Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

PNN Employment tips – March 2013

What are hard skills?
Hard skills or technical skills can be defined teachable and tangible skills to get and keep a job in the labor market. Simply saying, if you know how to do your job in your profession it means you have valuable hard skills. For example, ability to use software programs, measuring and calculating, analyzing data, operating specific tools and certified in professional field can be considered as hard skills.
What are soft skills?
In contrast, soft skills are not tangible and sometime called employability. It includes skills of communication, problem solving, positive attitudes and behaviours, adaptability, working with others, creative thinking, leadership, negotiation skills etc.
How can I utilize both skills properly to get and maintain a job?
To be able to get a job in your professionafter you arrive in Canada, first of all, you need to find out what kind of hard skills (i.e. extra education, certification or accreditation) you must have to satisfy Canadian employers. Second of all, you can evaluate your own soft skills that you can bring to the company to maximize you employability.
Let’s say, there are two candidates who applied for the same position, both of them possess same hard skills and relevant work experience in their professional area. When employer meets both of them at the interview who would be selected? In this case, employer prefers to hire someone who has better soft skills; excellent interpersonal skills (get along with people easily), good work ethic, well developed communication skills, conflict resolution among team, creative thinking and inclusion etc. Most of employers are looking for a person who can break the ice at workplace and bring dynamic to their business without conflictions.
If you think you can be like this with your future employer and coworkers you will be a true asset for any employers!