In a recent Huffington Post article entitled “Preparing for the 21st Century: Soft Skills Matter”, author Stedman Graham revealed:
In a study conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, there was a remarkable difference between the perceptions of college students and their potential employers. While the vast majority of employers thought that oral communication, organizing and evaluating information, and solving complex problems were critically important, fewer than 30 percent of college students realized that these soft skills are essential to their success.
Mr. Graham also asserted: “Of course hard skills are important. Hard skills build resumes.”
Yes, hard skills do build resumes. While the listed job requirements may mention the need for excellent oral and written communications or organizational skills, those often come after the ‘ important’ and measurable hard skills (such as technical skills) and proof of hard skills (including education, training, and/or certifications) are cited first.
The focus on proving mastery of the employers’ stated job requirements is a sound one for resume development.
But, what if you were to go beyond showing proof of requested hard skills (which could, perhaps in less than a decade, be performed by a computer program) in your resume writing?
What if, in addition, you showcased your accomplishments using your communications, organizing, evaluating, and problem-solving skills?
My guess is that you would have employers eager to interview you. This is because they ALL have problems that need to be solved! It is precisely soft skills, such as organizing, analyzing, evaluating, communicating and, of course, problem-solving that will ultimately deliver better company results.
So take another look at your resume. Does it go beyond just claiming your hard skills? Does it sing with the melody that employers gravitate to – solving problems (big and small)?