We’ve all heard of the specific skills that all CVS should boast: communicating well, working great in a term and being a good problem solver. These are pretty run-of-the-mill, you just know that your potential employer is bombarded with these terms every time they sift through the piles of applications!

If you want to stand out then think about using some less common ones to really add that extra oomph to your CV.


This is an attribute that should be more relevant than ever nowadays.  With social media and shortened attention spans, having the ability to focus can really benefit you in the workplace and in your hobbies.

In his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, author Cal Newport highlights the benefits of focusing on more productive tasks! (Hint: not Facebook or Twitter.)

Newport highlights three golden reasons as to why focusing is such a valuable skill.   Firstly, those periods of concentrated effort allow you to produce more than usual.  Second, you’ll stand out because most people opt to do the easier work options (eg. checking e-mails) as opposed to big projects.  Lastly, it maximizes your skills and talents in a way that gives your work more meaning and gives you more satisfaction.  It’s a win/win!

Emotional Intelligence

Often overlooked, emotional intelligence is all about your ability to recognize and understand your emotions which is increasingly regarded as a major key to success.  Having emotional intelligence benefits you in a number of ways. One of the most obvious is how it helps you create better professional relationships.

By understanding what makes others tick and developing positive working relationships, you will also learn how to work better as a team.  Additionally, being able to understand your emotions and skills will help you problem solve with or without emotion at meetings.

Attention to detail

Why is this important?  Well, according to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey, 40% of hiring managers spent less than 60 seconds looking at a resume.  That means if they spot one error in your resume then it’s more than likely that your application may get overlooked!

Attention to Detail is a great quality to add to your CV for a number of reasons.  It shows that you’re efficient – you don’t need to re-visit tasks in order to correct them.  It also means that you aren’t known to waste valuable time and resources which is vital for a company.

Another major advantage is clear and effective communication. (We all know how messy Chinese Whispers gets).  If the time isn’t put in to check over the initial message that by the time it reaches the destination, it could read as something entirely different.

 Openness to Feedback

Let’s face it, nobody enjoys criticism!  However, having the ability to learn from others and take on constructive feedback can really benefit you.  Being able to do this is critical if you want to develop professionally and personally.  It is an investment in yourself.

In Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, authors Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen highlight some challenges when receiving feedback.  If someone is critical towards your work then it’s important to make sure that you’re not instantly defensive.

Instead, ask for specifics.  By doing so, you can get to the observations leading to their judgment and impress your co-workers when you both hear and incorporate their feedback!