In today’s ever-changing work environment, soft skills play a pivotal role in determining professional success. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills are interpersonal and broadly applicable in the workplace.
Here are five essential soft skills for professional success, along with examples of how to showcase them in your resume or cover letter.
Importance: Effective communication is crucial in any workplace setting. It involves clearly conveying ideas, listening actively, understanding others’ perspectives, and responding appropriately. Good communicators can inspire and influence people, fostering a positive and productive work environment. Think about the leaders you know who inspired you. What was one of their best qualities? I bet it was the ability to communicate with their team.
How to Use in Resume/Cover Letter: In your resume, include instances where your communication skills led to positive outcomes, such as resolving conflicts, delivering presentations that won significant accounts, or leading workshops that improved team performance.
In your cover letter, you might write, “I have honed my communication skills through various leadership roles, consistently ensuring clear and effective dissemination of objectives and fostering an atmosphere of open dialogue.”
Importance: Collaboration and the ability to work well with others are fundamental in most jobs. Employers look for individuals who can contribute to the team, share ideas, and support their colleagues to achieve common goals while not involving themselves in drama.
How to Use in Resume/Cover Letter: Highlight specific projects where your ability to work in a team was evident in achieving results. For instance, “Collaborated with a cross-functional team to increase project efficiency by 30%, demonstrating strong teamwork and problem-solving skills.” In a cover letter, mention how you believe in the power of teamwork to overcome complex challenges and bring innovative solutions to life.
Importance: The ability to identify problems, analyze underlying causes, and implement solutions is invaluable. Problem-solving skills show that you can navigate challenges creatively and effectively, a quality that is highly prized in any role. We like to use CAR stories (Challenge, Action, Results). What was the challenge you faced? What action did you take to change it? What were the results?
How to Use in Resume/Cover Letter: Provide examples of situations where you successfully solved a problem or made an improvement. For example, “Identified a bottleneck in the production process and implemented a new strategy that reduced delivery times by 20%.” Your cover letter could explain a scenario where your problem-solving skills led to a significant breakthrough in a project or task.
Importance: In a fast-paced work environment, change is constant. Being adaptable means you can handle unexpected situations with ease and remain flexible in your approach to challenges and new tasks. How can we forget the pandemic? Adaptability in a time of crisis wins every time.
How to Use in Resume/Cover Letter: Mention experiences where you had to quickly adapt to changes or learn new skills to meet the demands of your role. In your resume, this could be, “Adapted to a rapidly changing work environment by learning new software in a short period, which increased the team’s productivity by 15%.” In your cover letter, reflect on a time when your adaptability allowed you to successfully navigate a difficult situation.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Importance: Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of others. It involves empathy, social skills, self-awareness, and self-regulation. High emotional intelligence can lead to better relationships at work, improved leadership skills, and a positive workplace culture.
How to Use in Resume/Cover Letter: Highlight roles or situations where your emotional intelligence made a difference. This could be through conflict resolution, mentoring colleagues, or leading a team through a stressful period. For example, “Leveraged my high emotional intelligence to mediate a conflict between team members, resulting in enhanced team harmony and productivity.” In your cover letter, discuss how your emotional intelligence has been a key factor in your professional development and success.
Soft skills are increasingly becoming the differentiators between good and great professionals. By effectively showcasing these skills in your resume and cover letter, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you not only have the technical skills required for the job but also the interpersonal capabilities that will make you a valuable addition to their team.
Remember, the key is to provide specific examples that highlight how these skills have contributed to your successes and how they can be beneficial in the role you’re applying for.
The two traditional components needed to apply for a job include a cover letter and a resume. As technology and the job searching process has evolved, though, many people wonder whether it’s still necessary to include a cover letter with their application. If you follow the recommended course of action by attending networking events and making connections with people prior to applying for a job, then cover letters for resumes are still valuable. You want to introduce yourself appropriately and show your personality when applying for a job, and a cover letter is a perfect way to do so. Here are some reasons why an executive resume cover letter still brings value.
Cover Letters Won’t Hurt Your Chances
Most recruiters and hiring managers don’t mind seeing a cover letter sent in with a resume. It doesn’t mean they will read it from start to finish, but including one isn’t going to hurt your chances. On the other hand, some hiring managers actually do read cover letters for resumes thoroughly to get a glimpse of the applicant’s style and brand. So not including one could mean your application gets tossed to the side. The bottom line is there are very few situations where a cover letter will hurt your chances of getting a job, so go ahead and include it.
Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Cover Letters
Any cover letter writing service will tell you to target your cover letter as you would your resume. It starts with addressing the actual person who will read the cover letter. If you aren’t sure who this is, do a Google search and look on LinkedIn for the appropriate person to address it to. Otherwise, it may appear as if you wrote a general cover letter to send to multiple companies, which isn’t attractive for hiring managers. Also, be sure to incorporate some personal branding attributes in your executive resume cover letter so your targeted employer knows who you are as a person and an employee.
Cover Letters Should Add Value To Your Resume
Your cover letter shouldn’t simply be a summary of your resume. It should, however, add value to your resume by going into more detail or highlighting the most important parts of the resume. The language and tone of your executive resume cover letter should be more informal than a resume, while still being professional. Be specific as to why you are a great fit for the targeted company and you can point to your resume for evidence.
At Professional Resume Services, we look for ways to help executives stand out among the talent pool of other individuals. Too many people devalue the cover letter nowadays, which is a huge mistake. A cover letter can be extremely effective when done correctly and our cover letter writing service is here to help. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or need tips for developing yours.
An executive resume cover letter shouldn’t simply restate your resume in paragraph form. If you’ve been crafting your resume like this, then it’s time to revisit some of the basics of cover letter writing. The purpose of a cover letter is to sell yourself to the potential employer you are interested in working for. This may mean adding some details or specifics to things already present on your resume, but simply restating the information is a great way for yours to get overlooked. Here are some of the basics of writing an executive resume cover letter.
Grab The Reader’s Attention
The first sentence of your cover letter should grab the reader’s attention enough to where they want to continue reading. You could even start it off with a question. Read the job description thoroughly to see exactly what the employer is looking for to fill their open position. And when you ask the question, be sure the answer to it is “yes”. Not only will this immediately get the reader’s attention, but it will also suggest you are the answer to the problem they need to solve.
Demonstrate Past Success
The most effective resumes and cover letters will give specific examples of your past accomplishments and success. If you helped increase sales numbers by a certain percentage, explain those numbers briefly. Just remember there’s a fine line between giving success stories and coming across as arrogant, so it could be valuable to visit a cover letter writing service to make sure you aren’t crossing the line in your writing inadvertently.
Statistics are always going to grab the attention of a reader. Many times a hiring manager will scan resumes and cover letters quickly and look for bold, italics, numbers and percentages and start reading from that point. The main thing to remember is to make sure the statistics you provide from your past jobs are relevant to the role you’re applying for now. Potential employers are only interested in your past success if it can easily translate to help them.
Putting in some sort of call-to-action shows a genuine interest on your part. Every cover letter writing service will suggest either telling the reader how they can contact you or saying you will follow-up in a certain amount of time. If you choose to include the latter, be sure to follow through with your commitment since you never know if they are anxiously awaiting your call.
Professional Resume Services can help you with all aspects of your executive resume cover letter. Whether you have a blank piece of paper and don’t know where to start or if you’ve got a first draft and need a skilled proofreader and editor, we are here for you. Your cover letter is important and should take some time to craft perfectly, so contact us at any time for assistance or advice.
There are two types of job seekers today: those who think cover letters are somewhat fun to write, and those who think they are a complete waste of time. Regardless of where your feelings are, cover letters for your resume are more important today than ever before. Like resumes, you can’t be too general in your cover letter or the reader will see right through you. By doing a little research on the company you’re interested in, you can create a targeted cover letter to get recognized. Here are some of the top do’s and don’ts when crafting yours.
Don’t Rewrite Your Resume
Too many people make the mistake of thinking their executive resume cover letter should simply be a summary of their resume. The hiring manager already has your resume, so it’s a waste of time to simply rewrite it. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the company’s needs and follow it immediately with how you can meet those needs. Your language in your cover letter doesn’t necessarily have to be as formal as the resume, but it shouldn’t be as informal as something like your LinkedIn profile.
Don’t Create A Generic Cover Letter
Hiring managers will be able to easily see if you’ve reused your executive resume cover letter. They are looking for your specific skills as well as how you think they fit into what they need. If you just make general statements about how companies today need what you have to offer, there’s a higher chance of your cover letter and resume getting tossed to the side and never really considered.
Choose A Few Skills To Match The Job Requirements
While you may have an abundance of skills, a hiring manager would rather see just a few of them on your cover letter. In fact, any cover letter writing service will suggest taking just a few of your skills to focus on and clearly show why those skills will help the company. Those should be the most important skills to you and the company, and you can always talk about your other skills during the interview process.
One of the most important aspects of an executive resume cover letter that often gets overlooked is the personalization factor. With the amount of information we have available to us today, you should be able to find a name to address your cover letter to. And if all of your searches come up empty, it usually never hurts to give the company a call and ask the receptionist for the name of their hiring manager.
Professional Resume Services is a cover letter writing service that also focuses extensively on resumes, LinkedIn and many other aspects of job searches today. Cover letters have never been more important, so crafting the perfect one will give your job hunt a nice boost. We understand it’s not always quick and easy to write a cover letter, so feel free to contact us if you need assistance with yours.
The most basic piece of advice to consider with your executive resume cover letter is to make the greeting personal. The generic greeting of “To Whom It May Concern” is no longer an acceptable way to begin your cover letter, as it’s too impersonal. With the information we have available to us today, a little effort in finding the right person to address it to will go a long way in making your cover letter stand out in a good way. So how can you find out who to address your cover letter to when the recipient isn’t obvious? Here are some tips to consider.
Search For The Email Address
Most of the time a job listing will include an email address to send your cover letter and resume to. The name in the email address may not include both the first name and last name, but usually will at least include the last name. Do a quick Google search for the name in the email address, along with the company name. You may find the biography of the person on the company’s website, or at least give you a lead on how to conduct further searching. If all else fails, a cover letter writing service may be able to help you identify key information in the job posting to help lead you to the right person.
Utilize LinkedIn Creatively
Many hiring managers today will post job openings on LinkedIn. If you found the posting on LinkedIn, then take a look to see if the post was made by an individual or by the company’s profile. Address your executive resume cover letter to that person if it’s clear who posted it. If it’s not clear, then you can take a look at the company’s LinkedIn profile and see if any employees are listed. Doing this research on LinkedIn will help you write targeted resumes and cover letters to increase your chances of getting recognized.
Give The Company A Call
When you’ve exhausted all of your resources and simply cannot figure out who to address your cover letter to, feel free to give the company’s main phone number a call. Or if the company is nearby, drop by the office and ask the receptionist for a business card of the hiring manager. As long as you’re not pushy or over-aggressive and are truthful with why you’re requesting the information, you may be surprised at how willing they are to give you at least the hiring manager’s name.
Professional Resume Services is more than just a resume and cover letter writing service. We take pride in helping every client we work with, and always take the time to understand their specific needs, concerns and desires. Too many executives make the mistake of brushing off their cover letter, but the truth is resumes and cover letters carry equal importance. To learn more about how we can help you in every aspect of your job search, feel free to reach out to us at any time.
Writing a resume should take a while due to the detailed nature of it. However, if you have more questions than answers as you’re writing it, then it could be taking longer than it needs to. It’s only natural for executives to have questions when crafting their resume, and a professional resume writing service can help answer all of them. No question is unreasonable, and here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear.
What Length Should My Resume Be?
A common misconception is a resume should never be more than one or two pages. While this could be true for some professions, it’s acceptable to make it a little longer if you’re applying for a senior level position. The key is formatting the resume so it is easy to read, highlights your important attributes and doesn’t have big chunks of text. A professional resume writing service can help you trim some of your words, so each one is meaningful no matter how long the resume ends up being.
How Can My Resume Represent Me?
Focusing on your personal brand is the best way to make your resume give a true representation of who you are. Your resume gives you the opportunity to tell about your skills and accomplishments, as well as your soft skills like leadership ability, personality and more. Another way for your resume to be a true representation of you is to target your audience and write to them specifically.
What’s The Purpose of A Biography?
An executive resume biography shouldn’t simply summarize your resume, contrary to popular belief. Instead, it should be used as a tool to tell a story about your accomplishments and expand more on your soft skills. The goal with an executive resume biography is to provide employers with a vision of how you can help their company by expanding on your resume.
Is A Cover Letter Really Necessary?
Sometimes employers will read cover letters and sometimes they won’t. You never know which side the company is on, so it’s always best to just write one. When you work with a cover letter writing service, you can easily accomplish this and actually enhance your chances of landing an interview. Sending in a cover letter with your resume won’t hurt your chances, as long as it’s written appropriately. But not sending in a cover letter could get your resume thrown out immediately.
Professional Resume Services is here to answer all of your questions pertaining to executive resumes and more. We enjoy helping job seekers with their resume and understand there are many questions throughout the process. If you ever have a question about your resume, cover letter or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we will help you in any way we can.
You spend so much time writing the perfect resume, so why do you have to exhaust the same amount of time and effort on a cover letter? The little known fact about resumes and cover letters is they go hand-in-hand in most cases. Some recruiters will look at a cover letter first to determine whether they even want to bother reading a resume. Others will look at a resume first and decide at that point whether it’s worth reading the cover letter. Since you never truly know which is most important, it’s best to make sure your executive resume cover letter is in the best shape before sending it in. Here are some of the details you need to make sure you include in yours.
Find out the hiring manager’s name if you can, and address them in your cover letter accordingly. The top rated resume writing services suggest using personalization whenever it’s appropriate throughout your cover letter. This demonstrates you’ve done your homework and the reader will feel more of a personal attachment as well. If you need to, feel free to contact the employer and ask for the name of the hiring manager.
Perfect Grammar and Punctuation
Even a minor typographical error is magnified when it’s in your cover letter. It tells a hiring manager you’re not focused on details, and could be a big black eye when it comes to your chances of landing an interview. Utilize the top rated resume writing services available to you to proofread your cover letter to ensure you’ve incorporated perfect grammar and punctuation.
Your Own Contact Information
With all of the details, experiences and accomplishments you have to focus on in your cover letter, many executives neglect to include their own contact information. The basic contact information you need to include on your executive resume cover letter is your name, phone number and email address. You may also choose to include your LinkedIn profile to provide the hiring manager with an additional resource.
Include The Company Name
Hiring managers can easily spot a generic cover letter from a personal one. Get the full name of the company correct, and spell it correctly. If you use an existing cover letter as a template to write another one, be sure to change the company name appropriately so you’re referring to the right place.
Professional Resume Services provides services beyond just helping executives write resumes and cover letters. We want to help you throughout your job search process. When you visit us early on, we will provide helpful guidance along the way to ensure even the tiniest details don’t get overlooked. To learn more about how we can help you land your dream job, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.
Do you want to know a secret about resumes and cover letters? Employers sometimes put more emphasis on a cover letter than they do a resume, so not focusing on yours can significantly reduce your chances of landing a job. It’s easy to spend a lot of time crafting your resume and not focus on the other important aspects of a job application. An executive resume cover letter gives an HR manager a glimpse of who the person really is behind a resume, so it deserves some time and attention.
Another good reason for a cover letter is that even though you hear that many recruiters don’t read them, there are also many recruiters that WON’T read your resume without a cover letter. Here are some other reasons why your cover letter is important.
Cover Letters Make You Stand Out
Standing out is difficult to do when you think about the hundreds of resumes an HR manager has to sift through for any given job post. Your cover letter gives you the chance to fill in any blanks left in your resume, such as employment gaps, transitions, achievements or anything else. Instead of being a supplement to your resume, your cover letter should be an extension of it to tell your complete career story to your potential employer.
Cover Letters Show Your True Self
When writing cover letters for resumes, you have the opportunity to show your personality. Companies want to hire someone with the right skills and experience, but also someone who will fit culturally. Writing in a natural tone will show your true self and help an employer decide if you would be a good fit with the team. If it doesn’t seem like you would fit in well, then you’ll save time by not going to an interview or getting hired only to find out you simply don’t get along with your co-workers.
Sell Yourself With Your Cover Letter
Finally, your executive resume cover letter gives you the chance to sell yourself. You have a blank page to say whatever you want to about yourself, so don’t hold anything back. Let the employer know what you can offer them, how you’re best suited for the position you’re applying for and what your short-term and long-term goals are. Keep it concise, but get your point across clearly with the goal of making the HR manager impressed enough to want to meet you in person.
Professional Resume Services is here to help write resumes and cover letters for executives searching for a new job. We focus on all the details of a job search and know exactly what recruiters are looking for in a cover letter. To learn more about how we can help you enhance any aspect of your job search, feel free to contact us at any time.