Should You Add Soft Skills to Your Resume?

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When it comes to the skills on your resume, they generally fall into two categories: hard or soft skills. Employers are interested in seeing a mix that are most relevant to the job.

However, if you’re not really sure what these are or which are important to highlight on your resume, here’s what to know.

Hard vs. Soft Skills

Hard skills are technical skills that are related to your ability to do a job. These can be gained through education, courses, training, seminars, and on-the-job experience. Generally, these can also be measured in specific ways, so they are easier to spot and evaluate during the hiring process.

In manufacturing, for instance, a hard skill would be knowing how to operate a forklift. In IT, it would be understanding how to code a website. For office management positions, on the other hand, a hard skill would be knowing how to create and analyze spreadsheets

Soft skills are less tangible. These are personality traits that help people thrive in certain positions and with other people. They can include anything from communication and collaboration skills to motivation and work ethic, organizational skills, being detail-oriented and more.

In recent years, employers are looking more and more at soft skills. While technical skills are always important for a role, companies are recognizing that soft skills are also critical to the success of their team.

It’s why, when you’re in the midst of the hiring process, a company might have you take a personality or psychometric test to assess your attributes and personality traits. This can help them find out how you will react in certain situations, so they can decide who will be the best fit candidate for the position. 

What Soft Skills to Focus On

The soft skills that are important to list on your resume depend on the specific job and company. If you’re not sure, do some research. Go back and re-read the job posting. Also review the company’s website, social media profiles, and any news articles you can find. This should give you some clarity on which soft skills the company finds important.

In general, some key soft skills employers are interested in are:

  • Problem Solving

Each day, different challenges come your way. Being able to remain flexible and calm, adapt, and come up with a solution – without a lot of hand holding – is key for many companies. Other similar soft skills that are important to employers include creative thinking and organizational and planning skills.

  • A Positive Attitude

No matter what industry you work in, demonstrating a positive attitude can deliver a variety of benefits to a company. Those who deliver a constant stream of negativity instead can deplete energy, motivation and morale. However, those with a quiet sense of optimism and a positive attitude are those who can turn setbacks around and remain motivated.

  • Resilience & Flexibility

Employers want to hire people who can handle challenges and changes on a routine basis. This generally comes down to an individual’s ability to tolerate and cope with stress. When the ground under your feet starts to shift, how do you react? When you can tolerate an obstacle and recover quickly, you’ll be more successful on the job. Other similar traits that are desirable include adaptability and resourcefulness.

  • Collaboration & Communication

The ability to work well with others and communicate effectively, both in person and via writing, are other examples of highly sought-after soft skills. Can you work with a dynamic team of diverse people with different perspectives? Are you able to persuade others to see your side on a matter? Or can you empathize with those you might not agree with? These are all traits that can help you remain calm and carry on in the office.

How to List Soft Skills On Your Resume

When it comes to soft skills, these can be trickier to list on your resume. Saying you’re a “team player” is vague and generic. Any candidate can claim to be a good collaborator. However, if this soft skill is key to a particular position, show rather than tell.

For instance, explain a certain project or problem you were able to solve using your collaboration skills and what the outcome was. Sharing these kinds of successes will give a hiring manager confidence you have what it takes to succeed in the role.

You can discuss these in different sections of your resume, such as the “Summary of Qualifications” at the top. You can also highlight them in your “Work History” if a certain soft skill was particularly important for your current role or a past position. If you possess a rare soft skill, be sure to also talk about it on your cover letter in more detail.

Get Professional Resume Help from ResumeSpice

At ResumeSpice, we have a team of professional resume writers who can help you highlight all the right skills on your resume, including soft and hard skills. We’ll help you craft a resume and cover letter that gets you noticed – and delivers results. Ready to get started? Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online.