How To Know What Soft Skills Employers Want

February 14, 2018

This is a specific shout out to the, “Professionals specializing in strategic business planning, team building, and cross-functional team leadership…”

Yes, I’m talking to YOU. I’m calling you out because I don’t want you applying for dozens of jobs every week (or every day!) and wondering why you’re not getting nearly the response you thought you would.

…because there is no recruiter searching for the keyword “cross functional” anything…

Nor is any decision maker hiring someone whose primary skill is “business planning.”

I know this is a difficult thing because the ads say all these words. However, LinkedIn recently did a study listing the soft skills employers want the LEAST. They include:

☒ Business Planning
☒ Cross-functional Team Leadership
☒ Team Building
☒ Team Management
☒ Coaching

Allow Me To Make This Suggestion To You

I already know I can’t get you to get rid of these words altogether – I’ve tried. But I would like to strongly recommend that you deprioritize these imposter key words.

I don’t want to see them in the very 1st line of your resume or LinkedIn profile. But what I’d love to see there are some hard-core key words about what you can come in and actually DO.

The foundation of this approach is to think “doing” as opposed to “being.” The employer’s going to write you a check every 2 weeks because of the things you do, not for just being a “strong team builder.”

Here’s How You Execute This

Read the ad from the top and find the 1st three things you’d be doing every day in that job. If you’ve done those things successfully in your professional history, say so – loud and proud – in your profile or summary.

Are you in marketing? Try this: “Marketing executive who innovates, defines, and articulates strategy; leverages traditional and digital vehicles; and drives aggressive growth.”

Are you in sales? “Top-ranked sales professional who leads new business development, key account growth, and client relationship management.”

Are you in accounting? “CPA candidate specializing in research, analysis, and reporting of complex financial data, to inform senior leadership and Board members and shape strategic decision making.”

Since You’re Not Giving Up On Those Soft Skills Altogether

Use the soft skills the LinkedIn study says are in highest demand:

☑ Communication
☑ Organization
☑ Teamwork
☑ Critical Thinking
☑ Creativity

But here’s the key: don’t just write those words in a list under the heading of “expertise.” Demonstrate those words in action. Weave them into the text of your resume, especially in your bulleted achievements. This is where you have the greatest opportunity to transform those soft skills into action verbs, and illustrate quantitative examples.

I want you to see specific examples of language that works on resumes and LinkedIn profiles. In “3 Simple Steps To Cut Your Job Search Time In HALF!” we’re showcasing real-live samples from real, regular people who got the jobs they wanted. Make sure to join us, so you can see exactly how this is done!


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