The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

July 19, 2021

Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills in 2021

The most desired skills recruiters look for in the business world are ever-changing. Being up to date on the most in-demand skills and putting in the work to obtain them will give you a great advantage when job hunting. Companies tend to prioritize the same soft skills year over year, while in-demand hard skills are ever-changing as technology continues to update and improve.

What are Hard and Soft Skills?

To put it simply, hard skills are your ability to complete a specific task, while soft skills refer to the way you complete those tasks.
Hard skills involve technical abilities and specialized knowledge such as software and computer proficiency. Hard skills are easier to define and measure because you either can complete the task or you cannot. Soft skills are related to your personality traits and cognitive skills, specifically how you can adapt, solve problems, collaborate, and make decisions. Your behavior and thinking are often more difficult to measure than hard skills but are equally important when companies are tried to decide if you will be the right fit for the position.

Top 10 In-Demand Hard Skills for 2021:

1. Blockchain
2. Cloud computing
3. Analytical reasoning
4. Artificial intelligence
5. UX design
6. Business analysis
7. Affiliate marketing
8. Sales
9. Scientific computing
10. Video production

Top 5 In-Demand Soft Skills for 2021:

1. Creativity
2. Persuasion
3. Collaboration
4. Adaptability
5. Emotional Intelligence

How to Highlight Your Hard and Soft Skills on a Resume

You may want to consider including a “skills” section when creating or updating your resume that advertises your most relevant skills for the position. This section is especially important for positions that require specific technical skills. Review the job description for clues on what to include in your skills section. Look at the “requirements,” “education” or “desired skills” sections of the post to see what soft and hard skills the employer is looking for.

How to Highlight Your Skills Throughout the Interview Process

You can highlight key soft skills by showing up to the interview on time, maintaining eye contact, speaking clearly, answering questions honestly, and asking follow-up questions. These actions will display punctuality, dependability, active listening skills, effective communication skills, and integrity. You can highlight your hard skills by elaborating on your experience, providing a portfolio, answering technical questions, asking related follow-up questions, and completing skills tests.
The most effective way to show off your skills is to share stories from your experience that relate directly to the job you’re applying for. Present the situation, describe the task you were given and explain the actions you took ending with the achieved result. This is the recommended structure for providing examples during an interview and will ensure you leave the meeting with the interview confident in your skills!

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