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Career Focus

Do You Know the Newest “Soft” Skill? 

By LISA TRUDEL - August 9 2022

Do you know one of the most significant workplace changes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic? It is the acceptance of remote work and the amount of business that is now conducted virtually. Thus, many recruiters and employers read resumes to check if you have remote familiarity and if you transitioned from the traditional office or school to the work-from-home experience.

If you are job searching and spending time answering job postings, revising resumes, crafting cover letters and networking, you probably recognize the expressions “soft skill” or “transferable skill”. These skills usually represent interpersonal aptitudes or emotional intelligence. Another definition includes important job-related skills such as time management, communication, conflict resolution, adaptability and problem solving.  

Recently in an article published in Business Insider, a new soft skill was announced called “hybrid competence”.  According to this report, the skill of hybrid competence is a source of power that might move your resume to the top of the hiring pool if you illustrate the collection of skills gained as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For example, mastering multiple Zoom calls and meetings, increasing control of instant messaging platforms, maintaining remote relationships with colleagues and customers, and switching between home working and in-office working, are all skills that you might not have had at the start of 2020.  Now that it is mid-2022, these skills should be highlighted on your resume since many workplaces are now distributed environments where you might be part of a team that works remotely and in-person.

Here are 4 points that you might want to consider emphasizing on your resume:

1) Remote project collaboration: if you successfully ran a national project virtually during the COVID lockdown, you could state that you “Facilitated remote brainstorming sessions, executed deadlines across various time zones and coordinated distributed teams, resulting in successful renewal of project funding”. It is always important to list the “how” not just the “what” in your resume. 

2) Social network skills: if you started to use social media platforms or learned how to use Zoom to keep connected to your colleagues during COVID, you could state that you “Maintained business connections and partnerships remotely using social media platforms including LinkedIn, resulting in creation of company Virtual Lunch Clubs”. 

3) Network awareness: if you combined your organizational skills and self-motivation with flexibility initiative when you worked or studied remotely during COVID, you could state “Navigated networks to find and secure online resources for research and planning projects, resulting in recognition of creating and fostering connections”. 

4) Compliance knowledge: some employers want to know if you can maintain self-discipline and conform to rules without direction when working remotely. If you did this during COVID, you could state “Maintained daily workflow schedule by developing tracking method to continue with achievement of meeting expectations without supervision, resulting in increased weekly productivity and profitability”.

The new soft skill of hybrid competence and the reality of remote technologies being used in workplaces and in educational settings are here to stay. Therefore, explaining these capabilities on your resume can set you apart form others.  Take the first step by spending time conducting an inventory of the skills you have gained since March of 2020. It is possible that you have the 4 points listed above and these new triumphs could be your source of power to open virtual interview doors and to future-proof your career. 

To find out more about soft skills, career planning and job searching, contact your local Employment Ontario funded Career Service Provider and find out if you meet the criteria to use their free services. 

This article was written by Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with Achēv (pronounced “achieve”). You can contact Lisa at ltrudel@achev.ca


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