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Job Skills ESL Lesson

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Student Level


Video Length: 1:15

Updated on: 03/28/2024

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Job Skills ESL Lesson Description


This job skills ESL lesson provides activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials designed for pre-intermediate A2 - B1 students. In this lesson, students will:

  • Introduce and differentiate between hard skills and soft skills
  • Explore examples of hard and soft skills through resume analysis and discussion
  • Enhance language skills through vocabulary acquisition and usage in context
  • Be able to give their own job descriptions and ask questions about them


Students begin this ESL lesson on hard skills and soft skills by analyzing a resume for a man named Rafael. They match the resume parts to corresponding sections in an image of a sample resume. This activity introduces students to common resume vocabulary and sets the stage for exploring hard and soft skills in the workplace. The resume parts include vocabulary like: Contact Information, Work Experience, Hard Skills, Soft Skills, Languages, and Interests.

In the second part, students categorize descriptions of skills as either hard skills (HS) or soft skills (SS). This helps students understand the distinction between technical knowledge and interpersonal abilities. Students brainstorm some of their own examples of hard and soft skills.

The final part prompts students to determine whether given skills are categorized as hard or soft, improving their comprehension related to hard and soft skills. This part includes a list of skills, such as: Communication - Teamwork - Problem solving - Time management - Computer science - Foreign languages.


Students watch an animated video by the company Indeed. In the video, the speaker explores some basic differences between soft skills and hard skills, and why they’re important to list on a resume. Students do a true/false activity and correct statements about hard and soft skills. This is followed by categorizing skills mentioned in the video as hard skills (HS) or soft skills (SS).

In the final part of the viewing activity, students complete a list of top 10 resume skills shown in the video.


Students engage in discussion about soft skills from the video, reflecting on their own soft skills in their jobs.

There is an activity designed here for students to read and discuss a job description for a woman named Chrissy. She is an administrative assistant and writes about some of her job responsibilities and skills. Students identify her current and desired soft and hard skills, applying their understanding of hard and soft skills in real-world contexts. There are some questions for students to analyze some of the language she uses in her job description.

In the final part, students describe a man named Yukito's job based on some information provided. Students are prompted to use the same phrases from the previous section with Chrissy. This reinforces their understanding of hard and soft skills through application to different job roles.


In this communicative activity, students brainstorm their own jobs, and organize their responsibilities, as well as current and desired hard and soft skills, using a mind map/information table.

They have the chance to craft and write their own job descriptions. Students share their job descriptions with classmates, encouraging peer interaction and communication skills as they discuss roles and skills with others. They are also encouraged to ask each other some questions about their jobs, responsibilities, and skills.


Vocabulary Skills: The lesson mainly promotes the development of job skills vocabulary. Through communication discussions and exercises, students get to explore job skills in practical scenarios. Students practice expressing their ideas, opinions, and questions effectively in English.

Engaging Activities: The lesson includes various engaging activities such as resume analysis, brainstorming, video watching, discussion, and job description crafting. These activities keep students actively involved throughout the lesson.

Comprehensive Approach: The lesson covers a wide range of topics related to job skills, including hard skills, soft skills, resume analysis, and job descriptions. This ensures students gain a comprehensive understanding of essential workplace concepts.

Video Description

Indeed dives into a variety of soft and hard skills that you can include on your resume to make it really shine. So, if you have customer service skills, communication skills, or leadership skills, go ahead and list them. If you're not sure what skills to add, Indeed provide examples of the top hard skills and soft skills to put on a resume.

Lesson Activities


Job Skills, Job Descriptions


True / False Statements, Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills, Top 10 Resume Skills


Resume/CV Vocabulary, Job Skills, Phrases


Job Description Workshop, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Job Skills, Resumes, Job Descriptions

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