Hard Skills — They’re Hard Core, Man!


Ready for the cold hard truth – hard skills matter. They can make the difference in getting a job, earning a promotion, and choosing when you want to make a career move.

What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are the technical skills and knowledge you need to do your job effectively. They are:

  • Job-specific
  • Easy to quantify
  • Practical and tangible abilities
  • More easily taught than soft skills
  • Typically listed in job postings
  • Qualify you for the job –on paper
  • Can be proven (and improved upon) with experience, degrees, apprenticeships, and certificates

Some hard skills are job-specific, like knowing how to operate a forklift in the warehouse or being proficient in QuickBooks for a clerical role.

Some hard skills are useful in almost any job position. For example, being fluent in a second language is a hugely valuable hard skill to bring to a workplace. Whether in customer service, manufacturing, or even an office space, fluency in a second language can come in very handy. (Trust us on this one. Don’t shy away from brushing up on your high school Spanish.)

The Significance of Hard Skills

It is pretty simple. Hard skills help you be better at your job. Being better at your job means higher proficiency and production. Better production makes happy bosses. Happy bosses equal a happy you. Not to mention the fact that hard skills can be more easily listed on a resumé than soft skills and, because some are job-specific, can qualify — or disqualify — you for the job.

Remember, though, that hard skills are much more readily learned than soft skills.  Because hard skills can be taught, employers also are more likely to be willing to teach you some of the skills you need for the job — so it’s not always necessary to know all the things before you start a new position. All the same, with each job, each role, each class, each certification, capitalize on the fact that you are learning new and valuable skill sets as you go.

Hard Skills You May Need to Know

While every industry has its own set of needed skills, here are just a few industries we wanted to highlight.

For Manufacturing:

  • Welding
  • Machining
  • Fabrication Technology
  • Computer-Automated Technologies (CAT)
  • Product Design
  • Mechanical Operation
  • Robotics
  • Coding

For Clerical and Administrative Work: 

  • Microsoft Word
  • Google Drive
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Calendar Management
  • QuickBooks
  • Editing/Proof Reading
  • Inventory/Supply Management
  • Billing and Record-Keeping
  • Expertise with photocopiers, scanners, and projectors
  • Data Entry

For Customer Service:

 (Yes! There are hard skills in customer service too!)

  • Second Language Fluency
  • Product and Industry Knowledge
  • Point of Sale Systems
  • Computer Literacy

As you craft your resume, don’t be afraid to list your skills and experiences! While soft skills are often better demonstrated over time and during the interview, those hard skills may qualify you to win the job!

At Hamilton Connections, your career growth is our goal! If you are on the lookout for the best place to use those hard-earned hard skills, contact us today – our specialty is matching the right people with the right people!