A presentation is a hard skill

Hard skills: list, definition and relevant examples

When applying, both count: hard skills and soft skills. Behind this are different qualifications. Both are relevant to the success of the application. In the written application and at the beginning, however, the hard skills usually predominate - that is, all the necessary “hard”, measurable competencies that enable applicants to do the job in the first place. We explain what counts among these key qualifications. You will also receive a hard skills list with numerous examples for your CV or cover letter ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what are hard skills?

The Anglicism "Hard Skills" describes learnable and verifiable technical skills or specialist competencies. You acquire these during your training or further education, during your studies or through relevant experience in your job. Synonyms for hard skills are therefore also “key qualifications, professional experience” or “qualifications”.

The main difference to the soft skills is: Hard skills are measurable, tangible and verifiable. With appropriate training certificates, bachelor's and master's degrees or certificates and aptitude tests. The job reference also proves practical experience and the proverbial training on the job. Typical hard skills include:

Soft skills versus hard skills

In contrast to the hard skills, the "soft" properties are difficult to grasp or verify. Soft skills can be divided into three main areas:

  • Personal competence

    The personal or personal competence relates to the person himself: What values ​​do you stand for? What attitudes and experiences shape you? These properties, in turn, affect factors such as self-reflection and self-awareness. The self-critical look at the I contributes to how someone appears to the outside world and how they deal with other people.

  • Social competence

    Social skills are closely related to a person's empathy, empathy and communication skills. This also includes the ability to criticize, deal with conflicts and the ability to interpret non-verbal signs.

  • methodical competence

    Soft skills also include the ability to put acquired hard skills into practice. Study as an example: You have acquired a lot of knowledge here. But you have to be able to apply it. You can theoretically master MS Office and Powerpoint perfectly. Part of the methodological competence, however, is to be able to hold a rousing Powerpoint presentation with it.

Hard skills list: strengths in different jobs

Unfortunately, there is no ONE list of hard skills or top skills for all jobs. The job profiles and job descriptions are too different for that. A vehicle mechatronics technician is expected to have different skills than a cardiologist.

For orientation and better understanding You will find a hard skills list for selected jobs, industries and professions below:

Hard skills as an office clerk

  • Good expressiveness, both written and spoken
  • Microsoft Office programs
  • quoting
  • Math skills
  • Business English
  • Database and customer base maintenance
  • Accounting and dunning

Hard skills for social work

  • Sociopolitical knowledge
  • Legal basis (for example in the case of power of attorney)
  • Knowledge of institutions and authorities
  • Knowledge of ethics, psychology, pedagogy, sociology, medicine
  • Social management
  • Human resource management

Hard skills for managers

Hard skills in marketing

  • Dealing with graphics programs
  • Content management systems (e.g. WordPress, Typo3)
  • Social media channels
  • Google AdWords
  • Google Analytics
  • SEO
  • Software programs like SAP

Hard skills in engineering

  • Plant construction
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • Drive technology
  • Electrical engineering
  • Business administration
  • Building informatics
  • Computer languages ​​such as Java
  • Project management
  • Basic knowledge of law
  • installation

This is how you can improve your hard skills

If you don't get a career kick because you lack important hard skills, it's no big deal. Precisely because these skills can be learned, you can (and should) invest in yourself and increase your market value, for example through seminars, webinars, evening studies or retraining. The costs for this can range from 200 to 20,000 euros. Depending on the type and scope.

Above all, it is important that the spending is targeted. For example, if you are aiming for a professional reorientation, you should first find out which skills are particularly in demand in the new job - and which of them you are missing. This is the only way to open up new professional horizons.

Importance of hard skills in the application

In job advertisements there are always skills and qualifications that applicants need to bring with them. So-called business skills. A distinction is made between mandatory and optional qualifications. The former are absolutely necessary, the latter desirable. The must-have requirements are mostly hard skills.

Prove and prove you, is the task of the tabular curriculum vitae. Here you not only list your previous career or training history, but also - indirectly - prove relevant skills.

Hard skills are the door opener

Because HR professionals almost always read the CV first, the hard skills take on the task of opening the door. The more you bring with you, what is required in the job advertisement, the higher the application chances. And vice versa.

Hard skills alone are not enough, however. It's all in the mix. The so-called skill set. And your personality. This, in turn, is more likely to be revealed in the cover letter. Here applicants show how they want to use their know-how and apply experience. Anyone can claim to be able to work in a team or to deal with conflicts. Only those who can illustrate this with examples are convincing.

Applying despite a lack of hard skills?

Those who have not completed a medical degree are unlikely to have a chance of getting a job as a doctor. Clear. In other cases, however, it can be worthwhile to send an application to the company of your choice, even if you only meet 80 percent of the desired hard skills. The company cannot do more than cancel. And sometimes this opens up a new perspective - for example because the HR manager has to fill a different position that suits you much better. So take courage!

There is only one thing you must never do: Lies when it comes to hard skills!Incorrect information in the application can lead to termination - even years after the probationary period. This is fraud and a serious breach of trust. If it is an important hiring criterion, termination without notice is even possible.

Hard skills in the interview: tips & examples

The importance of soft skills has increased significantly in recent times. Scientific studies show that relevant professional experience and specialist skills are not reliable evidence that the employee will also be successful in the job. In English there is the expression: "Hire for attitude - train for skills". In German: Hire people with the right attitude and work ethic. The necessary skills can always be learned and trained later!

For the interview this means: Do not only emphasize previous knowledge or successes, but above all demonstrate the methodological competence mentioned above. So how you want to use your specialist skills in the future (!) With your new employer. How much euphoria do you bring with you for the job? How much willingness to learn? What added value can and do you want to create? This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff at the latest.

Compensate for missing competencies with soft skills

In fact, some missing hard skills can be compensated for by relevant soft skills in the job interview. Of course, an engineer still has to have a degree in engineering. But you can make up for smaller gaps with flexibility and commitment.

Examples and formulations:

  • “It's good that you bring up this point! I am well aware of its future significance and know that I cannot do everything here yet. I am all the more enthusiastic when you give me the chance to train myself and develop myself further in this area. Then I think I can for you ... "
  • “I haven't taken on exactly this task yet, but the challenge appeals to me enormously. In my position as ____ at Muster AG, I already managed the ABC project. At that time, we and our team were able to increase sales by 9 percent. I would even want to increase that for you by ... "

You notice: It's about dealing constructively with the weaknesses in the interview and always looking forward. This will increase your job opportunities enormously.

[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]

Further sources and advice
Application tips
➠ Application templates
➠ 11 application forms
➠ ABC of application tips
➠ Application folder
➠ Application photo
➠ cover sheet
➠ Brief profile

Tips on the résumé
➠ CV in tabular form
➠ Resume templates
➠ Internships on the résumé
➠ hobbies on the resume
➠ Unemployment on the résumé
➠ gaps in the résumé

Tips for covering letters
➠ Cover letter
➠ Introductory sentence in the cover letter
➠ Final sentence in the cover letter
➠ Interests in the cover letter
➠ Strengths in the cover letter
➠ Attachment directory

Tips on the job reference
➠ Assess job reference
➠ Secret codes in the certificate
➠ Interim report
➠ Job description
➠ References & samples

Special applications
➠ Unsolicited application
➠ Internal application
➠ Discreet application
➠ Email application
➠ Online application
➠ Application as a temporary worker
➠ Application for mini jobs
➠ Application after termination