When you review a job posting you will notice many requirements. The employer will be seeking experience with certain functions – the things they need experience with to actually do the job. This can include functions such as 'Bank Reconciliations', 'Data Entry', 'Graphic Design' and 'Project Management'. Some postings will include technical skills such as 'Excel', 'Salesforce' or 'Python'. There will also be some soft skills that are required to thrive in the role. Some common ones include 'Communication', 'Organization', 'Teamwork' and 'Detail-oriented'. As part of articulating your career brand, you should know what your top soft skills are, and you should have concrete examples of them in action. There are three main places where you will be outlining your Soft Skills: the resume, LinkedIn profile and interview responses.
It is best to start thinking about the top soft skills you possess which would be most compelling for the majority of roles you apply to. This isn't to say that other soft skills are not great to have, they are, but if you list too many, they become less meaningful. It's a good idea to pick your top three and to provide specific examples. So, if you say you are highly organized, you will want to have a few accomplishment statements on the resume that demonstrate that. You will likely use those three top soft skills on most versions of your resume. However, for roles you are very interested in, you will want to make sure that your soft skills are a close match for the ones they are seeking. For example, if they are looking for someone detail oriented and analytical, and you possess those skills, you will want to include those specific words. This is especially crucial for optimizing your resume for Applicant Tracking Software which is widely used by large and mid-sized organizations. It is critical to use the same key words to ensure that your resume will make it through the software stage. In essence, you are catering your resume to two types of readers - AI, the Applicant Tracking Software, and the human reader, the HR professional and/or hiring manager. The Profile / Summary section of the resume is the best place to introduce the reader to your top soft skills. You should also be supporting these with specific accomplishment statements, particularly those connected to your most recent role as they will be most relevant to the reader.
LinkedIn is such an important tool in conveying your Career Brand to others. They do such an amazing job of organizing your experience, education and skills in a reader friendly way. There are a few places on your LinkedIn Profile where you can include your soft skills, most notably the Skills section. You can populate this section with many skills, you can receive endorsements for these skills, and you can decide which 3 are your top skills by making those more visible to the reader. You should also mention your top skills in the About section, so the reader learns about them in your professional introduction.
You have identified your top soft skills, be sure to prepare interview responses related to them so they have more meaning for the potential employer. Stating the skill on its own can be empty, but when you mention it in the context of a specific accomplishment, the interviewer will be more likely to envision how that skill can benefit their organization.
Take some time to curate your top skills. Make sure they are serving your career brand well by making them visible on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Have specific accomplishment statements and interview responses to bring these key soft skills to life for the potential employer.