Looking for a new job? You know you need to highlight your technical skills when writing your cover letter and resume. However, many of the candidates you’re competing against will have those same abilities. That’s why you need to distinguish yourself by showcasing your soft skills, too.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are those personal traits and characteristics you need to be successful on the job, as well as to interact in a productive way with others. They’re different for everyone, but can include strengths like communication, problem solving, organizational, dependability, flexibility and collaboration.
Hard or technical skills, on the other hand, are the specific abilities you need to perform the day-to-day duties of the job. These can be taught and measured and include those such as typing speed, knowledge of certain software programs, and proficiency in a second language.
How should you highlight soft skills?
There are many different soft skills in demand by employers. It depends on the position you’re applying for and the field you work in.
However, discussing them is often challenging. After all, anyone can say they’re efficient and organized, have a positive attitude or work well with others. But to stand out, you need to actually show it. You can do this by including examples of your soft skills when writing your cover letter and resume.
Where do you begin? In your cover letter, pick one or two soft skills that are especially relevant for the job you’re applying to, then tell a story about them. For instance, if you’re highlighting your communication and presentation skills, you can state:
“As a project manager, it’s part of my responsibility to train employees on the use of ABC software, which can result in easier collaboration and more effective project tracking, if used correctly. Since I took over this role, I worked to restructure the presentations for better outcomes and more engagement. As a result, there’s been a 20% increase in the number of projects that have been successfully completed on time and within budget.”
On your resume, include a bullet point, such as:
- Ran monthly training presentations for both junior and senior colleagues on ABC project management software, resulting in 20% more projects being completed on time and within budget.
Soft skills are often overlooked by many candidates when writing cover letters and resumes. But for employers, they’re vitally important. So make sure you not only include them in your cover letter and on your resume, but also tell a story and tie them to quantifiable achievements wherever you can.
Need more help with your cover letter or resume?
At ResumeSpice, we’re experts in both cover letter writing and resume writing and know how to give you a leg up among the competition for the job you want. Find out more with a call to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.