With all of this talk about layoffs and possibly looking for a new job soon Mrs. SSC has been working on her resume. Don’t worry, she’s been working on it before now, but it keeps bringing up this debate over whether or not to highlight soft skills. If you do list them, to what degree should they be featured and what is the best way to incorporate them? We have opposing schools of thought on this concept. I think they show a side of you that your technical skills may not reflect, while Mrs. SSC tends to go the more traditional route and downplay or not list soft skills at all. Let me elaborate on some of my more humorous soft skills and then I will show how they can be interpreted on a resume.
- Advanced Banjo, Guitar, and Dulcimer player
- Excels at Small Talk: Voted “Most Likely to be in Someone Else’s Office Chatting” by my previous company
- Excellent Gardener: Produced 1 perfect tomato from a single plant – expects to double success this fall
- World of Tanks: Blitz!: Deputy Tank Commander of VOLT clan. Achieved a 64% Win Rate
- Excels at Weeding: Uses hands to pull roots instead of indiscriminately using chemicals
- Franchise owner in Madden XXV: 8 consecutive Superbowl Titles, Developed 2 MVP quarterbacks from Rookie status
- Candy Crush Soda: Achieved Level 368 – current level progress may be higher than listed
Interpretation of Soft Skills by Hiring Manager
- Creative, and disciplined to become advanced on an instrument – instrument choice shows outside of the box thinker
- Good office personality, probably well-liked by colleagues. Would transition well into any group. Plays nice with others.
- Prefers quality over quantity! Willing to put in the hard work for little reward. Probably would accept more work for same pay and not complain…
- Knows how to strategize, lead a team, and manage risk. Can quickly assess a situation and determine the best scenario to achieve success!
- Not afraid of hard work, selective in his thought process and work methods.
- Good manager, and can develop people – possibly mentor material and/or leadership position
- Persistent, driven to win. Won’t accept defeat, but continues to strive for victory
Interpretation of Soft Skills by Mrs. SSC
- Choice of instruments sounds like a hippy, maybe not corporate material
- Doesn’t stay on task – disrupts others – could be counter-productive to the whole floor if left to roam the halls on his own
- Can’t grow anything – must not use internet for help or reach out to others when needed. Who grows only 1 tomato?!
- Spends too much time playing games – 64% win rate?! That doesn’t happen overnight…
- Weeding by hand?! Who does that – this guy is stuck in the past – chemicals are around for a reason, sounds like a typical work harder not work smarter situation…
- Again with the games?! Does this guy have a social life – probably just everyone he chats up at work…
- ??? Shows ability to get obsessed with things that don’t matter. Probably heads down lots of rabbit holes in his current work projects. Probably easy for him to get distracted and stay off task…
Clearly Mrs. SSC is a bit more harsh than the hiring manager’s interpretation of my awesome soft skill set, because I did get hired by a different company. They tend to like the out of the box soft skills I’ve spent a lifetime developing, but I can’t seem to get Mrs. SSC on board with that. She keeps rolling her eyes and telling me I’m ridiculous and those kind of soft skills would get her passed over for an interview, much less a position. I have to disagree. I mean, I added some soft skills like mine to her resume, and she didn’t protest at all. Although, I didn’t tell her, so maybe she hasn’t noticed yet?
What are some soft skills you would put on leave off of a resume? Have you ever seen anything as ridiculous as my soft skill set on an actual resume?