5 Soft Skills for a Killer Resume

Though most job candidates would consider the interview as getting your foot through the door, the resume is just as significant, as it is what opens that proverbial door. As a result, job seekers must think like an employer when crafting their next resume.

It’s been said before: each resume must be tailored for each position. In reading the job description and requirements, you can align your relevant skills and accomplishments. This strategy will achieve addressing technical skills for a job, like content writing or programming.

But what about addressing the “soft skills” desired by employers?

In a recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 244 employers took part in the Job Outlook Survey 2012, and the findings concluded that employers look for evidence of these five skills on a resume:

Working on a Team

Consider including relevant projects or contributions created by you and your fellow coworkers or classmates.


List a leadership position (maybe within a club or professional organization) and accomplishments made from the position’s responsibilities.

Written Communication

Incorporate relevant writing experience you have had in a position, whether writing blog entries or journalistic articles. If your experiences have not allowed for much writing, consider starting your own blog.


This is where you want to include quantitative data. Some examples to list include if you saved time or money by making a process more efficient, handling a crisis, or gaining more clients than last year.

Strong Work Ethic

This can exude from your resume if crafted to list accomplishments rather than responsibilities. It’s about the quality, not quantity, of work you have done.

Job seekers: does your resume include these five skills? What are some other ways to craft a promising resume for employers?



For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at ComeRecommended!

About the Author: Katie Lewis is currently a senior at Florida State University and will graduate in May 2012 with a B.A. in Editing, Writing, and Media. Minoring in Communications and attending her first meeting of the Florida Public Relations Association Student Chapter inspired her to pursue a career in public relations.



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  • Don’t just list these on your resume; or as I like to say to
    jobseekers, “Don’t tell me, SHOW me!”


    You’re going to have to include these in an active,
    performance-focused “voice”.


    “Great Team Player“ becomes “As part of a 4 person
    team…” then describe the team’s accomplishments in terms of what you improved.


    “Leadership Skills” becomes “As Vice President of Computer
    Science Club…”  then describe something
    you  did was “leadership material” such
    as reaching out to prominent alumni and convincing them to be speakers.


    “Excellent Written Communication Skills” becomes “Authored…”
    then describe what you wrote and include a sense of how people responded to it.
    Above all, if you’re going to claim your written communication skills are
    great, please Dear God, proof your resume for spelling and grammatical errors.
    Don’t be an Account Manger…


    “Excellent Problem-Solving Skills” are worthless to me
    unless you can describe some of the problems you solved and include performance
    metrics. Describe what you improved and do your best to include by-how-much.
    Don’t wing it by making up numbers; either measure it or use some of those
    great logic skills you think you have to come up with some metrics. Believe me
    – I will grill you on how you came up with the numbers.


    “Possess a Strong Work Ethic” is a tricky one; I disagree
    that this is something that is inherently quality versus quantity oriented. A
    work ethic is more about an attitude towards doing the best you can and never
    giving up just because the clock strikes 5 PM. A “strong work ethic” is about
    going above and beyond. If you’ve been part of efforts where you and/or the
    team went above and beyond, tell me about it. But be prepared to field my
    question as to why you believe this was out of the ordinary.


    Again, words are nice but performance and metrics always
    gets my attention.

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