21ST CENTURY JOB SKILLS BLOG


How to include soft skills in your resume


Oct 12, 2020






 

Voyage to the Interview & Beyond!

 

LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster. You’ve pressed “One-Button Apply” so many times your index finger is developing a callus.

 

You clearly have the right degree, the necessary certifications, and even exceptional references.

 

You grab a handful of Cheetos and wonder for the thousandth time: “What are recruiters looking for that I’m missing?” “What am I doing wrong?”

 

What Job Recruiters Want You to Know

 

Your career-specific skills are important, but employers are looking for more. They scan resume after resume hoping certain character traits jump off the screen and bite them on the nose.

 

Smart recruiters definitely want the person with the know-how to write the best Android app or make the most sales -- whatever the job calls for. But there’s more to it than that.

 

Employers not only want qualified workers with specific expertise, they want people who will solve problems, be great colleagues, and thrive in teams.

 

Howdy, Partner! It’s about Getting the Job Done AND Working Together

 

Remember Toy Story?  (Who doesn’t?)  In the beginning, you have a group of toys fully committed to making sure Andy has a great childhood. They love their jobs. They’re as tight-knit as it comes.

 

Then came Andy’s birthday party. The toys were ready. They couldn’t wait to welcome the new presents into Team Andy. As soon as the new toys were put away, they were ready to begin orientation. They were ready to help the new toys integrate into Andy’s Room.

 

But no one anticipated a new team member who would have the same standing as Woody in Andy’s eyes, especially Woody. And Buzz hadn’t begun to grasp his new reality yet.

 

Woody was a great cowboy toy. Buzz was an amazing Space Ranger action figure. As soon as Andy’s back was turned, everything went sideways because Woody and Buzz couldn’t resolve their conflicts, share the spotlight, or adapt to the new team dynamic. Their egos made it difficult for the entire team. More than that, they forgot their core purpose was about making a little boy happy. They came disastrously close to breaking Andy’s heart.

 

Recruiters are looking for highly skilled team members, not highly skilled individuals

 

Recruiters don’t just want someone who can “do the job.” They’re looking for employees who will be committed to their core purpose and will be supportive of their coworkers, including the leaders.

 

When recruiters include things like “time management” or “able to work in teams,” in their job descriptions, they mean it. They’re looking for “soft skills.” In recent years, employers have identified these skills as crucial for success in the modern workplace -- not just “nice to have” abilitie interpersonal skills. help workers thrive in every aspect of their jobs and their lives. They’re vital to the health of the company and the work culture.

 

These are the abilities recruiters are looking for:

 

Take a look at the criteria listed in a copywriter job posting by Cuker, a marketing firm in California:

 

  • BA/BS Degree in Journalism, English, or Communications
  • 5-10+ years of copywriting and marketing / advertising experience
  • Passion for writing
  • Antipathy for typos
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Team player with a positive attitude
  • Strong work ethic and excellent attention to detail
  • A passion and drive for success

 

Hard skills are highlighted in orange, and soft skills are highlighted in blue. The recruiters who posted this job felt they could sum up those hard skills by stating the ideal degrees and years of experience. 75% of the skills these recruiters had zoned in on were soft skills.

 

Recruiters don’t just want someone who can “do the job,” they want someone who has the ability to become an important part of the work culture.”

 

”Well-rounded” is the new perfect

 

In the 2018 Job Outlook Study by National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers answered that the top 3 qualities they wanted in new employees are:

 

  1. Written communication skills              82.0%
  2. Problem-solving skills                           80.9%
  3. Ability to work in a team                      78.7%
  4. Initiative                                                   74.2%

 

In fact, according to Forbes, 94% of recruiters believe soft skills are more important than technical skills. They’ve learned from experience that if there are holes in an employee’s training, those holes can be filled… Holes in people’s personalities, not so much.

 

Getting Noticed: How to Include Soft Skills into Your Resume

 

Now that you know recruiters want to see some evidence of your soft skills, how do you plug these skills into your resume? Here are ways to make sure they stand out:

 

Incorporate your soft skills into your Professional Resume Summary

 

In a professional resume, you start with your name, contact information, and your professional title. After that comes your Professional Resume Summary. This has replaced the traditional “Resume Objective” category. This is your first opportunity to introduce who you are and briefly highlight how you’ll benefit the specific company you’re applying to. It’s your elevator pitch.

 

Customize this to the job post you’re applying to: For instance, for the job post above:

 

“Copywriter with several years’ agency experience and an obsession for using the power of language to educate and build trust between brand and consumer. Combines strong communication and collaboration skills with an eye for detail and a determination to see the project through to the end.”

 

Include soft skills in a “Core Competencies” or “Areas of Expertise” category

 

Amanda Augustine, a certified professional resume writer, recommends including this category on a resume to make sure you include key skills that will get your resume past the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the hands of a human being. This is an ideal place to not only include your typing speed (if relevant), project management experience, or coding language expertise, but also conflict management or written communication skills.

 

Your Work Experience and Education categories can put soft skills in the spotlight

 

As you describe the positions you’ve held, work a few applicable keywords (see the infographic) into the job descriptions. Make sure they match the position and pair well with your hard skills, too.

 

Sometimes you’ve gone through a specific training, like the ones we offer here on 21st Century Job Skills. Include these courses in your Training and Certification section.

 

Take advantage of your cover letter to share experiences

 

Not sure what to say in your cover letter? It’s a great place to address specific traits the recruiter mentioned in the job posting. Share a brief example of a time you had to use conflict resolution or creativity to solve a problem. 

 

Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter Each Time You Apply

 

Back in the day, job hunters typed up one resume and one cover letter, made 50 copies, and then delivered them to any potential employers. Today, you can edit a resume with a swipe of the mouse and a few clicks.

 

Work from a base template, but customize your resume and cover letter for each application, so your resume includes personal qualities that each specific employer is looking for. 

 

And just one more point...

 

When you include soft skills in your resume, as well as hard skills, make sure you actually do possess those skills. They’ll ask about it in the interview.

 

Looking for a job is an ideal transition time to sharpen your soft skills.  21st Century Job Skills offers you an affordable and flexible way to grow deeper in the skills that demonstrate your commitment to being the best team member and employee that you can be.

 

Voyage to the Interview & Beyond!

 

LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster. You’ve pressed “One-Button Apply” so many times your index finger is developing a callus.

 

You clearly have the right degree, the necessary certifications, and even exceptional references.

 

You grab a handful of Cheetos and wonder for the thousandth time: “What are recruiters looking for that I’m missing?” “What am I doing wrong?”

 

What Job Recruiters Want You to Know

 

Your career-specific skills are important, but employers are looking for more. They scan resume after resume hoping certain character traits jump off the screen and bite them on the nose.

 

Smart recruiters definitely want the person with the know-how to write the best Android app or make the most sales -- whatever the job calls for. But there’s more to it than that.

 

Employers not only want qualified workers with specific expertise, they want people who will solve problems, be great colleagues, and thrive in teams.

 

Howdy, Partner! It’s about Getting the Job Done AND Working Together

 

Remember Toy Story?  (Who doesn’t?)  In the beginning, you have a group of toys fully committed to making sure Andy has a great childhood. They love their jobs. They’re as tight-knit as it comes.

 

Then came Andy’s birthday party. The toys were ready. They couldn’t wait to welcome the new presents into Team Andy. As soon as the new toys were put away, they were ready to begin orientation. They were ready to help the new toys integrate into Andy’s Room.

 

But no one anticipated a new team member who would have the same standing as Woody in Andy’s eyes, especially Woody. And Buzz hadn’t begun to grasp his new reality yet.

 

Woody was a great cowboy toy. Buzz was an amazing Space Ranger action figure. As soon as Andy’s back was turned, everything went sideways because Woody and Buzz couldn’t resolve their conflicts, share the spotlight, or adapt to the new team dynamic. Their egos made it difficult for the entire team. More than that, they forgot their core purpose was about making a little boy happy. They came disastrously close to breaking Andy’s heart.

 

Recruiters are looking for highly skilled team members, not highly skilled individuals

 

Recruiters don’t just want someone who can “do the job.” They’re looking for employees who will be committed to their core purpose and will be supportive of their coworkers, including the leaders.

 

When recruiters include things like “time management” or “able to work in teams,” in their job descriptions, they mean it. They’re looking for “soft skills.” In recent years, employers have identified these skills as crucial for success in the modern workplace -- not just “nice to have” abilitie interpersonal skills. help workers thrive in every aspect of their jobs and their lives. They’re vital to the health of the company and the work culture.

 

These are the abilities recruiters are looking for:

 

Take a look at the criteria listed in a copywriter job posting by Cuker, a marketing firm in California:

 

  • BA/BS Degree in Journalism, English, or Communications
  • 5-10+ years of copywriting and marketing / advertising experience
  • Passion for writing
  • Antipathy for typos
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Team player with a positive attitude
  • Strong work ethic and excellent attention to detail
  • A passion and drive for success

 

Hard skills are highlighted in orange, and soft skills are highlighted in blue. The recruiters who posted this job felt they could sum up those hard skills by stating the ideal degrees and years of experience. 75% of the skills these recruiters had zoned in on were soft skills.

 

Recruiters don’t just want someone who can “do the job,” they want someone who has the ability to become an important part of the work culture.”

 

”Well-rounded” is the new perfect

 

In the 2018 Job Outlook Study by National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers answered that the top 3 qualities they wanted in new employees are:

 

  1. Written communication skills              82.0%
  2. Problem-solving skills                           80.9%
  3. Ability to work in a team                      78.7%
  4. Initiative                                                   74.2%

 

In fact, according to Forbes, 94% of recruiters believe soft skills are more important than technical skills. They’ve learned from experience that if there are holes in an employee’s training, those holes can be filled… Holes in people’s personalities, not so much.

 

Getting Noticed: How to Include Soft Skills into Your Resume

 

Now that you know recruiters want to see some evidence of your soft skills, how do you plug these skills into your resume? Here are ways to make sure they stand out:

 

Incorporate your soft skills into your Professional Resume Summary

 

In a professional resume, you start with your name, contact information, and your professional title. After that comes your Professional Resume Summary. This has replaced the traditional “Resume Objective” category. This is your first opportunity to introduce who you are and briefly highlight how you’ll benefit the specific company you’re applying to. It’s your elevator pitch.

 

Customize this to the job post you’re applying to: For instance, for the job post above:

 

“Copywriter with several years’ agency experience and an obsession for using the power of language to educate and build trust between brand and consumer. Combines strong communication and collaboration skills with an eye for detail and a determination to see the project through to the end.”

 

Include soft skills in a “Core Competencies” or “Areas of Expertise” category

 

Amanda Augustine, a certified professional resume writer, recommends including this category on a resume to make sure you include key skills that will get your resume past the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the hands of a human being. This is an ideal place to not only include your typing speed (if relevant), project management experience, or coding language expertise, but also conflict management or written communication skills.

 

Your Work Experience and Education categories can put soft skills in the spotlight

 

As you describe the positions you’ve held, work a few applicable keywords (see the infographic) into the job descriptions. Make sure they match the position and pair well with your hard skills, too.

 

Sometimes you’ve gone through a specific training, like the ones we offer here on 21st Century Job Skills. Include these courses in your Training and Certification section.

 

Take advantage of your cover letter to share experiences

 

Not sure what to say in your cover letter? It’s a great place to address specific traits the recruiter mentioned in the job posting. Share a brief example of a time you had to use conflict resolution or creativity to solve a problem. 

 

Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter Each Time You Apply

 

Back in the day, job hunters typed up one resume and one cover letter, made 50 copies, and then delivered them to any potential employers. Today, you can edit a resume with a swipe of the mouse and a few clicks.

 

Work from a base template, but customize your resume and cover letter for each application, so your resume includes personal qualities that each specific employer is looking for. 

 

And just one more point...

 

When you include soft skills in your resume, as well as hard skills, make sure you actually do possess those skills. They’ll ask about it in the interview.

 

Looking for a job is an ideal transition time to sharpen your soft skills.  21st Century Job Skills offers you an affordable and flexible way to grow deeper in the skills that demonstrate your commitment to being the best team member and employee that you can be.



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