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Professional skills overview

On ICAEW Careers+, we will keep adding articles and advice on how you can develop these skills, how they will help you achieve your goals and how you can demonstrate them on your CV.

Technical skills and soft skills - what is the difference?

Technical skills are all about the technical knowledge you possess. You may have gained that knowledge at school, university, at work or even in your free time. They are tangible and can fairly easily be demonstrated - for example via your degree, your certifications, any courses you have completed, any systems or tools you have learnt how to use etc. 

Soft skills are not so much about what you can do, but how you go about doing it - how you work within a team, how you interact with others, how you manage a problem - even how you use the technical knowledge that you have acquired.

These skills (also known as professional skills) have very much to do with your way of behaving - and sometimes even your personality traits.

Why are they important? - Top 5 reasons:

  1. They help you develop
  2. They make your more future-proof
  3. They make you more employable
  4. They make you a better entrepreneur
  5. They are transferable

Which professional skills do you need?

ICAEW works with small and big organisations around the globe - with their input, we have identified the key skills that will help you succeed in your career - and which we will be exploring on ICAEW Careers+.

The skills fall under five wider themes. Each skill has an aspect that corresponds to that theme. The five themes are:

  • Insight
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Perspective
  • Learning and reflection

Under these overarching themes we will be looking at seven different, but interconnected, skills:

  1. Communication
  2. Teamwork
  3. Decision making
  4. Ethics and Professionalism
  5. Adding value
  6. Problem solving
  7. Technical competence