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What are transferable skills, soft skills and hard skills?

Meg Timbrell
Meg Timbrell
Content & Social Media Manager
1 min read

Knowing the different types of skills is especially important when it comes to writing your CV. You'll often be advised to include a combination of both hard skills and soft skills, so if you're not quite sure what each of them means, we're going to break it down for you with some examples below:

Soft Skills

Soft skills relate to how you work, and are skills that are harder to measure than hard skills, and can often be described as 'people skills'.

Examples of Soft Skills:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Time Management
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Motivation
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity

Hard Skills

Hard skills are usually skills that are teachable and easy to measure, and are easy to prove on your CV, like having a certification.

Examples of Hard Skills:

  • Foreign languages
  • Typing speed
  • Certificates in skills e.g. computer programming, coding, Adobe suite
  • Data mining
  • Programming languages e.g. Python, Java, Ruby
  • SEO marketing
  • Microsoft Office

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are skills that are gained from experience during education, work, volunteering and hobbies. These skills can be transferred between a variety of career paths. Transferable skills can be soft skills or hard skills (you'll notice some in this list are found in our lists for both hard skills and soft skills).

Examples of Transferable Skills:

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Empathy
  • Organisation
  • Listening
  • Problem solving
  • Editing
  • Written communication
  • Research skills
  • Time management
  • Innovation
  • Typing
  • Foreign language
  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail

Which skills do employers want? Click here to read all about 10 transferable skills to future proof your career and how to get them.

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