18 Dec, 2020
The Best Soft Skills to include on your CV
This informal CPD article The Best Soft Skills to include on your CV was provided by Liesl Coetzer at Alison, a free online education platform that mostly focuses on workplace-based skills.
These days, with so much work conducted online, it is easy to forget that some of the most valuable skills to master as an employee are the soft skills that help us engage with colleagues. These skills have nothing to do with our ability to use computer software and tools. Some skills have stood the test of time because they’re integral to any high-functioning workplace.
Soft Skills are traits that help us to work well with other people, whether that’s colleagues, managers or clients. Sometimes we can take these for granted in ourselves, but not everyone is as Soft Skilled as you might be! It’s essential to include these key skills on your CV when applying for a new job or role. In a competitive job market, it’s these often overlooked qualities that can be the difference between securing a job and losing out on a life-changing opportunity.
Here are some key Soft Skills to include on your CV and which might be the defining characteristic that secures you your next dream job!
The ability to let others know what you’re thinking and to understand what you’re being told has always been essential in any career, and always will be. Without clear communication, people can’t cooperate, and we can’t achieve the tasks we set out to accomplish. Though the media we use to communicate may be changing faster than ever, clear communication is always a must. It’s vitally important that would-be employers know that you’re confident enough in your ability to communicate to include it in your CV.
Leadership can make people around you feel at ease in situations where they feel less comfortable, and perhaps less qualified, to respond to a problem. Not everyone is confident enough to take charge of things when necessary, so if you’re confident in your ability to lead, then it’s important to highlight this characteristic on your CV.
Very few jobs require us to work in isolation. Regardless of the career we choose or the task at hand, working efficiently and smoothly with others is almost always a requirement. While many candidates’ CVs might glitter with qualifications and degrees, if you don’t have the ability to work as part a team, then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. With the rise in people working from home due to coronavirus has meant that we’re now often working as part of a team remotely. This brings its own unique set of challenges and requires an even stronger commitment to the ideal of teamwork.
Emotional Intelligence is one of the most under-rated of all skills. Before our colleagues and clients are business associates, they are first and foremost people, with the same hopes and anxieties as the rest of us. Empathy is a critical life skill, both within and without the workplace, and one that any potential employer should know you possess.
Work Ethic, like Teamwork, is a Soft Skill without which, any CV will look bare. Ability is only a fraction of what it takes to succeed. Hard work, and the willingness to stick at something, are the foundations of success in any arena. When working as part of an organisation, colleagues and managers must be confident that they can depend on you to get a job done. A good work ethic inspires trust among coworkers and assures them that you can be counted on to see a task through.
Critical and Quick Thinking
The ability to think objectively, and perhaps abstractly, about a problem, evaluate the situation accurately and respond correctly is a Soft Skill that should be on everyone’s CV. Situations at work can change drastically and in an instant. It’s vital that employees can react in real-time to developing situations and “play with what’s in front of them”. Being able to make a quick and competent decision that might be the difference between success and failure is a key attribute, and one which prospective employers should know you’re in possession of.
Punctuality shows respect for those you’re working with and for the work at hand. Being able to manage time throughout your workday efficiently has as unquantifiably positive knock-on effect within a business. If you’re on top of your schedule, then time is gained by everyone you’re engaging with, as they don’t need to devote more time to your engagement than initially planned. If an individual has poor time management, then this can affect the entire business and is something all employers are keen to avoid. Time Management is a Soft Skill that should appear on every successful CV.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Alison, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.