While hard skills, or technical skills, are the key to getting your foot in the door by winning a job interview, soft skills are what you need to actually land the job. For this reason, knowing which soft skills to put in your resume can be the differentiating factor when it comes to you getting the job over someone else with a similar set of hard skills. Sure, the right set of hard skills might get you the job interview but knowing the best soft skills to include in your resume is the key to winning the job.
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
Although many people know the importance of hard skills, soft skills are equally as important. According to Forbes, 94 percent of recruiters believe that soft skills outweigh job experience when it comes to promotion to leadership positions. In order to have the best chance of getting the job of your dreams, you'll need to use a combination of both hard skills and soft skills. For this reason, you need to know what some of the best of each type are.
If you're looking to learn more about hard skills, we highly recommend checking out our article "The Best Soft Skills to Put in Your Resume" where we not only breakdown what hard skills are but also some of the best examples of them.
Today, we'll be telling you some of the best soft skills to put in your resume. We will even be giving you examples of some of the best strategies for including these soft skills in your resume! With this knowledge, you'll have a much easier time winning the job role of your dreams by demonstrating the perfect soft skills for your chosen position. When combined with a professional resume or CV, this information can work wonders.
What Are Soft Skills?
Before we give you some examples of some of the best soft skills to put in your resume, it's crucial that you have a good idea of what soft skills are. Put simply, soft skills can be defined as either character traits or interpersonal aptitudes that have an impact on your ability to not only interact but also work with others. Soft skills are considered natural abilities that usually aren't taught in a classroom. Rather, soft skills are sometimes (but not always) thought of as "people" skills.
Unlike hard skills, soft skills do not require any special education or formal training and usually aren't the type of skills to be included in the "Skills" section of your resume. Instead, you should focus on showcasing your soft skills in the "Professional Experience" section of your resume. These skills are achievement-oriented, meaning they are best showcased in the section of your resume that is based on previous professional experience.
If you're still a bit confused about the difference between hard skills and soft skills, let's break it down further. Basically, hard skills are job-specific skills that are typically only learned through education or formal training. Soft skills, on the other hand, relate more to emotional intelligence and are the natural abilities that impact our ability to work well with others. According to Indeed.com, soft skills are important because they "demonstrate that you understand the different characteristics that will help you succeed within an organization and your specific position".
What Are Some Examples of Soft Skills?
Although soft skills aren't necessarily taught, they can be practiced. As soft skills become increasingly important, it is good to know that you can focus yourself on developing and honing these particular talents. In order to practice these talents and make yourself a better job candidate, however, you need to know what to practice. That's where knowing some of the most in-demand soft skills that employers are looking for comes in.
Here are a few examples of some of the best soft skills to put in your resume:
- Customer service
- Interpersonal skills
- Leadership skills
A large part of having almost any job in the public is working alongside a team. For this reason, teamwork is crucial for a number of careers, specifically those in software engineering, market research, and even event coordination (just to name a few).
Teamwork skills allow you to operate well in a group setting within the workplace, ensuring that you and your team are better able to work quickly and effectively to accomplish tasks. A few examples of the most in-demand teamwork-related soft skills include:
- Active listening
- Conflict management
Employers are, in large, looking for employees that can roll with the punches, adapting to take on any given situation as it arises. This is a particularly important skill to have for those who operate in high-pressure work environments or workplaces that are constantly changing such as public relations, nursing, advertising, or event management. Some of the best examples of adaptability soft skills include:
For anyone who is applying for a job within the customer service space, customer service soft skills are essential. After all, a job in this field means you'll be working closely with the public day in and day out. You need to be able to convey that you are capable of putting your best foot forward, always operating to meet the needs and expectations of your company's customers. Here are a few customer service soft skills that you should consider putting in your resume:
- Communication skills
- Ability to use positive language
- Persuasive speaking skills
- Taking responsibility
As you work closely with co-workers, management, and the public in a job role, you'll constantly have to utilize interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are especially important for those working in customer service or financial planning, for example. Here are a few examples of the interpersonal communication soft skills you'll want to include on your resume if you're applying for a related field:
- Public speaking
- Positive reinforcement
For those applying for managerial positions, leadership is a soft skill that gives you the power to guide others in the pursuit of accomplishing tasks and fulfilling the mission of your company. Leadership skills are especially important for entrepreneurs, teachers, and all forms of managers. A few examples of leadership soft skills include:
- Cultural intelligence
Finally, it should be noted that nearly any job that you could apply for will in some way require a focus on problem-solving. Problem-solving abilities encompass a blend of using both creative thinking and analytical thinking to find solutions to problems in the workplace. A few examples of careers where a heavy focus on problem-solving skills is required include law enforcement and medical-related fields. A few examples of problem-solving soft skills include:
- Logical reasoning
- Lateral thinking
How to Feature Soft Skills In Your Resume
Now that you know a few examples of some of the most in-demand soft skills to put in your resume, you may be wondering how to include them on your resume. There are a few strategies that you should keep in mind when featuring soft skills in your resume. Here are a few of the considerations you should make when featuring soft skills in your resume.
Review the Job Description and Research the Company
The first things you'll want to do when featuring soft skills in your resume are review the job description and research the company in question. You should only feature soft skills relevant to the job you're applying for. Recruiters only have a limited amount of time when reviewing resumes, so keep your skills section concise. Remember, you'll have the opportunity to elaborate when called for an interview.
Start by reviewing the job description and taking note of any specific skills or abilities that match yours. Next to job requirements, you should also consider the company's description and overall culture. Make sure that the soft skills that you include speak to the skills outlined as required in the job description. Additionally, choose the ones best suited to the culture of the company.
Use a "Functional Resume" Format
For those who are changing careers or industries and do not have significant professional experience, soft skills should be at the top of the resume. This type of resume is called a "functional resume". When including soft skills on a functional resume, create a specific "Skills" section for hard skills. Again, like soft skills, these should be skills relevant to the position you are applying for. Directly beneath this section, include a "Professional Experience" section where you can list and elaborate on your soft skills.
Weave Your Soft Skills Into the Professional Experience Section
While many job seekers list hard skills in a separate "Skills" section of their resume, soft skills should be included elsewhere. Soft skills belong in the "Professional Experience" section of your resume. Here, you can strategically list your soft skills as they relate to previous positions. This is important because this is where you can provide additional context and specific examples of your soft skills. Use this section to elaborate, conveying how you have used soft skills in the past to accomplish tasks.
Use Two Parts to Feature Your Soft Skills
Finally, it should be noted that soft skills work best in two parts in your resume. According to iHire.com, soft skills should be broken up into a summary paragraph and your achievement section(s). "In the summary, you want to include as many of the skills from the job description as possible plus any skills that you will reference in other parts of your resume," iHire.com says.
Your resume's achievements (found in the "Professional Experience" section) offers you the chance to talk about your past work experiences and accomplishments as they relate to your soft skills. Demonstrating how you used soft skills to reach quantifiable achievements will allow a hiring manager to gauge whether or not you're the best fit.
Use Hard and Soft Skills to Give Your Resume a Boost!
Now that you know what soft skills are and why they're an important part of any resume, it's time to use a combination of hard and soft skills to win that job! Looking to learn more about hard skills and how to include them in your resume?