How To Properly Include Soft Skills On Your Resume

Originally published on JobMob. Republished with permission.

I polled over 200 recruiters on how to best showcase soft skills on your resume. Here’s what they said.
All hands in from the team
Photo by Perry Grone

How important is it to have soft skills on your resume?

Very.

In 🙏 Top Soft Skills Recruiters Desperately Want You To Have, I presented the case with numbers and expert quotes and gave a long list of examples to inspire you for your next resume update.


How many soft skills are mentioned in your latest resume?

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

What I didn’t say is exactly how to mention the soft skills, and one angry commenter took me to task for it:

who cares if a resume matches a list of “soft skills?”

Seriously, an employer can list 5, 10, 15, or all 140 of these skills in a job ad, and there will be hundreds (thousands?) of applicants who will simply paste them into their resume and send it in … irregardless of whether or not they actually have the skills. Employers looking for purple squirrels, applicants gaming the system, both sides shirking their duty and due diligence, each hoping to fake out the other.

Seriously? I mean really, seriously?

(I love getting comments like this, even if I don’t always aim to rile people up. Well, not always 😉 )

The commenter understood that I recommended putting a list of short skills directly in your resume. I responded to the commenter, and then decided to take it further:

Maybe the recruiters reading your resume DO want such a list?

I asked recruiters about soft skills on your resume

I reached out to over 200 recruiters with a Twitter poll. Not everyone responded but the results are still fascinating:

how include soft skills resume 1

Here are some of the recruiters’ reactions to the poll:

how include soft skills resume 2

how include soft skills resume 3

how include soft skills resume 4

how include soft skills resume 5

how include soft skills resume 6

how include soft skills resume 7

how include soft skills resume 8

how include soft skills resume 9

how include soft skills resume 10

how include soft skills resume 11

how include soft skills resume 12

how include soft skills resume 13

how include soft skills resume 14

how include soft skills resume 15

how include soft skills resume 16

how include soft skills resume 17

how include soft skills resume 18

What this poll tells you

While the results are close and aren’t statistically significant, and regardless of how recruiters voted or reacted, there’s still an important takeaway, the implied one:

You must showcase your relevant soft skills on your resume, whether you list them explicitly or list top achievements that demonstrate those soft skills.

My recommendation for you

The poll and its responses show that unsurprisingly, different recruiters see things differently, and sometimes it may be industry-related.

Tailoring your resume well requires first doing company research, and if your resume is going to be sent to one of the recruiters here above, you now know how to tailor it for them, at least with respect to soft skills.

Otherwise, the most powerful yet simplest way to show someone you’re listening is by repeating their own words back to them.

If a job listing requires certain soft skills and you have stories and achievements to prove you have them, include those soft skills in your resume like any other requested qualifications.

Include them word for word as much as it makes sense, especially if the recruiter may be using an ATS to scan candidate resumes for keywords.

This doesn’t mean, unlike what the angry commenter understood, that you should group them into a “Soft Skills” section of your resume, which is why it’s not one of my recommended 📝 111 Helpful Resume Section Headings and Titles and never has been.

That’s “not a good use of space on a resume,” as Rebecca Warren tweeted.

Instead, “address your proficiency” with the required soft skills, as Kristina Marlow tweeted, by highlighting them with “a listing of accomplishments that obviously would require the use of said skills,” as Michael G. Cox tweeted.

For example, if the job opening requires someone with “Good communication skills, ability to mentor and work collaboratively,” perhaps you “Coached a team of 10 salespeople to a 41% increase in annual sales, including absorbing and mentoring 3 new hires.”

Question of the article

How are soft skills currently included in your resume, and are you planning to change? Tell us in the comments.

What others are saying

Free Bonus

If you want a handy resume and CV resource that you can keep on your smartphone or print out for easy reference, this special bonus is for you.

This free download contains:

  • 111 Smart Resume Section Headings and Titles
  • 60 Resume Achievement Writing Ideas and Expressions
  • 500 Positive Resume Action Verbs That Get Job Interviews
  • 35 Resume Filenames Recruiters Won’t Respond To

Click the image below to get access to The One Resume Resource You’ll Ever Need:The One Resume Resource You'll Ever Need download button

JobMob Insiders can get this free bonus and other exclusive content in the JobMob Insider Bonuses area. Join now, it’s free!

Bonus 2: How to Make a Resume Stand Out: Crash Course Business – Soft Skills #5

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at https://www.wisio.com/TheBigGameHunter. Want to do it live?

If you want to learn how to interview like a pro, order “The Ultimate Job Interview Framework” from udemy.com www.TheBigGameHunter.us/interviews The Kindle and print versions are available on Amazon.

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter | Job Coach

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Watch my videos on YouTube at JobSearchTV.com, the Job SearchTV app for FireTV, Roku or a firestick or BingeNetworks.tv for AppleTV and 90 smart tv platforms.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes. It helps other people discover the show like you did.

Jeff Altman owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of No BS Job Search Advice Radio podcast, Job Search Radio Podcast, The No BS Coaching Advice podcast, JobSearchTV.com ,and other content with all rights reserved, as well as his right of publicity.

WHAT YOU’RE WELCOME TO DO:

You are welcome to share a transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles (e.g., The New York Times, LA Times, The Guardian), on your personal website, in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., Medium), and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include attribution to “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” “Job Search Radio,”” The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast,” “JobSearchTV.com”as well as other content and link back to the TheBigGameHunter.us/url. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.

 

WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED:

No one is authorized to copy any portion of the podcast content or use Jeff Altman’s name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services. For the sake of clarity, media outlets are permitted to use photos of Jeff Altman. 

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: