Do you know what soft skills to put in your resume? What about how many soft skills to include in resumes? Well, the answer is, it depends. In this article, we will be focusing on what are soft skills on a resume and tips to incorporate them strategically.
Soft skills are interpersonal traits, or people skills, that affect how well one interacts with others in the workplace. It reflects one's ability to accomplish tasks effectively while fitting positively in a team or an organization.
It is important to include soft skills on a resume or a CV during a job search to distinguish yourself from the pool of applicants. Most candidates usually showcase similar technical skills on their resumes. However, if one adds relevant soft skills on a resume, it will give the recruiters a better picture of how one may fit interpersonally with their team or organization.
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Soft skills are personal strengths that help one succeed at work and are transferable between different positions. Common soft skills examples for resumes include communication, leadership, organization, time-management, teamwork, etc. Relevant soft skills for resumes can be hard to develop since it takes time and experience to match one’s personality, attitude, and emotional intelligence with his or her chosen profession.
Hard skills are job-specific expertise that one can acquire in school, on the job, or through additional training. They are teachable and measurable qualifying skills that one needs to complete his or her job.
It is crucial to include both hard and soft skills on a resume. Showcasing your hard skills gives the recruiters a basic understanding of your level of expertise. However, it may not be enough for positions that are competitive or roles that require a high level of social interaction. This is why you need to think of soft skills to add in your resume.
💡 Pro tip: By highlighting your soft skills on a resume, it would help recruiters differentiate you as a better candidate who could bring additional value to the team besides just finishing tasks.
Teamwork is the ability to work and improve with other individuals toward a common goal. Teamwork skills in a resume are vital for jobs that require input from more than one person, which is common in an organizational setting. Even freelancers need to work with agencies or clients as a team.
Below are teamwork soft skills to include on a resume:
Adaptability is the skill of rapidly learning and unlearning skills or behaviors in response to changing environments. Adaptability skills in a resume are important for many workplace scenarios. For instance, one may need to adapt to a new team, a new project/client, a different workload, or a new boss from time to time.
Here are some adaptability soft skills to write in a resume:
Communication skills are one of the most common soft skills to mention in a resume. It is the ability to deliver and receive information in a timely, clear, and professional manner. With good communication skills, one can better accomplish tasks and achieve higher career success.
Some communication soft skills to include in a resume are:
While communication skills affect how well one exchanges information with others, interpersonal skills are a list of soft skills for a resume that helps one build positive relationships and work well with others. Employers look for interpersonal skills for jobs that require teamwork and collaboration because people generally enjoy working with people they like.
Here are some interpersonal soft skills to put in a resume:
Productivity is a crucial measurement of an employee’s ability to finish the task on time. Having good time management skills will help you succeed in your career because they are of high importance for senior-level positions. One would not be able to manage others if they couldn’t manage their own time.
Some time management soft skills to mention in a resume are:
Creative thinking is the ability to tackle problems from unique perspectives and generate novel ideas. Creativity allows individuals to think outside the box and solve complex problems with a new approach.
Below are some creative thinking soft skills to include on a resume:
Critical thinking is the ability to identify and examine existing issues and form better solutions. Critical thinkers are aware of their cognitive biases and analyze the issues rationally.
Here are some critical thinking soft skills to add in a resume:
Management skills are an important skill to develop over time if you aim for greater success in your career. It is the ability to form good relationships with people at all levels. Management means setting and achieving targets through efficient use of organizational resources.
Some management soft skills to put on a resume are:
Leadership, like management, is a valuable skill to have especially for senior positions. Every team needs a leader to guide everyone toward a set goal. A leader should know how to communicate well and handle/delegate responsibilities. A good leader also knows how to adjust the mood of a team, plan strategically to avoid obstacles, accept feedback, and improve accordingly.
Some examples of leadership soft skills to put in a resume are:
Finally, transferable skills are all the soft skills mentioned above. The list of soft skills for resumes is especially important when it comes to periods of uncertainty or transitional times between positions and environments. Employers value candidates who would be able to utilize their soft skills even under changing circumstances.
Below are some transferable soft skills to add in a resume:
Hard skills are most likely included in job descriptions under required tasks/skills, but soft skills may or may not be listed out explicitly. Thus, one can research the company culture or check out insider reviews to learn what soft skills are valuable for a particular position or industry.
Here is a list of soft skills for resumes based on different professions:
There are three different ways of listing soft skills on a CV or resume. Find out the method that best suits your purpose:
Including a soft skills summary and placing it on top of the resume helps the hiring managers to decide whether or not to keep reading. It also serves as a quick reminder of your key strengths, which saves them time from reading multiple rounds.
It can be hard to summarize your soft skills clearly within 1-2 sentences meanwhile making sure that it doesn’t come off as arrogant or explicit. Including a summary also means trading off your resume space for other sections.
Soft skills summary example:
Advertising account executive with proven experience in creating and organizing marketing collaterals for 20-30 active clients at any given time. Introduce innovative and flexible digital marketing strategies that solve business problems and increase efficiency.
Saves space! Cleverly incorporating your soft skills through your accomplishment in the work experience section also helps enhance the quantifiable results and makes your claims even more persuasive. It provides context and direct results of how your soft skills could be useful in the workplace.
Employers might miss the soft skills you are trying to showcase, especially if they don’t have the time to scan thoroughly.
Soft skills in work experience section sample:
Oversaw a cross-functional team of 10 individuals and closed $3M in sales within the first year.
Clearly demonstrate your soft skills through short bullet points.
Harder to convince employers with your claims due to lack of context.
Soft skills in skills section example:
Here are five tips to add soft skills for CV or resume:
Remember to always tailor your resume to the job you’re targeting. Only include relevant soft skills for your resume that the job description explicitly or implicitly asks for. Customizing your resume specific to the job offer shows the recruiters that you know what the job entails. It also helps ATS bots accurately scan the keywords of soft skills on your resume.
Support your claims with the results and impact you provided. Construct your soft skills resume with facts and measurable figures to back up your claims.
Avoid starting your bullet points with common or broad phrases. Use descriptive action verbs to highlight your soft skills without explicitly mentioning it. For instance, if you led a team, you could use action verbs like “organized” or “oversaw” instead of broader terms like “responsible for”.
While you might have a lot of exceptional soft skills to put in the resume, not all employers have the time to read through the entirety of it. Employers spend about 7.4 seconds on the initial screen of each resume, so keep it concise and avoid fluff.
If you claim to have a soft skill, make sure to follow through on what you said to prevent making a bad impression. For instance, if you claim to be detail-oriented, make sure you don’t have spelling errors in your resume or make careless mistakes during interviews.
Like hard skills, there are also a lot of soft skills to put on a resume. However, you need to be strategic with it as you only have one to two pages of resume space. Remember to scrutinize the job descriptions carefully and include the most relevant or in-demand soft skills on your resume. Try including them implicitly in the resume summary statement, work experience section, or under a separate soft skills section.
--- Originally written by Sandy Tuo ---