A standard resume might include your education, work experience, contact information, etc. When it comes to the “Skills” section of your resume, some may assume that you should only include relevant software competencies or specific platforms that you’ve trained in. However, studies show that 93% of employers say that “soft skills” play a big role in hiring decisions. So, how can you choose which soft skills to add to your resume that will make you stand out in the hiring process?
What Do You Want Employers to Remember?
Think of soft skills as highlights in your resume. Even though you’ve already listed Sales Representative and Customer Associate in the “Experience” section of your resume, you can use soft skills to draw extra attention to what you learned from those roles. When recruiters or hiring managers are reading several resumes, it’s helpful to give them that extra boost by summarizing experience with a soft skill. For example, one of your bullet points in your experience section might read: “Assisted over 50 customers daily with product questions and concerns through online chat and email”. While this is a great bullet point that gives details and numbers, drive home your point by listing “adaptability”, “problem-solving”, or “empathy”.
Less is More
Be mindful that you don’t include too many soft skills on your resume. While you might be great at many different things, try to focus your list on your top or most applicable soft skills. If you are applying to a variety of jobs, consider making a few versions of your resume that focus on different soft skills for different types of positions. For instance, if you’re applying to sales positions, you might include: customer service, professional communication, or analytical thinking. Whereas, if you’re also applying to administrative positions, version two of your resume might list: detail-oriented, organized, and ability to work independently. While you don’t need a specialized resume for every single position you apply to, having a handful of versions with different soft skills that apply to a range of jobs can help you stand out.
Listing Soft Skills Can Help You Match
As you’re adding soft skills to your resume, look at the keywords listed in job postings. If you see a skill that is listed across postings, consider adding it to your list. Many hiring companies use AI or Applicant Tracking Systems to screen resumes and might be looking for particular wording or key phrases in order to advance you to the interview stage. However, your resume shouldn’t be a carbon copy of the job listing and be sure to only include the soft skills that you are proficient in.
If you use them tactfully and intentionally, soft skills can be a great way to give your resume that extra boost that guides hiring managers’ interpretation of your application. It’s also a nice way to emphasize a skill that you’re proud of or that may not have been evident in your professional experience.