5 Timeless Skills to Build/Have on Your Resume

Are you reentering the workforce, looking to make a career change, or perhaps simply wanting to refine your resume just in case an exciting new opportunity presents itself in the future? If so, knowing which skills employers are looking for can make the difference between landing an interview or being passed over in favor of another potential candidate. Luckily, you can set yourself up for success with the following five timeless skills to build/have on your resume—but, before we begin, an important distinction must be made.

There are two different categories of skills—hard skills and soft skills—and employers are looking for a good mixture of both on your resume. While hard skills are often job-specific and include things that can be learned through training—like computer programming and the ability to speak multiple languages— soft skills are those which are more inherently part of your personality and difficult to be taught—thus, they are often considered more valuable to employers. We will be focusing on soft skills which are able to be applied to any job and are considered timeless.

1. Leadership

Leadership is one of the most sought-after skills and demonstrating your successes as a leader is essential to include in your resume. Employers want to know you’re self-motivated, decisive, and won’t require constant hand-holding in order to succeed at the job.

Even if you haven’t occupied a true leadership position in your previous work experience, you probably still played an important role in achieving specific goals within your company. Clearly state the actions you took and the positive results of your work. If you have no prior work experience, there are still several ways to convey to a potential employer that you possess the ability to lead. For example, relaying that you work with a community outreach group in your spare time showcases your initiative, which is a quality often associated with a leader.

2. Communication

The ability to effectively communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, is a prized skill that is often included near the top of hiring manager’s wish lists for prospective employees. As you may know, in order to be a good communicator, you must also be a good listener. One of the best ways to show your skills is to present your goals and qualifications clearly and concisely while making sure to follow all the employer’s guidelines and requirements when applying for a position. Among other things, that means a cover letter isn’t optional.

When deciding what information, you should include in your correspondence, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Have you made multiple presentations, written proposals and/or negotiated deals that have generated new business for your current company?
  • Have you served as a mentor to a coworker?
  • Can you provide examples of times you’ve motivated your team in order to achieve a particularly difficult goal?

Including any and/or all of these types of examples on your resume is a great way to emphasize your communications skills.

3. Collaboration/teamwork

Do you work well with others? Would you consider yourself a team player? If not, these are skills you’ll definitely want to work on, as a simple scan of readily available online lists containing the essential skills hiring managers are looking for commonly include one or both of these aptitudes.

Employers want to know you can help bring out the best in others and are also able to incorporate your specific skill set within a team setting to help bring a broader goal to fruition. In order to demonstrate your qualifications, simply stating you work well with others on your resume is insufficient, and you should provide specific examples of any collaborative teamwork efforts and their related achievements.

4. Time management

In relation to business as well as in your life outside of work, the value of personal time management skills cannot be overstated. Being able to simultaneously manage multiple projects with shifting deadlines and priority levels is a necessary skill to have in order to achieve your company’s goals, as well as those you’ve set for yourself and the future of your career. To showcase your time management skills, provide examples on your resume that demonstrate times you’ve met deadlines, completed projects early, or delegated work to others in order to complete tasks in a timely matter.

5. Problem-solving

In the course of business, sooner or later something is bound to go wrong—something that will require you to find a solution in order to clear a path for continued success. Whether it be an absent-minded accounting error or a misplaced contract, the speed with which you can solve these issues will have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. Therefore, it makes sense employers want proven problem solvers working for them. Including any information in your work experience that shows your ability to solve problems is a must. Demonstrating you are detail-oriented, logical, and an effective communicator will also call attention to your problem-solving potential.

Finally, while these are only a handful of skills you should consider including in your resume, there are seemingly endless options you could choose instead. For example, being extremely creative would carry more weight when applying for an advertising agency than it would when seeking employment as an administrative assistant. You should take time to really evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses and include the skills you excel at and would also best suit the profession you are pursuing.

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