Employers are looking for soft skills. In fact, they are increasingly being included as part of the job requirements for open positions. More than 6 million job postings listed “communication skills,” 5.5 million listed “customer service,” and 5 million listed “programming” as a requirement on the ZipRecruiter job site in May.
“Even without looking at a specific job listing, we can probably imagine that every job will require the same set of soft skills: teamwork skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, time management skills,” says Gorick Ng, Harvard career adviser. and author of “The Unspoken Rules.”
If you’re in the job market, “your résumé is a very, very, very important platform that you can use to incorporate” these skills, says Octavia Goredema, career coach and author of “Prep Push, Pivot.”
Here’s how to illustrate soft skills on your resume, according to career experts.
Use descriptive titles
The anatomy of a resume is multifaceted. One of them is the various job titles in their “experience” section. These present an opportunity to pass on some of your interpersonal skills.
“The key here is to be candid but also descriptive,” says Ng.
“There’s a big difference between calling myself an intern and a social media intern,” she says as an example. “There’s a big difference between calling myself an analyst and a project manager, if I were actually doing that. There’s a difference between calling myself a manager and a communications manager.”
Each of these titles illustrates another facet of the job that shows you have some experience. “Even a single word like ‘communications’ or ‘social media’ or ‘project’ or ‘product’ or ‘department’ can go a long way in giving people a mental picture of what you’re really responsible for.” he says.
Think about your work experience for each role you are describing and consider an additional, precise word or two that describes what you did and can do.
The vignettes can give examples of your skills.
Another real estate piece of resume that could be used to illustrate your soft skills is the bullet points under each job title that give concrete examples of what you accomplished. Each bullet point could refer to a soft skill that an employer specifically mentioned in the job description or one that you think is relevant to the position.
Consider some of your achievements in previous roles, then as you write them, “think of it as really a Mad Lib exercise consisting of shocking verbs, shocking nouns and shocking numbers,” says Ng.
Let’s say you want to highlight your communication skills, for example, and you work on search engine optimization. A bullet point might say something like, “I gave a presentation to 30 of our clients outlining effective ways to use keywords, resulting in an average 30% increase in traffic to each of their websites.” “Led,” “increase,” and “30%” are a verb, a noun, and a number that give a visceral sense of the kind of impact you had on your business.
The vignette serves to highlight an impressive achievement. Inherently, because strong communication skills are required to give a good presentation, and because your presentation was clearly successful in helping your clients increase their traffic, you are showing that you are a good communicator.
“It’s almost implied that he would have had to have the skills to make this impact,” says Ng.