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What Are Soft Skills and Technical (Hard) Skills | Personal and Career Development | Competencies

Do you know what soft and technical (or hard skills) are? Sometimes they can be referred to as Competencies.


In simple terms, technical skills (or as some call it 'hard skills') are WHAT you know to use or do. Your ability to perform a specific task. For example, this could be programming, graphic design, IT systems, project management, coding, methodologies, legislation, languages and similar. These skills are normally achieved through formal courses and/or practical experience as you had training on the job. This is a lot easier to evidence as, for example, you either know how to operate a system or not.


Soft skills are HOW you work, your working and communication style. I believe these skills require us to learn and improve them at all times. You will often see courses offering you to improve your communication and presentation style, how to have difficult conversations, how to manage a challenging customer, how to manage upward and downward, how to give and receive feedback and similar.


A solid combination of both technical and soft skills give you a set of employability skills that are gained through real experience of the workplace.

For people who are not just as yet working but still in formal education, these are normally acquired through short term work experiences and/or school/college activities that can be used as an example at a job interview. Once in full time employment, well, then it is up to you what happens afterwards and where your career takes you. My practical blogs are here to inspire you and give you some ideas and advice that you would not normally get in a school/college or even university.

It is all about evidencing your skills through examples you can show or talk about. If you have a list of skills you would like to acquire and develop in, then you should have a personal development plan in place. More about this you can find in my blog How to Create Personal Development Plans/Goals and Achieve Your Goals | FREE Template Included.


When you decide to start looking for roles, make sure you look for essential skills vs non essential skills for the job (or in other words desirable skills). If it is not clear and there is a contact name on the advert, please contact them. This will show your initiative and drive to the hiring person.

I have published a blog about How to Gain Confidence and Get Interviewers to Offer You the Job that you may find useful to read. It does cover the Imposter Syndrome (if you are not familiar with this term, in a nutshell, these are thoughts that talk us out of doing things).

Your CV | Resume | Cover Letter

The above skills of course have to be listed on your CV/Resume. If you are not sure how to draft your CV or you would like to update it, please check out my detailed blog How to Write a Perfect CV/Resume in English for assistance.

If you are asked to submit a Cover Letter, I have also published a blog How to Write a Great Cover Letter for a Job Application in English.


Competency based interviews do test both soft and technical skills. I have published a detailed blog about competency based interviews that you may find useful to read if you are invited to these types of interviews. Competency based interviews are not just used in the UK, they are used worldwide and here to stay for quite some time as an assessment tool. They may be used in combination with a case study or presentation to test these skills as well. You may find below blogs helpful for your interview preparation.


I have created a Facebook group - Career Changes and Consultation Group - that you may wish to join. I publish relevant and useful posts there with various templates and similar and you can interact with people from all over the world.


I offer a 30 minute career chat and various one to one sessions to focus on a relevant area you want to understand more about and develop in. You can check it out HERE.

Best wishes

Sanja Williams

If you have a particular question in mind or after a bespoke offer, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (either via FB group above or 

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