Every business professional understands the importance of a crisp and impressive resume. Not only does a resume convey work experiences and qualifications, but it provides valuable insight into the personality and attention to detail that the candidate offers.
When constructing a resume, it can be tempting to focus on the hard details. Surely, concrete results and statistics can go a long way in making a positive impression. However, some of the most valuable skills that any teammate possesses are the “soft” skills. A potential employer is not just hiring a list of accomplishments, but a full person with complexity and individuality.
Soft skills like leadership, communication, work ethic, and collaboration can be tricky to demonstrate on the black-and-white canvas of a resume. The recruiters at Turn2Partners share some key tips to ensuring your positive attributes shine through.
Start with the Job Posting
Throughout the canvassing and hiring process, your interviewers will be briefed on the requirements for the role and the formal job description that was disseminated to the applicants. In some cases, the people who craft the job posting might actually interview candidates themselves. For these reasons, make sure you are intimately familiar with the language used on the job posting and can gather which types of candidates will best fit the role. Take some time to tailor your resume and highlight experiences that demonstrate the qualities the employer is explicitly looking for. If your resume is screened by a software program (which is becoming increasingly common), this method will serve you extremely well.
Show Your Qualities – Don’t Tell
One of the most effective ways to convince someone of an idea is to allow the person to arrive at the idea themselves. Instead of saying you are hard-working or great at managing time, describe experiences that clearly show these truths. If you can articulate the details of some of your most notable results, as well as describe some of the major challenges you have overcome, the reviewer of your resume will arrive at positive conclusions about you. This strategy is more likely to make an impact than a declaration.
Another subtle way to communicate attention to detail and communication skills is through the format and clarity of your resume itself. Spend an extra hour simply editing your resume for spacing, style, and syntax. If you can make your document look appealing without sacrificing clarity, it can signal diligence and professionalism without you having to say anything at all.
Use the Right Verbs
Always use action verbs to describe your experiences. Avoid using the passive voice when you can help it. Carefully choose words that demonstrate how you took ownership or initiative. For example, saying that you “designed a system” or “implemented new policies” or “spearheaded a project” is much more powerful and effective than saying you “were staffed on” or “were responsible for” a certain task.
On the flip side of this piece of advice, be careful that you don’t overstep your efforts into aggressive-sounding verbs that bear no relevance to this role. Again, refer back to the job description to which you are applying for inspiration.
Focus on the Interpersonal
When in doubt, emphasize your soft skills that relate to your interactions with others. Teamwork, collaboration, conflict resolution, client communication, and supervision of others are incredibly useful skills – regardless of the role or job function. If any of these key strengths make you a more attractive candidate, ensure you have at least a few bullet points that speak to those skills.
Your potential employer wants to hire a thriving value-add to the team that enhances their work environment. Take stock of your soft skills, and make sure they echo throughout your resume.
Your Career Search Partners
The recruiters at Turn2Partners want to see your career blossom and succeed. Our team specializes in finding the right fit for technology, finance & accounting, HR, and administrative professionals in the Washington, D.C. area – and we want to help you. Find out more by contacting us at 571-302-4999 or visiting our website today.
Looking for more career insights? Check out the Turn2Partners blog here.