Job searching can be intimidating and time-consuming, especially when it comes to resume writing. Deciding what skills to put on your resume can be tough. It is important to tailor your resume to each position to increase your chances of landing the job, but even then, there is some guesswork about which skills from the job description should take top priority on your resume.
Hard skills are natural to add; you can use the bullet points from your previous job descriptions and highlight your technical skills in those roles. However, determining which soft skills to add may be a bit trickier.
Because soft skills are inherently subjective, many job seekers will leave them off their resumes. (For example, a "highly organized" professional is defined differently from person to person.) But, when you leave these skills off your resume, it dramatically undercuts your professional value.
When you undersell yourself, you’re unable to fully prove to employers you’re the right candidate for the job. This can lead to lower compensation considerations and lower quality job offers—if you’re even considered for certain job opportunities at all.
If you’re not sure where to start when adding soft skills to your resume, here are 8 soft skills you can add to help you stand out among your competition and wow hiring managers.
1. Work Ethic
Being reliable, punctual, and dependable makes you an asset to an organization. Use your skills section on your resume to point out your strong work ethic.
Teammates who collaborate and work well together make the company stronger. As they say, “two heads are better than one.” Showing hiring managers who are reading your resume that you work well with others is essential.
There is nothing worse for a company culture than having a negative employee that poisons the well. No one wants to work with someone who is difficult to work with, either. Showing that you are positive and resilient can go a long way in the eyes of hiring managers.
No matter what type of role you are applying to, adaptability is a skill hiring managers like to see in job seekers. When unexpected challenges occur in the workday, managers like to have employees on their team who aren’t afraid to jump in, help out, and have an open mind about taking on new tasks.
Team leaders are busy and do not always have time to handhold their employees. Because of this, hiring managers always appreciate reading resumes that show you can take initiative and get the job done without being micromanaged.
In this job market, the ability to multitask is a valuable skill set. In any position, there will be times where you will have multiple items you are responsible for. Employers love seeing resumes that speak to your ability to stay organized and handle more than one task at a time.
7. Time Management
This soft skill is greatly tied to multitasking. It is not an easy skill to master. Distractions and high-priority, last-minute tasks come up all the time in the workplace. Hiring managers like to see that you can manage your time effectively, get your work done, and hit your deadlines.
Even the most independent roles require communication. Whether it’s with your coworkers, customers, vendors, supervisors, etc., it is important to be able to cater your communication style to the audience you are interacting with.
Letting your future employer see on your resume that you’re able to clearly communicate your thoughts and are capable of adjusting your communication style based on your audience is a simple way to stand out over other candidates.
On average, recruiters read resumes for 6 seconds. When you’re writing your resume, it can be hard to know which skills you should include and which skills you should leave off, knowing you have limited time and space to sell yourself to your reader.
While hard skills serve as the foundation to demonstrate your professional value, it’s soft skills that take your resume to the next level.
Whether you choose to add a professional summary on the top of your resume or weave your soft skills into your work history, speaking to these 8 soft skills can help you stand out to a potential employer and take you from average applicant to top performer.