Dos and don’ts for soft skills in executive resumes


Soft skills, also called employability skills, have high value in every stage of your career. As such you don’t need to wait till the interview to introduce your soft skills. Executives navigate a different set of challenges in the path to an executive job. If you are an executive jobseeker, you will need to be more careful while preparing your executive resume.

Be smart about how you position your skills. It could take you from being just one of the many applicants to a serious contender. Don’t simply list all your skills in a section titled ‘soft skills’. Take the skills to generate a picture of a successful career. Be innovative in how you place and promote these transferable skills. Think about how to package your soft skills for maximum effect.

Consider these pointers while preparing to include soft skills in your executive resume. 



  • List only the appropriate skills 


All the jobs you’re pursuing don’t require you list all the employability skills you have. Identify soft skills most relevant to the job you’re targeting. Make sure to leave out any unrelated skills.


  • Use action-oriented words


Using powerful action-oriented words to highlight your soft skills will leave a deeper impact than if you’re only using common words. Use ‘liaised’, ‘consolidated’, ‘spearheaded’ instead of simply writing ‘communicated’, ‘combined’ or ‘lead’ repeatedly.


  • Incorporate numbers to promote your achievements


Say you possess an analytical mind. Now do back that up with successful instances of when your company benefited from this skill of yours. Use data to support your claim.


  • Include any extra skills you have


If you can communicate proficiently in Mandarin or Spanish, and the company has business links to those countries, it is a skill worth mentioning. Your knowledge of digital marketing is a nice addition to your skillset in this digital age. While you might not get the job based solely on this, these skills can put you higher on the ranking of candidates being considered for the job.



  • Use unoriginal words 


Some words are just too commonly used to make much of an impact. Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes where terms like ‘hard worker’, ‘team player’, or ‘motivated individual’ have perhaps ceased to be of value. Such cliched terms simply blend into the background. And you don’t want to disappear into the pile of rejected resumes. 


  • Sell yourself short


Use the executive resume as a vehicle to drive your career further. Don’t just stick to dry facts. If you’ve been recognised at work for your forward thinking and problem-solving skills then do mention it. Were you a driving factor in increased company sales? Don’t shy away from referring to your collaborative project management and communication skills.  


  • Limit yourself to the precise words used in job descriptions


Ordinarily, you catch yourself using the exact words on the job description to design your executive resume or job application. While this is a good way of catching a recruiter’s interest, you will want to build on that attention. Use relevant soft skills to link to and enhance your career highs. Point out your analytical skills that helped land a big client.


  • Include unimpressive skills 


At this stage in your career, it is quite redundant to include MS Office or leadership abilities in your resume. It is assumed you already have these skills. Think of some obvious skills in your industry and make sure to replace those with more interesting ones. Use your resume space wisely.


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