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What is a soft skill?

When we think about adding skills to our CV we often assume there is only one type – a hard or specific skill. This would relate to something which is specific to the role and may even require a qualification to attain it.

Computer programming, operating machinery, speaking a foreign language, and search engine optimisation are all examples of hard or specific skills. However, a soft skill is not something that requires a qualification in order to be proficient, and are mainly developed throughout work and life experiences.

What is a soft skill?

Soft skills are what allow us to function efficiently in a working environment. Examples of popular soft skills are:

  • Communication
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Organisation
  • Time management

As you can see from the examples above, these soft skills do not require a qualification. They can be developed in and outside of work, and can mainly be described as personal traits and attributes.

How can a soft skill benefit my CV?

Soft skills are equally as important as specific ones from the employer’s perspective. It doesn’t matter how many qualifications and core skills an individual has if they are not able to interact and function efficiently for the company.

Certain roles require more of an emphasis on a soft skill. For example, a customer service role would require a high level of communication, problem solving, and team working skills. An employer hiring for this role would delve into the CV to try and see examples of this to help build up a picture of how the candidate may perform once hired.

Demonstrating the relevant soft skills in your CV is just as important as listing all the hard skills. Both of these skills are equally beneficial to your CV, and knowing this puts you one step ahead of the competition already.

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How to get headhunted

Finding a job typically comes down to sending off a CV and applying for a role. However, being headhunted is another avenue that should always be considered.

Rather than completely relying on your own efforts in the application process, you can also make yourself more open and approachable for a headhunting employer keen to hire an outstanding individual.

The old saying of, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, sums this up quite nicely!

Here are 3 ways you can increase your chances of being headhunted for a job:

Create a brand

One of the best ways to get noticed by an employer is to create your own brand. However, you need to be focused and choose a specific career path and build your brand around that. If the employer stumbles across your details and isn’t sure what you’re selling, you will likely miss out on any opportunities.

Consider what your main professional title should be and build upon that, for example – ‘Digital Marketing Manager’ or ‘Nurse Practitioner’.

No matter how the employer found you, they should instantly be able to see what you’re all about and that you have a clear and focused career objective.

Use social media

An employer is going to find you online, which means your online profiles need to ooze professionalism and demonstrate your career objectives, skills and qualifications. But it doesn’t just stop there!

Create a network and connect to other uses online. Twitter and Facebook are both fantastic platforms to exploit and generate interest in your career and allow potential head hunters to find you. Keep in constant contact with other likeminded professionals and share as much information as possible. Contribute to your field and offer advice, support and ideas on your chosen profession.

Without an online profile and network you will never have the chance to be head hunted. Make your presence known to the outside world and stay up to date with the latest trends in the market.

Create a LinkedIn profile

The most popular business platform to connect and share with other professionals is LinkedIn. In essence, having a LinkedIn profile is like having a second CV, albeit in the digital world. This is the most likely place an employer will find you, and creating a comprehensive profile is an absolute must.

A recent study was conducted which demonstrated the power of having a LinkedIn profile, and how that dramatically increased the job seekers chances of getting an interview. However, it’s important to recognise that the profile had to be comprehensive to help their chances, as a poorly written profile or one which was very bare actually decreased their success.

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Three simple tips for a better CV

The internet is awash with ‘CV tips’ and it’s not surprising that job seekers can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of information out there on making a job application. What was once a fairly straightforward process, now seems to be a military-grade mission where strategy and tactics to get one-upmanship on your fellow job applicants is just a part of the recruitment process.

Of course, this competitive attitude towards job seeking has become necessary. There simply aren’t enough jobs to go around, despite what Theresa May or the British Government may tell you – and so competition is fierce. The official unemployment statistics look rosy but that’s because they mask the number of low pay low skilled jobs that have flooded the market in recent years, taken up by those who previously weren’t in work. Pensions don’t cover the day to day cost of living, benefits no longer guarantee a roof over your head and if you’ve successfully migrated to this country, there’s no guarantee of a decent job on arrival: in every case, you take what you can get.

Putting forward a strong application has never been more important – but some applicants will have the edge, simply because they follow a few golden rules.

First, every application they make is tailored to the job advert. What does this even mean? Seasoned recruitment expert Martin Carline of CV Template Master explains: “The strongest candidates take time to analyse the job advert and ensure both their CV and covering letter meets the requirements exactly. They focus on what’s important to the employer, bringing out the requested skills and experience in each of their past positions.”

Second, strong applications are supported by evidence – facts, figures, achievements and so on. “Write your CV using words like achieved, established, exceeded, supervised and surpassed,” suggests Carline, “and you’ll find yourself including the evidence that employers are looking for.”

Third, choosing a good quality CV template has never been more important. “Recruiters are using ATS software” explains Carline. “Not every recruiter uses it, but how do you know? The safest bet is to pick an ATS-friendly CV template and know that if the software is in use, your CV will run smoothly through the system.”

90% of Fortune 500 Companies use an Applicant Tracking System, according to Hardik Vishwakarma of Hiring Hacks. But of 1,000 resumes analysed by TopResume, 43 percent were sent in an incompatible file type.

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Your LinkedIn profile will boost your chances of an interview by 71%

You could be making a huge mistake if you think your skills, qualifications and extensive work experience is going to carry you easily to an interview. There is also one more aspect which will dramatically boost your chances – and it’s a LinkedIn profile. Continue reading “Your LinkedIn profile will boost your chances of an interview by 71%”

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A guide on how to check your social media before applying for a job

Reviewing the spelling and layout of your CV is not the only thing you should check before applying for a job. Social media accounts and your general online profile are often checked by employers on receipt of a CV, and should also be inspected before you apply. Continue reading “A guide on how to check your social media before applying for a job”