Women Boomers: Promote Your Unique Soft Skills & Ace the Interview – Part 1

By Dumont Gerken Owen, Ph.D.
NABBW’s Women & Work Expert

What are Soft Skills?

They are the nontechnical skills that consistently rate high with employers…and Guess What? They\’re the skills in which Boomers excel! Sometimes, however, you have to make those skills clear to the interviewer by knowing how to promote the knowledge and wisdom you\’ve gained from your experience.

I recently read an article by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., Creative Director and Associate Publisher of Quintessential Careers. In it she identifies some of the “soft” skills most sought by employers, the skills in which Boomers excel. She also demonstrates how to present these highly sought after skills to employers on a resume. This got me thinking. How can promote your soft skills to promote your candidacy during an interview?

So what are these skills that are so important to employers and how can you demonstrate them?

1. Communications Skills: These skills have been consistently rated in the top three skills most often cited as critical to success by employers. (National Association of College and Employers)

Example: When I started my last job, they were having difficulty opening sales markets with unions. By using my exceptional presentation and negotiation skills, I connected with union leaders. As a result our market share increased by 23% in one year.

2. Analytical/Research Skills: These skills relate to your ability to assess an issue from differing perspectives, identify key issues, conduct related research and identify potential solutions.

Example: We needed to assess and streamline a complex delivery process. Under my leadership we researched, planned and evaluated possible solutions. As a result we exceeded annual projections by 13%.

3. Ability to Multitask Assignments: This refers to your ability to manage multiple assignments, set priorities, and adapt to changing conditions while keeping your cool.

Example: My ability to thrive in new environments, prioritize assignments and move forward on many fronts at the same time contributed to the launch of several projects successfully and under time.

4. Interpersonal Abilities: This is the ability to relate to co-workers of all ages, motivate others, and build the team cohesion essential to accomplish goals.

Example: As a team builder, I revitalized an underproductive marketing team to become the leader in the division. Our plan became the blueprint for success by several other divisions

5. Leadership/Management Skills: This is your ability to inspire and manage others to achieve program goals.

Example: As a leader I have maintained a productive and supportive environment, inspiring my team to achieve the productivity award two years in a row.

This is the first of a two part installments. In this article we have covered five of the interview skill highly sought skills valued by employers and how to answer questions to promote your master of these skills.

  • Communication Skills
  • Assessment/analytical Skills
  • Ability to Multitask
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership Skills and Management Skills

The next post will cover soft skills possessed by women baby boomers and how to answer questions including.

  • Cross-generational and Multicultural Understanding
  • Planning/Organizing
  • Problem-Solving/Reasoning
  • Creativity
  • Dependability/Reliability/Responsibility

A Certified Career Management Coach, her mission is to inspire experienced professionals to realize their unique passions and qualifications, and provide them with strength, resources, and strategies to achieve their job search or career transition.

She has a background in recruiting and directing university career centers spanning over 20 years. As with many of her clients, however, she came to a point where the career she had worked so hard to build wasn\’t working for her anymore. It was one of those “aha” moments! Dumont realized that her true passion was using my expertise to help others. That\’s why she started coaching… to assist others in living their true passion!

Learn more about Dumont on her website, Career Windows Online, or contact her directly via email or phone: (216) 321-1268. Dumont lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Dumont puts the Zoom in Boomer Careers! Her mission is to inspire experienced professionals to realize their unique passions and qualifications, and provide them with strength, resources, and strategies to achieve their job search or career transition.