Since the dawn of my working life, CVs have always been something which have puzzled me. Is there a right template to use? How many pages should they even be?!
It’s really only after looking at dozens of CVs per day that I’ve gotten an idea of what good CVs look like and what are best left off of them.
Soft skill buzzwords are a trap which most people feel like they should include in their CVs, but the reality is that they are losing importance to employers. ATS (Application Tracking Systems) are getting more traction in the employment market, which specifically look for specialist skills. So instead of adding ‘loyal’ or ‘energetic’, instead try technical key words of the projects you have worked on, or using action verbs to describe how you show loyalty or energy.
From my perspective, when looking at CVs, I am definitely looking for specific technical skills. Soft skills are traits which naturally come out when we meet or talk over the phone. What really is worth writing about are things like the frameworks you’ve used and what version(s), what kind of project(s) it was for and, if you’re a developer, a github profile or links to websites you have worked on - these go a long way!
“These words are frequently overused and rarely backed up with concrete examples,” Bennett says. “Yes, almost every employer will be looking for these traits but anyone can say they possess them.” Bennett says the problem isn’t with the words themselves, but how they are used. “Candidates often include the words thinking they are enough to make them sound competent,” he says. “But employers want to see how you embody these traits.”