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How To Show Soft Skills in Your Resume: Impress A Hiring Manager!


how to show soft skills in your resume: impress a hiring manager! #softskills

“Is my resume ‘soft’ enough?” is a question we should all be asking ourselves.

Softness does not refer to the color or font type of your resume, rather, we are asking if you have conveyed your soft skills in the resume you have created. Soft skills refer to the competencies or personal qualities you possess that are non-technical, transferable, and relevant across various industries, operational domains, and positions. Some examples of soft skills, also known as people skills or core competencies, are communication, adaptability, decision making, etc.

Showing hard skills and industry-based competency on your application is relatively straightforward. You list the institution, the awarded qualification and perhaps a module or coursework that will be particularly helpful for your application. Telling your employer about the soft skills you have is more difficult and proving it at an interview can be just as challenging. We will walk you through how you can list these soft skills in your resume!


Why Include Soft Skills in Your Resume?

Soft skills are important in any line of work. Having a good set of soft skills helps you stand out in a job search and helps you progress in your career. It also makes you a more productive and efficient worker who is happier at their job. Employers are also increasing focused on hiring staff with the right soft skills. The demand for soft skills rose for 48% of the organizations post pandemic.


Remember that a resume is an important piece of document that not only carries your credentials, but also expresses your personality. It is also the first thing your potential employer looks at when they first receive your application. Being able to communicate your soft skills and the relevant information in a succinct manner is extremely important to getting to the next step of the job application.


Including your personal skills in your application helps the interviewer know more about you as a person and a potential employee. Furthermore, including soft skills that employers want in your resume will give you an edge over other applicants, even if you are applying to a technical job that is seemingly hard skills focused.

Take this job description from one of our job postings looking for a FinTech UI/UX Designer as an example:


Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with product and business team to create solutions considering user needs and technical challenges.

  • Translating the product vision through research, sketching, prototyping, user-testing, and iteration related to digital product design.

  • Designing interface element (UI) graphics according to design guidelines to increase product usage with appropriate design methods.

  • Ability to clearly communicate research and design ideas to internal teams and key stakeholders.

Requirements:

  • Tertiary degree in design or a related subject.

  • Min 3 years of working experience in wireframing, user flows, interaction design.

  • Strong understanding of current UI design practices to create an efficient & seamless user experience.

This job posting is for a technical role and the incumbent must possess a set of hard skills. To show that you are qualified for the role, you need to be someone with academic credentials, experience working in a technical role and has the relevant industrial knowledge. However, that is not all. You also need to be someone who possesses the soft skills of collaboration, problem-solving, analyzing, creative-thinking, attention to detail and communication to be able to carry out the job effectively. Perusing the job advertisements and other job postings for similar roles should clue you in on the soft skills to put on your resume, and these are personal skills that the recruiters and hiring managers will be looking out for.


Include a list of soft skills.

One of the ways you can check off the list of soft skills to add in your resume based on the job advertisement is by including a list of core competencies in the skills section. Some would argue that including a list of soft skills for resume means having to include a skills section, and that takes up additional space. Some feel that these competencies are better demonstrated in a sentence, rather than listed in a set of key words.


However, the case for list of soft skills is that they cater to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). An ATS is a recruitment solution programme that is used to scan through resumes and applications, organizing and ranking the candidates so that the recruitment process can be streamlined. It works by combing through keywords and associating the experience with the skills or job, thereby assigning skills and experience weightage to each application. It is estimated that about 75% of resumes get filtered out before a human reviewer even gets to see it. Having a list of soft skills makes it easy for the ATS to capture your abilities.


To a pair of human eyes, having a list of soft skills in the competency section gives a quick overview of your abilities. Research shows that a recruiter spends only about 7 seconds looking at each resume. Therefore, having a list catches the eyes of a human reviewer at a quicker speed.

What is an applicant tracking system or ATS? An applicant tracking system or ATS is a recruitment solution programme used to scan through resumes and applications, organising and ranking the candidates. It combs through keywords and associates the experience with the skills or job, thereby assigning skills and experience weightage to each application.

With that said, should you list your soft skills in your resume as a section of its own? It depends on your experience in the field you are applying to. If you are well experienced, the space is likely to be better reserved for the work experience section where you can show evidence of your abilities. However, someone very new to the field and seeking an entry level job, like a mid-career switcher or a fresh graduate, may benefit from spotlighting their transferable skills in their resume as it shows their adaptability.


Highlight your soft skills in your professional summary.

The professional summary is the first thing that the recruiter will see on your resume as it is at the top of the page. But why are we including this tip as the 2nd one and not the first? The reason is like that of listing core competencies: it takes up space and might not always be relevant to the applicant. The professional summary tells the employer what you can bring to company and should paint a picture of you in a professional setting, as well as communicate what is important to you in the work that you do. It should be able to add value to your resume rather than take valuable space away from it. Should you choose to include a professional summary, you should mention your top relevant soft skills.


Example:

Experienced UI/UX designer with a proven track record of translating product visions into engaging digital experiences. Adept at collaborating cross-functionally, combining creativity and attention to detail to enhance user engagement and seamlessly communicate design concepts to stakeholders.


This statement summarizes the applicant’s experience and succinctly conveys what the applicant can do. It marries what is made possible by the applicant’s hard skills in UI/UX designing with their soft skills which brings meaning to the design process and final product.


Demonstrate your soft skills through experience.

Although credentials for soft skills are not as straightforward as hard skills on a resume, the work experience section is a good place to make your soft skills a bit more quantifiable. The work experience section is where you can use sentences, and figures, to describe what you have done and achieved in your professional life thus far.


Work experience bullet points should not be thought of as “job responsibilities” but rather “accomplishments”. We also recommend including figures and statistics in your resume to show how impressive your soft skills are. Make sure that the action verbs that you use in these bullet points are applicable to the soft skills that you want to show case, and that they match the soft skills that are required for the applied role. Here are some examples of personal skills for resume in sentence:

Job Description

Work Experience

Collaborate with product and business team to create solutions considering user needs and technical challenges.

Collaborated closely with cross-functional teams, including product managers and business analysts, to conceptualize and design user interfaces, resulting in a 20% increase in user engagement and a 15% decrease in user error rates.

In the above bullet point, we see an example of how teamwork skills can be conveyed through the phrase “collaborated closely with cross-functional teams”. We also see competencies like problem-solving and analytical skills at play when the applicant solves problems to attains the results above.

Job Description

Work Experience

​​Ability to clearly communicate research and design ideas to internal teams and key stakeholders.

Created and presented design concepts to internal teams and stakeholders, effectively communicating complex ideas, receiving a 95% approval rate on design proposals.

This statement could have ended after the word “stakeholders”, but that would not have shown how this applicant is strong communicator. Although it is difficult to put a score on communication skills, receiving a 95% approval rate presents somewhat of a measurement on the strength of the applicant’s communication skills.

Soft skills statistics and tips to put soft skills in your resume. Is your resume soft enough? 48% of organizations increased their demand for soft skills, 7 seconds is the average amount of time spent looking at each resume, 75% of resumes do not pass the ATS as they get filtered out. Tips to stand out are 1. to include a list of soft skills so that your resume is ATS friendly and catches the eyes of a human reviewer, 2. to highlight soft skills in professional summary, this communicates what is important to you and helps hiring manangers picture you in a professional setting, 3. to demonstrate soft skills through work experience, you can use figures and stats make soft skills more quantifiable and showcase the breadth of your experience and interactions.

Remember that your resume should be a holistic overview of the achievements and experiences you have and consist of a good mix of your hard and soft skills. If you are struggling to decide whether to include a list of soft skills or personal statement, always think, “Is this adding value to my resume?”. Finally, when you are done crafting or revising your resume, go back to the question that we asked at the beginning of the post, “Is your resume soft enough?” If it is, you are ready to submit your application. All the best!

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