What skills matter most to recruiters? [INFOGRAPHIC]

So what are recruiters looking for, hard skills or soft skills? And are recruiters finding candidates with the skills they need
Hard skills vs soft skills


  1. Well I must say the world is about how well people lie on their resumes ? I don’t think so. and the way it goes with resumes ,if you follow the advice of one expert ,the next one will tell you it is all wrong .Employers are the most spoiled rude people on the planet. Get a life and stop throwing out resumes or some day it will be an employees market.

  2. I am 54 years old. I am very interested in working for a company that right at their site career section has the testimony of a person recognizing how lucky was to get a job at age 46. The job postings I am interested in require seniority and experience in areas that I manage very well.
    I most admit I agree with the poster completely. What can I do? After an early working experience with the government not lasting two years I have worked for private companies. Although I am currently employed and jobs use to hunted me. My abilities to land a job at my age make me wonder. Beyond both hard and soft skills, Age can be perceived as a deterrent. How could I overcome my perception?

  3. I applied for a position listed with a top-notch recruiting firm and they contacted me and spent 20 minutes via telephone interview advising my credentials were exactly what was important to the employer and the recruiter felt I was the best candidate for this position. Then I was advised I couldn’t have my resume package submitted to the employer until I e-mailed a copy of my driver’s license. This job did not require driving, so there was no reason for the recruiter to request this other than to determine my age before sending my resume to this employer. Every job this group advertises states that a copy of your driver’s license is needed to complete the application. According to EEOC as well as The Recruiter Manual, a driver license should not be requested unless it’s mandatory for the position advertised to have a good driving record and the job requires the candidate to drive while employed. I know this is a case of age discrimination but what can I do other than call in a complaint to the EEOC. They continue to get away with this behavior because no one complains.

  4. As I stated above, this is a first-class recruiting firm. I gave them 2 weeks and did a follow-up call to the recruiter who didn’t take my call and hasn’t returned the call either. The position I applied for does take some time for the employer to determine which candidates they will ultimately interview, but I have the impression my resume wasn’t forwarded to this employer and the recruiting firm should not be making decisions for an employer as to whether a person who has all the credentials needed should be eliminated from consideration because they think your age is a problem. I’m extremely good at what I do and my age hasn’t interfered with my abilities.

  5. Brenda, I’m not a lawyer, so this advice is simply what I know as a person so please don’t take this as legal advice. Because you did not technically interview for the job and simply had a phone call with the recruiting firm, there’s not much you can do to prove that you were discriminated against. Unfortunately, failure to hire cases are hard to bring and incredibly hard to prove. The best you can do is prove to the recruiter that you are the best person for the job, share your value-add, and how you’re going to drive results, despite your age. If you wow the recruiter they should do the right thing and submit your resume to the employer regardless of your age. As for going to EEOC, I don’t think it can hurt to call, they are experts on this type of thing and in the very least you’ll have a clear answer on if this is appropriate behavior or not.

  6. Work ethic must have a different definition than is used too. Now if you do too much, go the extra mile, my company calls it difficulty with time management and problems with work life balance. I love to work, take pride in doing a good job and working hard and doing what it takes is how I grade myself for a job well done, but it’s not always how others grade your work.

  7. …what strikes me is the lack of grammar in these postings. Before becoming a victim and perpetuating the assumption one is being disregarded for another reason (i.e. age discrimination), could it possibly be that one’s inability to correctly write a sentence is the underlying reason? Perhaps another set of eyes proofreading one’s resume would be prudent? I am almost 50 and I haven’t encountered this issue in areas where I’ve worked from Boston to Tampa.

  8. I have a BS and an associate degree, however it’s been difficult for me to find a job outside my field of studies. I am 58 years old, hispanic and with a diverse work experience which includes from non- profit organization to federal government employee. Recently I have notice that the employers include the compulsory answer to the date of birth in the online application process. I understand this is discriminatory and it is a mandatory field to be completed as part of the website otherwise the job application will not be processed. I could name the companies that are doing this but, could this make any difference?

  9. I’m 51, a retired Navy Chief Warrant Officer, and I have brain cancer. I’m currently unemployed, but looking for work that doesn’t overtax my focus and concentration, which have been severely degraded as a result of my disease and surgery. The thing I’m running into the most, especially when writing my resume, is that since I don’t have a formal education, and lack the “hard” skills in many of the areas I’m considering, I feel like I don’t have a chance against younger, more “qualified” applicants who do have the hard skills needed for that job. However, what I DO bring to the table is an ability to LEARN anything, and do it well after only a very short time. But how do you put THAT on a resume? I can do many things for which I’ve never received a formal education or been specifically trained, but unless I actually GET the job and prove it to my employer, I don’t stand a chance.

  10. What do you say to the person who is interviewing you and asks you How long do you plan on working? Is this an illegal question? They can look at you and put you in an age range

  11. Pat, it’s pretty common for employers to ask how long you plan on working there during the interview. They want to know if this is a job you want, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trying to figure out your age.

  12. I had an interview yesterday and the gentleman asked me what my race was. He said it in a very chummy way as we kinda got off topic and ended up discussing recipes (yea weird I know) but I was kind of thrown and didnt know what to say so I tentatively told him I was mixed, trying to leave it at that but he wanted details. I was very vague and stirred the conversation back to my work experience bybtalking about an internship I had done with a catering company. The rest of the interview went well for the most part but I did feel this slight awkwardness that sprung up between us. I know discussing race is illegal during an interview but he was pretty interested and I didnt want to come off as rude for pointing that out. I think he thought he could get away with it because I’m young. I mentioned that Id just completed my Bachelor’s. I was so uncomfortable with the whole situation and its not the first time this has happened

  13. As for your “race” tell the next one you can do the 440 in under 50 seconds. And add your problem solving skills aren’t bad either?!

  14. I am in my early 60’s, still active and desirous to continue working. I hold a B.S. and fairly recent MBA. I have extensive experience from the entry level through “C” level in an emerging medical device company. First I have experienced difficulty in securing interviews but those I have secured have all come back with “we have put the position on hold”, you are “overqualified”,”your skills do not specifically meet our needs”. or “we have decided to go in a different direction” These may be clever, but disingenuous and lacking in the ring of truth. Most often I use the position description as an outline highlighting the skills or experience that match my background. While age is not often requested birth dates, graduation dates and a complete and dated employment history all are frequent and can bracket the probable age of the applicant.Frequently the 20 and 30 somethings cannot conceive the value of career experience, knowledge and stability that the late career stage professionals can bring to the table.

  15. As a whole I would tend to agree with the statistics, it is important to understand that at first glance you have the minimum qualifications to simply be considered. Keep in mind that initially you are likely competing with a very large pool of applicants, so “key words” are very important especially if your application/resume is being submitted through an online system. So, although I agree with the stats as a whole there are so many factors that need to be considered when applying for your position; is the position entry level or is experience required, technical, labor intensive, or supervisory. In my view the stats show that overall soft skills are so much more important, people want to work with people they connect with and can get along with. Don’t get me wrong, hard skills are important and will get you noticed, but your interaction/communication with others will get you hired. I would also say that 65% of candidates believe they do a good job during the interview and 60% of HR professionals agree, I would like to know what they are doing right. Maybe they are simply practicing interviewing and come up with scenarios where they demonstrate or how their skills are transferrable to some of the skills on the job description. Your practice questions may not be asked, but it’s more of putting yourself in the active thinking mindset and settling yourself to be comfortable (soft skills). Lastly, you should tailor your resume, but I put more emphasis on key words. Although these are just my thoughts.

  16. I am not an attorney, and this is not legal advice, but my thoughts and experience in HR. Discrimination; unfortunately it does happen consciously and unconsciously. I find that when individuals are not given an adequate response or one they can accept then they will often develop their own reason as to why they were not chosen, often discrimination. Unfortunately employers are so fearful that they will be sued they provide a very limited response, if at all, as to why you were not chosen such as your experience demands a high salary, you didn’t how your skills are transferrable to this position, you don’t have the right skill set, or someone is better suited for the position. I would do the same if I were in their position, who wants to get sued. This is not to say you have not been discriminated against, you want to be evaluated on your merits (hard/soft skills) not your age or race. Why would anyone ask for a copy of your driver’s license before hiring you especially if the position doesn’t require driving? It’s not acceptable to do this across the board and may be considered discriminatory. Not to mention some people have their SSN on their DL (I suggest removing if you do or can). A phone interview is an interview and the recruiting firm and possibly the company they are recruiting for can be held responsible as their agent. Why would you be asked about your date of birth during the application stage? How long do you plan on working? What is your race? Unless there is a bona fide requirement of the position (there are some) then there is no reason any of this is required at the application stage. Possible options; you can make the company aware that this may be inappropriate, call EEOC and report the issue, or do nothing; in all three cases you can remain anonymous or not. If not, remember you might be protected from retaliation. In all of these instances, it can all be done by the employer unconsciously due to a lack of understanding and applicability of the regulations, not that it makes it any better since you may still not have a job because of it. All too often Hiring Managers are not adequately trained (or are stubborn) in what they can ask about or review the job description and determine that they don’t need a “young energetic individual” rather an “energetic individual” or “young outgoing personality” rather an “outgoing personality”. It is a daunting task to overcome these issues and your soft skills will be put to task to communicate that you are the right person regardless of preconceived perceptions. So keep your head up, don’t become too cynical, there are plenty of great companies doing the right thing out there, and you’ll get the right job for you!

  17. I’ve been hit with a double whammy. I’m 59, and have been out of the job market for about 5 years now, after a late-in-life decision to go back to college. I already had a paralegal certificate I had never used because everyone wanted experience. So to complement that, I got my BS in criminal justice, thinking I could merge the two and be able to work for a criminal attorney. I have been doing some volunteer work for a friend for over 2 years, trying to help him with the paperwork it takes for him to get his law license reinstated. However, for health reasons, he is not planning on resuming his career. In any case, after being discriminated against for both age and religious reasons (I don’t believe in working on the Lord’s Day), I finally gave up. About 3 years ago, the Division of Aging and Rehabilitative Services began trying to help me find suitable employment, but so far, they have not succeeded. Recently, they brought in bigger guns, with the hope that there is SOME employer out there who will find me worthy.
    I may not have as much energy as a 20something, but I have a brain and a willing spirit, and my daughter says I’m more computer savvy than most folks in my age bracket. I’m addicted to Power Point and Publisher, and I can use Word fairly well. My typing speed is between 40 and 50 wpm, and I have been told by those in the field that with my BS in criminal justice and 16 years of retail experience, I could head up a department store security team. But I’m at home on SSI and Food Stamps, feeling hopeless and worthless. After all, if the business world doesn’t want you, what else can you do? I wrote a novel 7 years ago, but because I didn’t have the money for the promotion, I’ve only sold 25 copies. (It’s still available on the Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Books A million websites, as well as the publisher’s site. (They now call themselves America Star Books.) And I have an internet novelty shop that has given me $158 in 5 years. Was I born to fail? HELP!!!!!

  18. Well I should say the world is regarding how well individuals lie on their resumes? I don’t think so. Furthermore, the manner in which it goes with resumes, in the event that you follow the exhortation of one master, the following one will reveal to you it is all off-base. Managers are the most ruined discourteous individuals on earth. Find a hobby and quit tossing out resumes or sometime it will be a representatives market.

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