Why Should You Develop Your Hard Skills?

When you choose a career path, you’ll start developing a set of hard skills.

These skills differ from soft skills as they represent specific, technical knowledge around certain programs, software or concepts in the industry.

As you work through the career path you’ll likely focus on hard skills at the outset of the career and improve them over time, before focusing more on soft skills such as leadership and project management as you reach senior positions.

In this article, we explore  why you should develop hard skills, why they’re useful and how they’re different from soft skills.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills make up the specific skill set you need to complete your job. While soft skills help you be effective in a role, hard skills are compulsory for completing your responsibilities.

If you work in business analytics, for example, your hard skills may include an understanding of analytical software, how to measure business performance and creating long-term strategies.

Your hard skills represent the training and experience you build over time in your career. Hard skills are vital for a role, which is why they’re usually listed initially in the job description.

Related: What skills are employers looking for?

Why do you need hard skills?

While it might sound obvious, hard skills are important because they directly impact your ability to perform a role.

In a competitive, candidate-led job market, the mixture of hard skills and soft skills you have will help you stand out from the crowd.

As you go through your career, the hard skills you have will also dictate how far you can progress – if you don’t have the right skills, you’ll be limited to what you can achieve.

Let’s take our example of a business analytics role as an example.

If you understand the basics of utilising and reporting on analytics software, you can make progress in a practical, hands-on role.

Then, as you build your understanding of creating long-term strategies for businesses based on data, you may discover opportunities in more senior roles focused on project or account management.

Take a Look at Our Available Jobs

Ready to find a new job? Take a look at the vacancies that we have available across the Channel Islands.

What are the different kinds of hard skills?

As you might expect, there’s a huge range of different hard skills that depend entirely on your career path. That said, there are several hard skills you can develop which can apply to multiple roles: 


Reporting on the results of your work is a key part of working in a professional environment. You’ll often be asked to present your results to key stakeholders such as clients or senior management, which requires the ability to build a report and then present it effectively.

The hard skills on display here – apart from the presentation itself – include data analysis, knowledge of presentation software such as Powerpoint and the ability to organise data in a visual way. Understanding the fundamental reporting process and having great public speaking skills are both hard skills that can be adapted across a multitude of industries.


While you might not expect it, being able to write competently is an incredibly useful skill to have across various industries. The modern workplace runs on email and instant messaging platforms, which is where your writing skills shine. If you can effectively convey information quickly and concisely, you’ll be a fantastic asset for any business.

Writing skills also directly impact your job search. They can help you create a great cover letter and CV, both of which are critical documents when applying for a new role.

As you progress through your career you’ll generally build a better understanding of what goes into great written communication – developing your understanding of tone and voice.

Project Management

Project management skills are universally useful and you’ll find people leveraging them from offices to construction sites. The ability to conceptualise and manage a project from start to finish, on top of communicating goals, managing deadlines and directing team members, is valuable for the majority of employers out there.

As you develop your project management skill set, you may begin to adopt ‘agile’ planning concepts, take on projects with a much larger scope and manage multiple teams interconnecting across a project.

Spreadsheet/Data Entry

Many businesses now use data to directly measure and inform long-term strategy. Being able to parse and organise this data is a vital skill which often requires the use of specific software such as Excel. If you can demonstrate a basic understanding of Excel, you’ll be in a great position to stand out within a competitive market. If you understand more advanced concepts? You’ll likely have the opportunity to transform businesses that aren’t currently making full use of the data available to them. 

Foreign Language

Understanding a foreign language isn’t just useful when you’re on holiday, it’s also a great hard skill to have in the workplace. If you can demonstrate fluency in commonly used languages, you’ll open yourself up to a range of new opportunities that most of the market wouldn’t have access to. 

This is particularly useful if you’re open to moving abroad for work, where a foreign language may allow you to operate effectively in Europe, for example.

If you speak a second language, make sure to highlight this across your application documents – particularly your CV. Even if you’re not applying to a role that will make use of the skill, speaking a foreign language demonstrates dedication, commitment and the ability to retain information – all of which are valuable for employers.

Get In Touch With Us Today!

Looking for a new job? Want to find your next top employee? Let us help you get started.