Skills are a very important component of any CV. We all have skills, some more developed than others, but most importantly any skill can always be of use to someone else. There two main categories of skills for which any CV should be composed of. Soft Skills and Hard Skills.
Soft Skills: These are skills which are not specific to any given industry. They can be considered as macro skills, which can be utilised in any environment should they be required. For example, skills such as communication and listening are good soft skills to have.
Hard Skills: Skills which you have learnt whilst working in a company or through training. This type of skill, contrary to the soft one, is quantifiable. For example, using industry specific software to give certain outcomes.
What are recruiters looking for?
Both types of skills must be present on a CV as they complement each other. Soft skills show how you go about achieving your tasks whilst hard skills show what you are capable of doing. To put it simply, soft skills provide the emotional aspects of the candidate whilst the hard skills give the mechanical aspects of the individual.
If you are a recent graduate who feels they don’t have many hard skills, don’t worry. Studies have shown that employers are most often looking for candidates who have a clear set of soft skills such as teamwork, problem solving and communication. These are skills any candidate who has recently been to university should possess. What’s important to remember is that every such candidate will possess them, demonstrating how you acquired them and how you will utilise them in the job you are seeking will be the differentiating factor.
Hard Skills are industry dependent and can vary widely depending on the sector. The Financial industry will seek individuals who are capable of using Matlab, C++ and Python all the while having excellent analytical skills. On the other hand, a sales job will seek candidates who have a strong capability to generate leads, close them out and who have excellent product understanding and knowledge.
Understanding the industry you are applying for and what recruiters are looking out for in the sector is crucial. Make sure to research beforehand the skills required, get in touch with recruitment agencies or any people you may know who are currently in the industry. The more research you have the easier it will be to make a robust CV.