As you scan through the job description for a remote role, you’ll see a number of desirable key skills listed by the employer. And while you’ll obviously need the hard skills to be able to take on the job, you may notice that many employers will place greater importance on soft skills when it comes to choosing remote workers.
This is why it’s so important that you’re able to showcase your transferable skills on your remote resume. How can you do this effectively? Well, we’re here to tell you. In this guide, we’ll talk you through why soft skills are so essential for remote roles – and how you can showcase them, with maximum impact, on your resume.
Hard vs. soft skills: What’s the difference?
Just in case you’re not familiar with the terms hard and soft skills, we’ll quickly run through what they mean.
Hard skills are abilities that we can be taught, or particular skill sets relevant to your industry or role. This might be the ability to code, speak another language or carry out bookkeeping.
Soft skills, however, are more subjective and often known as people skills and character traits. These are harder to quantify and often relate to how you interact with others – for example, your ability to communicate effectively.
Why are soft skills so important for remote workers?
Because a remote position isn’t based in an office, the employer will not be in the same physical space as their employee. Therefore, it’s vital that the employee has the soft skills to be able to work independently and manage their own workload.
What’s more, because most (if not all) communication will be done digitally, they need to know that you’re able to communicate confidently and effectively.
Employers also require remote workers to understand their briefs, discuss any queries and be able to complete the work on time, without working together in person.
That’s why soft skills such as organization, communication and timekeeping are vital.
What essential soft skills should you include on your remote resume?
When you’re writing your resume, you should use the job description to help guide your content. The aim is to match the candidate requirements as closely as you can, including some of the desirable skills the employer has asked for.
Some of the most common and essential soft skills you should add to your remote resume are:
- Problem solving
Adding soft skills to a remote resume: 3 quick tips
Now that you know how important soft skills are for your application, it’s time to add them to your resume. In order to make the maximum impact on your potential employer, keep these three tips in mind:
1. Incorporate them throughout
The most effective way to showcase your skills is to pepper them throughout your resume. Be sure to refer to your soft skills in your personal profile, core skills, achievements and work experience sections – this way, you’ll prove your suitability for the remote style of working from the get-go.
2. Show, don’t tell
Anyone can just reel off a list of skills, but this doesn’t really mean anything to the recruiter. Instead of just naming your soft skills, you should give real-life examples of how you’ve used them in your previous roles and projects.
For example, instead of just noting that you’re a ‘great communicator’, you might say ‘I used tools such as Skype, Slack, and Trello to keep in touch with my manager and ensure my team were updated throughout the project’.
3. Quantify where possible
In order to show how you can add real value to the employer, you should try to show the tangible results that your soft skills have allowed you to achieve. Describe your experience in hard facts and metrics to help employers understand the impact you’ve made.
For example, rather than merely stating that you’ve got strong organizational skills, you could say that you ‘Oversaw the management of 50+ social media clients by coordinating workload between a team of 10 remote workers, prioritizing tasks in line with the needs of clients.’.
Adding soft skills to your remote resume
As you can see from the above, soft skills are extra important to employers when they’re hiring remote workers. They ultimately need to know that you’re able to do the job to a high standard and solve any problems, without the need for constant supervision.
As such, you should use the job description, combined with your own experience and achievements, to help put showcase your soft skills throughout your resume. You never know, it might just help you land your very first location-independent role!
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.