There has been a lot of talk about “soft skills” recently. They are the newest trend in must-haves during your job search, and many employers are putting a strong emphasis on employees who possess well-developed soft skills. But what exactly are they? And which ones are important? And how do you showcase them on your resume?
Well, first of all:
“Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person’s knowledge and occupational skills.”
So now that we have a clear definition, how do we know which ones to feature? I’ll give you everyone’s favorite answer: it depends. Depending on which industry you are in, your position, and your career goals, you should highlight different soft skills on your resume. HOWEVER, there are a few soft skills that are universal and beneficial to pretty much anyone, no matter where you are at in your career.
Everybody likes a team player. Whether you’re going to be working in a collaborative environment or not, companies do not want to hire someone that doesn’t get along with others and is going to bring down the morale. This does not mean that you need to sit in a circle and sing kumbaya all the time, just that you can working with others throughout the company to accomplish common goals.
Communication may seem basic, but employers are looking for more than just “can he write an email?” They need to know that you can resolve conflicts, be persuasive, and get the company branding message across effectively no matter what position you’re in.
Employers want to see a drive. They want to know that you are going to show up and go to work with them on their passion every single day. What gets you up in the morning? Why did you choose this line of work? Being able to show your passion and your willingness to advance and grow within that space will mean a lot to hiring managers.
- Problem Solving
Problem-solving is more about the process you use to get to a solution than the actual solution. Yes, it’s great to solve problems efficiently, but it’s even better when you’re able to show your strategic plan for solving a problem. Actually mastering this soft skills tells a lot about who you are as an employee and what you’ll contribute to a company if they hire you.
- Ability To Innovate
This is what you’ll commonly hear referred to as “thinking outside the box.” The best employers are always looking for a new employee to come in and offer new insights that will ultimately improve the team and the bottom line. No matter if you’re a janitor or a Senior Software Developer, offering innovative strategies to do something better will make you an invaluable asset in no time.
As for how to showcase these on your resume? Tell stories. Instead of saying “I’m extremely motivated,” share the story of a time when you went above and beyond to serve a customer or solve a problem. Try explaining in detail the last project you worked on in a group environment and how you contributed, rather than listing “team player.” Paint a picture for the reader so that they can visualize how you would fit in their organization and make an immediate impact.