What you should be selling to prospective employers
By GEETHA BAI PARAMASIVAN
Soft skills are often defined as the traits and interpersonal skills that can come in handy when engaging others, and building relationships.
These not-quite tangible skills are asserting their importance in the workplace these days. There are ample skills – such as courage, determination and emotional intelligence – that can make you stand out as the new age leader. Employers these days seek balanced individuals, and while technical skills are important, they can be easily taught.
To put it simply, it’s easier to train someone to do the job they are hired to do, than it is to teach someone people skills. I once worked with a superior who told me this: “Geetha, I hire attitudes.”
What she said made perfect sense, especially when I was tasked to manage the team she had hired. They were all individuals with an edge, oozed enthusiasm and positive attitudes, possessed good interpersonal skills, were great team players and could basically manage their own projects with minimal supervision.
This might interest you: 5 Soft Skills You Need To Stand Out From The Crowd
Now, as a manager, why wouldn’t you want to work with a team like that? But would a resume smattered with a list of soft skills get you noticed or would it be sent into oblivion faster than you can say gesundheit? Here are some creative ways of doing it:
Idea 1: Demonstrate your soft skills
Describing stellar moments in your career, those that were opportunities for you to apply your soft skills knowledge, would be a clever route to follow. Write or talk about specific instances when your soft skills set you apart from your counterparts and how they succeeded in getting you through a challenge.
Focus on your responsibilities and achievements when describing your soft skills. Listing “team player” or “problem solver” as a skill may not be enough to get the attention of the potential employer.
Rather, you could explain how your ability to work in cohesion with others played a part in the success of your team or organisation. Start with the role that you were playing, the problem that you faced, and how you employed these skills to save the day.
Idea 2: Use the right verbs
The right verbs in your cover letter and resume will tell the prospective employer that you have, to some extent, a grasp on how these skills have been an integral part of your professional life thus far.
For instance, letting the prospective employer know that you’ve proposed, collaborated, coordinated or even resolved a task indicates that you have good communication skills, sound interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills, and have experience employing them when the situation presented itself. Another advantage of using verbs to describe your soft skill base on your resume is the subtlety that it offers.
Idea 3: Mirror the job posting
More often than not, the job posting already contains clues – keywords that are indicative of the soft skills a potential employee should possess. For instance, if the job ad is looking for a self-starter or a detail-oriented person, then these are the soft skills you need to emphasise in your resume. Besides that, you can also use these keywords during the interview. This not only shows the employer that you have all the desirable skills to get the job done, but also your initiative in understanding the requirement of the role.
See also: 4 Key Rules To A Great CV
Idea 4: Take a course
Taking an online soft skills course such as the ones offered by Leaderonomics’ Digital Learning are highly beneficial for your personal growth and career development. Listing out the courses that you have completed on your resume can be highly beneficial to you, and gives the potential employer some reassurance of your abilities.
Besides that, it also highlights the importance that you give to honing your soft skills and abilities-which ultimately demonstrates your desire for life-long learning and self-improvement. To understand the importance of it, read Four Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Stop Learning.