Do you remember when you filled out your first resume and drew a blank at the “Skills” portion? You probably thought “What am I good at?” or “What will impress this hiring manager?” Maybe you still have this problem!
When writing a resume, it is essential to keep in mind that there are two categories of skills (both of which you should be including). These two categories are “hard skills” and “soft skills.” But what is the difference between the two? Which is better?
Hard skills can be described as the technical capabilities that an individual has learned and mastered. A few examples of hard skills are a strong understanding of SEO principles, being fluent in Microsoft Excel, and having years of experience with Java Development. Soft skills on the other hand are interpersonal, non-technical skills that have an impact on how you behave and get things done. Some examples of soft skills include time management, problem-solving, and public speaking.
Although hard skills are a big determination as to whether you are a qualifying candidate for most jobs (especially technical jobs) an employer’s decision will also be heavily swayed by the strength of your soft skills!
The hard skills are the easy part of filling out this segment. Mention the skills that you already have in which you know are required for the job. If it is a non-technical job, it is still important to name some of the essentials like Microsoft Office, Editing and Proofreading, and Proficiency with common office machinery. Soft skills on the other hand can be tricky. Not every employer is looking for the same set of skills! A job for a remote position will most likely not require the same amount of teamwork knowledge and experience that an in-person, office job would require.
- Problem-Solving Skills
“Problem-Solving” is one of the top skills that you can add to your resume. Being an effective problem-solver lets the hiring manager know that you can handle situations that require critical thinking and analytics to come to a resolution. Problems/situations can arise out of nowhere with zero warning, and may or may not be detrimental. So, being confident in your ability to think critically in high-pressure scenarios is valuable and looks great to a hiring manager.
- Teamwork Skills
The strength of your teamwork skills is determined by how well you work with others towards a shared goal or project, and the level of seniority that you held at the time can greatly impact how impressive this skill looks on you. Being a team member that plays a single role is of course essential to the success of the team, but being the team leader (manager, administrator, etc.) means that you have experience leading an entire group of coworkers whom had their own individual responsibilities through every step of your shared goal. Thus, the level of your teamwork or team building skills will allow the hiring manager to predict how quickly you can become acclimated to workplace.
- Communication Skills
It is common knowledge that there are multiple ways of communicating: verbal, written, public speaking, presentations, and more! And being flexible with the way you communicate is an impressive skill to have. If you work for an employer that has numerous branches across the country or even a mix of remote and in-house employees, being a strong communicator is a very impressive skill to have. You verbally communicate with other employees in the office throughout the day, and even keep up with any messages, calls, or emails from coworkers that are off-site.
- Time Management Skills
Time Management is a serious indicator of self-discipline. Not only does it act as a way to organize the tasks that you have planned for an allotted timeframe, but it also acts as a form of goal-setting. With successful time management, you are constantly creating and completing goals for yourself on a daily basis. Additionally, remaining flexible with your planned time presents you as someone who handles surprises and last-minute changes very well.
- Public Speaking Skills
Although it sounds simple, public speaking is not as easy as it seems. It is not just about not being nervous while speaking to an audience, but rather how strong of a speaker you are. This means the confidence in your voice, the tone you use, the passion you exemplify, and more! How you handle yourself as you speak is how you portray yourself to those that you are speaking to. Thus, being able to confidently claim that one of your strengths is public speaking gives you some bonus points on your resume. But don’t forget that your interviewer will be able to tell if this is true or not during your interview!
During your interview, there is a chance that your interviewer will ask you to give him or her an example of a time that you used one of the skills that you listed (or maybe even all of them!), so make sure that any skills you add to your resume are valid. At that moment, you need to be prepared to tell short, situational success stories in which you used these skills. We hope that you found this blog helpful; good luck!
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