Why Soft Skills Are Important
Since soft skills transfer to professional skills, they are very important to cultivate and to express to the person that is assessing your application for the role. An internal study conducted by Google in 2013, Project Oxygen, determined which skills and characteristics of employees are significant for the success of the company.
The assumption is that for the success of Google, technical skills of the employees would be first. However, these hard skills actually took the last place among the eight skills of Googles top employees. The top seven skills that were listed as essential for Googles success were:
- General ability to communicate clearly
How To Structure Your Resume
No two resumes will look exactly alike , but generally, resumes should have the following sections.
Header & Contact Info: At the top of your resume, always include a header containing your name. Your contact info should be close by as well. After all, you dont want there to be any confusion over who the resume belongs to, or make it difficult for recruiters or hiring managers to reach out to you. However, you may want to avoid putting your contact info in the header or footer of the document itself the headers and footers can sometimes be overlooked by the software that scans your resume.
Professional Summary: The professional summary is a brief, one- to three-sentence section featured prominently on your resume that succinctly describes who you are, what you do and why youre perfect for the job. In contrast with the largely out-of-date objective statement a line that describes the type of career opportunity youre looking for professional summaries arent about what you want. Instead, theyre focused on the value you could bring to a potential employer. Its worth noting that a professional summary isnt an absolute must-have if your resume is missing one, it probably wont be a dealbreaker but it can be a nice way to give time-pressed recruiters and hiring managers a quick, high-level overview of why youre the right person for the job.
Resume Contact Information Tips:
- Include a personal phone number, never a work number.
- You dont need to include your full address but do add your city, state, and zip code. Recruiters often search for local candidates first.
- Use a professional sounding email address. Consider creating a free Gmail account for your job search if you currently use a more outdated email service like Hotmail or AOL.
- Create a strong LinkedIn profile and be sure to include the URL on your resume.
Also Check: Should I Put High School On Resume
Presenting Or Public Speaking
Did you give a presentation or speak publicly at an event? If so, this is a great way to show communication skills! Turn your skill into an accomplishment in your work experience section.
Here’s an example from our Communication Specialist resume example:
Supplied superior customer service training and presentations to external and internal stakeholders, efficiently coordinating relations efforts.
In this example, the applicant has described the nature of the presentations as well as the results: effectively coordinating relations efforts. This is a great example of describing presentation or public speaking skills.
If public speaking is a big part of the job you want to apply for, you can supplement your talents by listing your specific public speaking engagements under a professional development section. You can also mention your presentation-related hard skills, such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Prezi.
Place Your Skills Depending On Job Requirements
Iftechnical skills are required for the position, I list them after theprofessional summary then include soft skills in a separate section labeled Areasof Strength below it, says Dr.Heather Rothbauer-Wanish of Feather Communications.
So the Order Is
For professional jobs where the hard skills are standard and oftentransferable to a lot of positions, Dr. Rothbauer-Wanish lists them at thebottom of the resume. Some of these hard skills examples include sales and onlineresearch.
Not sure how to structure your resume? Check out this guide.
- natural language processing
Read Also: How To Put Community Service On Resume
Put Transferable Skills To Use When Switching Careers
Transferable skills are not directly related to the job you are applying to but are still useful. For example, if youre applying for a job outside your established area in , you can still mention some of those old skills in financial data analysis. Itll show you have a starting basis and experience with the type of work.
For example, your big data analysis skills include : machine learning, data visualization, querying and analysis, and statistics. You can still mention these in your financial data analyst resume, but omitting the marketing background in which they were used.
If youre fresh off college, you can mention writing skills, documentation, and research as already established skills, since youve already done plenty of that in university. These transferable skills can be of use when you are applying for an office clerk or entry-level job.
Put Them Among Your Work Experience Bullets
One of the best ways to showcase your skills on a resume is by writing resume work experience bullet points that feature your greatest professional accomplishments. These bullets then show that you not only possess certain skills, but also prove youve used them to produce results for previous employers.
Simply follow these three steps and youll be able to reinforce your experience section with skills that help you attract recruiters and impress hiring managers.
Step 1: Make a list of all your relevant skills
List every ability you feel is relevant to the target position. If youre struggling to think of any, use the job descriptions used in ads from your industry, as well as looking at LinkedIn profiles of people working in similar roles.
Once youve created your list, go through and circle all the skills that are relevant to you. These skills should be your focus.
Step 2: Create achievement-oriented bullet points
Once you have your list of skills, convert these skills into bullet points that show you produce positive results. The easiest way to do this is by using the STAR method.
Check out how a project manager used the STAR method to emphasize their communication skills:
What Are The Best Skills For 2021
The best skills for resumes in 2021 are skills that make you look qualified for the specific job youre applying for. However, it also helps to take into account recent changes to how companies operate.
Showcasing your knowledge of remote working software and emphasizing that youre self-sufficient is a great way to prove to employers that youre ready for the modern workplace.
Don’t Lie About Your Skill Set
Be honest when choosing the skills to list on a resume. It’s tempting to include an in-demand skill to get the keyword in your resume, but you could be asked to prove your claim during the interview process or after youre hired.
You dont need to include a competency level for each skill on your resume, but calling out your skill level is an option. Use this as a guide:
- Beginner: A novice understanding of the skill. You have exposure to the skill and understand basic concepts, but you lack experience. For transparency, theres nothing wrong with writing beginner in parentheses next to the skill.
- Intermediate: Between a beginner and an expert. You have experience with and can carry out the skill, but you don’t understand advanced concepts. For this level skill, you normally wouldnt need a qualifier.
- Expert: A highly developed skill level. You have solid experience and training with the skill and understand advanced concepts. To draw attention to a crucial skill, write expert in parentheses next to the skill. If youre an expert in your entire skills list, call the section expertise.
Also Check: How To Make An Acting Resume With No Experience
What Is The Best Way To Layout My Resume
Your resume must look clean, clear and well structured, with enough white space to enhance readability. Use a simple font like Arial 10 or 12 point, and keep formatting, such as italics and underlining, to a minimum. Bullet points are extremely useful as they allow you to highlight key points succinctly and keep the document tidy. Start each one with an action verb if you can , rather than I.
Spelling and punctuation must be perfect, so after you proofread and spell check your resume, give it to a friend to do the same. Hiring organisations are inundated with so many applications that unnecessary mistakes can see yours rejected.
As for the document layout, most organisations will upload your resume into their database so make sure it is in a commonly accepted format that follows the below structure. We recommend a cleanly formatted Microsoft Word document or PDF with no graphics, images, no fancy formatting or fonts. While a creative CV may look good, graphics and special fonts can be difficult for an ATS to process.
Highlight Your Relevant Work Experience
Your work experience section is the most essential part of your resume because its the best representation of your qualifications.
If you lack formal work experience, however, dont worry. Simply title this section Relevant Experience and use it to highlight details about your volunteer work, extracurriculars, or relevant school coursework.
To create a logical and informative work experience section, list your relevant experience from most recent to least recent . For each job, list the following information:
- Your title
- Company location
- Dates of employment
If youre still currently working at a company, you can simply write , present for the employment dates.
A general rule is that each job title includes about 35 bullet points of your main duties and achievements working in that role.
3 parts of a strong bullet point:
- 1st: Action verb
- 2nd: Quantifiable point
- 3rd: Specific and relevant job duty
Trained5+ cashiers, managing their cash limits and guaranteeing quality customer service at all times.
Spearheadedthe development of the first media kit amalgamation for all company projects, increasing national sales by 8%.
One reason the above bullet points are effective is that they use action verbs to grab the attention of hiring managers. Describing your experience using strong action verbs helps illustrate to employers what youve accomplished and what kind of skills you have.
Also Check: How To Include Courses In Resume
Figure Out The Computer Skills Required For The Job
When applying for a new position, you must first identify the computer skills needed. To figure this out, go through each job description and highlight each thing that relates to a technology, software, or application.
Then create a list with the computer skills described, making sure to write each skill using the same wording that is used in the job description.
Tips For Writing Your Resume
Convey your overall competence through content.
- Be attentive to detail. Proofread carefully to ensure correct spelling and grammar.
Avoid the use of first and third person pronouns, such as I, he, or she.
- Keep verb tenses consistent throughout. Use present tense for current activities and employment.
- Use past tense for activities and employment not presently held.
Use action verbs and concise statements to articulate your relevant experiences.
- Phrases, rather than complete sentences, are generally most effective.
- Use a variety of action verbs to bring your skills and experiences to life.
- Avoid using each verb or adjective more than once.
Refrain from using slang, jargon, overused expressions, or anything that might confuse the reader.
- Spell out all acronyms the first time they are used, followed by the acronym in parentheses.
- Thereafter, in the same document you may use the acronym alone.
Print your resume on paper of good quality.
- While it is not necessary to purchase special paper, if you choose to do so, use neutral colors such as white or cream.
- If you are including a cover letter, it should be printed on the same type of paper as your resume.
Get your resume reviewed.
- Have your resume reviewed multiple times. This gives you varied insights and multiple perspectives. The Career Center provides opportunities to have your resume reviewed.
- Faculty, academic advisors, family and friends can also provide good insight.
You May Like: Round Up Gpa On Resume
What Skills Should I Put In My Cv
The skills in your CV should include skills from the adverts that interest you.
Look at this example:
“We’re looking for a conscientious self-starter, proficient in Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, who works well with others and can learn new computer systems easily.”
The key words are:
- proficient in Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop
- willingness to learn.
Show how you used skills
For each skill on your CV, include an example that shows how you used or developed it.
You could write:
I collected and managed money from my schools 40 Hour Famine fundraiser.
Self-starter Ran a coffee kiosk. Managed and counted the till takings, opened and closed kiosk.
Teamwork Worked with the school trustees to make decisions about school issues. I played netball on a school team for four years and was captain in Year 13.
Willingness to learn I updated my Microsoft skills through online courses.
Make your experience stand out
Employers may get many job applications from people who have, for example, ‘good communications skills’ or who are ‘flexible’.
You could write:
Good communication skills Can follow instructions and ask questions when I need to. I’m confident in front of an audience. I was a member of my schools debating team, took part in school drama productions, and won a regional speech competition.
Flexibility I usually work after school, but I’ve taken on later shifts to cover staff shortages.
List technical skills
For example, write:
Transferring To Resume Skills
- Sociability of an extrovert develops into a professional communication skill.
- Responsibility develops into leadership capability.
- Consolidation and rationality transfer into time management skills.
- Flexibility is a skill that enhances creative problem-solving.
- Perfectionism is a skill that heightens attention to detail.
According to CareerBuilder research, 93% of employees believe that personal qualities are necessary for successful work performance.
Tip: Indicate in the resume only relevant skills, which meet the requirements of the position that you are applying for. 65% of recruiters only consider relevant skills in the resume, and the rest of the skills listed are essentially «wasted words».
It can be said that some of the best companies in the world are built by technicians with soft skills they successfully negotiate, have the makings of a leader, have strong integrity and responsibility, and are able to solve problems effectively.
Tip: Focus on four sought-after soft skills, for example: leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management.
Recommended Reading: Resume 2 Pages Or One
More Ideas Of Skills To Include
If youve read the tips above and are still thinking, I dont have enough key skills to put on my resume, here are a few ideas to help you
Along with looking at the job description for the role youre applying for, you can also look at job descriptions for roles youve previously held. Which skills did you use most?
Look at current or most recent work, too. What did your typical week look like? Sit down and think about which skills you used the most throughout a normal week. Remember to think about hard skills and soft skills.
That should help you come up with more ideas of when you go to list skills on your resume.
You can also look at LinkedIns list of skills that are available for . .
You can look at peers/colleagues on LinkedIn, too, to see which skills theyve chosen! Look at a few current coworkers, for example. Which skills are they mentioning? Those are good skills to list on your LinkedIn and your resume, too. The LinkedIn skills section is a great way to get resume ideas overall.
Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills
Employers are looking to hire employees who have the right mix of two different types of skills: soft skills and hard skills.
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
Hard Skills11. Storage systems and management12. Programming languages
Hard skills are technical knowledge or training that you have gained through any life experience, including in your career or education.
Soft Skills11. Willingness to learn12. Empathy
Soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work, on your own and with others.
Hard skills are abilities specific to the job and/or industry. Generally, these are more technical skills that you learn in school, certification programs, training materials or experience on the job. Hard skills might include proficiency in things like:
- Foreign languages
- Operating certain equipment or machinery
Soft skills, on the other hand, are abilities that can be applied in any job. Often, soft skills may be referred to as people skills or social skills and include proficiency in things like:
- Time management
Hard skills are usually teachable while soft skills are much harder to develop because they are typically personality traits and, therefore, extremely valuable to employers. In most cases, your soft skills can enhance your hard skills. For example, if youre a detail-oriented software developer skilled in a computer programming language, youll likely be able to catch errors and correct issues in the code you and your team create.
Recommended Reading: How To Insert Horizontal Line In Word For Resume
Add Your Education Certifications And Any Other Relevant Information
There are other resume sections that may be worth adding, depending on both the job and your unique experience. These sections include things like education, awards and accolades, volunteer experience, and certifications. Keep in mind that your resume should always be showcasing your skills for that particular job, so anything in your history that doesnt support the image of you being a perfect candidate for the role doesnt need to be included.
Its common to include your education on your resume, especially if you are applying to a job that requires a degree. If youre a few years into your career, your resumes education section can be minimized at the bottom of your resume. Unless youre applying in a career that puts extra emphasis on education , most job seekers can get away with providing only the following information on their resume:
- Name of Institution
Awards, Accolades, & Certifications
All three of the aforementioned things can be embedded in the work experience and skills sections of your resume. However, if you would like to highlight them, they could warrant a section of their own. Either way, relevant certifications, and honors will increase your credibility.