Technical Job Skills

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.