How to Rock Your CV with a Soft Skills Section

Studies have revealed that it takes only six seconds for a recruiter to decide if an applicant is suitable for a job.

How is that possible?

HR specialists pay close attention to a list of soft skills. Soft skills, or common skills, combine social skills and character traits—for example, teamwork, critical thinking, multitasking, and other abilities that most jobs require. Soft skills are part of a recruiter’s first impression since they are usually listed at the beginning of a resume. Below you’ll find out how to master this part of a CV and make a job-winning resume. For more information, check our essay database – you’ll find thousands of free papers on different topics.

The picture provides introductory information about soft skills on a resume.

Table of Contents

  1. 💥 Top 10 Soft Skills 2022
  2. 📍 What Are Soft Skills?
  3. 👔 Soft Skills by Job Field
  4. 📜 Resume-Writing Rules
  5. 🪄 Tips for a Winning Resume
  6. 🙅 Skills You Shouldn’t Include
  7. 🏁 Conclusion
  8. ❓ FAQ

💥 Top 10 Soft Skills in Demand for 2022 #

Consider these soft skills when crafting a resume in 2022. We’ve compiled this list based on McKinsey’s research of the current job market.

  1. Critical thinking.
  2. Planning and ways of working.
  3. Communication.
  4. Mental flexibility.
  5. Teamwork.
  6. Developing relationships.
  7. Self-management.
  8. Entrepreneurship.
  9. Achievement of goals.
  10. Digital fluency.

📍 What Are Soft Skills on a Resume? #

For a recruiter, soft skills set the ideal candidate apart from other applicants.

Imagine an HR specialist is choosing between the candidates with the same work and education experience. If one of the applicants has listed the soft skills required by the company while another hasn’t, the former will probably get the job.

Most employers believe soft skills are as necessary as hard skills – technical knowledge essential for a specific job.

Soft Skills #

Soft skills influence how employees deal with tasks, manage time, and interact with others. In other words, soft skills aren’t job-specific but facilitate an employee’s ability to get a job done. Examples of soft skills are communication and listening skills, time management, and emotional intelligence. Some soft skills are difficult to learn or develop, so it is important to show your strengths.

Soft Skills Vs. Hard Skills #

Hard skills describe an employee’s ability to perform a specific professional task. Hard skills can be acquired through practice and education. Examples of hard skills are budgeting, coding, or any other professional skill you acquire at work or college. These abilities increase employees’ productivity and company performance.

The critical difference between these two types of skills is that hard skills are teachable and measurable while soft skills are not. It is believed that hard skills might get an employee through an interview, but soft skills will help them keep the job. Consequently, soft skills complement hard skills and together make a perfect candidate.

The picture provides examples of hard and soft skills.

Types of Soft Skills #

Numerous soft skills are relevant for different jobs. We’ve developed the following categories to help you better understand the types of soft skills.

  1. Problem-solving skills
    Conflicts and challenges often occur in the workplace. Companies highly value employees who can come up with practical solutions in a short time. Here are the fundamental abilities for efficient problem-solving:
    • Negotiation.
    • Patience.
    • Diplomatic skills.
    • Risk management.
    • Stress resistance.
  2. Communication skills
    Effective communication skills are vital for many jobs. Persuasive communication helps to prove your point or disagree with others without causing conflict. The following skills are necessary:
    • Active listening.
    • Public speaking.
    • Confidence.
    • Empathy.
    • Presentation skills.
  3. Time-management skills
    Time management is essential for workplace success. Employees who manage their time well are more likely to stay productive and avoid emotional burnout. The core skills to manage your time wisely are:
    • Prioritizing.
    • Scheduling.
    • Delegating.
    • Setting goals.
    • Planning.
  4. Creativity skills
    Creative employees can find uncommon ways to perform the most difficult tasks. Creativity is necessary to make work processes exciting and attract new customers. These are the characteristics of a creative employee:
    • Innovativeness.
    • Risk-taking.
    • Experimentation.
    • Curiosity.
    • Open-mindedness.
  5. Adaptability skills
    Changes occur in any organization, not to mention global transformations, like world pandemics. Employers highly value workers who can quickly adapt to new circumstances. Here’s what you need to perform well in changing circumstances:
    • Observation skills.
    • Consistency.
    • Optimism.
    • Enthusiasm.
    • Cooperation skills.

👔 Soft Skills According to Job #

Some soft skills are universal and benefit any type of work. Common soft skills include teamwork, critical thinking, motivation, time management, etc. However, some soft skills are explicitly required for certain specialists. When crafting your resume, it is necessary to focus on relevant skills for the desired position. Here are examples of top soft skills for popular career fields. Consider including them in your resume to show that you’re the perfect candidate!

Career fieldTop soft skills
Marketing
The list of soft skills for a marketing position needs to reflect the candidate’s creative and analytical sides.
Communication
Creativity
Problem-solving
Attention to detail
Interpersonal skills
Open-mindedness
Adaptability
Critical thinking
Being open to feedback
Networking
Business
Running a business requires the ability to perform many tasks at the same time.
Leadership
Risk management
Multitasking
Conflict management
Collaboration
Emotional intelligence
Training and mentorship
Problem-solving
Presentation skills
Growth mindset
Administrative jobs
Applying for an administrative job usually means taking on new responsibilities. Specific soft skills can make an administrator’s work less stressful.
Confidence
Optimism
Empathy
Flexibility
Multitasking
Time management
Written communication
Adaptability
Customer service skills
Analytics and problem-solving
Customer service jobs
A customer service job requires dealing with people and resolving their issues. A candidate must have excellent interpersonal skills to succeed in this area.
Clear communication
Self-control
Listening skills
Positive attitude
Assertiveness
Collaboration
Empathy
Patience
Diplomacy
Speed and efficiency
IT jobs
In the IT industry, soft skills are as necessary as coding to accomplish tasks.
Analytical abilities
Resourcefulness
Project management
Perseverance
Curiosity
Ability to learn
Accountability
Productivity
Self-awareness
Being pro-active
Creative jobs
Digital artists, videographers, and illustrators do not only create art. They also need to deal with administrative tasks and clients on a daily basis, which is easier if they have specific soft skills.
Storytelling
Observation
Innovation
Creative thinking
Imagination
Teamwork
Flexibility
Strategic thinking
Brainstorming and ideation
Freelance jobs
A freelance job gives a lot of freedom but also brings great responsibility. Here is a list of essential soft skills for freelancers to manage their tasks and time efficiently.
Punctuality
Flexibility
Ability to accept criticism
Collaboration with clients
Effective communication skills
Maintaining a positive approach
Stress management
Creativity and innovation
Self-motivation
Commitment to deadlines

📜 Main Resume Writing Rules #

When you’re worried about finding a job, it’s easy to overlook something in your resume. We’ve developed the best resume tips to help you craft a CV that will catch your recruiter’s attention.

  1. Make sure your contact information is correct and up-to-date. Always double-check your phone number and email.
  2. Use reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent job. Your goal in the experience section is to highlight the most relevant work experience.
  3. Organize your content in a way that’s easy to read. Make all the keywords bold so that a recruiter notices them on the first look.
  4. Include links to your social media profiles or your blog. This can be especially useful when applying for a creative job.
  5. Remember to refer to the soft skills list when describing your work experience. This way, you can demonstrate how you apply your soft skills in practice.

Why It Is Crucial to Introduce Your Skills Properly #

Each part of your resume is essential, especially when applying for a corporate job. Introducing your soft skills in an attractive manner can single you out among all the candidates. Other benefits of a well-structured soft skills section are the following:

  • The soft skills section allows you to show your potential and highlight the areas in which you’re especially talented.
  • The soft skills section can make your resume look more professional, especially if you lack working experience.
  • Soft skills demonstrate your experience since they reflect how you deal with tasks and communicate with colleagues.

Do’s & Don’ts of a Resume Skills Section #

Do’sDon’ts
Keep the list of your skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.
For example, if you’re interested in a customer service job, include diplomacy and active listening skills.
Do not use the same list of soft skills for all the positions you apply for, especially if they belong to different business areas. It is better to craft a different resume for every specific job!
Be precise when describing your skills.
For example, specify your written communication skills instead of saying you’re good at communication.
Do not add soft skills that are too general. Mention your empathy and collaborative skills instead of saying you’re a team player.
Provide a bulleted list of your skills.
Use bold font and italics to help a recruiter navigate your CV.
Do not organize your soft skills in a paragraph or a text. Recruiters do not have time for long reads.
Make sure you add soft skills that are in demand.
Specific skills are particularly valued today, for example, analytical thinking, open-mindedness, and flexibility.
Do not add outdated soft skills that are not required nowadays. Think about modern values like tolerance, collaboration, and critical thinking.
Keep the list of your soft skills short and sweet.
A list of 10 skills will be more than enough.
Do not add more than 10-15 soft skills to your list. Remember, there should be a balance in your CV between soft and hard skills.
Make sure the list of your soft skills corresponds with the hard ones.
For example, if you do digital design, highlight your creative abilities and imagination.
Do not add soft skills that do not relate to your previous working experience or education. For example, don’t list ‘project management skills’ if you have only worked as a barista at Starbucks.
Add only those soft skills that you actually have.
It’s always better to focus on your unique features than copy skills from the Internet.
Do not try to be someone else, and do not include soft skills that you don’t have. Any lie will become evident if you get the job.

🪄 Tips on Making a Job-Winning Soft Skills List #

We prepared a step-by-step guide to help you stand out among other candidates and win that perfect job. This section will teach you how to identify relevant soft skills, organize your resume, and show off your best features.

1. Identify the Relevant Soft Skills #

When making a resume, it is crucial to research skills that are in demand in particular work areas. Carefully read the employer’s requirements and highlight the skills they value most. You should analyze what skills you have and which of them are the most relevant for the job you’re applying for.

Consider the extract from the job offer we provide below. You must pay close attention to the job requirements to indicate the desired soft and hard skills. We’ll show you how to do it!

Example

Digital marketing coordinator requirementsSoft skillsHard skills
1. Ability to discuss and execute new ideas.Imagination, being open to feedback, brainstorming, and collaboration skills.Experience with online-meeting tools and organization through Microsoft Office software.
2. Knowledge of all social media platforms.Creativity, multitasking, and storytelling skills.Knowledge of social media marketing tools.
3. Capable of understanding the meaning behind analytics to form recommendations.Analytical and critical thinking.Experience with big data analysis.
4. Project management skills.Organization skills, leadership, coaching, and mentoring.Knowledge of project management tools, like Kiss Flow Project.
5. Ability to work in a productive environment with defined deadlines.Time-management, stress-management, problem-solving, and planning skills.Experience in scheduling management.

Bonus tip: Check out resumes for similar positions on the Internet. However, don’t copy the soft skills of other candidates!

2. Organize Your Skills #

When you’ve come up with the relevant soft skills, the second step is to organize them. Here, building a logical structure that is easy to follow is essential. Remember to distinguish soft skills from hard ones. You can also start your list of soft skills with the most in-demand ones or those you excel at. Make them stand out so that a recruiter notices them. Finally, remember that 10-15 soft skills will be enough when organizing your list.

Example

Elementary school teacher requirementsSoft skills from most to least relevant
1. Prepare courses and provide learning activities within the school’s guidelines;
2. Work with other teachers to meet students’ individual needs;
3. Organize and supervise student activities;
4. Provide support to students; remediation;
5. Evaluate the performance and progress of students;
6. Monitor late arrivals and absences of students.
1. Effective communication, both written and oral.
2. Student motivation.
3. Empathy.
4. Praising and rewarding.
5. Constructive feedback skills.
6. Group dynamics.
7. Guiding.
8. Presentation skills.
9. Problem-solving.
10. Creativity.

3. Highlight Leading Skills #

The next step in building the perfect resume is highlighting your leading skills. Leading skills are those that help you stand apart from other candidates. Think about the soft skills you’ve developed to an expert level and let a recruiter learn more about them. By emphasizing your strengths, you make your resume attractive and desirable. In addition, focusing on your strongest skills is more valuable than coming up with a long list of less relevant ones.

Example

Wedding photographer requirementsLeading skills
1. Being the team leader, providing directions and guidance to the second photographer;
2. Planning a timeline review with the couple before their wedding day;
3. Providing direction and guidance to the couple regarding posing and locations;
4. Managing and maintaining your equipment and the studio’s lighting equipment.
1. Creativity and imagination.
It is essential to highlight that you’re a creative person with a versatile portfolio of photos. You can also mention your storytelling skills here to show you can tell a couple’s love story through a wedding photoshoot.
2. Planning and organization.
Here it is important to highlight your ability to handle various responsibilities and deal with multitasking. It is also essential to demonstrate your time-management skills, which are crucial for an event photographer.
3. Communication and collaboration.
Since this job requires a photographer to work with assistants, you must show that you’re a team player. Moreover, a job like this requires the ability to guide the couple and guests. Finally, empathy and optimism will demonstrate that you can maintain an atmosphere of happiness.

4. Use Power Words #

The language of your resume tells a lot about you as a candidate. HR managers read hundreds of resumes a day. To bring attention to your CV, we recommend using power words. They will make your skills and achievements stand out!

The picture provdes the definition of power words.

Power words are action words that add practical context to your resume and help recruiters better understand your value as an employee. For example, instead of saying that you were responsible for the company’s social media accounts, try this: “I managed the company’s social media accounts and maintained the communication with customers.” Check out some more examples:

Simple wording: I was responsible for communication with stakeholders.
Power words added: I informed stakeholders about all the changes in the company and collected their feedback.

Simple wording: I helped increase the company’s annual revenue by 30%.
Power words added: I designed a successful marketing campaign that rocketed the company’s annual revenue by 30%.

Simple wording: I started a training program for the new employees in our company.
Power words added: I developed and coordinated a training program for the new employees in our company.

Simple wording: I was a team player and participated in all the product development brainstorming sessions.
Power words added: I collaborated with my colleagues dailyprovided my ideas, and shared feedback during the product development brainstorming sessions.

Simple wording: During the planning stage, I paid attention to all the details.
Power words added: During the planning stage, I spotted everything that could be upgraded and shared my recommendations.

🙅 Skills You Should NOT Include in Your CV #

Not all skills can benefit your resume. There are some things you should not include if you want a recruiter to see you as a professional. The list of skills to avoid in your CV contains:

  1. Outdated skills
    For example, if you plan to work in an IT sphere, you shouldn’t include knowledge of obsolete software or technology.
  2. Irrelevant skills
    If you apply for a creative job, like a digital designer, you don’t have to mention too many analytical skills. Focus on your creative side and highlight your imaginative abilities!
  3. General skills
    Some characteristics like passion for your job are overused. Try to avoid things that are too obvious.
  4. Skills that everybody should already have
    Every company expects its employees to stay focused and have some experience. Do not add the minimal requirements to your soft skills list.
  5. Skills that you don’t have
    We all want to be the best versions of ourselves. However, this doesn’t mean you should claim to have the skills you lack. If you struggle with time management, look for a job with no strict deadlines instead of lying about how well you organize your time.

🏁 Conclusion #

Let’s wrap up what we’ve learned about soft skills in your resume!

Soft skills combine professional attitudes and social skills. They reflect how you deal with work tasks and other challenges that appear throughout the working process. These skills are in demand in all professions and can bring your resume to a new level! Recruiters pay close attention to the soft skills list, which can become a critical factor in the hiring process.

Remember that your soft skills should demonstrate your strongest sides and correspond with your hard skills. Make sure you list your soft skills in the first paragraphs of your resume and apply them when needed in other sections. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the necessary soft skills yet! Write down what is relevant to you, and you’ll find the job that matches the best!

❓ Soft Skills FAQ #

What Are Soft Skills? #


Soft skills are general characteristics of how a person deals with work tasks, communicates with colleagues and solves different problems. The most popular soft skills are problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, and effective communication.

Where Do I Put Soft Skills on My Resume? #


Add the list of your soft skills to the beginning of your resume. This will ensure it will attract a recruiter’s attention when looking through your CV. For the list of soft skills, use bold type and italics to highlight the most relevant ones.

Which Soft Skills Should I Include in My Resume? #


Soft skills can benefit your resume if you mention the most relevant ones. It is essential to craft your resume according to the requirements of a specific job offer. Include the soft skills that make you stand out from other candidates. Never copy abilities that don’t apply to you.

What Are the Best Soft Skills in 2022? #


In 2022 soft skills are believed to be as important as hard ones. Employers especially value employees who know how to collaborate efficiently and be team members. Today, the most in-demand soft skills are critical thinking, adaptability, worth ethic, teamwork, and leadership.

🔗 References #

  1. Soft Skills for Success: Identifying, Developing, & Selling | Custom-Writing.org
  2. 12 Tips to Make a LinkedIn Profile that Employers Will Love [Infographic] | Blog StudyCorgi.com
  3. 5 soft skills needed in 2022 and why do they matter in the workplace, HR News, ETHRWorld
  4. Top 20 Must-Have Skills to Put on Your Resume | FlexJobs
  5. How to Pass the 6-Second Resume Test | TopResume
  6. 300+ Action Verbs, Power Words & Synonyms for Your Resume
  7. Do’s & Don’ts of Resume Writing – Career Center – UMBC