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Are "Soft" Skills really Skills?

Steven Simon, Ph.D.
In my writings, including in my books, I don't differentiate between soft and hard skills. There's a reason. In my opinion, soft skills, or what some describe as people, interpersonal, or even self-management skills can easily miss the mark in defining true and practically meaningful skills for employers. Anyone can include communication, resilience, persistence, listening, or flexibility in a resume. Everyone has those "skills" to some degree and it's very common to see them mentioned by job seekers. After all, as many of the popular articles, blogs, and speakers say, soft skills are what many employers want, right?

Hard skills represent developed proficiency and knowledge that can be more concretely, specifically and  measurably described than so-called soft skills. In fact, many skills described as soft are actually not skills at all, but rather personality traits, aptitudes or talents. In my opinion, personality traits such resilience, p…

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