Cover Letter Sample: The Top Seven Soft Skills
Did you know that you are up against more competition for one average job than all the car dealers, carpet cleaners, grocery stores, and home improvement contractors combined are for your business? How so? There is usually fewer than twenty of each of these businesses vying for your money no matter where you live. Yet there are often hundreds of resumes turned in for a single job. The point is your resume has stiff competition! Your chances of getting an interview from ordinary resumes and cover letters are slim.
So what can you do?
Soft skills are personal characteristics, attitudes, and values. Soft skills are your attractive skills! A strong work ethic, people or team skills, a positive attitude, and so on are soft skills. The more soft skills an employer identifies in your writing and resume the more your chances of getting an interview increase. This is where you can get ahead of your competition.
When an employer is comparing two candidates to interview and one person has six years and the other candidate has four years of the same experience, but the one with four years experience has portrayed an optimistic attitude. strong work ethic, or clear communication skills; guess who will be more likely to get an interview? The answer is the person who has described the soft skills. Why? Soft skills are attractive, soft skills are sexy, soft skills sell!
Here is a great analogy: If you were shopping for a car the hard skills would be the engine specifications, the types of tires, and the kind of brakes and so on. All important stuff for sure. But the soft skills are what make most people decide to buy. These would be the leather interior seats, the slick unique body design, and the latest technology built in the dashboard or the buttons, bells, and whistles. An engineering degree is a requirement just like an engine but how often do you look at your car’s engine? A happy smile from an optimistic person who enjoys their work and never complains; now there is a desirable employee.
So you “get it” right? While you can certainly incorporate soft skills into your resume, soft skills are often easier to work into cover letters than resumes. And they get more attention in your letters and do you more good. The next question is: How do you choose which soft skills to include in your cover letters? There are a myriad of psychological studies and corporate surveys that have determined several top soft skills that get employers excited. Take a good look at the following most desired soft skills and decide which ones you have and create statements for them.
Note: Soft skills are often abstract concepts so they achieve more validity when associated with tangible events or accomplishments. Also keep in mind that the sample statements are for cover letters where pronouns are acceptable.
Optimistic or Positive Attitude
This is number one. This is the foundation for most all other soft skills. Employers desire this attribute more than any other soft skill. In fact many employers have stated they would rather hire an optimistic candidate with significantly less experience than a far more experienced person who does not have a good attitude. A pessimistic attitude will have a negative effect on other employees and can cause considerable damage. A person with an upbeat attitude can learn new hard skills to overcome any inexperience and will most always be happy to do so.
Optimistic or Positive Attitude Cover Letter Sample Statements:
- My passion for microbiology generates a daily energy that has been called determined and exciting by my supervisors.
- A contiguous smile and good word for everyone has enabled me to raise 4.7 million dollars in the last year for our organization.
- My anticipation of your response is only surpassed by my excitement in regards to learning more about your company
People, Interpersonal, or Team Skills
This group of skills is second on the list though when a person has the first one, a positive attitude; they almost always work well with others. An employee with people skills can communicate well, can handle and resolve conflicts, inspires others, is a desired representation of the company, can be trusted to work with clients and customers, and is a contender for a team leader or management position.
People, Interpersonal, or Team Skills Cover Letter Sample Statements:
- Under my leadership our team completed a world-wide hardware update for over 1,700 offices; two months before deadline and under budget.
- Ability to resolve conflicts was recognized by fellow employees and led to nomination and being elected as the company Union representative.
- Rallied store employees to stick with the company during temporary mall closing and retained them all saving the company extensive rehire and training costs.
Number three on the list is about trust. The employer wants to know an employee can be trusted to act professionally in every situation. This means in how he or she conducts themselves, interacts with others, dresses appropriately, behaves maturely, represents the company in a positive manner, and is capable of making good decisions.
Professionalism Cover Letter Sample Statements:
- Met with prospects in their homes to present Medicare subsidy coverage and surpassed goal of 90% closing.
- I was chosen to represent our company at local council meetings and charity events.
- Wrote professional behavior guidelines chapter for company policy and procedures manual.
Communication skills has ranked at the top of employer desired skills and includes the capacity to listen and understand instructions, respond appropriately to questions, speak with clarity, and read and write competently. Most everything in business depends on clear communication abilities. Your cover letters and resumes themselves are opportunities for you to demonstrate your written communication skills.
Communication Skills Cover Letter Sample Statements:
- Created over 778 product descriptions for our website.
- I handled all communications for new clients and assigned account representatives based on customer needs.
- I maintained a 99.7% customer satisfaction rate when troubleshooting due to my product knowledge and ability to explain the issues to lay people.
If you grew up working like I did on the farm, chances are you have a strong work ethic. If you do not, then you need one. An employer is paying you for something and your work ethic should be, “You will give your employer their money’s worth every hour of every day.” You must de dedicated and loyal even in difficult times. A great work ethic will most always be rewarded sooner or later.
Work Ethic Cover Letter Sample Statements:
- Managed 27 weekend trade shows where I worked day and night to help set record sales.
- Received recognition as employee of the month three times in two years based on dedication.
- Often stayed after regular work hours to do whatever it took to get client quotes in on time.
Without honesty all the other soft skills are worth nothing. Relationships and jobs will collapse like a house of cards for deceitful people. Employers know they can be held liable for employee actions and will do everything possible to keep from hiring untruthful people and everything they can to rid themselves of dishonest employees. Established morals and ethics with clear boundaries for conduct and decision making are highly desirable and attractive to most employers.
Integrity Cover Letter Sample Statements:
- Duties included closing out four restaurant registers and accounting for all cash and making deposits.
- Earned a reputation for integrity by adopting code for quality conduct.
- I have honed my skills with the empowerment of honesty and by taking responsibility for all of my actions.
- I served on the company ethics committee by request where I made a significant contribution to policy.
While this might seem more like a group therapy attribute this includes a potpourri of employer desirable abilities.
These are described as the ability to understand personal strengths and weaknesses, comprehend the effects of one’s actions on others, possess a fairly accurate self perception, set and work for goals, and know self motivational triggers.
Because self awareness encompasses mostly abstract concepts, you can tie them to tangible events or results as in the following samples.
Self Awareness Cover Letter Sample Statements:
- Achieved Masters Degree in education while working as a missionary due to an extraordinary sense of purpose.
- I was voted employee of the year based on an infectious optimism and sales results.
- Presently completing my doctorate having been instilled with a dedication to life-long learning by my parents.
There is a long list of soft skills that employers want to see such as patience, insight, curiosity, eagerness, multitasking, confidence, organizational, ability to plan and perform tasks in order of importance, ability to react appropriately, tolerance for stress, focus, attention to detail, ability to see the big picture and more. Always look for any soft skills conveyed in an employer job posting or description and include those by working statements such as the ones above into your cover letters. See my software for creating cover letters that will get you interviews.
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