“Are soft skills worth highlighting on a resume? And if so, what’s a good way to do it?”
First things first: Yes, soft skills do play an important role in hiring. Employers aren’t looking for robots that can only execute on a job description. They need people who can positively impact the culture and see what’s around the corner- people with depth (this goes triple for executives btw). Soft skills are a way to address this. However, doing so CREDIBLY is something that trips many jobseekers up.
Simply put: if you’ve got a keyword section on your resume that has things like “Goal-Oriented” and “Emotional Intelligence” in there, you’re doing it wrong!
1. Identify The Most Important Soft Skills to Highlight
Soft skills are like dessert- quality is more important than quantity! The first step is to thoroughly evaluate target job postings to identify major soft skills employers are on the lookout for (and that you possess).
Let’s say you do this and identify the following skills:
- Interpersonal– ability to work in teams, relate to people, and manage conflict.
- Project Management– organization, planning, and consistently taking initiatives from start-to-finish. Not just for dedicated Project Managers anymore- many employers want to see this as a skill set for employees of all stripes.
- Problem Solving– ability to use creativity, logic, past work experience and available resources to solve issues.