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Jul 18 2017
by Sarah Shih

8 Soft Skills to Include on Your Resume

By Sarah Shih - Jul 18 2017
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Now that we are well into summer vacation, it's the perfect time to build your resume for future jobs and internships. Most of us have experienced the terrifying feeling of uncertainty — what are we supposed to put in our skills list so the employers notice us? How should we describe our roles in our past employment? 

For some parts, there's no doubt how to fill out the resume. For example, you can definitely include programming and all the languages you are fluent in if they are your qualifications. All your certificates are your assets, too, and may be helpful if the position you're applying for is related to them. These are your "hard skills:" They are your technical skills that you take classes for. 

While these skills are valued by employers when they look through all the potential candidates to fill their job openings, they aren't the only thing that matter. This is where soft skills come into importance. Soft skills are related your work habit and character. They influence how you work with others and they are valued just as much by the employers; the employers not only want skillful and competent employees but also ones that are resilient and have positive work habits.

Below is a list of eight soft skills that can be included in your resume in order to present yourself as a trustworthy and suitable candidate for a job opening:

1. Multitasking

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We live in a time where things are moving at a rapid rate and happening constantly. This is where efficiency becomes paramount — and that means handling multiple projects at the same time. Being able to multitask means that your employers get the most return in a given time period, and this skill is definitely valued greatly. 

2. Adaptability

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Starting in a new workplace is intimidating. You will be working with a brand new set of rules, people, procedures and environment, and the faster you catch up the better. Including adaptability as one of your soft skills shows the employers that you can contribute and work well even after entering a completely different place from before, and that you can handle stepping out of your comfort zone. 

3. Time Management

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This ties back to the first point. Often, we will have a lot of tasks at hand and time management is vital in completing said tasks successfully and efficiently. We only have so much time in a day, and your ability to manage time wisely can be an asset on your resume since it promises the greatest amount of productivity in the smallest amount of time. 

4. Interpersonal Skills 

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It is likely that you will be working with a group of people for various projects. It is then necessary that you are able to get along with other people and work efficiently with them. Now this may just sound like teamwork, but this isn't the only thing covered by interpersonal skills — it is also how you interact with your superiors and customers. Having this on your resume shows that despite the different kinds of social situations you may come across at work, you can manage an appropriate dynamics with other people. 

5. Problem-Solving

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We can't expect our job to be a smooth ride, and the employers know that too. That's why having problem-solving as your skill is an asset — the employers want to know that when conflicts or problems arise, you can take charge and find a way to fix things. This also provides insight into how you can react to different kinds of situations, instead of just how you handle your daily work.

6. Prioritizing

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The ability to prioritize translates to your knowledge on how to organize your workload so you can achieve maximum efficiency. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the tasks at hand, and having this as one of your skills shows employers that you know how to deal with a heavy workload.

7. Experience in Dealing With Different Cohorts

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Have you ever worked with children and the elderly? If so, this is something you can put down in your skills list. Different age cohorts require different work habits and ways of communication, and having your experience diversified and broad can be an asset. 

8. Public Speaking

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Especially useful in business-related fields, including public speaking skills on your resume speaks volumes (quite literally) in terms of many characteristics you possess: Confidence, ability to articulate your thoughts and to capture attention. This single set of skills covers things from leadership skills to organization and even your ability to cooperate, as there are opportunities to do presentations with other people. Concise and informative, this is definitely something that can be included.

Here's a bonus: Knowing how to close and open the store.

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If you have ever worked early morning shifts or late night ones that require you to open and/or close the store, it is definitely something to be included when you describe your role in your previous job. This translates into responsibility since it can appear that your manager trusts you enough to let you handle this kind of task. 

It is easier to make a list of all the hard skills you possess as they are definite  — if you have learned them, you have them. But along with these hard skills, soft skills are just as important. Including these skills that show the employers about what kind of employee you are can be extremely helpful during your job hunt. 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Sarah Shih - University of Western Ontario

Sarah is a First Year student attending the University of Western Ontario studying Psychology. In her free time, she can be seen reading or writing. If she is silent during a conversation, she is most likely plotting for her next article or the next chapter in her novel.

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