If you want to be successful on the job and build a great career, you need the right set of skills. But the form those skills take can make all the difference, and technical abilities alone may not be enough.

Technical abilities, also known as hard skills, are obviously key job requirements. A computer programmer will not get far without a thorough knowledge of the latest programming languages, but that knowledge alone will not guarantee success.

That same computer programmer may be a coding wizard, but he or she will still need to work as part of a team and get along with coworkers from disparate backgrounds.

And it is these non-technical abilities, the so-called soft skills, that can make all the difference.

Employees and employers alike understand the value of technical abilities and soft skills, and they know that a combination of those skills is a key underpinning of success. For employers, this recognition starts with the ability to recognize soft skills, something that can be quite difficult.

Soft skills may be critical to success on the job, but these abilities are unlikely to show up on any resume.

Instead, employers must often intuit the soft skills of their job applicants through the achievements and job accomplishments that do show up on paper.

For job seekers, highlighting soft skills can tip the odds in their favor and allow them to showcase all their abilities, both technical and non-technical. Once again, showcasing soft skills on a resume can be tricky, but there are some strategies applicants can use.


Employment experts have long advised job seekers to focus on their accomplishments instead of just their job responsibilities, and this is a great way for applicants to show off their list of soft skills. An applicant who successfully led cost-cutting measures could focus on their team-building skills, while a job seeker who opened a new branch for their old employer could highlight their leadership abilities.

Whether you are fresh out of college and looking for your first job, reentering the job market after taking time off to raise your kids, or making a late-career move to boost your earnings, taking an inventory of your skills is always a good place to start.

If you are an older worker with years of experience, your list of skills may include many technical abilities, from running sophisticated machinery and repairing copiers to programming computers and troubleshooting HVAC equipment. But you have undoubtedly picked up lots of soft skills along the way as well, including teamwork and cooperation, leadership and planning, and a host of other such abilities.

Armed with this list of skills, you can build a resume that works for you. And no matter what your past roles or current job situation is, taking an inventory of skills and knowing what you have to offer can tip the odds in your favor.

Success in the job market does not come easily, but the right combination of soft skills and hard skills can enhance your value in the open marketplace and help you advance your career.

Employer? How You Can Use This Knowledge to Build a Stronger Team

If you are an employer, you need to look beyond just the technical skills and understand the soft skills prospective hires bring to the job.  We’ve all hired technical wizards that can’t function well in teams, some, although brilliant are so toxic that they have to be replaced.

Wouldn’t it be great to know before you hire what attitudes, motivations, and social skills and impediments a candidate brings?

If you are thinking YES! You are in luck, we have professional character trait assessments that are proven valid and will easily and inexpensively alert you to the soft skills a person brings plus a good deal more insights you will love.


Want to explore further? Questions? Get in touch and let’s set up a time to talk.  We have the answers!