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What Are Hard Skills And How Do You Demonstrate Them?

what are hard skills
By MegaInterview Company Career Coach

If you are in a work environment or still job hunting, you will understand that there are skills required for a particular job post. The skills can be classified into:

  • A soft skill which shows your relationship skills and how you can carry out your duties such as your leadership skill, listening skill, communication skill, etc. For instance, a customer care representative should have good communication and listening skill
  • Hard skills which are your area of specialization or educational qualifications and level of education.

They may be different in many ways, but they work together as two sides of the same coin, for instance, an employer wouldn’t want to hire a babysitter who trained in child caring but doesn’t pay attention to detail because  the baby sitter may not notice when the baby has a fever neither will an employer hire an employee who is always having conflict with other co-workers.

What is a hard skill?

Hard skills differ for every job position and are often the basic requirements for jobs. Employers check your resume or cover letter for the list of your hard skill to assess how well you will be able to perform job duties. In some organizations, employers may examine the applicant to prove that you are qualified in that field of study, as stated in your cover letter or resume skills. Even while on the job if you’re up for a promotion or a transfer, your employer may decide to test your hard skill again. Some employers can also organize training for their employees to teach them particular skills on the job.

Hard skills are categories of knowledge or areas of specialization or expertise in a particular field of study that is necessary to carry out a particular job or work in a particular profession successfully. They include the expertise necessary for an individual to successfully do the job. They are job-specific and are typically listed in job postings and job descriptions.

Acquiring Hard Skills

Hard skills are acquired through formal education and training programs, which includes college education, learning as an apprentice, short-term training classes, learning online, certification programs, as well on-the-job training and through personal and work experience.

Every job will require certain technical skills specific to that industry. For instance, if you are applying for the position for an accountant, you will need to have been well educated in the field of accounting or economics with a certificate to prove that, other qualifications related to accounting will also be an added advantage.

It shows mastery and how proficient you are. It can also be quantified, that is it can be certified or demonstrated. Hard skills can hardly be changed; you can only modify it by going for more advanced training or training in a related field. Hard skill is transferable, that is you can always apply it in the different organization so long as the job post are the same or similar. For instance if you studied accountancy in college, you can be doing an accounting job in a food processing company can  decide to apply for the same post in a car manufacturing company because is the same knowledge that you will need as an accountant to work at the food processing company that you also need to work as an accountant in the car manufacturing company

Hard skills employers seek

Every job post has qualifications that an applicant is required to have. When writing your resume or preparing for an interview, having a list of your hard skills is important. Build your resume to reflect the qualification for that particular job post you are applying for.

In 2018, Linkedin listed 25 hard skills that are mostly required by most companies. Not that others are not important, but these skills are essential in the smooth running of the companies, and they are:

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. People Management
  5. UX Design
  6. Mobile Application Development
  7. Video Production
  8. Sales Leadership
  9. Translation
  10. Audio Production
  11. Natural Language Processing
  12. Scientific Computing
  13. Game Development
  14. Social Media Marketing
  15. Animation
  16. Business Analysis
  17. Journalism
  18. Digital Marketing
  19. Industrial Design
  20. Competitive Strategies
  21. Customer Service Systems
  22. Software Testing
  23. Data Science
  24. Computer Graphics
  25. Corporate Communications

Most of these skill sets are needed for some of these sections of a company

1. Computer Technology

Today, all employees must have a basic knowledge of computer technology, and many companies require candidates to apply for jobs using computer-based platforms and write computer-based tests. As an Applicant, you need to be skilled in this area to prove to your employer that you are prepared to embrace the technologies needed to perform your job effectively. Some basic computer skills needed are knowledge of:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Social media
  • HTML

2. Data Analysis

The ability to analyze data and use the information is very useful. Employers value a worker who can make more money using fewer resources. Some of the hard skills relating to data analysis are:

  • Data mining
  • Data presentation.

3. Design

With the recent advance in technology, consumers standards for more beautiful design has also increased. This means the demand for design skills has increased, but one needs to learn more skills to create a successful design. Some of the designs valued by employers are:

  • User Interface (UI) Design and User Experience (UX) Design
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop
  • Digital Product Design Software,

4. Cloud Computing

With the advance in network and internet technology, more businesses are using cloud computing for data storage and management. This means that people who have the skills are in high demand. Some of the skills related to cloud computing career are:

  • Cloud Architecture
  • Storage and Data Management
  • Networking Communication
  • Cloud Middleware Technologies and application

5. Mobile & Web Development

New websites and mobile apps are created daily, and these can only be created by people skilled in mobile and web development. Some of the  skills you need to become a successful developer are:

  • Software Revision Control Systems
  • Android Development
  • iOS App Development
  • Web design

6. Network Structure & Security

If the sensitive data of an organization is leaked or stolen as a result of faulty network security, it could cost a company a lot soon expert in this field are in high demand. The skills required are:

  • Encryption Algorithms
  • Authentication Systems
  • Cryptography
  • Virtual and Host-based Firewall

7. Marketing

The ability to convince consumers to purchase products or services will always be is to be valuable to employers. It is a skill that can lead to an increase in revenue. Some marketing skills are

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Marketing Campaign Management
  • Google Analytics

8. Project Management

Project management is a profession that cut across the different organization. Because of these skills related to managing projects, it is valuable to many employers.

  • Agile Methodologies
  • Project Management Software.

When writing your resume or cover letter provide examples of how you’ve used the hard skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic


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