As Chief Executive Officer, you will set the tone for how an organization operates and grows. That’s why it’s imperative to showcase your most impressive abilities and unique talents on your resume.

There are distinguishing attributes that will instill confidence in hiring managers and stakeholders and show them that you have exactly what it takes to attain corporate excellence. These skills often fall into two categories: soft skills and hard skills. Proving you have both is essential.

What’s the difference?

Hard skills are complex technical skills obtained through specific methodologies, techniques, education, or knowledge. For financial industries, these might be Regulatory Compliance or Budget Forecasting. If you work principally in the technology industry, specific coding languages and software knowledge represent a few hard skills.

Conversely, soft skills tend to be reflections of your temperament and values. These characteristics may have evolved as a result of your experience and depict how you interact with others in the course of performing your job. Examples of soft skills include Emotional Intelligence, Conflict Resolution, and Written and Verbal Communication.

Why do we separate hard and soft skills?

Searching for a CEO position may necessitate a diversified approach, and the ability of your resume to pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by most large companies remains an important factor in resume preparation.

Let’s be honest; by this juncture, it’s obvious that you’re a “go-getter” and “self-starter.” So instead of merely listing broad characteristics, try focusing on specific soft and hard skills that will highlight how you will elevate a company as its CEO.

How to utilize soft and hard skills

As you assemble your resume, reference the job descriptions and listings for which you are applying. Keep in mind that both soft and hard skills are of prime importance, and that painting yourself as the premier candidate for each CEO position requires incorporating these relevant terms through most sections of your resume, including your Executive Summary, Areas of Expertise, and Work Experience.

Some of the most frequent and pivotal phrases found in CEO job descriptions include hard skills like Revenue Generation and P&L Management; for soft skills, these might be Creative Problem Solving and Collaborative Teamwork.

The most important CEO skill

Leadership, leadership, leadership!

According to the CEO Institute, there are 6 leadership styles: pacesetting (leads by example), coercive (demands compliance), coach (develops talent), authoritative (focused on goals), democratic (seeks team consensus), and affiliative (bonds emotionally).

Although your leadership philosophy likely fuses several of these, it would be beneficial to determine which defines you best. One way to do so would be to ask a trusted business partner how they would describe you, then weave those leadership terms throughout your resume.

Lastly, you’re no stranger to the hiring process. So, ask yourself: Would you welcome a CEO with the combination of soft and hard skills displayed in your resume?

The presentation of hard skills and soft skills in your CEO resume is just one of many key factors that must be considered when creating a successful executive-level resume. For more information, review our comprehensive Chief Executive Officer Resume Guide.