You might be familiar with something that is known as ‘soft skills’ on resumes, CVs, and job applications. These are the skills that you possess that, whilst still being important, aren’t necessarily things that are specifically essential for the role that you are applying for. When you are concentrating on looking as suitable and good for the job as possible, it can sometimes be easy to forget about these lesser skills, but I happen to think they can play an important part in the process. They can be especially useful when you are applying for a job with no experience of the industry or your first job after graduating. Here is how to big up your soft skills in a job application.
1. Be Specific
It is easy to turn soft skills into hard ones if you thoroughly read the job description and come up with ways to link your general positive traits to the requirements of the role. For example, if the job requires a lot of customer service, then a great soft skill to emphasise would be something along the lines of being a proficient debater during your school years. In a similar fashion, point to your stellar attendance record in school or college to highlight the fact that you are a punctual and dependable person.
2. Strong Cover Letter
The cover letter that accompanies your application is the only real chance you have to showcase your personality because the rest of it usually just depends on your qualifications, past jobs, and references. Make sure that you construct a cover letter that alludes to a lot of your indirect skills, helping to build a character and persona that the reader can really see and visualise in their mind. Grouping a lot of your soft skills in your cover letter leaves the bulk of the application to be precise and on point, and your potential employers will appreciate that too.
I alluded to it above, but it is worth repeating again just how important it is for you to inject personality in to your job application. You might think that you should leave out the majority of your soft skills because they don’t directly relate to the role you are aiming for, but including these skills is the best way for you to show the reader that you are a real person with a wide and varied personality. People who don’t try to show their character in applications and just stick to the relevant facts, often come across as robotic.
Don’t be afraid to lay it all out on the line and make things personal. There are plenty of ways that you can display how your soft skills might be helpful for the job, one of the best being telling personal stories in your cover letter that showcase that you can be dependable problem solver, a real team player that can achieve anything you put your mind to.