How To Identify Your Best Skills
If youre not sure which skills you want to share, consider your previous experiences. Where did you excel? Where would your peers say youre especially practiced? Here are a few ways to determine good skills to put on a CV:
Consider your awards and achievements. Did you ever receive recognition for meeting a particular objective or excelling in a specific area? If so, your skills likely assisted you in reaching this achievement. Consider what personal talents or attributes helped you meet that milestone.
Ask former coworkers or fellow students. Sometimes others can help note strengths you may not recognise yourself. Reach out to a former manager or colleagues who worked closely with you. If youre new to the professional world, reach out to students you worked with, teachers who know you well or someone you consider a mentor.
Talk to professionals in the field. If youre having a difficult time determining what skills an employer may want to see, consider contacting a professional already working in the industry or position similar to the one youre applying for. Find out what skills they consider most important, and identify which align with your own.
Top 10 Soft Skills List & Examples
Employers across every industry are looking for candidates with a strong set of soft skills. Although you cant sit down in a classroom and learn them, you can still hone and develop these talents. And as with any skill, practice makes perfect.
While youre putting together your job application, consider emphasizing these 10 in-demand soft skills throughout your resume.
Mine The Job Descriptions For Must
The next step is take a look at the job description for the position you are applying for and make a list of the required skills that are listed. Are any of the skills on both of the lists you just created? If so, these are must-haves for your resume.
Now notice if there are any skills on the job description that you dont have. If there arent any, great!
But if there aredont panic. You just need to dig a little deeper into your past in order to demonstrate that you have the skill more on that in a minute.
Here is a link to a ton of job descriptions that can give you an idea of the skills needed take a look and find the position you are interviewing for!
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How Should I Include Hard Skills On My Cv
As hard skills relate to the specific jobs you’ve done, you’ll probably find them easier to include. Cross-reference your hard skills list with a few adverts for roles that interest you to make sure that you’ve included everything relevant. Again, solid examples will help you to build a stronger CV. Put the skills into context rather than just writing a list on your CV so that employers can understand how you apply the skills practically. Aim to quantify your claims as much as possible.
For example, rather than simply stating ‘training’ as a hard skill, you can say ‘Delivered training in crisis management to audiences of up to 20’. Instead of saying ‘monitoring and evaluation’, say ‘Monitored and evaluated a portfolio of 20 concurrent projects and provided reports to inform funding decisions’.
As well as including hard skills within your career history, you should highlight the most in-demand skills within your personal profile too. Your key skills section should also focus on hard skills to ensure that you have the right keywords early on in your CV. This will ensure it scores well with both human recruiters and the ATS.
Use Hard Numbers To Explain Your Achievements
Hard numbers like percentages, data, and hours worked enhance your work accomplishments by providing relevant context to employers about the depth of your skills and experience.
For instance, an employer may overlook a generic cover letter or resume phrase like exceptional communication skills but wont forget that you answered 30+ calls daily.
Hard numbers also allow you to easily highlight accomplishments such as resolving customer issues or responding to several daily emails, and ultimately help hiring managers visualize how youd be suitable for the role.
Heres an example of how to use hard numbers to highlight your achievements as a receptionist:
Successfully updated and scheduled meetings within a week for the next 6 months
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Why Are Soft Skills So Important When It Comes To Landing A Job
Soft skills are super important for landing a job because they account for 50% of your interview. Meaning that half of your interview is focused on whether you have the technical skills to do the work, but the other half is really about seeing if youll be a good cultural fit for the team they already have in place.
Remember that most recruiters will take a chance on someone with great soft skills vs. a highly qualified candidate who is weak in this area.
Your potential employer wants to know if youll get along with everyone. Your interviewer will be paying attention to if youre naturally happy and positive, and whether youll bring something positive to the table with your personality.
Theyre asking themselves two things:
Your soft skills also impact your ability to show up in an interview and build a relationship with somebody. At the end of the day, people want to hire people they like, know, and trust.
These skills are the key to conveying a positive impression to your employer.
If youre looking at management positions, the employer wants to know you have management skills and all the other soft skills required to navigate the myriad of personalities in your team.
List Of Valuable Soft Skills For A Resume
Time management skills
Again, several of these resume soft skills can be divided further, as per the image below:
Youve undoubtedly noticed that many soft skills could fit in a variety of positions and industries.
For instance, if you have active listening skills, not only will it help you in communication, but also in team and leadership positions.
This is why soft skills are so important.
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What Are Examples Of Soft Skills For A Resume
Make no mistake, the soft skills on your resume can be of as much interest to a hiring manager as the technical skills you offer. Smart managers know that an experienced, highly trained new hire who doesnt fit into the office culture, communicates poorly with clients and colleagues, or freezes under deadline pressures can take a heavy toll on the workplace. Your resume and, later, how you present at the interview should assure the employer that you not only can do the job, but youll help the team thrive.
Unsure which soft skills can send that message? Remember, every job application should get a tailored resume. So review the duties of the position youre applying for, and determine which of your personal strengths would help you be a success at the job and in the work environment.
Consider these 15 soft skills and personal attributes, and why employers value them:
What Skills Should I Put On My Resume
Deciding what skills to list on your resume is all about reading the job description closely. The ultimate goal is that your skills align so perfectly with what the recruiter is looking for that they have no choice but to call you in for an interview.
Heres a five-step process for choosing the skills you list on your resume:
Create a master list of all the skills you possess. Not only is it a truly self-affirming experience, but youll have a much easier time picking and choosing relevant skills for your customized resume if you have a big list to begin with.
Brainstorm without judgment and challenge yourself to come up with 50 skills the last few might be huge stretches, but its still a good exercise.
As you sort and rearrange your list, also try to loosely organize them based on marketability. You should end up with one list that has your most impressive hard skills at the top, and another your most impressive soft skills.
Edit your list for a specific job title. Remove all the obviously irrelevant skills for the type of job youre looking for. For example, your customer service skills wont help you land an accounting job that has no customer interaction. If youre on the fence about whether a skill is relevant, leave it in for now.
You can also check company website for a mission statement that might clue you in to what they value.
What tips would you give to optimize a resume?
Content Director | Career CoachElevated Resumes
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How Should I Include Soft Skills On My Cv
Having identified the soft skills list that you need to include, you now need to think about how you’ll present them on your CV. Simply listing ‘teamwork’, ‘problem-solving’, ‘critical thinking’, ‘time management’, ‘communications skills’, ‘people skills’ and so on really isn’t very meaningful, so it isn’t likely to impress.
To take your CV up a level, you need to show how you use these skills, rather than just tell. Choose a concrete example of when you successfully used each soft skill and try to present it as an achievement. For example, instead of ‘teamwork’, say ‘Increased customer satisfaction levels by sharing knowledge of new products with the team’, or ‘Improved team morale and communication by organising regular informal team lunches’. Specific examples are much more credible than a dry list of skills on your CV.
Ensure that your soft skills align with the level of the role you’re aiming for. Whilst simply demonstrating the ability to communicate professionally and articulately may be enough at entry-level, a senior executive will need to show higher-level interpersonal skills. For example, under the umbrella of ‘communication’ at this level, your CV will also need a list of skills that includes stakeholder engagement, negotiation and influencing.
Soft skills should be included throughout your career history. They are not as necessary in your professional profile, where the emphasis should be on role-specific hard skills.
Perfection Comes With Practice
It may appear intimidating at first, but practicing your soft skills is the key to improving them. And giving specific examples of times you’ve used your soft skills is crucial when marketing them to an employer. There is no easy way around it you must devote time to developing your soft skills, which may be less exciting than your academic or technical work. It will be challenging at first, but the more you practice, the better you will getand the better you become, the more instances you will have to pull on during an interview. It is up to you, as it is with so many things in life, whether you learn these skills or not.
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Soft Skills Should Go Beyond The Resume
As important as the resume is for your job search, its only one piece of the puzzle.
Soft skills should go beyond your resume and carry into the interview.
Theres only so much you can fit on 1-2 pieces of paper. Your true colors will shine during the interview process.
Take some time to think about each of the soft skills you are trying to highlight on your resume. Make sure you are telling a story on your resume that you are comfortable talking about during the interview.
Remember, soft skills should not be listed in bulk. Unlike hard skills, soft skills will require some proof.
Everyone can say that they are great communicators, leaders, creative, hardworking, and detail-oriented and chances are, everyone will say that. But very few people will take the time to prove this with stories in their resume.
Set yourself apart from the competition by telling compelling stories to prove your skills.
Mike Podesto is a former recruiter and current Founder & CEO of Find My Profession, a leading resume writing and career coaching company. Mikes career advice has been featured on sites like Inc., Zety, Motherly, Fast Company, and more. His viral posts on employment have been seen by millions on LinkedIn. Hes even been featured in a variety of career-related podcasts such as the Hired podcast Talk Talent to Me, Strong Suit, and . Mike is passionate about helping job seekers find fulfillment in their careers by breaking down the tedious job search barriers.
What Exactly Are Soft Skills
Soft skills are people skills that almost every employer wants, but they usually don’t make them super clear in the job description. We typically define soft skills as things like teamwork, communication skills, and having a positive attitude.
For executives, desirable soft skills include things like business etiquette, public speaking, presentation skills, adaptability, self-control, optimism, sociability, accountability, honesty, self-motivation, collaboration skills, patience, enthusiasm, confidence, and general professionalism.
Soft skills are the emotional intelligence side of things: social skills and people skills. Its your ability to work to accepted norms, to be sociable, and to have people like you.
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Why Are Skills So Important On My Resume
Three words: Applicant Tracking Systems.
Nearly all companies use Applicant Tracking Systems to filter through resumes. These systems scan through resumes to look for specific keywords, such as certain skills necessary for the job.
The ATS scan summarizes your skills based on the keywords you chose. If the skills section of your resume doesnât exactly match the job description, your resume may be rejected before it ever reaches a human.
The Difference Between Hard And Soft Skills
Hard resume skills are all the practical, industry-specific tools and know-how needed for a job. Hard skills are quantifiable and usually learned in school, on the job, or training. Hard resume skills can usually be tested and are sometimes verified during the hiring process.
A modern trend we see across the millions of resumes created with Resume.io is that more job seekers use hard skills to optimize the keywords on their resume. This strategy is an especially important step for candidates applying to larger companies who are likely to use Applicant Tracking Software to automatically filter and score resumes based on a list of keywords in the job description.
Soft resume skills are usually aspects of your personality, work style, or effectiveness that are harder to measure or quantify. Soft skills are especially important for positions of leadership or positions where you are interacting with customers.
Once hiring managers assess your hard skills to know you can get the job done, they look to your soft skills to know if you can get the job done well. For many modern offices and creative start-ups, a company culture fit could be the edge over someone with the same hard skills. Soft skills speak louder in some situations.
Profession-specific examples of hard and soft skills
Hard skills : Surgery, Post-Operative Care, Emergency Medicine, Diagnosis.
Soft skills : Team Management, Leadership, Compassion, Empathy.
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What If I Dont Have The Required Skill
We brought up the earlier scenario in which you didnt necessarily have the skills required to do the job.
Heres where you have to be honest with yourself. If the skills required are part of the core competencies of doing the job, you may want to reconsider your application.
For example, if a golf course posts a job posting for a golf pro, you probably shouldnt apply if youve never swung a golf club.
Use your common sense to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the job.
Quite often though you will come across a situation where it is closewhere you kind of have the skill.
This is where you need to get creative .
You need to be able to demonstrate, using examples from your past, that you are capable of doing the required skill. So go over your work history with a fine-tooth comb and try to come up with a few examples of you doing the skill.
They are going to ask about it in your interview, so dont think you can just wing it and everything will be fine.
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Example Of An Ats Skills Report
Depending on the program, the ATS scan also gives weight to your core skills. Based on the words you use and the frequency of each, the computer will parse your resume and generates a report that briefly explains to the employer how skilled you are. The screenshot below was pulled from our in-house ATS softwareâthe same tech big companies use to parse your resume.
Youâll see our ATS pulled information about computer systems , foreign language proficiency, and problem solving skills in addition to the industry and the core skill .
This information was generated from a resume submission, as opposed to a ZipJob professionally written resume, so other IT-related computer programs, degrees, and so on were not optimized for the ATS. Weâll talk about how to optimize your resume for ATS scans next.
Curious about what your resume says to an ATS? Try ourfree review.