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  • Melanie Blaser

How to promote your soft skills on your CV and in an interview

Soft skills are the character traits, aptitudes, human, social and interpersonal qualities that allow us to work and interact with others. These are our natural skills that generally cannot be learned in a course and cannot be quantified. They are the interpersonal skills, the emotional intelligence, that go hand in hand with the know-how (hard skills) when you are looking for a job.


Importance of soft skills


Soft skills allow us to progress in our career and be successful in our work. They are increasingly required nowadays. On the Internet there are lists of essential soft skills that everyone should have, such as communication or the ability to work with others.

We all know colleagues in our company who have excellent soft skills and others who have more difficulties. If you are not sure about your soft skills, do not hesitate to discuss them with your family or colleagues. In general, others identify very quickly our social and human qualities... and our weaknesses, on which we can work.


We can improve our soft skills, especially by learning from others or using our common sense. We know that looking the other person in the eyes improves communication. To better manage stress, you should avoid screaming and getting angry.


In job offers


In job offers, soft skills are found in the list of skills required for the position. It is necessary to read a job offer, or a job description, and to distinguish between hard skills and soft skills. There are adjectives such as organized, creative, autonomous, and expressions such as: sense of initiative, ability to improve processes, etc.


Even in areas where professional skills are absolutely necessary, such as IT, soft skills are important. For example, a developer should not only write code, but also collaborate, innovate, meet deadlines and understand user needs. These skills are not learned during developer training and are not necessarily mentioned in the job ad. Think about it!


In your CV


Soft skills, on the other hand, cannot be indicated as such in a CV. You can't just write: I'm organized. You must give examples from your professional life that show that you are organized. If you do not give examples on your CV, you can mention them in the application letter. It is crucial to have examples ready for the job interview.


On your CV, you can complete a hard skill with the soft skills required in your position, such as the example of the developer above. In construction, it will be planning and organization. For an executive assistant, it could be the ability to search for information.


During the interview


It is important to have in mind specific examples demonstrating a particular soft skill. Be prepared to give examples for each soft skill you mention in your CV, in your application letter and for each soft skill on the ad.


Be ready by writing down examples: look for a specific example, a situation that required a certain attitude. You can always use these examples in your professional life.

Examples:

  • Explain how you communicate with a fussy colleague, or how you share your knowledge with your colleagues

  • Give an example of conflict resolution between colleagues, during a project, or working together

  • How do you prioritize your workload?

  • How do you react if a colleague breaches the company's code of ethics?

 

In summary


Keep in mind the importance of soft skills in any formal or informal contact with potential employers or in conferences, public places, etc. List your soft skills, with concrete examples. Feel free to use these examples during your job interview. Mention the soft skills related to the skills required for a position in your interview letter and CV. Be specific and you will be and present yourself as confident and prepared for the job.


Melanie Blaser


This article was published in French on https://www.joHdi.ch/. English version proofread by Kelly Moore. All my articles in French are on my website: www.melanieblaser.com/articles.

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