When it comes to CV writing, one of the most common sticking points is trying to get your soft skills in there without making them seem decidedly subjective. They can be harder to define and to assign importance to than hard skills like qualifications and experience. The bottom line is that soft skills do have value and should feature prominently on your CV. However, there are right and wrong ways to do it. Our team have some advice on how best to showcase them when applying for jobs.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are those you tend to pick up as a result of experience, such as communication, trouble-shooting and team leading/teamwork skills. They are the skills that are more unique to you as a person and on your CV they will paint a more complete picture of what kind of employee you are and what you will bring to the role over others. They are a great way to differentiate yourself.
Don’t just list them
Look at the role requirements, the company and the culture and figure out which soft skills would be considered valuable. Focus only on these skills when updating your CV. Other roles might find value in other soft skills you possess, so tailor as appropriate.
It isn’t quite as easy to prove your soft skills as much as your hard skills, but you still have to do it. Don’t just list them and assume that the recipient of your CV will believe you. Cite examples that demonstrate you having used the skills and if you can, quantify your soft skills using facts and figures.
Treat them as accomplishments
In the same way you would frame your qualifications and your experience, your soft skills can also feature as accomplishments. They can be used to show just how you achieved something significant in your professional career and present you as having more depth than your qualifications can.
Ask any HR professional or recruitment consultant and they will tell you just how valuable soft skills are on a CV. Don’t be tempted to bump them in place of hard skills when you’re running out of CV space. They hold a different, but no less important kind of value and could well be the make or break for you getting through to the next stage of the application process.