alone are not an indication of successful adaptation to your new position and do not determine future success. If you want to be a desired applicant, you will need to build a well-rounded resume that contains both hard and soft skills.Soft Skills vs Hard SkillsCommon misconceptions about hard skillsInclude relevant hard skills: The biggest misconception of all is what skills to include on your resume. Most people throw in just everything they have. Remember that the HR officer has seconds to decide if you are suitable for further screening. Bet on quality, not quantity. Include only skills that are relevant to the job posting. PRO TIP: This advice is only for the SKILLS section. Do not leave blank fields in the chronology of the WORK EXPERIENCE section. This is a red light for the HR officer. But then, how to avoid annoying the HR officer with a wall of text? This is easily done by emphasizing the relevant job experience in more detail while just outlining the irrelevant one.Avoid hard skills you do not master well: As mentioned, hard skills are easily tested and measured, so it is a good idea to avoid skills that you do not master well. You might get lucky and be tested on this exact skill you do not command well. As a result, your overall performance may be leveled to it. How to list out the Internet, Computer, or MS Office skills: To avoid your skills being seen as fluff, you better not include the ones that are the norm today. These three are skills expected of everyone, the way we expect everyone can read and write. They are also very broad terms. But what if the job specification mentions some of them? Then you can safely list them out by going into specific and relevant details. For example, when we talk about Computer or Internet skills you need to be specific and list out things like MySQL, CSS, WordPress, HTML, etc. Do not list out outdated skills: Do not include software or coding languages that are not in use today. The employer will get the impression that you do not have a desire to learn new things or you lack adaptation skills. Read the job posting and if the coding language you know is outdated, do not include it. How to include a foreign language: Chances are, an interviewer speaks a language you list out and will try to start a conversation. Languages you speak with elementary proficiency are irrelevant for the employer in a professional context. PRO TIP: Here is a specific classification for the languages you need to keep out of your resume - Beginner (A1), Elementary (A2), and Pre-intermediate (A2/B1)How to show hard skills on a resume?Do not list out all skills - read through the job posting and list out relevant and industry-specific skills that are either included in the job description or are widely known to be used in this specific industry. Where to list your skills - with the Enhancv resume builder you could create a specific SKILLS section that will be the best place to demonstrate your hard skills on your resume. You will also need to use the EDUCATION SECTION to list out what degrees you have completed. Consider including 2-3 most relevant hard skills in the SUMMARY SECTION. See the table below for more details. Prove your hard skills - if you list hard skills in the HARD SKILLS section you will need to support them with evidence in the WORK EXPERIENCE section, EDUCATION section, or ACHIEVEMENTS section. List out your chronological job experience, your degrees, and certifications and if you want to put special emphasis on something you are especially proud of you can do it in the ACHIEVEMENTS SECTION. Years of experience with some type of machinery or software could also be sufficient validation instead of an official certificate, but this is up to the employer. Have perfect presentation - Cover letter and resume formatting is a key element of your presentation. Especially if you are applying for a position that requires the hard skills you used to create your resume. Beware of keywords - Read the job posting and every related job information from the employer’s website such as their mission, vision, and About us section, and use their language on your resume. Using the same terminology will not only grant you access beyond the automated resume screening but will also make your resume more readable if written in their language. Some HR officers will also notice that you put extra effort to adapt your resume to be in line with their organizational communication. Top hard skills by sector with resume examples and keywordsInformation technologyHard skills keywords on Computer Scientist resume:Summary section: CS graduate, Big data, Python, SQL, Azure, Machine learning ,TensorflowEducation section: B.S.  Computer scienceExperience section: Tableau, PowerPoint, Java, Python, and SQL, DatabaseSkills section: Java, SQL, Python, NumPy, Scarpy, Scikit-learn, MatplotlibSciPy, Data, Hadoop, Tensorflow, Tableau, Server, SQL Server, SQL Profiler, AzureCertification section: Machine Learning: Regression, Certified Associate in Python ProgramingBusiness managementHard skills keywords on Business Manager resume:Education section: MA, Industrial Management, MarketingExperience section: “Exceeded my first 2 quarters sales”, “resolved 200+ queries of internal customers on Quality Management System (QMS)”Skills section: C#,R, Microsoft Excel, MySQLFinanceHard skills keywords on Director of Finance resume:Education section: Master of Business AdministrationExperience section: QuickBooks, IPO/S1 process, IPO at NYSE, “compliance with SOP 97-2, GAAP, FASB”, “Created marketing materials”, MarketingHard skills keywords on (Marketing) Business Manager resume:Education section: MSc Business Management (cum laude), MSc Marketing (Distinction)Experience section: “Managed marketing and advertising strategy”, “Launched Opera Coast on iPhone”Awards section: Top Business Development PR, Top Content ProviderAchievements section: SEO, “Delivered 20% YOY growth”Languages section: French, English, SpanishIndustry expertise section: Microsoft Office Suite, mTAB, JatoSalesHard skills keywords on Sales Representative resume:Education section: International Economic Relations (Bachelor’s Degree)Experience section: ”Developed and strategized”, “Created”, “Achieved”, “DB”Achievements section: English, Russian, GermanLogisticsHard skills keywords on Warehouse manager resume:Education section: Master in Supply ChainExperience section:”Reorganized the warehouse inventory system”, “Reduced operational expenses”, “Achieved an 85% faster MOB / DEMOB time”, “Increased”Skills section: Microsoft ExcelHTML 5, CSS 3, JavaScript, Lotus NotesHospitalityHard skills keywords on Restaurant manager resume:Education section: Diploma in Hotel Management, Bachelor of Tourism ManagementExperience section: “Supervised”, “Successfully opened”, “Increased sales”, “Coordinated”Skills section: Electronics, Power Point, GP DatiFidelio,  F&BFusion360Graphic designHard skills keywords on Web Designer resume:Education section: Bachelor in Arts (Hons.)Experience section: Adobe Photoshop, WordPress, HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, photography, “developed”, “designed”, “managed”, “launched”, “increased”Skills section: Adobe Suite, PHP, HTML, CSS, Visual Design, Print Design, Responsive Web Design, AnimationCertification section: PMP Agile Certified Practitioner (PMP-ACP), Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)EngineeringHard skills keywords on Industrial Engineer resume:Education section: M.S. in Engineering Management, Industrial Engineering and ManagementExperience section:”led”, “designed”, “reduced”, “maintained”, “re-engineered”, “raised”, “achieved”, “SMED”, “researched”, “managed”, “Value Stream”, “implemented”, “5s and lean techniques”,Skills section: Lean Six Sigma,  Yellow Belt, Solidworks 2017, Microsoft Office Suite, Time Study Practices, Kanban Inventory, Lot Tractability Studies, Data Analysis:Languages section: Spanish, EnglishTraining/Courses section: SAP Certification, American Society of Quality CertificationNursing & HealthcareHard skills keywords on Dentist resume:Education section: Bachelor of Dental SurgeryExperience section: “oral surgery dentist”, “carrying out 6-8 root canals”Skills section: Orthodontics, Dentistry, Oral surgery, CPR, Bilingual, Microsoft ExcelLanguage section: English, SpanishHard skills in a nutshell The truth is no matter how good your hard skills are you will not get the job or at least you will not stay for long if you do not have the necessary soft skills that help make the best of your hard skills. The keywords here are “combination” and “balance”. What is the point if you have native proficiency in a language, but you do not have good communication skills? No matter what hard skills you have, you will always need to support them with certificates and examples. Be sure to bet on a quality resume adapted to the job posting instead of a self-promoting egocentric pamphlet.

Svilen Nikolov
Sep 8, 2022 8 min read
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Resume Advice
24 Important Soft Skills And How The Employers Like To See Them Оn Your Resume

What are soft skills?What are soft skills indeed? They are skills that do not require the use of machinery, or at least this was the official definition introduced by the US army. They were the ones who pioneered the study and cataloging of these skills in the 1960s. Since then the definition was refined, but in general one can say soft skills are more transferable than hard skills. They do not require any industry-specific or technical knowledge and are easily applied to almost any job. These are skills we start to learn from the day we are born. Although they could be learned, some people have a better natural command of them. The term “soft skills” is interchangeable with “core skills”, “common skills”, “productive personality traits”. In recent years, the interest in these skills has increased, and many employers created programs that are aimed at helping employees develop their soft skills. They are considered a gateway for employability and future success in anything. Unfortunately, there is no globally accepted terminology or classification. Sometimes the borders between soft and hard skills are blurred depending on the context. For the sake of simplicity, let's informally divide them into three groups: Personal soft skills, Social soft skills, and Organizational soft skills. An informal classification of soft skillsThere is no clear definition and classification of soft skills, and the following section should be considered informal. Have in mind that many of the skills in each of these subsections can be placed in more than one of them. The division is based on the role of the employee in the organization.Personal soft skills (Individual Employee Level)They are mostly applicable at an individual level. Guaranteed the hardest skills to demonstrate on your resume. By standard, they will be manifested by your results as your career advances. Some examples are:Self-Discipline skills;Responsibility;Self-motivation skills;Learning skills;Patience;Stress resilience skills;Self-confidence skills;Active listening skills;Innovation skills.Social soft skills (Team Member Level)These skills determine how we interact with each other in life and on the job. Some examples are:Customer service (Customer care) skills;Communication skills;Collaboration skills;Emotional intelligence skills;Teamwork;Mentoring skills;Interpersonal skills. These skills are easy to demonstrate when you are invited for an interview. Social soft skills also apply at the individual employee level when working with customers and partners of the organization.Organizational soft skills (Leadership Level)These skills are required if you represent an institution at a leadership level in its interaction with employees, partners, or customers. These soft skills are mostly mastered by leaders or managers, but they are not exclusive to them. Some examples include:Leadership skills;Time management skills;Team management skills;Analytical thinking skills;Critical thinking skills;Mentoring skills;Problem-solving skills;Proactive skills.How to show soft skills on a resumeSoft skills are harder to measure and quantify, making them highly subjective to prejudice and difficult to demonstrate on a resume. As a candidate, you can not simply write on your resume that you are a motivated person or a good leader. Soft skills must always be supported by examples of results and achievements. Cover letter and Resume formatting - submitting perfectly formatted documents suggests that you are a diligent, serious, and responsible person. Innovative resume design says to the recruiter that you are  self-confident and creative.Phrases and keywords - using the same phrases and keywords as in the job posting not only grants you a better chance of not being filtered out by automation HR systems, but also shows proactive behavior and analytical thinking. Your ability to translate your transferable skills into the language of the job posting will not be unnoticed.Achievements - list your achievements and accomplished projects backed by numbers because this is the best way to give proof for your soft skills.Courses - list out courses you have completed that improved your soft skillsCrises and critical situations - describe problems you solved, difficult situations you overcame, solutions you found.Soft skills Resume Examples and keyword suggestionsInterpersonal skills: “supported”, “resolved”, “improved”, “mentored”, “solved”, “counseled”, “guided”, “encouraged”, “helped”Proactive skills: “started”, “initiated”, “drove”, “led”Mentoring skills: “mentored”, “counseled”, “supported”, “guided”, “encouraged”, “helped”Team management skills: “organized”, “developed”, “supported”, “created”, “analyzed”, “improved”, “optimized”, “solved”Analytical thinking skills: “helped identify”, “liaised”, “analyzed”, “optimized”, “increased”, “managed”, “collected data”, “processed data”, “solved”Self-motivation skills: “anticipated”, “volunteered”, “passionate”, “independently”Team-working skills: “collaborated”, “contributed”, “embraced”, “joined”, “participated”, “teamed”, “united”Innovation skills: “analyzed”, “improved”, “envisioned”, “introduced”, “identified”, “implemented”Problem-solving skills: “analyzed”, “identified”, “evaluated”, “implemented”, “improved”, “overcame”, “solved”Leadership skills: “mentored”, “guided”, “trained”, “supported”, “encouraged”How to adapt soft skills on your resume to a particular job postingAs we already pointed out, it is very important to “speak” the language of the employer. This is especially tricky when it comes to soft skills because they are usually overlapping and there are synonyms for most of them. Make sure to read all available information provided by the company in the job description and the job specification of the position.PRO TIP:  Read through the informatiоn available at the employer’s website in the “About us”, “Company mission”, “Company vision” sections etc. Example:Sr. Business Development Manager, FintechXYZ Company - NY, NYJob DescriptionDo you want to work on challenging issues in the Fintech industry? Are you a curious, motivated and collaborative person? Do you have an entrepreneurial and passionate spirit?Responsible for new account development within the regionSolves problems and critical issues with existing customersIdentify new targets and key contact people Achieve quota and proactively manage prospects at different sales cycle stagesTrain new recruitsJob SpecificationThe candidate you will have established knowledge of the fintech industryMust have 2+ years experience selling to financial managersHas proven record of selling business technology ($50M+ annual sales)Excellent communication,presentation and writing skillsFlawless customer care skills and emotional intelligenceMentoring skillsIf you are applying for this position, you will need to mention the following keywords on your resume: Responsibility;Problem-solving skills;Proactive skills;Communication skills;Customer care skills;Mentoring skills; Use the same terminology. For example, if you have Customer service or Customer support experience, use Customer care instead. List out these skills in the Skills' section of your resume, but always support them with examples in the Resume summary, Experience, or Achievements section. Benefits of soft skills at workIn today’s world, we work in an environment that changes rapidly. More people work remotely and in decentralized organizations. Globalization, fast technology advancement, and artificial intelligence demand different sets of skills. To navigate the newly created networks we use for work, one needs a highly sophisticated and extensive set of soft skills.Condicio sine qua non: In Latin this means “a condition without which it could not be''. In our time, contrary to the past when only hard skills were required, employers look also for soft skills in a candidate. Having certain soft skills is a gateway to employability.Flexibility and Security: Although not synonymous with transferable skills, soft skills could be applied almost everywhere, so investment in them is a sure bet and gives you more security in case you need to change your job or even industry. The mastering of soft skills in itself gives you the ability to be more flexible in any organizational environment.Career Advancement: Mastering soft skills will give you an advantage over someone else. If you can demonstrate soft skills valued by the employer, you will advance further in your career, possibly towards a higher managerial position with bigger pay and more benefits.Job Satisfaction: Soft skills will make you a desired team member. They will also make you aware of what to do in certain situations to get a favorable outcome. If you have soft skills, they will help you to better fit your team. As a result,  you will be a very productive employee and your job satisfaction will  rise. Soft Skills in a NutshellSoft skills are hard to define and classify, and even harder to demonstrate on a resume. They became an essential part of our daily lives. Investment in them will always pay you back, and they can make you not only a wealthier but also happier and healthier person. The job market has changed a lot in the past 100 years and in many ways, soft skills have become even more important for some jobs than hard skills. Remember that the best way to convince the HR officer you have a certain soft skill is to demonstrate it through flawless resume presentation and formatting, and to list out your achievements and accomplishments backed by numbers.

Svilen Nikolov
Sep 8, 2022 7 min read