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.
Reasons Why Your Executive Job Search Could be Taking Longer than Expected
Many executives don’t have to look for a new job very often. So if it’s been several years since you last conducted a job search, things could have changed drastically. Visiting a professional resume writing service should be your first step, just to make sure your resume is formatted properly and doesn’t have any mistakes. Some job seekers are still surprised it takes them so long to find a job. Here are some of common reasons why job searches take longer than expected and how you can expedite the process.
Not Targeting Effectively
Before even writing an effective resume, you have to target the industry or specific employer you want to send a resume to. Your resume has to demonstrate a certain amount of value you bring to the table, so if you don’t know what a company needs, you won’t be able to show your value clearly. Target a handful of companies and research them thoroughly, including each job description, so you know exactly what they need. The hiring manager will be able to identify how serious you are about the position based on the information in your resume.
Exhausting Efforts On Job Boards
Too many professionals make the mistake of spending a significant amount of time applying for jobs through job boards. While jobs are plentiful on there, the chances of you getting hired through one are slim. Instead, spend your time networking with other professionals through networking events or even LinkedIn. The majority of senior-level positions aren’t going to be posted online, so networking is your best option for tapping into the hidden job market and landing a job quicker.
Not Focusing On Your Personal Brand
Any executive resume writer will tell you a quality resume will only get you so far. Your personal brand is an essential component when it comes to getting hired. You have to assume hiring managers are going to Google search your name, so it’s highly recommended for you to do the same and see what the results show. Clean up anything you don’t want to be visible to ensure your online presence reflects who you are as a person.
Making Mistakes In Your Resume
Spending a lot of time writing an effective resume is valuable, but even minor mistakes can hurt your chances of landing an interview. Have an executive resume writer tweak your resume and proofread it thoroughly to ensure there are no mistakes damaging your efforts. It’s easier than you think to omit information or overlook a critical typographical error, so make sure your resume is spotless before distributing it to potential employers. At Professional Resume Services, we see ourselves as more than just a professional resume writing service. We also believe we are a resource for executives to come to when they need to tweak their job searching efforts or even just need advice at any stage of their job search. A resume is only one part of landing a job, so contact us today if you feel like your searching efforts are taking longer than expected.
Many executives feel similar emotions when they’re searching for a new job. They work so hard on their executive resume biography, improving their personal brand by networking and more just to land an interview. And when the opportunity to interview at a great employer presents itself, you want to do your absolute best. But what does it mean exactly to be your “best” at an interview? Sometimes simply being yourself will put you ahead of the curve, as interviewers can identify a dishonest person quickly. In addition to honesty, here are some of the best ways you can ace your c-level job interview.
Research, Research, Research
Before you even step foot in the interview, you have a lot of research to do. Research the company as much as you possibly can. This can include visiting their website, asking a recruiter what they know about the company, dissecting the job description as thoroughly as possible and you may even consider contacting the employer directly to learn more about the position. And if you’re able to find out the name of the interviewer, take a look at their LinkedIn profile to learn about them, so you have an idea of who you’ll be talking to. You may have already conducted some of this research when writing your executive resume biography, but you can never be too prepared.
Be Natural When Talking To The Interviewer
Rehearsing a list of commonly asked interview questions will help you be prepared to answer them, but you also don’t want to sound like you have canned responses. The key to writing resumes that get you hired isn’t necessarily the same key as interviewing successfully. Your resume should use professional language as much as possible, while your voice should be more natural in an interview. Just don’t confuse natural language with unprofessionalism, though.
Ask Your Own Questions
The best resume writing service will suggest having your own list of questions to ask the interviewer as well. You want to make sure the employer is as good of a fit as it seems like on paper, so ask them why they believe you would fit in. Ask them about short-term and long-term opportunities, potential advancement, travel time and anything else you have concerns about. Most interviewers will be open to answering all of these types of questions, and may even be more impressed with you as a result since it demonstrates your strong interest in the position. Professional Resume Services prides itself on not only being the best resume writing service, but also a resource for executives who need assistance with interview preparation or anything else. We enjoy working with executives of all backgrounds and understand everyone has their own needs and desires. Heading into an interview is a nervous time for most people, so feel free to reach out to us at any time if there’s anything we can do to help.
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.
How Researching Desired Companies Can Help Your Executive Resume
Not too many people looking for a new job have success with blindly sending out their resume to various companies. Companies can receive hundreds of applicants to any given job posting every single day, so they won’t waste their time reading a generic resume. When writing a professional resume today, targeting the specific company you’re submitting your resume to will help yours stand out. A hiring manager will notice and appreciate the homework you’ve done on the company, and they’ll take a closer look at the value you bring to the table. Here are other ways your research of companies will pay off in your job search.
Tap Into The Hidden Job Market
When you have a list of a few companies you’d consider working for, do as much research on them as you possibly can before writing a professional resume. The hidden job market simply means jobs aren’t posted online or anywhere else. Candidates may find out about these jobs at networking events or through other connections. Once you’ve researched the companies of interest, tap into this hidden job market by reaching out to current employees to understand what challenges they face and what value you bring to the table.
Identify The Company’s Challenges
One key to writing resumes that get you hired is identifying the company’s specific challenges, so you can offer a solution. You have to include your hard skills on your resume, but incorporating soft skills is equally as important. The unique aspect about executive resume writing is every word has to offer value to the employer. You have to be able to demonstrate how well you would fit in with the culture, as well as how you can handle day-to-day tasks.
Differentiate Yourself By Offering Unique Value
Any executive resume writing expert will stress the importance of differentiating yourself. One of the best ways to do so is by talking to other higher-level employees at the specific companies you’re targeting. Take note of what they say works well in their organization, as well as what they are working on to improve. Incorporate a mix of those points when writing a professional resume will help yours stand out among the rest. Professional Resume Services is here to point you in the right direction when it comes to executive resume writing. We take the time to ensure every word on your resume matters, and will go to great lengths to help your resume stand out. If you’re in need of help getting started with researching companies, writing your resume, preparing for an interview or any other step in the job search process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.
ATS Myths You Shouldn’t Believe When Job Searching
If it’s been a while since your last job search, you may have been introduced to a new tool to look out for called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These systems help employers filter through resumes easier by identifying specific keywords and phrases and eliminating the ones that don’t have them. This makes utilizing top rated resume writing services even more important, since they can identify ATS terms you need to use and ones you need to avoid. The more research you do on ATS, the more misinformation you could potentially read. Here are some of the most common myths we’ve seen and you shouldn’t believe.
Length Makes A Difference
The best executive resume format may suggest keeping your resume to no more than two pages, but the length actually has no impact on ATS. The hiring manager may not want to read a long resume, however. Having a long resume won’t hurt your chances of passing through ATS, but be careful with the length since it will eventually be read by an actual person.
Only Certain File Types Are Acceptable
Most of the newer Applicant Tracking Systems can read resumes and cover letters in various formats. Your goal should be to create a version which is easily readable for humans and another computer-friendly version. The good news is when you submit a resume electronically, the system will prompt you to upload the preferred file type so you can convert it accordingly.
Keywords Can Never Be Overused
You never know which keywords an employer is looking for in a resume. However, one thing you shouldn’t do is stuff it with the keywords you think are most relevant. Incorporating a mix of keywords into your resumes and cover letters is more effective than having a high density of one particular keyword. Keywords can definitely be overused and will make your resume sound unnatural as a result.
Capitalization or Various Fonts Can’t Be Used
ATS generally doesn’t recognize or penalize you for using capitalization, various fonts or styles. Your goal is to make your resume stand out without going overboard, and one strategy is to use these different features. If this is your strategy, then you can proceed accordingly without worrying about not passing ATS. Professional Resume Services is one of the top rated resume writing services because of our well-rounded expertise. We stay on top of all the latest trends when it comes to job searching, and ATS is definitely one of them. We focus our efforts on helping job candidates format their resumes appropriately so they can be ready for any obstacle. For assistance at any point in your job search, don’t hesitate to contact us.
The popularity of video interviews is increasing by the day. With more companies offering telecommuting opportunities and wanting to save on resources like travel costs, video interviews are becoming an acceptable practice. If you haven’t been a part of a video interview yet, you likely will be at some point in the future. You’ve worked with the best professional resume writers to get to this spot, so you owe it to yourself to prepare for a video interview the best ways possible. The good news is preparing for a video interview is similar to preparing for a traditional interview. However, here are some aspects you don’t want to overlook.
Invest in The Proper Technology and Applications
Ask the potential employer which application they use for video interviews so you can download it and explore it ahead of time. Applications like Skype and Zoom are the most popular, since they are easy to use. You also want to make sure your computer is fast enough to handle a video interview so there are no delays or lag times.
Test The App Prior to The Interview
Testing the application involves making sure your camera works correctly, ensuring you can connect to the application and determining whether there are any transmission issues. You don’t want to be struggling with navigating through the app during the interview, so doing your testing well in advance will make the process seamless.
Practice With A Friend or Family Member
You may have shared your executive profile with a family member or friend to proofread, and now you can use them again to practice for a video interview. The things you should be looking for are camera angles, lighting and whether or not there is lag time when communicating. Even a one-second lag time can make it seem like you are interrupting the interviewer, so you don’t want that to be an issue.
Your LinkedIn profile should have a professional headshot, and you need to match the professionalism in your video interview as well. Just because you are interviewing from your home doesn’t mean you should dress casually. It’s tempting to wear shorts and only put on a nice shirt, since the interviewers will only see your upper body. However, if you have to get up for any reason, the embarrassment of not having on dress pants could be devastating.
Finally, look around the room and eliminate any distractions you may have. Is there a clock that makes a sound at the top of each hour? What about any clutter in the background? All of these may seem normal to you since you live with them, but can create huge distractions during a video interview. Take the advice from the best professional resume writers and make the room you’re interviewing in look like a professional environment as much as possible. Professional Resume Services is here to help executives develop their executive profile, LinkedIn profile, resume or anything else related to their job search. We can also provide helpful tips throughout the interview process to help you improve your chances of landing the job. Feel free to reach out to us at any time to learn more about how our services can benefit you.
Could Your Executive Resume Benefit from a Professional Resume Service?
Many executives make the mistake of believing their experience and expertise speaks for itself on a resume. However, you aren’t the only one with similar experience, so writing resumes that get you hired isn’t as easy as it sounds. This is especially true if you haven’t crafted a resume in a while. There are many reasons why your resume could benefit from professional executive resume writers, and here are some of those reasons.
Your Aspirations and Goals Have Changed
When you last applied for a job, your goals and aspirations may have changed between then and now. Updating your resume from this standpoint goes beyond just removing and adding a few sentences here and there. When writing an effective resume, your goals and aspirations have to be clear and supported by your experience, which is more difficult to portray if you aren’t experienced in writing resumes.
Your Last Job Search Was Several Years Ago
Things change quickly, and your resume could be outdated if you haven’t updated it in a few years. You may have written great resumes in the past, but recruiting practices constantly evolve, meaning your older practices may no longer be effective. Everything from the format, the layout, keywords and the general content used in your resume can be addressed by professional executive resume writers.
You Aren’t Sure What to Include in Your Resume
You never want to include too much information on a resume, but you also have to make sure there’s enough information to highlight your attributes. Professional executive resume writers will critique your resume and determine what should be removed or added to give you the best chance to be noticed by a recruiter.
You Have a Bumpy Work History
Everyone’s employment history is different. In many cases today, employers aren’t worried too much about a bumpy work history as long as there is some sort of explanation about it. The key to writing resumes that get you hired is filling in employment gaps or other complications. You can’t change your past, but you can shape your future by writing an effective resume. Professional Resume Services is here to help you in any way regarding your executive resume. We bring years of expertise to the table and always keep up with the latest job search trends. If you’re in need of a resume critique or just need to start from scratch, feel free to reach out to us at any time for a consultation.