In today’s job market, soft skills are the key to success as they are those that cannot be replicated by AI. In fact, next to the demand of hard skills, if you want to land a job, you need to let your soft skills shine. You would be surprised to know that what most candidates overlook during the recruitment process is the need to showcase their transversal skills and how these skills participate in making the candidate successful in the position.
Today, the way people work is more and more team and service-oriented. It is no longer just about getting a task done. For the same reason, recruiters also focus on soft skills as increasingly necessary to thrive in any position. For instance, candidates are sometimes tested on the social skills, as well as on the respect they show to lower and higher positions. Similarly, candidates are interviewed in group settings to assess their team-work and communications skills. These and other methods are now being used because a traditional resume and one-to-one interview are no more the best way to assess a candidate’s skills.
If we want recruiters to see how and why we can make a difference thanks to our soft skills, we should be able to recognise them first. Here is a quick reference with hundreds of soft skills and keywords. Then, if we want our soft skills to shine and be our secret weapon, we should:
- Add relevant skills to the resume – Include the terms most closely related to the job in your resume, especially in the description of your work history.
- Highlight skills in the cover letter – You can incorporate soft skills into your cover letter. Include one or two of the soft skills mentioned in the list and give specific examples of instances when you demonstrated these traits at work.
- Use skill words during the job interview – You can also use these words in your job interviews. Keep the top skills listed in mind during the interview, and be prepared to give examples of how you have used each. Each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully and focus on the skills listed by the employer.
However, while adding words to your resume is definitely a start, showing these skills during an interview is even more crucial, if you want to get the job. To test soft skills such as self-awareness, adaptability, multitasking skills and the power to inspire others, some employers propose unexpected and real-life scenarios to candidates as part of the assessment process. Here is how to show your soft skills and manage these scenarios during the interview:
A great way to prove your communication skills is conduct your interview more like a conversation, connecting with the panel, rather than having a passive role and making it appear like an interrogation. This way you will show how you can quickly connect with colleagues and create an environment that fosters productivity. It is important to wait for the interviewer to finish the sentences before starting with your reply and be receptive to the question. Communication skills are more than just words! Your eye contact and body language are part of the communication too. Being able to adjust your answers through tone and style will help people understand them more clearly.
Some recruiters like to ask behavioural or situational questions to test candidates on their creative thinking skills. When you are asked to talk about a problem you helped solve, or a difficult colleague or client you had to manage, don’t just talk about the final result, but explain your thinking process. Use the EAR formula: start with the Event, then talk about your Action and explain the Result. This formula will help you show how your soft skills contributed to the outcome and solve the problem. The way you describe situations can also be an example of your ability to think creatively.
Teamwork skills are a growing asset. If you feel you are a great collaborator, you can prove it during the interview by giving an example of where and how well you have worked with others. Make sure you use the right language when talking about your team, especially to show how everyone has contributed to the outcome, and not just your own personal input. This particular attention will show that you are thinking beyond yourself and that you have a team-oriented mindset. Also, remember that expressing the desire to achieve ambitious goals will help your interviewer to connect the points behind your contributions and give a solid background to this soft skill.
To conclude, even if you intentionally try to demonstrate your soft skills, some soft skills will still come up during an interview without even realising it. Communicating clearly, being able to listen and having a positive attitude are examples of soft skills that will reveal themselves naturally. So, remember not to leave them aside when writing your CV or going to an interview. They can really be your secret weapon and make a difference in the eyes of recruiters.