Understanding your own skills:
Hard skills are your technical abilities to perform certain tasks. For example, having a fast typing speed is a hard skill, and you can quantify it by stating how many words you can type per minute.
Hard skills are easier to develop as you can learn them in school, your personal life, or on the job. They're usually role- or industry-specific. Many employers have a testing phase in the interview process to ensure you have the necessary hard skills. Computer programmers, for example, may write code or find an error in existing code during the hiring process to demonstrate their skill level.
Soft skills are harder to measure and learn as they relate to your personality traits and habits. For example, strong leadership or problem-solving abilities are soft skills. One of the greatest benefits of soft skills, however, is that they're transferable. You can use your soft skills in a variety of industries and roles, so they apply to more opportunities than hard skills.
Employers list and look for certain soft skills as they contribute to a positive, successful work environment. If you find you're lacking a certain soft skill, such as communication, you can work on them on your own time. You don't need to go to school or take any courses to become a certified communicator. You can improve your communication skills by speaking with or writing to friends and colleagues.