Pick Me! How To Sell Your Soft Skills Online

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Jun 01

You have your resume, your cover letter, and your elevator pitch ready to go. You feel prepared to take on the world! The problem? You’re having a hard time finding traction in today’s competitive job market.

It can be hard to truly sell yourself to potential employers online, especially those soft skills that resumes just don’t broadcast. After all, it’s hard to see important details like personality, drive, and communication skills on a paper resume. With 8.2 percent unemployment in the United States right now, you have a lot of competition. How can you set yourself apart from the zombie-like horde of job seekers applying for the same positions as you?

Do something the paper-resume submitting horde isn’t. Get creative! It might be hard to see the intangibles on a piece of paper, but that’s what the Internet is for.

After all, you’re not a job-hunting zombie looking for a position like a zombie hunts for brains. You have a brain, a good one, and now it’s time to get you a job to match!

The following are some ways you can stand out from the pact by using the online environment to sell your soft skills and land you the perfect job.

Video

How about this as a way to set yourself apart from the pact: let them see you. Video resumes are one way you can show potential employers those intangible, yet important soft skills resumes just can’t put on display.
Your resume can list your skills and qualifications, but it doesn’t give hiring managers any idea of your personality and ambition. Plus communication skills are routinely ranked as among the most highly prized by hiring managers looking for stellar employees. Video is a good way to establish your communication creds right out of the gate.

Making a video resume shows employers that you’re creative, technologically savvy, and can back up those “superior communication skills” listed on your paper resume. Plus, anyone who’s ever worked in a toxic workplace knows how important personality is in fostering office harmony.

Brand Yourself

Brands have a consistent message they disseminate through various platforms. You can use that same branding power to really sell your soft skills in the job hunt. You might not be a ketchup bottle or a fabric softener, but you can sell yourself in the same way. Think of the best qualities you possess to help you land your dream position. Are you a great verbal or written communicator? Highlight that! Do you have exceptional emotional understanding and leadership skills? Make that your brand. Then make sure to stress those qualities across all of your online platforms.

Having consistent and positive messaging across all your social media profiles will help establish those important yet hard to pin down soft skill necessary for business success. This will brand you as the perfect employee when a recruiter invariably looks at your online presence. (And they will be looking!)

Get Published

With email, social media and the proliferation of blogs, employers are putting a premium on written communication skills. How can you show off your writing gymnastics? Hiring managers don’t want to just see your really well-crafted memo or your amazingly articulate college paper.

So how do you sell your soft skill if you’re an excellent written communicator? Get published! All those blogs, magazines and social media aren’t just making the world more connected and informed. They’re also all really excellent ways to get your name out into the world and show yourself as a thought leader in your industry of choice.

What do you use to sell your skills online? Share in the comments!

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Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Vivianne says:

    Your post is awesome and it gave me a great idea for my job site. Each candidate will have the option to link his resume to a video resume on Youtube, and his published articles/work. What do you think?

  • Kay Riley says:

    Great article. So true that with unemployment rates so high and fierce competition in the job market, job seekers really have to find inventive ways to get themselves known in their field of interest. I agree that job seekers should consider all avenues of personal branding to showcase their soft skills. Writing a blog or participating in a business chat allows them to show their technical or communication skills more readily than simply stating achievements on a traditional resume. Hiring managers and recruiters will be able to get a glimpse of who the person really is, how they think, and how they interact with their “viewers”. I found this strategy helpful during my last job search.

    I have read many articles that say the video resume is particularly effective for those looking to find jobs in creative fields such as advertising, media, and entertainment. How effective do you think it would be for the more conservative fields such as finance, healthcare and law? Although these fields are also interested in soft skills, I wonder if they would fully appreciate a video resume.

  • Alex says:

    Going online is a great tool for all job hunters. Especially niche job sites.

    When I was looking for a job, I found the best way was via niche job sites (at the time I found my academic career through http://www.unijobs.com I think, for those still searching). The niche sites cater specifically to your chosen career only. The online job boards is key for downsizing the unemployment rate because that’s where all the roles are advertised.

    Alex

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