Fluff vs Stuff: Which Soft Skills are Employers Looking for?

Fluff vs Stuff: Which Soft Skills are Employers Looking for?

By: Erin Venable | June 25, 2017

This job market is rough for all job seekers. Making the right impression with your resume is key to getting hired. You may have as little as 7 seconds to impress the employer looking at your resume. Buy your resume more time by cutting away the fluff and focusing on the right soft skills instead. Here are the soft skills your resume needs and the ones that need to be replaced.

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The Right Stuff:

Let’s start off by examining the soft skills that this LinkedIn survey identifies as the top soft skills that employers prefer on a resume that will get you hired.

1. Communication - Communication abilities are foremost in the minds of hiring managers and recruiters. CNBC says, “Success in business, as tech-focused as it's become, can still come down to people's interactions with each other.” You need to make sure you are good at connecting with other and relaying information effectively to get hired in today’s job market.

2. Organization - Employers are interested in candidates who can stay on top of their work through their organizational skills. Companies benefit from organization and well organized employees. Improve your ability to keep things organized to get ahead in your job search.

3. Teamwork - Organizations are built on people working together. Companies need employees that work as team players to be successful. The Balance says, “this means not only being cooperative, but also displaying strong leadership skills when necessary.” Focus on your ability to work as a teammate with others to take your resume to the next level.

4. Punctuality - When a company invests in a new hire, they want to know that their new employee is going to show up on time. When you are late to work, you waste your coworkers’, and the company’s, time. In this job market, show companies that you care about their success by being punctual and you will land the job you want.

5. Critical Thinking - Employers don’t want to hire candidates that take information at face value. They want employees who will analyze the information and find creative new ways to use it. TopResume says that critical thinkers “don’t assume that the information provided to them is complete.” Organizations need to improve to stay successful. They want to hire innovators, so feature critical thinking on your resume to land that perfect job.

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The Fluff

Now that we have gone over the relevant and important soft skills your resume needs, let’s address those fluff skills that are just wasting space. Everything on your resume needs to make a strong impression, so cut the fluff to make room for those skills that you really need. These are the soft skills that employers valued the least on candidate's resumes.

1. Business Planning - The first soft skill you can delete from your resume is business planning. Employers aren’t interested in your business planning abilities. They prefer to know that you are organized and have general planning abilities rather than business planning skills.

2. Cross-Functional Team Leadership - Cross-functional team leadership may seem like an impressive skill to include on your resume, but that isn’t the case. Hiring managers want to know that you can work in a team, not about your ability to lead multidimensional teams. Cut the cross-functional team leadership and exchange it for your teamwork skills.

In today’s job market, employers want adaptable, generally skilled candidates. Skip the specialized skills that won't help you get ahead.

3. Emotional Intelligence - It may be tempting to include emotional intelligence on your resume, but recruiters would prefer to see communication skills. Sure it’s nice to be able to understand other’s emotions, but employers want to know how well you can use that to communicate and help their organization. Leave emotional intelligence off your resume to get the results you want.

4. Team Building - Another skill that employers don’t value in today’s market is team building. Employers want to know how you can interact and work with others, not your ability to create a team. Focus on why you have those team building skills and leave this ability off your resume.

5. Coaching - Coaching is another leadership ability that candidates love to include on their resume, but hiring managers aren’t impressed. Coaching is too specific, employers want to know your abilities with others more generally. Skip coaching and delve into your other skills instead to make your resume more successful.

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In today’s job market, employers want adaptable, generally skilled candidates. You don’t need to be an expert coach or cross-functional team leader, you need to be an open and effective communicator. You don’t need to build-teams, you need to be a good teammate and work well with others. If you’re looking for ways for your resume to make the best impression, take the time to replace fluffy soft skills with the abilities that today’s employers want.

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