Soft skills vs. Hard skills – what’s the difference? Expert explains

3 min read
Soft skills vs. Hard skills – what’s the difference? Expert explains

Skills are the abilities of any activity developed through experience. This is what drives you to success.

Based on research we see that the skills of universal soft competencies (soft skills) – 85%, lead to success employee, prevail over hard skills – 15%.

This is not surprising, because communications, which are classified as “soft” skills, are increasingly gaining importance in the information and marketing world.

However, each of them is important in its own way and in an ideal solution, a combination of soft and hard ones is much more effective. Let’s look at each one separately.

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Hard skills are the specific skills of a profession that a person acquires through training, experience and practice. They are easy to measure and can be verified. They are usually associated with a specific profession or area of ​​work.

For example, knowledge:

  • Foreign language;
  • Software (Microsoft Office, Photoshop) and others;
  • Mathematical calculations and financial analytics (Excel and QuickBooks);
  • Development in the field of innovation, web design (HTML, CSS, JavaScript);
  • Medicine (resuscitation, injections, first aid);
  • On driving a car;
  • Engineering and other professional qualifications.

Such skills are often required by employers when hiring candidates for specific positions and can be tested.

Soft skills are personality traits that help you communicate in a social environment, interact with others, build relationships and successfully solve problems. These skills are not associated with any specific professions, but are quite important both for success in a person’s career and personal life.

For example:

  • Sociability – the ability to communicate, listen and express thoughts effectively.
  • Management and leadership – motivate and lead the team to achieve a common goal.
  • Teamwork – the ability to collaborate and interact with colleagues.
  • Problem solving is the ability to analyze a complex situation, find solutions and act.
  • Developed emotional intelligence IQ (empathy, control of emotions and behavior, emotional responsiveness).

Soft skills are an important complement to technical skills and can greatly enhance success and productivity in your work and personal life.

Main differences between hard and soft skills

Hard skills (technical skills) are solid, specific knowledge and skills.

Soft skills are skills of a psychological and social nature. Personal qualities are no less important, especially when interacting with people and building a career.

Identifying and developing soft skills for successful career growth
Identifying and developing soft skills for successful career growth
Tatiana Korobova
Clinical psychologist

Comparisons and differences:

  • Hard skills are easier to assess and measure than soft skills.
  • Hard skills require training and practice to master, but soft skills are flexible to develop and improve.
  • Hard skills are about doing a specific, specific job, while soft skills can help you interact with other people.


  • Hard skills will make you more competitive in the labor market, as they are expressed through specific achievements and knowledge.
  • Soft skills will help you develop harmonious relationships with your environment, manage your condition, stress and conflicts.

Summing up, we see that all of the listed skills complement each other. They are important and necessary for building a successful career and personal development.

In conclusion, I note that the skills that employers require when considering candidates for specific positions, with the study of behavioral forecasts, can be identified and verified by a specialist through tests, projects and other methods.
Tatiana Korobova
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