Many job seekers struggle with crafting a strong resume. Even if you are an expert in your profession or have incredible qualifications, you still need to present this information properly. Hiring managers do not want to read through multiple pages on a resume, but if your resume is too short, then you risk coming off as underqualified for the job.
To make things more complicated, there are different types of skills to consider. Skills typically fall into two categories; hard or soft skills. Hard skills refer to any skills you can easily define, such as listing engineering, computer programming or medical training. Soft skills are broader abilities you cannot easily summarize. Skills like management, leadership or communication fall under soft skills since there are so many ways these skills apply to the workplace. It may seem like hard skills are better to include on your resume because they are more quantifiable, but there are many important soft skills you can list to boost your resume in 2019.
When looking at soft skills, it helps to view the skills as a general group. Professionalism is one of the most desirable soft skills in the 2019 workplace. For many upper management employees, including hiring managers, there is a growing generational gap between new employees and the existing workforce. Many of these employees view the newest generation as being less professional.
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Being able to show professionalism on your resume gives you a much greater chance of being hired, no matter what the job is. Simply listing professionalism on your resume is not enough, but there are a few key traits to show professional behavior, such as:
- Time management.
- Patience and stress management.
- Attention to detail.
- Taking the initiative on projects.
If you cannot outright list these skills on your resume, then make sure to include examples of them in your past assignments. For example, if you constantly complete your projects well before a deadline, then highlight this ability to show your time management abilities. In most situations, hiring managers pick up on the hints of professionalism throughout your profile or at least ask questions based on what is listed so you can go into greater detail.
Interpersonal skills refer primarily to your communication abilities, but they extend into your ability to work with others as well. When you are listing interpersonal skills on your resume, try and distinguish your skills as much as possible. For example, working in customer service is different from giving speeches or creating a professional network. Communication is not only about talking, but it is about your ability to listen and process information as well. Demonstrating empathy, such as resolving customer or employee disputes counts as an interpersonal soft skill.
One of the easiest ways to demonstrate interpersonal skills without outright listing your abilities is by structuring your resume. Instead of using a generic resume, personalize your resume to match the job you are applying for. This not only helps show professionalism and interest in the job, but it also demonstrates you know how to effectively communicate by highlighting what is most important for the job.
This is also helpful if the job you are applying for normally has extensive paperwork since it shows you know how to handle and process organized documents. This is an appealing soft skill to display to hiring managers since normally employees need to undergo training to effectively communicate in the workplace.
Practically every profession involves writing in some capacity. In 2019, many hiring managers are reevaluating the importance of writing. In the past, writing was a helpful skill to have but not a strict requirement for many jobs. However, writing has become more meaningful due to an increase in online interactions.
There are many cases of someone being a fluent speaker but not having their communication skills translate into e-mail because they are not as proficient as writers. There are more instances where businesses must provide written instructions for clients. The clearer you are as a writer, the more valuable you become to the company. Because there is so much crossover, your writing soft skills can typically be combined with your communication soft skills.
Previously, having technological experience was treated as an add-on to a resume. It was a nice bonus, but it was not a make or break requirement. In 2019, more jobs rely on technology in some capacity. Even if your job is not strictly technical in nature, just being proficient with technology is enough to give you an edge over an employee who does not have it listed on his or her resume.
Listing technology is one of the easiest soft skills to display on your resume. If you have training in common office programs such as Microsoft Word or Excel, then list these as proficiencies. If possible, then become familiar with other programs relating to the job, such as a specific engineering program or database tool.
Another way to impress potential employers with your technological soft skills is to mention your proficiency with professionally using social media. In 2019, an even greater emphasis is being placed on companies using social media to reach new employees. Many businesses have specific roles for social media marketing, but some businesses offer it as a side project to tech-savvy employees.
Problem Solving and Critical Observation
Problem solving and critical observation demonstrate your ability to objectively look at problems and come up with solutions. Unfortunately, problem solving and critical observation are both difficult soft skills to list on your resume. Simply putting problem solving as one of your skills is too vague and does not tell hiring managers anything helpful. Instead, try to highlight these skills with your past accomplishments, such as detailing when you spotted a critical error in a previous project and managed to save the business money or speed up the project by reporting it.
Management and Leadership
Management and leadership are highly desirable skills, even in entry-level positions. Employees with leadership skills are more likely to be promoted internally, which is how most businesses prefer to fill upper management positions. Leadership has a crossover with other soft skills, such as problem solving and communication.
If you have ever taken the lead on a project, be sure to include this on your resume. If you do not currently have any leadership or management skills to list on your resume, then consider investing in volunteer work. Many volunteer services require you to work with other volunteers. You can become a team leader on these projects and develop a highly sought-after soft skill in 2019 if you show the initiative.
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