How to Portray Your Hard-Earned Soft Skills on Your Resumé
Employers are often quite interested in "soft" skills like communication and teamwork. Here's how to demo your skills on your CV.
This article was originally written by Jennifer McKay for TalentEgg.ca.
If you're struggling to describe your skills effectively on your resumé, don't fret too much. In fact, this is an issue that even seasoned executives can encounter. It's easy to fall into the trap of simply listing all your skills, which in turn makes you a less appealing candidate in the job market.
To help you out, here are some tips to help you portray soft skills properly on your resumé so you can reel in those job offers.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are basic traits that are hard to quantify, and based more on personality than practice. In contrast, hard skills are often more technical and taught in school or through training. For example, communication and creativity are soft skills, but having strong skills in mathematics or Spanish fluency would be considered hard skills.
Here's a list of several soft skills vs. hard skills for you to compare:
- Problem solving
- Work ethic and motivation
- Customer service
- Education (coursework, a diploma, or a degree)
- Database or program knowledge (Microsoft Office, for example)
- Computer programming and coding
- Financial expertise
- Data analysis
Although there's a difference between the two skill types, they're both essential when you're applying for a job. You might need to have a certain set of hard skills to even be considered, but your soft skills will make you stand out and improve your performance at work. If you aren't sure which soft skills you have, don't worry. You can try taking one of TalentEgg's new eLearning courses to identify and refine your skill set!
Show, don't tell
The classic writers' advice applies equally well to your job search!
Don't make a list of soft skills on your resumé. Soft skills can be subjective, and a list of them won't mean anything to an employer without context to back it up.
Instead of telling the manager that you're organized and great at building relationships, show them how you'll use those skills to improve the company. Use a combination of achievements and job duties, and weave in your hard skills, too.
For example, an organized administrative assistant might list the following duty: "Navigated competing priorities and ongoing tasks including scheduling, inventory management, and data analysis with effective time management." This shows the employer that you're great at managing your time and prioritizing, and exactly what that can bring to the company. Plus, it mentions several related hard skills.
The key is to incorporate your soft skills as part of your daily work tasks. This will naturally connect to your hard skills, and make your worth more obvious to employers. Then, they'll see how your skill set is bringing value to the team. You can make this even more apparent by incorporating soft skills into your achievements.
Here is an example of this technique: "Boosted profits by 20% by creating rapport with new customers to encourage repeat patronage." This statement shows the tangible benefits of your incredible customer service skills, and you never even had to say "customer service".
Candidate profile: your new skill list
There's a more effective way of making a skills list on your resumé: incorporate them into your candidate profile or summary section at the top of your resumé. It's best to write this section after you've completed all your work history so you can reference all the soft skills you haven't included yet. Then, do the same as before: simply mesh your skills with related job experience and achievements.
If you find that you're missing some of the skills for the jobs you want, try out TalentEgg's eLearning course on developing and refining your soft skills. This course will help you polish the soft skills that are most sought after by employers, maximizing your chances of landing your dream job.
With your new knowledge of soft skills, you're ready to shine at your next interview and impress your new employer. Best of luck!
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