What is the universal skill under-represented on most peoples’ resumes?  Soft skills.

Specifically, you need to demonstrate your ability to a) manage your team b) work with department heads across the company and c) influence the C-Suite.  Think down, sideways and up.  Everybody has technical skills or can at least demonstrate them on paper.  How many of you can manage a team well and actually document this skill?

Manage your team

I have seen so many times:  “Manage a team of 15 engineers”. However, it doesn’t really tell me anything.  “Manage a team of 15 engineers and participate in hiring, on-boarding, and training” is better.  Even better is to show more details.

    • Interviewed over 100 candidates in 2018 both for XYZ department as well as ABC and YYZ departments, influencing over 10 new hires from Director to Analyst levels
    • Created 5 PowerPoint decks and 3 software modules to demonstrate to new hires the process and procedures for updating the XYZ software module and create new API interfaces
    • Sent 5 direct reports to outside vendors (X, Y and Z) for upgrading of Python, Tableau, and machine learning skills

Liaise with department heads across the company

You need to demonstrate that you can work with other business units, whether they are your internal clients or just people you need to get your job done.  Show breadth of relationships.  Nobody wants a person who works in a vacuum.

  • Liaised with global Vice Presidents in Sales Operations, Logistics, Supply Chain and Finance to define goals for company’s new flagship e-commerce application and develop 5-year road map to deploy over $15 million in global IT vendor budget
  • Achieved buy in from heads of Treasury, Trading, Middle Office and Research by demonstrating new medium-frequency trading application’s ability to raise foreign currency revenue by 15% and reduce risk by 30%

Influence the C-Suite

Show that the C-Suite values your opinion, analysis and perspective on important company decisions. If they listen to you, maybe future C-Suite members will also.

  • Chair New Product Committee comprised of CEO, COO and regional department heads to determine next 6 months’ research budget and focus areas
  • Present quarterly investment results to VP of Capital Commitment for flagship high frequency equity trading fund and discuss recommendations to modify trading methodologies to grow assets under management by 50%

You are softer than you think!

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