The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) published the results of their Job Outlook 2015 survey a few months ago that identified the top skills employers are looking for on a candidate’s resume:
Have all of these skills? Great! Now all you have to do is work these into your resume summary and core competencies section and wait for the phone to ring, right?
Almost. What separates a strong resume from one that’s clearly packing in all the keywords it can is proof. Real-world instances of how the job seeker used these skills to make an impact. Consider this concrete example of how to display leadership in action:
Rallied 5-person team together to meet top client’s demands, including mid-project changes in scope, schedule, and resources; completed assignment on time and above client expectations, resulting in $50K in additional business.
Some of these attributes are more difficult to demonstrate on paper than others, especially soft or subjective ones like “friendly,” “tactful,” or “risk-taker”. It’ll take some creativity, but it isn’t impossible. Let’s take a stab at “friendly”:
Earned reputation as go-to customer service associate for handling escalated client calls; maintained positivity and professionalism in all communications and consistently upheld 5/5 scores on post-call surveys.
Oddly enough, many of these skills also show up on the “never use these words on your resume”-type lists making the rounds on career advice websites and social media. Do hiring managers want to see these skills or not? To be fair, many of these articles go on to explain that employers want to see how you put these “cliché” skills into action, not just bullet after bullet of empty language. So in addition to including these highly desired traits in your resume, remember to back it up!