Our schooling, our professional experiences or our associative experiences have probably allowed us to acquire a certain number of operational skills. We are capable of know-how, of practical skills that allow us to carry out tasks that an average person would not be able to accomplish. Learning these skills is at the heart of the high education system. These competencies are what we call "hard skills", it means specific operational skills held by someone and which allow to accomplish a set of tasks inaccessible to another person.
Defining what your hard skills are should not be complicated: just look at your university education, the tasks you have performed in your previous jobs, your associative missions ... All these experiences allow you to quickly identify your hard skills. First you have to list them. Then, rank the hard skills in order of mastery (from the one you are most confident in to the one you are least confident in) or in order of value (from the most sought after in the job market to the least sought after). The result gives you a global vision of the skills to highlight on your resume and on your motivation letters.
However, these skills do not allow us to effectively identify someone's profile: the person's character, the way they work, and the way they relate to others are not taken into consideration. A lot of other skills come into play, such as the ability to listen to others, communicate clearly and concisely in several languages...
All these skills that play a role of "facilitators" for the hard skills are called “soft skills”. Let's be clear: without soft skills, hard skills cannot be applied properly. A designer who is unable to listen to his customers' opinions will never be able to create good prototypes. A doctor who cannot reassure his patients will not be a good doctor... While hard skills define specific competencies for which a person will be hired, soft skills will be the competencies that allow a person to succeed in their new job. They are not to be neglected and must be developed as much as the hard skills.
Defining one's soft skills can seem very complex: how can I know precisely if I am charismatic, a good listener... The best way to know your soft skills can be either to compare the various possible traits and list them in the same way as for hard skills. Another method is to use a third party: ask a co-worker, a friend or a person with whom you used to collaborate to define which soft skills stand out in your personality. The result is doubly interesting. On the one hand, understanding your soft skills will allow you to know which characteristics to emphasize during an interview while being realistic. Also, knowing your soft skills allows you to better understand which professional experiences would be most suitable.
The purpose of this assessment is not only to help you complete your job or internship search: knowing your strengths and characteristics also allows you to understand what you can and must improve in the future. Being aware of one's weaknesses is already half the way to solving them.