Apart from the necessary hard skills, do you still wonder what it takes to impress employers? When recruiters scan resumes, they are also seeking some important Soft Skills. What are soft skills? In simple terms, they are the qualities or personal attributes that help you stand out from other employees. Soft skills are crucial when it comes to succeeding at the workplace. Think about it. Would you rather work with a colleague who is highly-skilled and knowledgeable, but has no people skills? Or would you rather collaborate with an inexperienced person who is a team player and gets along well with everyone?
No matter what job you apply for, creating a resume that presents your soft skills effectively can make all the difference. Here is a 4-step guide to adding soft skills to a winning resume:
- Create a skills section: Very often it is not possible to draw attention to your Soft Skills in the career summary, education or work experience sections. If you want to put them in the spotlight for employers, build a separate section for soft skills in your resume. Have a dedicated space called ‘Additional Skills’ and list all your useful abilities and attributes in one place.
- Highlight the skills employers want: Recruiters tend to look for specific soft skills in candidates. If a job description clearly states the requirements, try to match your resume with it as closely as possible. Make sure it is tailored to the position you are applying for. Doing so is far more effective than sending a standard resume and cover letter to everyone. For instance, they could be looking for someone who is ‘highly enthusiastic’ or ‘result-oriented’, with the ‘ability to work in a fast-paced environment’. If you can customize and incorporate these keywords, it can bring you a step closer to interviewing with the employer and getting the job.
- Illustrate with examples: Instead of just writing generic phrases like ‘strong interpersonal skills’ or describing yourself as ‘detail-oriented’, explain how you demonstrated these qualities at work. Provide examples of how you were able to achieve great results and overcome obstacles for your company. Let’s assume you have successfully used your communication skills to convince a potential client and helped in bagging a major project. Mentioning this in your resume will sound far more credible than merely saying ‘strong communication skills’. Anyone can write the usual keywords, but if you show proof, your resume will stand out.
- Show quantitative results: Another great way of illustrating your ability to deliver results is by adding numbers to your examples. This helps employers visualize the scale of the impact you make. If you do not know the exact numbers, you can always mention a range. Instead of just mentioning ‘critical thinking’ as one of your skills, show how your ability to analyze and take informed decisions ‘led to cost savings of $20,000- $40,000 this year’. When you quantify your accomplishments, you not only effectively showcase your soft skills, but also grab the attention of recruiters.
Remember, soft skills are as important as hard skills in a resume. They could go a long way in getting you your next job.