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REVEALED: THE SOFT SKILLS THAT WILL HELP YOU FIND A JOB

When applying for a job, it can be tricky to show that you’re the right person for the role, particularly if you’re unsure of what the hiring party needs to know about you. However, you’ll stand a much better chance of impressing your potential manager or interviewer if you can offer examples of soft skills that employers are looking for.

Read time: 4 minutes | Author: Jane Bamford - Managing Director Hays Netherlands  

 

What are soft skills? As opposed to technical skills, such as coding or being able to create certain thing, these can be used across a range of roles and even industries. As you’ll see from the examples of soft skills that employers are looking for, it’s likely that you’ll need these on a day-to-day basis, even if you don’t realise it. They’re also growing in importance because, as innovation and technological advances change the way we work at a rapid rate, it’s the soft skills that won’t become outdated so quickly.

At Hays, we’ve looked at the soft skills that have been appearing most frequently in job descriptions. Read more to find out what they are, and how you can show off your strengths when applying for your next role.

How to add examples of soft skills to your CV

When it comes to writing your CV, it’s best to include examples of your soft skills throughout the Employment History section, rather than explicitly mentioning them in another section.

Why? Telling the reader that you have these skills doesn’t actually explain how they’ve helped you to deliver success. Moreover, it’s likely that a lot of other candidates will have listed these, so adding context will help you stand out from the crowd.

What are examples of soft skills that employers are looking for right now?

 

COMMUNICATION

Top of the list for employers is your ability to communicate well, whether you’re sharing information with your colleagues or reporting to senior stakeholders.

What to include in your CV:

• Responsibilities such as distributing updates or documents to a wide audience.

• Achievements in collaboration with other departments or even external stakeholders.

• Experiences of presenting or public speaking.

How to showcase in an interview:

• Give answers that tell the interviewer what they want to know. Avoid “waffling” or saying anything irrelevant.

• Provide examples of any past successes where communication played a vital role, such as feedback to a colleague or collaborator.

• Talk about instances where you’ve had to convey complex ideas to other people, and what the positive outcome was.

TEAMWORK

Just describing yourself as a “team player” won’t cut it, I’m afraid. The hiring party will want to know how you’ll work with others, and how you go about delivering the right results.

What to include in your CV:

• Any projects in which you collaborated with your team (or people in another department or organisation).

• Has your role within a team changed over time? Try to add multiple examples throughout your employment history, and the part you played.

How to showcase in an interview:

• Prepare a story of how you actively helped a team work together and the impact it had. If possible, explain how your strategy could be employed in the role you’re applying for.

• Discuss your ability to contribute to a team while listening to others. Explain how this was a success and what you delivered together.

SELF-MOTIVATION

Can your next manager trust you to stay productive during challenging times? Or take charge of your responsibilities and learning?

What to include in your CV:

• Any projects in which you took initiative

• Any examples of where you’ve developed your skills outside of work, especially if you have earned any certificates. This will also help to show the interviewer that you have a learning mindset, which is another important soft skill.

How to showcase in an interview:

• Discuss occasions where you’ve identified areas for self-improvement and taken proactive steps to address this.

• Explain how you stay motivated without supervision. If you have been, or will be, working remotely, examples of this can help build trust.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Being thorough in your work tells your next employer that they can depend on you, as does an ability to spot any mistakes or think about factors that others might have missed.

What to include in your CV:

• Correct information! Make sure the document is free of typos or grammatical errors, while ensuring consistency in the format and layout.

• Responsibilities where accuracy has been key. This could range from written copy in reports or marketing collateral to data or figures.

How to showcase in an interview:

• Highlight any specific techniques or processes you follow to maintain accuracy and precision.

• Explain how you organise and manage your responsibilities to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

ADAPTABILITY

As mentioned in the introduction, today’s workers need to be able to adapt to change.

What to include in your CV:

• Instances in your career of when you’ve needed to adapt in your role.

How to showcase in an interview:

• Be prepared to talk about how you’ve adapted to a new role, or when you’ve had to pivot during a project or campaign.

• If asked about what you’ve learned from a challenging moment, talk about what you did differently next time (or would do) that demonstrates your ability to adapt.

For more advice on finding your next job, check out our blogs here.

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