When you have a job and do it well, it obviously takes lots of different skills sets. When we first think of skills, we may think of technical or practical skills, like knowing a computer program or how to do accounting. But there are a whole other set of skills that are less tangible. These are called soft skills and consists of things like adaptability or creativity. Here are a few ways to approach selling your soft skills when applying for jobs.
Process what soft skills you have. The first step in selling your soft skills is honing in on which ones you possess. Think about your past jobs and make a list of the less tangible qualities you have that led to your accomplishments. For example, have you typically been the team member who everyone goes to with problems and for advice? Perhaps that means you have good leadership qualities. Are you a good connector among your colleagues? That might mean you are great at networking.
Include them on your resume. Sometimes, we have a tendency to just want to include hard, quantifiable skills on our resumes. These qualities are important and have their place, but employers look for soft skills as well. You don’t have to draw direct specific attention to them, but include them in the bullet points under your job descriptions or in a section where you point out your strengths and what you’re looking for, such as in your summary.
Have practical examples of your soft skills. Because soft skills are subjective, think of as many ways to show how you achieved goals with your soft skill set as possible. Soft skills are harder to measure and evaluate, so think of a few stories for one of your skills. Take problem solving for example. You could say, “I closed three deals that were dead by calling them and finding new ways to accomplish what the last salesperson said wasn’t possible.”
Our current climate in 2020 makes searching for jobs a unique adventure. None of us quite know what to expect in terms of job forecasts, but one thing is for sure and that is a resume (in some form) will remain one of the main ways you secure a job. Employers are looking at both your hard and soft skills as they review your information. Start thinking about all the great soft skills you possess and be ready to talk about them during the application process.
If you have questions about how you can include both hard and soft skills on your resume, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!