Soft skills are the kinds of skills you can pick up from everyday life. Leadership, communication, interpersonal skills, and time management are all examples of soft skills. Soft skills are hard to evaluate and even harder to prove — unlike most hard skills, there’s no
piece of paper you can point to saying you’re a hard worker. Despite that, most job descriptions will list soft skills in their “must haves,” which means they need to be on your resume somewhere.
Don’t list soft skills directly in your skills section. That might seem counterintuitive — surely listing your skills is the best way for employers to see them? The problem is, people are notoriously bad at evaluating their own soft skills. Nobody looks at a job ad asking for a hard-working, detail-oriented
team player and thinks, “no, that’s not me.” Soft skills are incredibly subjective, which means that hiring managers don’t want to see people describing themselves as “visionary leaders,” “excellent communicators,” or “self-starters.” Buzzwords like these are red flags to most
recruiters, since they’re often listed by people who don’t meet other criteria of the job description. Put plainly, listing soft skills outright is more likely to get your resume thrown out than given a second look.
The best place to demonstrate your soft skills is in your accomplishments. When writing your work experience bullet points, consider the soft skills you want to emphasize and choose accomplishments that effectively illustrate them. Start with an action verb
that highlights the soft skill in question, and use numbers and metrics to substantiate it. For example: - Instead of saying you’re a team player, talk about the size of the teams you’ve worked with, what your specific role was, and what the team achieved.
In other words, hiring managers don’t want to read opinions — they want facts that will allow them to make up their own minds.
Most soft skills are less industry or role-specific than hard skills. Some “core” soft skills you’ll need in nearly any position are teamwork, initiative, leadership, analytical, and communication. You should choose accomplishments that highlight these skills in nearly every resume —
to see how you score in each of these core competencies, upload your resume to the tool below. It’ll scan your resume and let you know if you’ve shown enough soft skills like communication, leadership, management and initiative.