How to add soft skills to your resume

Write your resume

When it comes to writing your resume, you already know how important it is to list accomplishments instead of duties. However, sometimes our work doesn’t always lend itself to hard numbers or reflect hard skills. In this case, how do you demonstrate your other attributes to a potential employer?

Over on CBS News, HR expert Suzanne Lucas (also known as Evil HR Lady) argues that job seekers shouldn’t overlook their soft skills when working on their resumes. Reviewing a recent report by CareerBuilder of the top 10 soft skills managers look for, she shares an excerpt from fellow HR leader Alison Green’s book¬†“How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager” on how to include soft skills in your resume. Here are a few examples:

–Built reputation for working successfully with previously unhappy clients (effective communicator)

–Became go-to staff member for relaying complicated medical information to patients of diverse backgrounds (team-oriented, flexible)

–Sought out by doctor and practice manager to write and edit client correspondence, exam notes and Web content (can manage multiple priorities)

Read the rest of the article here.

I think a challenge is that soft skills can seem subjective on a resume, whereas hard skills seem more objective. Additionally it can be hard to determine which soft skills are key for a position (if they aren’t mentioned in the description).

That being said, what’s key here is that soft skills are still presented as accomplishments: demonstrations of the impact of the work you’ve done. This is definitely a helpful way to show various sides of your success.

What do you think of adding soft skills to your resume? Chime in below.

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Former Editor and Creator of Idealist Careers, a publication of Idealist.org. Follow me on Twitter @ajlovesya.
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Comments

    • Leslie Kain
    • April 29, 2014

    The need to represent “soft skills” is not unique to nonprofit organizations. Often the most difficult things to do can’t be directly represented by hard metrics. E.g. in my last for-profit position, I was responsible for Business Development for two of five Divisions. Those two Divisions never collaborated, despite having complementary technologies. Orchestrating meaningful ongoing collaboration took a LOT of effort (there was a large geographic distance between them, two separate VPs & admin support, and an incentive model that effectively discouraged cross-Division collaboration), but ultimately that effort resulted in developing new solution sets, joint BD campaigns, improved awareness of our value in a broader sector of our market, a greater sense of relevance & new ideas among the members of those Divisions, and significant new business! Such processes are relevant to nonprofits that must orchestrate collaboration among diverse stakeholders, or with other nonprofits (e.g. in the case of progressive organizations that are merging in order to unite & concentrate their donor pool).

    • Parker Brown-Nesbit
    • May 1, 2014

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been wondering how to position my skills for *years*. None of the (mainstream) books I’ve read ever has covered this. Now, thanks to you, I know how to do it.

    1. Glad you found this helpful, Parker!

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