How to Get Your Soft Skills to Shine Through on Your Resume

T1 + S1When we hire employees at Nexxt we employ a philosophy that has yet to steer us wrong. The philosophy is easy—the skills can be taught, but you can’t teach fit.

With that idea in mind we decided to survey both HR Professionals and job seekers to see what they value more—hard skills or soft skills. And according to the recent study, 56% of HR Pros  value interpersonal skills (soft skills) over technical expertise (hard skills).

When we evaluate candidates to fill our own positions, we appreciate both hard and soft skills. We use a system that our CEO created to qualify applicants. “T” stands for “Team” and “S” stands for “Skills”.  Then we grade the candidate based on their ability to fit with the team and their skill set using  a scale of 1 to 3, 1 being the best, 3 being the worst.

A job candidate that is ranked as a “T1S1” is an ideal potential employee, but we won’t dismiss a “T1S2” or even a “T1S3”. T1S2s and T1S3s have just as good of a chance as coming in for an interview as a T1S1.

By hiring for soft skills, rather than for technical skills, we’ve had a great retention rate. We’ve also witnessed firsthand that when we’ve filled very specialized positions and hired based solely on technical skill—the hires have not worked out. Evaluating candidates based on soft skills is key when making strong hires.

While it’s harder to fully understand a candidate’s soft skills through their resume, there are ways to do it.

For instance, a candidate’s activities outside of the workplace obviously says a lot about the type of person the candidate is. So, if a job seeker lists that they have a black belt in karate that demonstrates that that person is a hard worker. And if someone shares that they perform in Community Theater, it is likely that that person is creative and outgoing. We also look for accomplishments that imply they worked as part of a team or perhaps they manage all of the communications for a department. These types of things can shed some light on a candidate’s interpersonal skills. So keep these in mind when you apply to that next job and know what is and is not appropriate to include on your resume.


  1. I’m sure I’m not the only one in America who’s had it with employers whining about how they can’t find “qualified” candidates. What b.s.
    And I’m tired of all the articles laying the blame for being underemployed or unemployed at the feet of the worker, when unenlightened, rigid, stingy Corporate America is in fact the problem. Transferable skills? They’ve never heard of such a thing. Well-educated, versatile knowledge worker? They don’t want em.
    I am amazed at the number of postings I see that want only a high school or BS degree, which usually seems very much at odds with the requirements of the job.
    Employer postings for their own recruiters have a very low threshold for education and experience–that could explain a lot of things.
    I’ve often suspected I might do better with recruiters if I hid my law degree, but my work history would give it away.

  2. I just loved this article! HR personnel are so much smarter than the rest of us!
    Here’s a suggestion:perhaps “bad fit” is the company’s fault. I just worked for the most dysfunctional company on the planet. Military, one of them, management included, had a y advanced education. Yes, it is was a bad fit. For me. Yuck. I agree with overqualified. I almost wish I never got my advanced degrees. It was to clear how stupid these people were, as well as how incompetant.
    I find employers seeking people in my field with 1-3 years experience. I have nearly 20 years. Its all about money and nothing else. What employer gets is someone they have to train. That costs money, so how stupid is that? They dont get proper trainint- so these kids violate the laws they dont understand. but no one is watching anyway, so employers think its okay to ignore the law.
    No wonder some of us are bitchy…..which i realize is not a good “soft-skill” . Keep hiring in this way and this country will eventually collapse upon itself.

  3. I’ve seen too many times where a company I worked for (I was a senior machine operator/mentor/trainer, hired individuals based solely upon their word pertaining to previous employment and how they presented themselves during an interview. Most of these individuals did not make it past 90 days. They had no technical backgrounds, work ethic, and a level of education that would allow them to read, do basic math and follow directions. The company did not want to spend the extra money in wages to hire qualified individuals to work or to keep those that had the necessary abilities on payroll. A company can hire 100 nice people that say they have what it takes but nothing compares to do actual background checks and testing likely candidates before hiring.

  4. I find all this amusing! If you consider that many of the previous comments had no sentence structure, grammatical errors and poor wording; you’d see how far down the rabbit hole we are versus the need to spend time configuring ways to:
    train people that won’t last more than 90 days
    rid the workforce of older skilled, dedicated workers
    make certain that we are all treated fairly -too much racism
    continue to fund programs federally that do not work
    use emotions to make decisions
    keep pushing that worthless paper around (even our worthless paper money) until we are all fat Americans sitting with a bucket of KFC drinking a six pack watching “honey Boo-Boo” re-runs with the kids swimming in the back of a pickup truck
    GET real, GET Busy, FIND your passion, MAKE a Good Life and LIVE it; for yourself and the people you love the most!
    Obviously, my passion is not writing negative comments on Americans!

  5. What I am seeing more and more is; employers are not posting salaries or salary ranges, yet they want the prospective employee to list their salary expectations along with their resume. They say things like, we are looking for the right person, best fit. Maybe so, but it is a huge waste of time submitting resumes not knowing what the pay will be. In many cases, salary forecasts are guesses and useless. It still comes down to, the best person at the cheapest price.
    M Keenan

  6. thank all of you for your comments and I got a great laugh and would like to know where I can find the “honey Boo-Boo” TV Program. Sounds like it will be fun to watch. I’m unemployeed Meekaa’ and am scheduled for a job interview on Friday 11|14|2014 as a possible driver; wish me good in this issue
    bye bye, for now…

  7. I Don’t Know What You’re Talking About!??##%%&&******———?
    Lots of good employees have all of the above!!!!

  8. I completely agree with the majority of these opinions. I have also thought about understating my educational degrees in order to not look as if a job is temporary until the next best thing comes along nor that I’m not ‘all that and a bag of chips’. If an employment posting asks for my expected salary requirements, I’ve learned not to bother applying.
    Interestingly enough during the time periods while looking for open positions I have noticed two certain things: 1. A lot of the same companies tend to have a very high turn around within their H.R. department, and 2. after a very brief period of time the same positions I’ve seen open in the past are right back up again.
    I tend to think that people are so fearful of losing their jobs to an outsider that may actually have something to offer towards the good of a company are never even given consideration. Yet, American companies keep harking that they need to downsize and streamline efficiency. Gee, you think so? They appear to be something out of a ‘keystone cops’ loop.

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