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Hard Skills versus Soft Skills in Career Development

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Hard skills and Soft skills are those skills that employers look for and must be included in every resume. They are very different from each other; while one is inborn the other is not.

Before diving into Hard skills and Soft skills, let’s discuss career development and skills.

According to Wikipedia, career development refers to the process of making decisions for long term learning. This is in order to align personal needs of physical and psychological fulfilment with career advancement opportunities. It is the process of choosing a career, improving your skills and advancing along a career path. It is a lifelong process that involves learning and decision-making. Thereby bringing you closer to your ideal job, skill set and lifestyle.

Skill refers to the ability, knowledge, mental power, or capacity to do something. It is usually acquired or learned and in some cases, it is natural and innate. Skills vary in different people depending on interests, innate abilities, personal qualities and technical skills. These skills can be gained and improved with education and experience. Working on and developing one’s skills improves one’s work performance and boosts one’s career.

There are two major skills that foster career development; they are hard skills and soft skills. When creating your resume, you have to include the right combination of both hard skills and soft skills. This helps you to get the right job. A list of hard skills and soft skills have been compiled below just for you; choose the ones that are a perfect match to develop your career.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are technical knowledge or training that a person has gained through any life experience, including career or education. They are the skills that are teachable/ learnt, quantifiable and can be proven with a degree, certificate or work experience. 

Hard skills include:

App development

Bilingual or multilingual

Database management

Adobe software suite

Network security

Microsoft office suite

Google analytics

Content management systems

Cloud computing

SEO/SEM marketing

Statistical analysis

Data mining/ analytics

Mobile development

User interface design

Marketing campaign management

Storage systems and management

Programming languages such as Python, Perl, Java or Ruby

Cloud architecture

Pivot tables

Financial Modelling

Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work on your own and with others. They are those skills that are developed and can’t be proven but can only be demonstrated. Soft skills are part of your personality and they relate to the way you interact with other people. 

Soft skills include:

Leadership 

Analytical and Research

Self-confidence

Public speaking

Tactfulness 

Dependability

Effective communication (both verbal and written)

Conflict management/ resolution

Delegation

Open-mindedness

Teamwork 

Creativity 

Self-management and development

Creativity

Problem solving

Critical thinking 

Flexibility and Adaptability

Organization

Willingness to learn 

Ethics and Integrity 

Empathy 

Time management

Brainstorming

Public speaking

Project management

Critical observation

Hard skills are listed in resumes and can be verified with certificates. While soft skills cannot only be listed but also have to be displayed during interviews. Not only does every individual need the technical know-hows and the right academic qualification to get that job or develop one’s career; but the personality and inborn abilities also matter. When including any skill into your resume, emphasize on the ones that have been picked out in the job description and then structure your resume around your strongest skills. Remember to include some of the headline characteristics. An individual cannot single-handedly possess all the above listed skills except such a person is as perfect as God; which no one is. So when identifying and selecting your skills, remember to choose the ones that are right for you, don’t just stuff your resume with the whole lot!

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Starting A New Brand On Social Media? 5 things You Should Know

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Starting a new brand requires continual search for fresh and original ways to ensure its relevance.  With the evolution of marketing, social media has become the broadest platform to display your brand as far as you can master the way it works. There are numerous ways by which you can represent your new brand on social media but in this article, I’ve highlighted the simplest of them all. Read on!

Post distinctively on every social media channel

Posting the same content on all your social media channels is not actually a bad idea but posting with the same structure is a terrible idea. All social media channels have different ways of presenting content that is exclusive to each of them. Facebook, for example, is all about information and entertainment; so you have to restructure your content to be relatable. Instagram on the other hand is known for displaying content that feeds the eyes. Structure your branded content for Instagram to be visually pleasing and of high quality. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that adds value to people’s lives. But don’t be too serious when creating content for this platform, rather be a combination of education and entertainment. Using the above channels as examples, study every social media channel and structure your content to relate with them as you are starting a new brand.

Use CTAs

You need CTAs for all your posts as you are starting a new brand. When publishing posts for your brand, always include a “call to action”. Call to action is that link or button that gets the audience to take required action. It tells the audience the step to take and what to do in relation with the post. For example; Enjoy 40% off all size 10 blouses this month when you shop with Innove. Visit www.innovecollections.co.uk to explore our fashionably unique wears. The link is the CTA; it will take the reader directly to the online shop.

Make your posts humorous

When creating content to publicize your brand, don’t be too stuck up and overly serious. Give people a way to share a laugh with you. Like Jonah Berger says “Funny content is shared because amusement is a high arousal emotion”. Humour is a great way to portray your branded content as not being too pigeon-holed.

Use the right hashtags

Stop bombarding your brand’s posts with irrelevant hashtags. Use industry-related hashtags only and hashtags that are relevant to your business. This is a great way to promote your posts. Making use of hashtags that are exact to locations such as #Lagos, #HardrockCafe, #Ibadan, etc., are also good for promotion. This is because they serve as a way to let your customers know locations where your brand is known and also for potential customers to discover you when they search for such location-specific hashtags.  

Know your competitors

Checking out whatever your competitors are up to is not a crime, but no stalking please. Both in the country and out of the country, check the contents performing the most in terms of likes and comments. By checking them out, you are keeping up with the competition and you will also be able to generate better ideas. Observe your competitors in order to discover what you have been doing wrong and where you need improvements. 

Adopt the use of influencer marketing

Branded contents are on the up and up. Instead of creating your business’s content like you usually do, why not reach out to influencers. Not just any influencers, but the ones that your audience or customers trust. After reaching out, present to them your product or service that needs marketing, then get them to create content around the product or service. Make sure you fit their content into your platforms. Making use of influencers gives you access to their followers. Majority of renowned brands dig through social media especially Instagram, to find creators and influencers that can add value to their business. So why shouldn’t you do so too? Besides you have nothing to lose and your business stands to gain massive publicity.

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Why Canva Is The Best Alternative To Photoshop For Small Businesses

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Best alternative to Photoshop for anything related to instant designs? Canva is the ultimate. Both Canva and Photoshop are great graphic design tools for start-ups and small businesses, but one is more convenient to use than the other. This article compares Canva to Photoshop and elaborates on how Canva is the best alternative to Photoshop for small businesses.

Canva was created in 2012 by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams, in Sydney, Australia. The platform has over 10 million monthly active users who are eager to explore their creativity.

As a small business owner, Canva is the best alternative to Photoshop for your brand. Create simple visuals, marketing materials, posters, restaurant menus, business cards, brochures, event invitations, and lots more; with Canva. You can easily share your designs directly to other social media platforms. In addition, your clients can collaborate with you on projects and designs.

Features

Canva has numerous features that are just great for small businesses. They include:

  • Varieties of pre-made professional templates to choose from, though you can create your own template/layout from scratch. All you have to do is sign up, either via Google accounts or your email address. The templates and layouts are categorized according to their use.
  • Collaboration and teamwork features. With Canva, you can work with teammates and clients to achieve and complete any project.
  • Free and paid plans. The free plan has limited templates and you are able to collaborate with a maximum of 10 members. Free plans don’t give you access to any image, rather you pay $1 for an image or you can simply upload your own photo for editing. The paid plan has unlimited templates and you can collaborate with up to 30 members. Plus, you have access to hundreds of thousands images. Payment is $9.95 per month for a user.
  • Photo filters and editing tools as well as free icons, shapes and fonts.

Pros

  • It’s simple and easy to use. This partly makes it the best alternative to Photoshop.
  • Canva has a free plan.
  • You don’t need any design skills or a degree before you can use the platform.
  • Features a massive library of free graphics.
  • Does not consume resources like Photoshop.

Cons

  • Printing on Canva costs higher.

Canva vs. Photoshop

Highlighted below are the 3 major points that show how Canva is the best alternative to Photoshop in 2021.

Firstly, Canva is a web-based design tool that is supported on not just the web but also on android systems and IOS. This makes it easier for users including owners of small businesses to design anywhere and at any time.  Photoshop is a software that can’t be used on a smartphone unlike Canva, which can be used on any device. Thus making it easier to stay connected and updated on all your designs.

Secondly, Photoshop is quite complex and it requires prior knowledge relating to the software before usage. Canva is not like that at all. You can customize your designs yourself with ease on Canva as you don’t need any special design skills for that. All you have to do is just create! This makes it suitable for small businesses because you as a CEO become more efficient. In the sense that, the amount of time you would use to study and master Photoshop, you can use that time to do something more productive. Where Canva takes only 23 seconds to master, Photoshop takes days, if not weeks.

Lastly, Canva has both a free plan and a paid plan. As a small business owner who can’t afford to spend on graphics, you can easily choose the free plan. With the free plan, you still have access to numerous templates that can be used for your brand. Photoshop on the other hand is quite expensive and does not have a free plan like Canva. 

Canva is great for small businesses needing a boost in graphics. Still wondering about how good Canva is, why not just go on and check it out here.

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