Soft skills are qualitative measures that an employer searches for to ensure a good culture fit and work performance in the future. They’re often difficult skills to teach, and are even more difficult to identify in an interview or on a resume. At VIP, when we search for the right candidate to meet our clients’ needs, we take the time to intently listen to each candidate. Then, we identify the strongest individuals that exemplify the soft skills necessary to succeed in the job. As a trusted partner to employers, we’ve pinpointed the top soft skills for finance and accounting professionals.
Finance and accounting professionals should have strong written and oral communication skills. Whether on a call or writing an email, you’ll want to communicate clearly and concisely. You’ll also need to explain your message in an easily understandable manner. If you’re a new hire, communication skills are especially necessary. An employer will want you to raise your voice when you have questions or concerns.
To highlight your communication skills, ensure your resume is free of grammar and spelling errors. This is the first form of communication you’ll have with a hiring manager, so make it count! Respond quickly to emails about the position you’re applying for and use professional but approachable language. When on the phone for an interview, be aware of the “ums” “uhs” and “likes” in your sentences. Avoid run-on answers to questions and spend time listening to the interviewer. After all, communication is a two-way street.
Accounting and finance professionals should be adaptable and make decisions even in situations where they don’t have all the information. Recruiters and hiring managers seek candidates that take initiative and ownership of tasks while supporting others to accomplish larger goals.
To highlight your leadership skills, include leadership roles you’ve had on your resume and bring them up during an interview. Use action and ownership words like “directed” “established” and “coordinated” on your resume to highlight the role you had in your position or on specific projects. Just be careful to remain humble while highlighting your leadership skills. Hiring managers are looking for team players, after all.
A crucial aspect of many accounting and finance roles is the ability to collect data and make sense of it. A candidate with strong analytical skills will easily interpret spreadsheets of data and communicate the takeaways to any affected colleagues. Highly analytical people look for trends and assist in planning for the future. To highlight your analytical skills, include statistics on your resume or give examples of times you’ve approached a project with an analytical mindset.
Accounting and finance professionals must easily navigate software, which often varies from industry to industry. Whether it be QuickBooks, Yardi, SAP, or another software, companies expect a new hire to dive in and learn the ins and outs of it. To highlight your technology navigation skills, add any software certifications you have to your resume and communicate your level of expertise with your interviewer.
Interested in strengthening these skills? There are many resources available online for this kind of professional development. Visit software YouTube pages for step by step how-to videos and look up terminology for software providers to help ease the learning curve.
If you’re seeking a position in accounting and finance and want to learn more about how to land your perfect role, listen to the We Are VIP Podcast and view our latest job openings. We’d love to help you take the next step in your career.