Up until relatively recently, companies thought that hard skills are what would get them their bottom line.
Now we’ve come to realize that soft skills are just as important when it comes to growing a company. Soft skills are considered to be behaviors and traits such as adaptability, critical thinking, people skills, likeability, time management and so forth.
Essentially soft skills are those that aren’t as hard-driving or as upfront. Often times they are skills that have more to do with your personality, making them slightly more difficult to put on paper. That’s why how you present them is crucial in whether or not you’ll get the job.
The following are some ways to effectively & strategically incorporate soft skills into your executive resume.
Use soft skills mentioned in the job ad.
Job ads will often times have soft skills written into them. This will give you a clue as to what the employer is looking for. For instance, one employer may emphasize that a candidate be “results-oriented” while the other may prefer “high energy and enthusiastic.”
Once you’ve identified the soft skills in the job ad make sure to incorporate them into your resume. This way you customize your resume for the position at hand. This technique is far more effective than sending everyone the same generic resume.
Provide solid examples.
Anyone can say “strong communication skills” and “detail-oriented” on a resume, but not everyone can prove it.
As with any of the skills you reference in your resume, make sure you have examples and facts to back it up. For extra effect see if you can use examples using the STAR Method. That is to say, think of an instance when your soft skills fixed a problem for the company and yielded great results.
For example, let’s say your company was about to lose a big client over a misunderstanding. The client was irate and ready to terminate the contract but you swept in and saved the day with your communication skills. This is where you can say you “Communicated effectively with clients whenever there was a misunderstanding.”
Use verbs related to soft skills.
One of the biggest mistakes executives make when writing resumes is, avoiding the use of verbs. A quick way to remedy that is to use verbs that are associated with soft skills.
For instance, if you work in healthcare you often need to deal with a lot of people who are going through a hard time. Your ability to empathize with patients and their families and provide them with what they need is a key indicator in whether or not you are suitable for the field.
Highlight your leadership qualities.
Being a leader in the workplace requires the use of multiple soft skills at once. Simply put, you can’t be a leader if you don’t know how to deal with people.
Highlighting your leadership qualities on your resume can help you bring in very important soft skills into your resume. It’s also a very useful way of looking for examples that demonstrate soft skills.
Try to use quantitative examples.
If you really want to impress a potential employer try to find some quantitative examples of your soft skills. For instance, let’s say one of your soft skills is being “detail-oriented.” You can mention how you noticed a numerical error in a report that would have cost the company a lot of money had it continued unnoticed.
In a day when relationships build business, it’s important to highlight your soft skills in your resume.
Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer