Soft Skills—The New Hard Skills?

Do Resume Writers Need to Unlearn Conventional Wisdom?

Imagine my surprise while perusing a recent copy of Newsweek, when I read an article called “Does the World Still Have Talent?”


Thinking about change--How adaptable are you? Most of the article reflected the idea that with the tremendous unemployment currently plaguing our economy, companies are still having huge problems recruiting the very executives who might be able to lead them through these tough times. Growing companies in emerging markets are having a particularly tough time keeping up with their management needs.

So the most striking comment in the article became the following, which related to individual adaptability on top of superior technical skills:

[S]kills that were previously seen as gloss on the CV—adaptability, foreign-language skills, ease in other cultures—are part of the core job description of managers.

Unlearning What We Think We Know as Resume Writers

Clearly, these types of comments have serious implications for the way we resume writers do our jobs, and as our client bases become more and more internationalized. We need to ensure that we include these types of soft skills as well as the more “wonky” (as Newsweek called them) technology skill sets. How hard will this be for us as a group? I imagine it will be pretty tough to teach old dogs new tricks; we need to adapt with the times, keep our own knowledge abreast with changing times, and, as always, produce top-tier career documentation that will get the interviews our clients need for the jobs they want.

Thoughts from resume writers and job seekers alike are welcome.

Amy L. Adler, MBA, MA, CARW, is the owner and president of Inscribe / Express, professional provider of career documentation. Contact Amy at for a free consultation about methods to improve your resume.

2 replies
  1. Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach
    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach says:

    Your point, “resume writers need to unlearn conventional wisdom” is actually true for every professional in every pursuit. It is very much a new world not only with the difficult economy but with the truly global focus. It makes people-skills (aka soft skills) the “hard” tangible difference in accomplishing most end goals.

    When your resume, your interview, and your skills land you your dream job, you find your first day filled with diverse global interactions — right in one workplace. So my contribution to this discussion is:
    Professional People-Skills Work on You and On the Work

    Warmest wishes,
    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach


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