As every jobseeker knows, you need to present a recruiter with your perfectly honed hard skills that make you a perfect fit for the role on offer. Without these technical skills under your belt, how on earth are you going to win the job of your dreams, right?
It is no wonder that job candidates will craft their resume to reflect these skills and emphasize their technical skills above all else. However, you should never underestimate the importance that recruiters are now placing on soft skills. In fact, the desire for soft skills has risen sharply over recent years to become a priority in the eyes of many employers.
With this in mind, do you possess the right set of soft skills that could give you that winning edge at your job interview?
Examples of important soft skills
You need to be able to demonstrate how you have used your soft skills to resolve issues in a constructive way in the workplace.
Employers are more concerned these days with creating a productive and happy workplace and promoting good mental health and well-being at work, and this is where your soft skills can come in to play in a positive way.
You can give them an example of how you sorted out a conflict or disagreement with a co-worker, or used your good communication skills to appease an unhappy customer or supplier and turn around their experience into a positive one that saved any damage being done to the company reputation.
A lot of soft skills can be developed over time with experience and wisdom. From an employer’s point of view, it can be easy to train someone to operate a software program for example, but not quite so easy to teach them how to handle a difficult or uncomfortable situation in the workplace. This is why your soft skills can come in very handy and could give you an advantage over someone else at interview who may have the exact same technical skill set and qualifications as yourself.
Highlighting your soft skills in your resume
This is why it is just as important to highlight your soft skills in your resume as your technical skills or experience that makes you a good fit for the job. If possible, you should try to strike an equal balance between your hard skills set and your soft skills within your resume, but taking great care to choose the right soft skills that you possess that would catch the eye of and appeal to the recruiter.
This can often be easy to do when the nature of the job makes it obvious about what sort of soft skills would be more desirable. For example, if the role involves dealing with the general public, customers or suppliers over the phone or face to face, then your communication skills and negotiating skills are going to be of great value to mention and highlight.
It is interesting to note that according to the 2018 Skills Gap Report released by LiveCareer, nine out of the top 20 desirable skills are actually soft skills! These are results coming from current and recent listings and mentions in job adverts coming from major employers. So you can work out from this research alone that employers are placing a high priority on identifying soft skills when assessing potential job candidates.
It also means that you will have a much higher chance of being invited into interview when you include all those highly sought-after soft skills that you possess in your resume. It also shows that employers are placing a much higher value on the potential of job applicants who can display evidence of good soft skills.
So, what are these very desirable top nine soft skills that were identified in the report? They are:
- Communication Skills
- Customer Service
- Organizational Skills
- Problem Solving
- Written Communication
The actual skills gap report set out to see if there was an actual skills gap in these area, or was it that the majority of job applicants were actually guilty of under-reporting their soft skills. Going back to when you create your resume, it seem almost automatic that you will want to list and highlight your hard skills to get across why you qualify for the job. But favoring hard skills over soft skills can in some circumstances risk losing you the opportunity of landing an interview.
At the end of the day, employers are seeing both hard and soft skills in your resume, so by overlooking one in favor of the other may result in you not getting your foot in the door.
How can I emphasize my soft skills?
To make yourself a more appealing candidate for the job, take some time out to sit down and work out a list of your soft skills. Soft skills are not those that can be learned like hard skills, so are more intangible to define.
Think along the lines of your communication skills, negotiating powers, reasoning and compromising skills, conflict resolution, empathy and good listening skills.
Take a careful look through the job description. Identify and pick out those soft skills that would be very handy to have in this role. Try to think about what sort of soft skills an employer would be looking for in a candidate for a job like this. Check your soft skills list and match up those that are required or desirable for the role that you have identified. These are the skills that you should be highlighting within your resume.
By including your soft skills in your resume you will be making yourself much more desirable to the eyes of a recruiter.