Top hard and soft skills each of our Divisions search for

While different Beacon Hill Divisions are tasked with finding talent with specific skills, there are many common hard and soft skills each looks for.

For years companies have debated whether to hire for skill or potential. But we think you'll agree that "potential" is just another way of saying "soft skills" and "skill" should be expanded to "hard skills."

The truth is that you need a mix of both to be a strong candidate. Want to stand out? No matter what industry you're in, you can up your chances of being noticed by highlighting or earning certain in-demand skills.

Hard and soft skills

So what are hard and soft skills and why does each set matter?

Hard skills are proven proficiencies like your ability to use certain computer programs. Soft skills on the other hand are more abstract and translate to success in a wide variety of roles. One example would be strong communication skills. We bet you can't name a job that doesn't require those!

To make true progress, candidates need a mix of both skill types.

Where and how to highlight your skills

Whether you are looking to start a career from scratch, transition to a new industry or role or just be seen differently, highlighting skills can help. Here are some areas that can benefit from additions.

Cover letter

It may not be immediately obvious to hiring managers that you have certain skills, so be sure to use your cover letter wisely. Provide real examples of when you've employed target skills and used them to earn results. This will be eye-catching and could also help you in the keyword applicant tracking system (ATS) department.

Your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn has several areas where you can display your skills.

  • Headline – Your headline doesn't have to feature your current job title! Place terms in there that you want to be found for.
  • About – You About section is a perfect place to write a quick paragraph, bullet strong skills and highlight "top" ones.
  • Position descriptions – Don't shy away from fully optimizing your job description areas to improve your chances of being seen by an ideal employer.
  • Skill – As you probably know, LinkedIn has an actual skills section. This is particularly useful if you get people to endorse you for your abilities.
  • Recommendations – This one is unexpected and harder to come by, but if you talk with references and have them submit recommendations for your profile, mention the things you're hoping to signal boost. Their social proof plus searchability can help.

In the interview

Don't be shy! When answering interview questions, routinely look for opportunities to showcase your hard and soft skills in answer form. This context will help demonstrate mastery and pique interest.

In-demand skills

There are certain skills we believe everyone should try to earn because they serve your career in many different roles. Here are some of the ones we have found to be most applicable to our client and internal roles.

Soft skills

  • Competitive – People who compete are natural winners and in our industry, that's essential.
  • Resourcefulness – We want people who are open to finding solutions.
  • Personal initiative – We want go-getters!
  • Interpersonal communication skills – To date, we still haven't found a role where communication skills aren't vital.
  • Leadership skills – Ultimately, our team is looking for long-term hires – ones that want to level up.
  • Independent judgment – Whether you're on a team or working independently, most companies like us need freethinkers who make sound decisions for themselves and the company they represent.
  • Passion – We want you to love your job!
  • Attention to detail – This trait is valuable no matter what work you're doing. It shows that you care about your work.
  • Adaptability – Life and in particular, work, is always changing. Your ability to pivot is an important skill.
  • People person – Even if you're behind a screen for most of the day, liking people helps make you successful

"In the realm of soft skills, none stand as central as work ethic. It forms the bedrock of success, enabling individuals to navigate challenges, uphold professionalism and pursue their aspirations with integrity. During interviews, we frequently ask questions to learn more about a candidate’s work ethic, recognizing the pivotal role of past experiences in its cultivation. While emphasizing a range of soft skills is crucial during any interview you may have, the significance of a strong work ethic should never be overlooked!” Legare Settle, Senior Managing Consultant, Beacon Hill Associates

Hard skills

  • Written communication skills – Writing is used in almost every industry. A well-crafted email can make a sale. Think about it!
  • Microsoft (MS) Office Suite – Many platforms are prized, but MS Office use crosses the line into most of them. Know Excel? Sheets will be a cinch! Word aficionado? Google Docs are going to be easy for you.
  • Outlook – Once you know all the ins and outs of one email platform, the rest are simple.

"For job seekers, it's crucial to tailor your resume to match the hard skills outlined in the job description. Hiring managers often prioritize candidates whose resumes clearly highlight these skills. Make sure your resume effectively showcases why you're a strong fit based on the specific hard skills required for the role." – Kathryn Schmitt, Recruiting Manager, Beacon Hill Technologies

Beacon Hill has eight Divisions waiting to connect with you. The fastest way to get in front of them is to apply for one of their open positions. Ready to get started?

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