It’s a new world… and with that comes the need for new skills. Founder and owner of Bold Curiosity, Celeste Stewart, has heaps of experience working with young professionals in the leadership development space. Here, she chats to Go Hustle about exactly which “soft skills” will make your CV stand out of the rest right now.
But first, one thing Celeste sees way too often…
Not enough emphasis on leadership and interpersonal skills. “You can list all your technical skills, you can list all your programming languages, you can list your awards, but that won’t set you apart from other candidates when applying for a job.”
So, what does set you apart?
“What sets you apart is your ability to deal with conflict, the ability to work on your own, to work under pressure, but most importantly being able to innovate and ‘disrupt’ like we need to do now,” says Celeste.
Must-have CV “soft skills”
Include a short paragraph called “soft skills” (some call them leadership skills) on your CV. “You can pretty much learn any technical skill, but what recruiters and HR departments really want to know is how you influence people,” explains Celeste.
10 questions to ask yourself
These questions apply to any industry, but let’s use journalism as an example:
1/ How do you pitch stories (or ideas in other industries)?
2/ What are you like working in a team?
3/ What is your emotional intelligence like, and how do you manage yourself?
4/ How do you build relationships with other people?
5/ How you build up that contact list?
6/ How do you keep in contact with the people in your industry?
7/ How do you develop relationships, so that if you need, say, a photographer to go out with you, it’s fairly easy to do that.
8/ Are you a skilled learner? Do you know how to learn?
9/ If you’re operating in the digital space, what have you actually done for a brand? For example, when you create reports on “engagement”, companies want to see how you’ve grown the number of followers. “It’s important to substantiate with [actual stats],” says Celeste.
Employers are looking for these fundamental skills – like problem solving skills
Complex problem solving is one of the top skills you’ll want on your CV – or you at least need to be willing to learn. It’s right up there with emotional intelligence. Um, what’s that? Emotional intelligence is your ability to identify, assess and recognise your own emotions and those of others (so, being able to discern between different feelings). “Your self-awareness, self-regulation and how you manage people will benefit you immensely in any working space. Companies want to know that kind of information,” says Celeste.
And the ability to work independently and remotely
“As a person applying for a job, you also need to show HR departments or recruiters that you can work independently or remotely. Working from home shows you have the ability to be fully autonomous,” says Celeste.
Then there’s the ability to learn in any situation
“This is what we call ‘learning agility’ or ‘learning adaptability’. Think of it as the ability to learn a set of skills, then transfer that knowledge and those skills to another environment, project or initiative you’re involved in,” says Celeste.
How we respond to change when things around us are changing is also important. “You must have the ability to constantly scan the horizon. Look at what’s happening around you, then think about how you can change and innovate so you remain relevant,” says Celeste.
Lastly, let’s talk about creativity
As an employee, you need to have a high level of creativity. “Always think about how can you change things up? What else do you need to be working on to make sure the company or business remains relevant?” says Celeste. A high level of creativity is a core skill to have when stepping into any business.