Post by June Scarlet on May 24, 2020 19:42:15 GMT -5
Being the sort of person who's lowkey looking for a new job, I sometimes get newsletters from companies designed to help with that sort of thing. I don't usually give those much mind, but the blurb on one led to an article about soft skills, which got me thinking.
Hard skills are easy enough to put on a resume. They're concrete. For me, they're things like, "Proficient with HTML5, CSS3, Java, and Python" and "Adept at creating original illustrations with Adobe Creative Suite and ArtRage Studio". They're quantifiable. But how do you define a soft skill? How can you prove you have it? How can you justify putting it on your resume?
I'm not entirely sure what soft skills I have, or how I would put them on a resume. But it's something I think I'd better figure out. Hence this thread.
I see this as a place to discuss what soft skills are, how to use them, how to put them on a resume, how to figure out what soft skills you have, and so on. A friendly place to figure this stuff out.
Post by Stephanie (swordlilly) on May 26, 2020 23:12:42 GMT -5
Soft skills are qualities like being able to work with a team, and being able to learn quickly and independently. You can demonstrate that you have these skills by writing a short blurb under your work/volunteer experiences.
For example, if you helped organize a conference, your resume entry could look something like this:
Conference Committee Member Blah University / Organization, Aug 2017 - May 2018
- Collaborated with the other committee members to do X, Y, and Z tasks. - Accomplished A, B, and C.
Disclaimer, it's always weird for me to talk about employment-related things because I'm in a semi-rural place in not-America, which is. VERY different from American business culture, and honestly the American job search tips that dominate the conversation are often misleading in my situation, BUT as it happens, there are a few little things I've learned recently about Soft Skills. (what a brand new buzzword for them to use in articles =o)
Soft skills are things that I wasn't aware I had, until my boss pointed out that I do, and apparently, not everyone does. Work ethic, for instance. You'd think that most people who went to work, did work. But. Apparently not? So. I guess I have a work ethic, then? (Obviously it's more than that, it's about your reliability when you commit to something and what you prioritise, but it seemed so natural to me. Heck, I don't even know how I'd mention this one in a CV. I'd have to mention it alongside teamwork, because that's what it helps with.) So, to me, soft skills are situational and relative. Soft skills? In your personality? It's more likely than you think!
Some months ago, I also happened to be on the other end of the recruitment process for the very first time. We needed another person for the team and I was actually shown the candidates' CVs. We have a good team chemistry, and in this situation it was important to get someone who would fit in - at least as important as their "hard" skills. My opinion was needed specifically when interpreting what the candidates had said about their own soft skills. I could tell that some soft skills were listed more or less in the same way as in Stephanie's example above, sounded natural and could easily be verified with an in-person interview, while some sounded more presumptuous.
What made a difference, as far as I could tell, was probably the presentation of the soft skills, rather than the skills themselves: what did this person choose to say about themself? What were they trying to highlight to their potential employer? Were they focusing on relevant skills that would benefit a team in this specific workplace, or benefit an individual in their long-term career? That alone can tell you a lot about a person.
I don't think I've actually dedicated a section on my resumé for soft skills and at least when I looked through resumés when selecting an intern for my team (these were people that already got the internship, this was more picking an intern that would best align with our tech stack), not all of them listed soft skills. However, I did see a few bullet points related to leadership roles in various campus organizations or team events.
However, if you're looking for some examples, I did do some recent training about soft skills where I learned about some of the ones I had. It was mostly aided by Gallup's StrengthsFinder 2.0; my employer provided the book which includes a survey that tries to tell you what your best soft skills are.
Some of the ones I thought were interesting were "Responsibility", "Relator" and "Input".
I thought responsibility was strange because I thought everyone was responsible for something at work. While that's true, it's more about the level of commitment you put into the things you say you will do rather than just getting them done.
Input was an interesting one too. This one is about whether you have a tendency to collect and archive information. Not everyone on the team needs to be an information hoarder of course, but if you're one of them, you can step in to fill information gaps say during a team meeting about a project.
Relator is more about being able to easily establish relationships not just on your own team but other teams that you may work with on a particular task. When you're on a team, you obviously will have close relationships with your team members (hopefully!). But building those relationships may be an easier thing for some. That's not to say you won't succeed if it's not your best skill, but someone that is good at this might be the one that just happens to know someone that could help out at any given problem.
Those are just some examples, and you don't have to do training that puts them in such formal terms. That's just how I encountered the whole "soft skill" topic.
The reason why I probably didn't put soft skills on my resumé was probably due to almost every interview I had including a behavioral portion where you'll often get the "Describe a time when you..." "How did you respond when..." "What do you think about this situation..." "What would you do if..."
types of questions that I often link to soft skills.
Last Edit: May 29, 2020 14:46:34 GMT -5 by Geo 🇺🇦 🌻