Certain skills are straightforward to list on your resume. It’s pretty clear what you mean when you list safety certifications or the ability to operate certain machines. It can be more of a challenge to convey soft skills like problem solving, leadership, and communication. After all, how can a potential employer reading that list know that those words are more than just fluff?

Because soft skills are incredibly important in the workplace, however, it’s important for them to come across in your resume. Below, we’ll walk you through the most effective way to convey those skills – and present yourself as a well-rounded candidate before you’ve even scheduled an interview. 

First, consider what soft skills your intended job requires. Will you be leading a team? Expected to solve problems on the fly? Is there a customer service component? From there, come up with a list of three to five basic soft skills that you can list alongside the technical skills on your resume. For example, if you’re applying for a quality control position, you might list skills like “attention to detail” and “time management.” Even if a bulleted list doesn’t feel illustrative, it’s still important to have as it will underscore the areas of your resume where you can better demonstrate your soft skills.

Those other areas of your resume are where your soft skills can really shine. Once you’ve got your list, consider your past work experience. Where did you make use of those particular skills? If you’re applying for a supervisory position and you’ve listed “leadership” in your skills section, be sure to expand on it in your experience section. Be specific – if you’ve led a team in the past, say how many people reported to you. You can mention mentoring a subordinate who got a promotion, or educating a team on new technology. 

You may also want to consider adding a summary to the top of your resume. The summary should be two to five sentences long and appear right under your contact information. Again, whatever you highlight here should be consistent with the list of soft skills that appears in your skills section. Your soft skills are, after all, just as important (and sometimes even more so) than your technical skills. Any potential employer will appreciate the effort you’ve made to emphasize them on your resume. 


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