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How to Effectively Emphasize Your Soft Skills on a Resume

Finding a way to stand out among other candidates can seem difficult, but one great way to set yourself apart is to strongly define your soft skills. As cultural fit becomes increasingly important in the workplace, employers are seeking candidates who have both the technical know-how as well as the right soft skills to be a strong member of the team.

A candidate with a wide array of soft skills is always in high demand, but it can often be difficult to showcase your talents in conjunction with your more tangible experience on your resume. While strong technical stills will always be important, make the most of your soft skills by identifying your greatest strengths and strategically showcasing them on your resume. To get you started, here are some qualities that are especially important to employers and how to emphasize them:

Teamwork

Even if the position you’re applying for doesn’t call for much interaction with others, no job exists in a vacuum, so demonstrating your ability to be a team player is still essential. To showcase your ability to be a company ally, consider using active verbs when describing your previous work experience. Some examples are:

  • Collaborated
  • Participated
  • Contributed
  • Partnered
  • Co-produced

It’s important to try to tailor aspects of your resume to the position you are applying for, and for a highly collaborative role, using strong language to demonstrate that you’re a team player will go a long way. However, for an independent role, it’s important to also communicate that you’re a self-starter and able to work on your own; that way it’s clear you know what’s expected of the position and can work the capacity that they need you to.

Project management

Have you ever planned, organized, or managed a work-related project? If so, you can say that you are in possession of project management skills. It’s a common misconception that “project management” should only be taken literally as a job title, and while it can refer to a leadership role, it can also refer to your ability to successfully juggle various assignments and tasks. Instead of using the word “managed” throughout you resume, try incorporating stronger descriptors such as:

  • Lead
  • Supervised
  • Organized
  • Guided
  • Oversaw

Communication skills

There are many abilities that fall under the umbrella of communication skills, so it can be difficult to know what to highlight. Communication skills are both verbal and non-verbal, so to make the most of your resume, be sure to touch on skills that apply to you in both areas. Before drafting your resume, take a moment to create a mental list of your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

For example, non-verbal communication skills may include:

  • Effective writing skills
  • Being an active listener
  • The ability to digest constructive criticism

On the other hand, verbal communication skills could include:

  • An outwardly positive attitude
  • The ability to quickly digest and summarize information
  • The ability to speak clearly and professionally

Luckily, most communication skills can be showcased as previous experience, such as having written a great piece of content.  By creating a clear and easy to read resume, you’re already well on your way to demonstrating stellar communication skills.

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