How Can You Differentiate Yourself From Other Candidates?
Standing out in a good way during the job interview process is exactly what will help you make the next round of discussions – or snag an offer. How can you show employers you have the top skills? When you’re competing against a candidate with the same or similar skills, what can give you the competitive edge?
The answer is soft skills.
Soft Skills to Make You Stand Out
There are certain soft skills that can differentiate you from other candidates including leadership, respect, enthusiasm, confidence and work ethic. Soft skills are the less-quantifiable characteristics that often cannot even be taught, but are a part of how you interact with others in the workplace. As such, these traits are just as important as software skills or professional certifications. In fact, some hiring managers would argue that these skills are more important because hard skills can be taught. With collaboration increasingly important in the workplace, soft skills mark you as a candidate that is more highly desirable than one that might not play well with others.
Here are some soft skills that the employer may look for:
- Enthusiasm and energy
Your passion for the job could help you stand out in an employer’s eyes. With employee engagement at an all-time low, sharing your excitement over the role isn’t necessarily a bad thing. An enthusiastic employee is one that typically is the helper on the team, reaching out to others to support their work. That energy is also infectious and can earmark you as the one to pick to reinvigorate a team that is demotivated.
- Quiet confidence
Your confidence can be compelling. Employers look for confidence over bragging, competence over a bluff. The confidant interviewee is the candidate that believes in his or her own skills and abilities to do the job. This characteristic can help employers trust you, which is an important part of the hiring process.
- Work ethic
Employee productivity is still one of the most important benchmarks of a company’s success. Sharing stories of how hard you worked and what you accomplished during the interview process will impress employers on the fence about your hard skills. Work ethic implies you will do what it takes to succeed. Stories about how you worked a job while in school or the extra time you put after work in to receive your Scrum certification, will impress interviewers and potentially help you land the job.
Everyone likes a natural leader, so try to highlight times when you lead teams or when your troubleshooting skills kept a stalled project moving forward. Employees exhibit leadership all the time even if they don’t officially manage a team. Your resume should subtly highlight these areas in your work history and you should reinforce them during the interview process.
It’s important to recognize the power of soft skills to complement those that are more quantifiable. To get more tips on what skills to emphasize with future employers, why not make a connection with the Top Stack recruiting team? Our hard skills are the experience we have with hiring managers, and our soft skills include the ability to create a more human-centered hiring process. Call us to find out why we’re different.