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.
Mastering and Adapting Your Resume to Market Trends
In the ever-evolving job market, adapting your resume to reflect current trends is crucial. A well-crafted resume does more than list your skills and experiences; it positions you as an ideal candidate in the eyes of potential employers (the goal). This post will guide you on how to master and adapt your resume to stay competitive.
Understanding Market Trends
The first step in adapting your resume is understanding current market trends. Trends can vary by industry, but common elements include the increased importance of digital skills, a focus on soft skills like communication and adaptability, and the need for evidence-based accomplishments. Staying informed about these trends ensures that your resume resonates with what employers are currently looking for.
Analyzing Job Descriptions
To tailor your resume effectively, analyze job descriptions in your field. Identify keywords and phrases frequently used and incorporate them into your resume. This not only helps in passing through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) but also shows that you’re in tune with the language and priorities of your industry.
Adapting Your Resume
1. Highlighting Relevant Skills
Update your resume to highlight skills that are in demand. For instance, if digital proficiency is trending in your field, ensure your resume reflects your competence in relevant software or platforms. Relevancy is one of my pet peeves. If you don’t have the skills relevant to the job, you may not be a good fit. If you do have the skills needed, don’t just list them, back them up by demonstrating how you’ve used them effectively in past roles.
2. Showcasing Achievements
Rather than just listing your duties at previous jobs, focus on your achievements. Use specific examples and quantify your successes wherever possible.
– Did you increase sales by 30%?
– Did you lead a project that resulted in significant cost savings?
– How did you help your team overcome a certain hurdle?
These specifics make your contributions tangible and memorable.
3. Modernizing the Format
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all resumes. Today’s resumes are more visual and concise. Use a clean, modern layout with bullet points for easy readability. Infographics and charts can be used sparingly to showcase key achievements. However, ensure that the design does not overpower the content.
4. Incorporating Soft Skills
Employers are increasingly valuing soft skills. Showcase your communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities through concrete examples. Kennedy suggests using scenarios from your work experience where you demonstrated these skills effectively.
5. Customizing for the Role
Don’t forget to customize your resume for each application. This doesn’t mean rewriting it entirely, but rather tweaking it to highlight the most relevant experiences and skills for each job. When in doubt, check out the job description. You’ll find lots of little gems in there (keywords, descriptors, etc.).
Adapting your resume can be challenging, especially when transitioning industries or re-entering the job market after a gap. In such cases, focus on transferable skills and continuous learning. Highlight any courses, certifications, or volunteer work that demonstrate your commitment to staying relevant in your field.
The Role of Networking
Networking can significantly impact your job search. Engage with professionals in your industry through platforms like LinkedIn. Often, a strong network can provide insights into market trends and even lead to job opportunities that are not advertised publicly.
In a fast-changing job market, continuous learning is key. Stay updated with the latest trends and skills in your industry. Online courses, webinars, and professional workshops can be excellent resources for this. Every extra bit of learning helps. Add them!
Mastering and adapting your resume is an ongoing process. It involves staying informed about market trends, highlighting your most relevant skills and achievements, and continuously learning and networking. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your resume will stand out in today’s competitive job market.
Using Keywords to Create a Compelling Story on your LinkedIn Profile
If you are currently employed or actively seeking employment, chances are you have already established a presence on LinkedIn so recruiters and hiring managers can find you (and if you aren’t on LinkedIn, then quit reading, sign-up on the site, and then come back to this article). My question is…what are you doing/including on your profile to ensure that you actually can be found? Are you networking in industry-specific groups?
Making connections with colleagues in your field? Applying for jobs? Whatever you are doing, you need to ensure that your profile contains quality content that communicates your value and markets you effectively for the jobs you’re applying to. How do you do that? It all starts with saturating your content with targeted keywords and keyword phrases that are in line with the skills and qualifications hiring managers and recruiters want to see when looking for candidates in your field.
LinkedIn is actually a large database that uses certain fields to sort information on user profiles. Utilizing effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies (i.e. keywords) on your profile is how you will get “selected” during database searches.
Keywords are just what they say they are – “KEY” words that you need to have on your profile to not only be found in candidate searches but also to show that your skills match the qualifications companies are looking for. Here are a few areas of your profile where it is so important that you are using keywords, and not just any words to tell your career story.
Your headline is located just below your name, so it is seen immediately when somebody clicks on your profile. You have 120 characters (yep, that’s it) to pull the reader in to want to learn about you-make the most of that space. Note: LinkedIn automatically uses your current job title in the headline when you sign-up so check to make sure that is what you want on there. Otherwise, you need to change it immediately. Use keywords that are relevant to the positions you’re applying.
For example, instead of “Sales Manager at Acme Products” (which may be your current job title), make your headline “Business Growth Executive: Sales & Operations Management, Revenue & Territory Expansion, Branding, Account Development“.
You have just used 119 characters to tell the world what you can do and not just what your current job title is.
Once the reader sees your amazing headline, the next step will be to find out more about you in your profile’s “About” section. LinkedIn allows 2,600 characters in this section-plenty of opportunity to tell your career story.
Think of your “About” section as you would a cover letter, tell a little about yourself and your career trajectory. Include some quantifiable highlights and your keyword list, or a list of core competencies.
This is an ideal section to get the most bang for your buck when you are trying to get the right keywords for SEO purposes. Be creative and clear when using keywords to share your best attributes. Don’t just put “Management”, instead use “Global Operations Management”. You have the space, you just need to use it to your advantage to effectively market your skills and competencies.
You only get 50 entries in this section, so it’s imperative that you make each one count. As with your “About” section, you want to use the right keywords (skills). Instead of “Leadership”, try “Executive Leadership”. Not only does that tell the reader that you are a leader, it also tells them what level of a leader you are! Are you in HR? Do you really want to consult and not just be in one spot? Then add “Human Resource Consulting” as one of your skills.
Once you start putting information into this section, LinkedIn will automatically give you some suggestions as to other skills you may want to use that are related to your field. If the skill fits, use it. Try to fill this entire section, but if you can’t, don’t try to fill it in with soft skills or fluff. Your skills must appear relevant and dynamic–fluff won’t help you get found during an SEO search. Hint: you can always look at the profiles of some of your colleagues to see what industry-specific keywords they are using in their “Skills” section.
The bottom line…the “key” to increasing traffic to your online profile is to ensure you are applying effective SEO techniques and strategies. Use the right keywords in the right places so that you get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters looking for candidates in your field!
The best executive resume writers have seen hundreds of resumes and know exactly what the most common mistakes are. As obvious as some of these mistakes are, it’s easy to make them when you’re focused so much on the details and ensuring you’re making the right impression. This also highlights the importance of working with a reputable professional resume writing service to ensure you give yourself the best chance at writing an effective resume. Here are some of the most common mistakes you need to be aware of and avoid making.
Using Long Sentences And Big Words
No matter how much experience and knowledge you have, your executive resume should use simplistic language that’s easy to read. The hiring manager likely doesn’t have the same knowledge as you, so if they don’t completely understand the big words you’re using, it could put a barrier between the two of you that’s difficult to overcome. Use short sentences and simple words in your resume and save the technical language for the interview when you’re talking to like-minded people.
Not Incorporating Keywords
The best executive resume writers will tell you keywords are more important today than ever before. With companies receiving hundreds of resumes or more on a daily basis, they will often use software to identify specific keywords and help them filter out resumes. Take keywords and phrases from the job description and requirements and use them in your resume when you can.
Being Too Generic
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume. Hiring managers will see right through it if you try to submit the same resume to different companies. The key to writing an effective resume is targeting the company your applying to by identifying their needs and demonstrating how you’re a good candidate to solve those needs.
Not Talking About Accomplishments
Executives typically aren’t shy about discussing their accomplishments. However, many of them don’t talk about the achievements in detail. Use numbers and statistics whenever possible to create the most significant impact. If you just say you helped increase business over the course of the year, it’s not going to be as impactful as saying you successfully boosted sales 25% from the previous year.
Failing To Proofread Thoroughly
If nothing else, the best executive resume writers are valuable to catch the minor mistakes that could be detrimental to your chances of landing an interview. Typographical errors demonstrate carelessness and formatting issues show lack of attention to detail. While these may seem minor to you, an employer could see them as you not being serious about getting the job. Professional Resume Services is a reputable professional resume writing service because we truly care about our clients. We don’t just write resumes. We want to know about your career aspirations, including where you’ve been and what you plan to accomplish. When we know your desires, we can help you craft the perfect resume to land the job of your dreams. Feel free to contact us at any time for help on your resume.
How to Create an Executive Resume That Leads to Interviews
There’s no single secret to help executives create the perfect resume that will lead to an interview with every application. However, when you’ve incorporated key components within your resume, the chances of landing an interview increase exponentially. The best executive resume writers will keep their resumes as clear and concise as possible, only offer information relevant to the job itself and will never have any errors. Here are some of the basic tips for writing resumes that get you hired.
Stick With Providing Relevant Information Only
It’s tempting to put as much information on your resume as you can think of and hope the reader will pick and choose what they want to read. The truth is if they see irrelevant information, they may stop reading the resume altogether. When you’re thinking about relevant information to include, think about the experiences you’ve had that could lead to success in the role you’re applying for. You may be proud of a certain accomplishment or certification you’ve earned in the past, but if the experience doesn’t translate to your potential new role, then it’s just wasting space on your resume.
Use Clear And Concise Wording And Formatting
Every professional resume writing service will highlight the importance of being as clear and concise as possible in every aspect of your resume. The length of your resume should be no more than about two pages and the formatting should incorporate enough white space to make it easy to read. Bullet points are great to use, as they highlight important achievements and are impactful to the reader. The good news is you don’t have to be an expert at tightening up your resume. You can put the relevant information in a document and rely on your professional resume writing service to clean it up for you.
Eliminate Grammatical Errors
You can never proofread your resume too much. It doesn’t matter how clear and concise your resume is, or if you are clearly the best candidate for the job from an experience perspective, grammatical errors can quickly get your resume thrown out. Your resume is the first opportunity to make an impression to a potential employer, but the chances of even getting a phone interview diminish quickly when there are glaring typographical errors on it.
Make Your Resume Targeted
One of the best ways to create a resume that leads to interviews is to target the specific employer. This will not only grab the attention of the reader immediately, but it will also show you’ve done your homework and are legitimately interested in the company. The best executive resume writers will identify a company’s needs and include facts and statistics on their resume about how they can help. Professional Resume Services wants to help you write resumes that get you hired. The end goal of every resume you write should be to ultimately get the job, but the first step is getting an interview. No matter what stage you’re at in your resume writing adventure, we can help whenever you need us. Never hesitate to contact us along your journey to finding the executive position you’ve always desired.
It’s widely understood that you have approximately six seconds to make an impression on a hiring manager with your resume—even for executives. The challenge is making the absolute most of those six seconds in creative ways without being too over the top. In some aspects, it’s good to have a traditional resume, but it won’t hurt to modernize it a bit. Of course, writing an effective resume in today’s competitive executive world can be difficult, so here are some tips for modernizing your resume for 2017.
Focus on the Top Third of the Page
This is a key factor for any resume, whether they’re traditional or modern. Modern resumes, however, allow for more creativity. For instance, consider adding a splash of color. When you talk to executive resume writers about the jobs you’re applying for, they may suggest using colors only for headings or in your personal information section, but not in your achievements. The top third of your resume is what recruiters see first, so it’s important for it to stand out.
Use the Right Amount of Creativity
Most professional resume writing services will tell you to avoid using vibrant colors for your resume if you’re applying for an executive position. If you overdo it, it will look like you’re applying for a graphics or marketing job. Executive recruiters tend to like traditional resume formats, so using the right amount of creativity to get noticed can be difficult. Instead of using bright colors, use different text sizes and bolding as an alternative.
Consider the ATS System
Many executive resume writers tend to shy away from a lot of creative things like tables, text boxes, charts and other similar objects. The reason is if an employer runs your resume through an ATS system, it may not be able to recognize keywords. You can still modernize your resume by using a larger text size, bolding, italics, underlining, highlighting and other features to highlight specific accomplishments. This will ensure your keywords remain intact and you’ll also have a resume that stands out among the rest. On the other hand, not all companies use an ATS system and you want to add a bit of formatting creativity to appeal to human eyes as well (i.e. human resources, recruiters, hiring managers, etc.). Writing an effective resume takes some time and skill, and that’s exactly where Professional Resume Services excels. If you’re looking to modernize your executive resume this year, feel free to contact us at any time.
You may be under the impression that executive resumes are outdated thanks to the rise of networking and social media. However, a well-crafted resume can be just as effective. In today’s business world, there aren’t many people who aren’t connected at all times. That’s why when you’re sending in your executive resume, you need to make sure it’s mobile friendly. There’s nothing more frustrating for a recruiter or hiring manager than not being able to view a resume from their mobile device. If you aren’t sure how to make your resume mobile friendly, a good executive resume writing service can help.
Recruiters Work On-The-Go, Too
Time is limited for everyone. Since you only have approximately six seconds to impress a recruiter with your resume, even the smallest mistake is magnified. A recruiter may be on a business trip, on lunch break or just away from the desk for any other reason. If they read your email with the resume attached, but can’t view the resume clearly, it could be lost in the shuffle.
Make Your Resume as Easy to Read as Possible
There’s a lot of discussion about the best executive resume format, but sometimes the best one is one that’s simply the easiest to read. You don’t have to be one of the best executive resume writers in the world to make your mobile friendly resume more accessible. Mobile devices are designed to make life simpler and more convenient. Make sure your executive resume fits those characteristics to have the greatest chance for success.
Increase Your Interview Opportunities
Many professional executive resume writers will tell you having a mobile friendly resume will increase your chances for job interviews. When you make your resume and contact information easy to view on a mobile device, the recruiter can contact you immediately, rather than having to wait until they return to the office. Hiring managers want to streamline their hiring process as much as possible, so when they have a chance to set up an interview quickly, they will do it most of the time. If you have a resume that’s difficult to read on a mobile device, your interview chances will decrease. Having a mobile friendly executive resume is important nowadays. To ensure your resume is mobile friendly, feel free to contact us to get in touch with the best executive resume writing service.
An executive job search can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. Like any job search, it can seem like you’re on a daily roller coaster of emotions until you finally land a job. If you take some strategic steps and avoid common mistakes, you’ll be able to reduce the length of your search. Using executive resume services is a good first step to get you on the right track, but before you do that, be sure to heed some of these common mistakes executives make with their job search.
1. Failing to Target Your Search
At first, it may seem like a good strategy to cast your net far and wide. However, this method doesn’t produce great results most of the time. The top resume writing services will suggest tailoring your resume to specific companies, rather than trying to write a general one. Resume targeting is a key aspect in an executive job search, but it’s also one of the things executives fail to do.
2. Not Networking
The days of sending in a resume online and getting a call for an interview the next day are virtually over. Executive resume services suggest handing your resumes to people in person at networking events, rather than replying to an online job post. The power of networking should never be underestimated, but you would be surprised at how many executives don’t see the importance.
3. Being Unprepared
Always be prepared, whether you’re networking or doing anything related to your job search. Being prepared means cleaning up your social media profiles, enhancing your online presence, visiting with executive resume writers and more. You need to be prepared if a potential employer decides to contact you.
4. Not Changing Strategies
Just like you have to adapt to the ever-changing business world, you have to change job search strategies occasionally also. Doing the same thing over and over again can get frustrating when you continue getting similar results. Be open to changing your executive job search strategy if you aren’t getting the results you desire.
5. Spending Too Much Time or Not Enough Time
Searching for an executive job is a full time job itself. However, just like an actual job, spending too much time or too little time doing it can lead to underperforming. Find a good balance and speak with executive resume services if you find yourself hitting a rut in your search. Sometimes executive resume writers can help you avoid mistakes in your job search before you make them. Feel free to contact us with any questions about other mistakes to be aware of.