What key soft skills do you need to promote if you are leaving the Armed Forces?

You only need to glance at the news to see that many job roles advertised are getting 100’s of responses. If you add in the fact that some employers are ignorant to the brilliant quality of ex Armed Forces candidates, then you may feel at the bottom of the rung. However, just because there is a high volume of applicants, doesn’t mean that there is high quality!  So, don’t let the competition put you off!

So what can you do to set yourself apart from the crowd? Naturally, you’ll be thinking about how you promote your relevant technical and business skills to any potential employer but what about the added spice of your soft skills?

Firstly, what are soft skills? The dictionary tells us they are –

“Personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people”

Surely these can help you stand out, think about all the tasks, situations, and responsibilities you’ve had throughout your military career – there are hundreds and all of great value.

Most people just now are going along the traditional / safe route of saying they are a team player / good communicator / problem solver!

These are almost as mass market as the not very inventive ‘reading / swimming / socialising’ blah that people put as hobbies and interests.

The top 4 soft skills that employers are looking for right now:


1. Tenacity

“Is driven by your determination to achieve a goal, unwilling to give up until you do”

2. Resilience

“Is your capacity to respond to pressure and the demands of daily life. … In short, resiliency affects our ability to ‘bounce back”

3. Flexibility

“Is being able and willing to adapt to changing circumstances when it comes to how work gets done”

4. Empathy

“Is the ability to perceive and relate to the thoughts, emotions, or experience of others”

Your Next Steps

If you are wanting to be smart about how you market yourself to a new employer, then these must resonate with you. We can easily demonstrate these effectively in cover letters, on CVs/Application forms and at interviews. You now need to think about what real life specific examples you can you give to demonstrate these?  Create some short stories that you can tell as part of ‘brand you’ and have the confidence to talk about them with equal passion as your business / technical skills.

If you want to find out more, get in touch…….

If this has sparked your interest, you can get in touch with the Career Coach directly here.

For more blogs from the Career Coach on this subject, read more here.

To find out what skills our clients are looking for, check out our jobs pages.