Employers want people with leaderships skills, regardless of their level. They also want people with agility and the ability to cope with change. They also need team players with excellent communication skills.
The characteristics of a good CV is a heavily debated and largely subjective matter that depends on your industry, experience and the employer. But industry best practices dictate that the ideal length of an engaging CV is between one and two pages, any longer and your reader will most likely lose interest.
Shortening your career down to a page or two is a tricky challenge for many people, but if you’re a recent graduate, or only have a year or two’s experience, it’s tempting to cram your CV and cover letter with softer skills to make up for your inexperience.
While we would advise against sharing skills like ‘hardworking’, ‘friendly’ and ‘punctual’ (they should be a given), the truth is, softer skills are underrated. In fact, many of our clients are more interested in finding people with the right soft skills than they are in finding people with the right technical skills or experience.
Here’s some of the most sought-after soft skills you should definitely include on your CV:
You may think that leadership qualities are restricted to management-level and above, but in modern organisations, where rigid workplace hierarchies have been replaced by flatter, more collaborative structures, there’s a growing demand for people from all levels within an organisation to demonstrate leadership skills.
Know the areas you accelerate in, and be honest about the areas where you need to develop, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to gain a portfolio of different experiences. And if you make a mistake, learn from it, bounce back quickly and keep pushing yourself to take the lead.
While being able to nail the Pigeon Pose might make you the most agile person in your yoga class, agility in the workplace is the ability to embrace change and uncertainty. This means that when things don’t go as planned, or if something takes a turn for the worst, you’re always primed and ready to take action without letting it impact your enthusiasm.
A team player
Gone are the days where you could get away with only doing the tasks or responsibilities that are listed on your original job description. Nowadays, traditional functions are advancing quickly, and you’re expected to keep up and adapt. This means working with people from both inside and outside of your team, seeing things from other people’s perspective, and working collaboratively to reach success.
Take the initiative
We get it. When you’re new to a company, the last thing you want to do is step on anyone else’s toes – but sometimes people can use this as an excuse to take a backward stance. Modern organisations need people that can take ownership of their workload. Before finishing a task, ask yourself: “Is this really the best it can be?”, “Is there anything else I could do to make this better?” and “How can I make this easier for the rest of the team?” If you do this, you’re going above and beyond what was asked of you, and essentially, taking things to the next level. That’s what we call taking the initiative!
This one’s a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people struggle to communicate clearly with their colleagues. Possessing the ability to articulate what you’re actually trying to say, having the confidence to speak up when you have an opinion, and knowing what information your manager or team leader would be interested in knowing, are communication-based skills that will help you to make a good impression in the workplace.
Including these soft skills on your CV, and even preparing some examples of how you’ve demonstrated these abilities for your next job interview, will help you to make a good impression with any modern employer. For more advice on crafting your CV, here’s how to make a real impression with potential employers.