Degrees and credentials are important, but the development of soft skills—skills that are more social than technical—are a crucial part of fostering a dynamic workforce and are always in high demand. Have you taken inventory of your soft skills set? You may have skills that are high in demand and now even know it.
We have all gained skills from past jobs, responsibilities, life experiences and interests. You may even have hidden skills that, when identified, can be added to your resume and help you to become a better contender in your job search.
Soft skills are general skills—like the ability to accept feedback, work collaboratively, manage your time, etc. These are skills that will help you in a wide range of jobs, not just the target job you're applying for.
Here are the top ten soft skills in demand for today's job market:
1. Communication skills: It's more than just speaking the language. Communication skills involve active listening, presentation as well as excellent writing capabilities. One highly sought-after communication skill is the ability to explain technical concepts to partners, customers and coworkers that aren't tech savvy.
2. Computer and technical literacy: Almost all jobs nowadays require basic competency in computer software, but many job seekers fail to provide this section because they think it's implied. If computer skills are relevant to your field, insert a "Technical Skills" or "Systems Proficiencies" section to your resume.
3. Interpersonal skills: The ability to work in teams, relate to people and manage conflict is a valuable asset in the workplace. This skill is important to get ahead--and as you advance in your career, the aptitude to work with others becomes even more crucial. Personal accomplishments are important on your resume, but showing that you can work well with others is important too.
4. Adaptability: Don't underestimate the ability to adapt to changes and manage multiple tasks. In today's technology driven and rapidly evolving business environment, the ability to pick up on new technologies and adjust to changing business surroundings is important. Display your relevancy in the workforce by referencing an example of how you adapted to a sudden change at work in your resume.
5. Research skills: With Google at the tip of your fingers, it's easy to find answers to common issues. However, hiring managers seek employees that are skilled at assessing situations, are able to seek multiple perspectives and gather more in depth information.
6. Project management skills: Organization, planning and effectively implementing projects and tasks for yourself and others is a highly effective skill to have. In the past, this was a job in itself. Nowadays, many companies aren't hiring project managers because they expect all of their employees to possess certain characteristics of this skill.
7. Problem-solving skills: The ability to use creativity, reasoning, past experience, information and available resources to resolve issues is attractive because it saves everyone at the organization valuable time. Highlight this skill by listing an example of when your organization had a sticky situation and you effectively addressed it.
8. Process improvement expertise: The number one goal every company has in common is to save money. Optimizing business procedures can save a company time and money. Quantify results in your resume by listing the before and after facts of projects that you took on.
9. Strong work ethic: Employers are looking for employees that take initiative, are reliable and can do the job right the first time. Managers don't have the time or resources to babysit, so this is a skill that is expected from all employees. Don't make the hiring manager second-guess by sending a resume with typos, errors and over-exaggerated work experience.
10. Emotional Intelligence: Although you will most likely never see this in a job description, EI is a highly sought after skill that relates to your social skills, social awareness and self-management abilities. Emotional intelligence is usually something that is revealed through actual interactions with the hiring manger, but you can hint that you have it with a strategic resume the addresses areas where your experience and skills are lacking relative to the job requirements.
Make your resume more effective by highlighting your skills. Resume Builder can help you insert a professionally written skills section into your resume in just a few clicks.
A cover letter is your opportunity to emphasize the skills that make you stand out from the crowd. Resume Builder's Cover Letter templates, examples and tips help you create an effective cover letter in minutes!