How to write about skills in your job applications.

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Job seeking can be challenging whether you’re trying to create an excellent CV, craft a cover letter, or prepare for an interview. That’s why I have created an online resource with tips to help. The link below will show the soft and hard skills that you can include in your applications.


Skills describe what we are able to do and are usually defined in two categories: hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills

Hard skills are also known as professional or technical skills. These skills are specific abilities that we have learned and developed through education or in the workplace.

 Examples of hard skills:

Languages, driving, building techniques, repair techniques, D.I.Y., sewing / dressmaking, operating machinery e.g. a hoist / a forklift, cooking, playing an instrument, gardening and sport.

Computer skills i.e. typing, Graphic Design, Data Management (collecting / organising and interpreting), Analytics, Word Processing and Technical Writing / Social Media skills, programming languages and coding.

 Soft skills

Soft skills are also known as transferable, non-technical or personal skills. These are skills that have come more naturally and deal with how we relate to the people and the environment around us. They transfer readily from one job to another.

 Soft skills usually fall into three categories:

  • Interactions with people
  • Professionalism and/or Work Ethic
  • Critical Thinking or Problem Solving

Interactions with People:





Demonstrating Empathy








Conflict Management



Professionalism and Work Ethic:

Time Management

Willingness to learn

Willingness to take on new challenges

Goal setting






Attention to detail

Critical Thinking or Problem Solving:

Quick thinking

Problem solving

Decision making





Thinking outside the box

Ability to cope under pressure


When writing a CV or cover letter it is always a good idea to highlight the skills mentioned in the job specification and match these as much as possible to show that you are the right fit for the role. You can create a separate skills section in your CV and include some of these keywords in your profile too. Even if you have not been in the same role that you are applying for, you can still show that you have the capabilities to carry out the tasks through your soft and hard skills. Best of luck!

Breda Hegarty is a career counsellor with the EPIC Programme run by Business in the Community Ireland. EPIC is a free programme supporting people from migrant backgrounds to gain employment. If you are interested in participating in one of the free programmes contact Livia Bartolomé on 086 8391313

You can contact Breda Hegarty on with any comments or questions that you may have.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on


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