What are 'Technical Job Skills'

Technical job skills, also referred to as hard skills, are specific talents and expertise an individual possesses, helping him perform a certain task or job; these skills differ from soft skills, which are character and personality traits. Technical skills are abilities an individual acquires through practice and learning. For example, an individual who possesses a particular proficiency or skill set, such as excellent computer coding skills, is a qualifying candidate for a computer or technology company.

BREAKING DOWN 'Technical Job Skills'

Resumes generally include a skill section. Technical skills are ideal to list there because they shine a light on abilities and strengths. It is, however, important to realize not all technical skills at an individual’s disposal should be listed. The list should be tailored to fit the job. This gives the individual a greater chance of getting hired.

Technical Skills vs. Soft Skills

On job applications, cover letters, resumes and in person during the interview process, employers seek out applicants with both hard and soft skills. Hard, or technical, skills are those abilities or skills sets that are teachable and can be quantified easily. Examples of hard skills include certificates or degrees in specific disciplines; mastery or fluidity in a foreign language; efficient operation of specific machinery; and the ability to generate computer programs.

Soft skills differ from hard skills in that they are subjective and can be incredibly difficult to quantify. Soft skills are inherent skills relating to an individual’s character or personality. These skills are sometimes referred to as “interpersonal skills” or “people skills.” Examples of soft skills include effective communication; working well with others; time management; the ability to be persuasive; flexibility; and patience.

What Employers Want

Technical job skills play a vital role in getting hired. Certain hard skills are necessary for a variety of jobs, and some positions require a specific set or combination of these skills. However, some of the more basic or intermediate types of technical skills are fairly easy for an employer to teach to a new employee. Soft skills, because they are essentially inherent, are extremely difficult to teach. In some cases, soft skills cannot be taught. For this reason, employers constantly look at potential employees with a bouquet of soft skills that allows them to complete tasks in a fast and efficient way. Because customer service/satisfaction is one of the most important aspects for any company or organization, soft skills are often considered of greater value.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Soft Skills

    The character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize ...
  2. Hard Skills

    Specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured. ...
  3. Skilled Labor

    A segment of the work force with a high skill level that creates ...
  4. Interpersonal Skills

    The skills used by a person to properly interact with others. ...
  5. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, ...
  6. Underemployment

    A measure of employment and labor utilization in the economy ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    What are Technical Skills?

    Technical skills are specialized knowledge and abilities used to perform a specific task. Technical skills are often associated with jobs in the high-tech industry, such as computer programming, ...
  2. Investing

    Most Valuable Career Skills in 2016

    Evaluating the mixture of technical skills and traditional "soft skills" that render career applicants competitive in the 2016 job market.
  3. Personal Finance

    Employability, The Labor Force And The Economy

    Individuals do not have absolute control of their employability since employability is also affected by market and economic conditions.
  4. Personal Finance

    Top 7 Non-Financial Skills Required In Finance

    Top-notch math skills and financial knowledge are important to a financial professional. But they’re only the tip of the iceberg.
  5. Personal Finance

    The Top 5 Skills An Investment Banker Needs

    What are the top skills investment bankers need to have? Are i-bankers born or made?
  6. Personal Finance

    Sell Your Skills, Not Your Degree

    Many job skills transfer between industries. Here’s how you can use skills you already have to start a new career.
  7. Personal Finance

    Common Interview Questions for Project Managers

    Discover the basic skills needed for a position as a project manager along with common interview questions used in applying for such a position.
  8. Personal Finance

    Sell Your Skills, Not Your Degree

    If you want to switch careers, you may not have to go back to school to do it.
  9. Personal Finance

    4 Way to Move Beyond Long-Term Unemployment

    The long-term unemployed should reach out for personal help, career advice and consider new job options to get back into the workforce
  10. Small Business

    Business Essentials: Interpersonal Skills

    A lack of good interpersonal skills may lead to unsuccessful personal relationships, as well as difficulty in the business world.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do interpersonal skills influence a business culture?

    Interpersonal skills are vital to business culture because they determine not only how a person interacts with others, but ... Read Answer >>
  2. How have technical skills shifted over the past century in the workforce?

    Learn how technological and economic changes have shaped the American workforce during the past century and how hiring began ... Read Answer >>
  3. What role do interpersonal skills play in the hiring process?

    Presenting interpersonal communication skills to a prospective employer is often times more valuable than extensive experience ... Read Answer >>
  4. What skills do I need to become a Portfolio Analyst?

    Learn what a portfolio analyst does and some examples of skills and knowledge one must possess to become a successful portfolio ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are some causes of structural unemployment?

    Find out more about structural unemployment, what it is and examples of causes that can lead to structural unemployment in ... Read Answer >>
  6. When does cyclical unemployment become structural unemployment?

    Learn about the conditions under which cyclical unemployment becomes structural unemployment. Find out more about the relationship ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center