We know that relevant qualifications and experience give you a great advantage when applying for jobs. However, a lot of candidates focus mainly on selling that part of themselves and they forget about a key component that makes them standout: soft skills.
According to an article written by the HR Executive, a survey conducted online in America by the Harris Poll shows that out of the 2,000 adults who participated, 75% would rather hire someone who has soft skills but lack experience and qualifications, rather than someone who has the required experience and education but poor personal skills.
Soft skills are a combination of personality traits, attitudes, and qualities that help you work with clients and colleagues. These are key for developing a successful career, and organizations identify soft skills as a key part of their business success.
You must highlight your soft skills on your job applications, you can do it in your cover letter, CV, and interview. Remember that you have to sell yourself in the best way you can to get noticed, for example, if you don’t have enough years of experience required for the job, then focus on your best soft skills!
Here are a couple of tips on how to add soft skills to your cover letter and CV:
- If you are struggling to identify your top soft skills we advise you to ask a colleague, a former manager, or even a friend. They may highlight a skill or a time when you used a soft skill that made you stand out at work or in your personal life.
- After you have identified your top soft skills, make a list, and choose the most suitable and relevant one to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an accounting position then you need to highlight your critical thinking skills, as well as your time management skills.
- Include a section for your soft skills in your CV, write those that you possess and those that are relevant to the job.
- When writing the cover letter, you should include at least one well explained soft skill that will make you stand out from the rest of the candidates. For example, explain how your leadership skills helped you to effectively manage a team of four.
Having strong soft skills will help you progress in your career, and they will also make you the kind of employee everyone wants to have aboard.