GTRI soft skills

Demonstrate Soft Skills to Land Your Job or Internship!

What do you think it takes to land your dream job? Good grades? A glowing reference? Powerful connections?

If you listed any of the above, you’d be correct. But you’d be forgetting one very important skill. A skill that is overlooked by many, but never by employers: mastery of soft skills.

Your Emotional Intelligence

You may have heard of the term “I.Q” before, used as a measurement for intelligence. But a different measurement, for a different kind of intelligence, is just as important to your success as brain power.

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, refers to your ability to form relationships, with yourself and with others. Emotional intelligence is responsible for your personal characteristics, known as soft skills, which define your value as an employee.

Examples of Soft Skills

Whenever you make it to an appointment on time, you’re demonstrating a soft skill. While NASA won’t contact you just for that, chances are you already have a healthy amount of emotional intelligence.

Soft skills can be broken up into different categories. According to studies, the seven most important soft skills employers look for are as follows:

1. A great work ethic
2. A positive attitude
3. Strong communication skills
4. Time management skills
5. Problem-solving abilities
6. Team-work
7. Confidence

Demonstrating Soft Skills

Great grades can be included in your resume easily. So too can work experience, mastery of the piano and the ability to speak another language.

Soft skills are a little more difficult to demonstrate. After all, it’s easy to say you possess one. How do you prove it? And how do you prove it in a natural way?

For example, consider the following personal statement: “I’m a moral individual who won’t steal your things. I like working in teams so I have somebody to chat to about baseball. I can problem-solve almost any quandary. Just last week I managed to figure out why my WI-FI wasn’t working, thus saving the repair guy a trip. Though, that wasn’t a big deal, as I like talking to people. I’m a great communicator.”

While it demonstrates several soft skills, don’t expect it to land you a job.

Soft Skills and Resumes
Using your resume as a means of displaying your skills is vital.

One way to include soft skills on to your resume is to take a formal class in them. If you’ve worked for any type of business before, you’ll almost certainly have done team-building exercises. Right now, you may even be part of a Toast Masters group. If listed on your resume, this will demonstrate your communication skills are better than average.

The state of Michigan has created a free video program to provide training in soft skills. CLICK HERE to find that video series.

The second way to include soft skills on to a resume is to refer to them indirectly. If you were responsible for implementing a new filing system or accounting method at your old job, you’ve demonstrated a soft skill: leadership.

You can either mention this when talking about job roles on your resume, or save it for an interview.

Demonstrating Soft Skills in Person

Emotional intelligence can be broken up into two parts: personality traits and skills.

While skills are better demonstrated in resume form or as an answer to a question, personality traits will shine through on their own if you let them.

A positive attitude and a passion for working hard are difficult to hide. Before going to any meeting with an employer, it’s best to remind yourself of these skills. Leaving home with a positive focus, a healthy dose of confidence, and the desire to sell yourself will mean you’re in the right frame of mind to make the best impression.

Familiarizing yourself with the social nuances within the American work place is also recommended.

What are your strengths, and what needs work?

Now you understand the importance of EQ, it’s important to self-evaluate. It’s likely you’ll have some personal traits you’re proud of, but have others that need working on.

Go through the seven points above and write examples of times when you’ve demonstrated your emotional intelligence. Doing so will help prepare you for upcoming interviews and many workplace situations you may encounter. It will also give you a good indication of where your strengths and weaknesses may lie.

Career Opportunity with Czarnowski: Project Manager

Job Description


Job Title: Project Manager

Department: Production

Date: October, 2014

Reports to:  Operations Manager

FLSA Status:  Full-time

Position Summary

A Project Manager is responsible for overseeing the daily functions to plan, coordinate, implement and finalize production projects according to projects specifications and guidelines all while keeping the project within budget with on time deliverables. Performs other related assignments or duties as required. A comprehensive understanding of various construction methodologies.

Essential Functions

This position involves working closely with all interoffice disciplines including account services, design, graphics, engineering, onsite services, accounting, executive management and occasional client interaction. This position requires effective team communication and collaboration. Project Manager to lead projects from start to finish with minimal guidance. Ability to prioritize and muli-task


  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Developing and tracking budgets
  • Estimating
  • Continually explore opportunities to add value to process and job accomplishments
  • Planning
  • Provides calendar support, critical paths, work scheduling and facilitating weekly meetings
  • Manage projects to time lines and budget constraints
  • Define project scope, objectives and deliverables
  • Extensive collaboration and communication with project vendors and fabrication facilities
  • Develops full-scale project plans and associated documentation
  • Provides effective leadership
  • Drives issues to resolution using escalation where appropriate
  • Proactively manages changes in project scope
  • Identifies potential risks and develops effective response plans
  • Performs other duties as assigned
  • Meets financial objective by forecasting, preparing annual budgets, reconciling projects, analyzing variances, initiating corrective actions
  • Ensuring quality control throughout projects cycle
  • Develop and facilitate weekly team meetings
  • Work in a team environment
  • Global working experience required
  • Have an expert knowledge of the Chinese language and English language
  • Have capabilities to work in both the United States and China with permanent residence in one of the two countries


  • Advanced computer proficiency
  • Competency with email
  • Competency with word
  • Competency with spreadsheet software (excel)

Experience and Education Requirements

  • High school graduation
  • Graduate in applicable field of study with a bachelor’s degree or experience specific to the field of work

Physical and Environmental Conditions

The work environment characteristics described here is representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of their job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform their essential functions.

While performing the duties for this job, the employee is frequently required to sit for extended periods, see to read and analyze complex graphical data, and hear and speak to exchange information. The employee is required to frequently use hands and fingers to control equipment. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Work is typically performed in an office, which is busy, oriented to client service and subject to constant work interruptions. Employees may work under the stress of continual interdepartmental contacts and pressure meet timelines.

Travel within the United States and globally is required. Ability to obtain a passport, foreign visas, and travel by air is required.

Application Materials

Submittal of resume required, portfolio strongly recommended. References may be requested.


Note: This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by this employee. He or she will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by his or her supervisor.


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How to E-Verify your company in 5 easy steps!


E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. It is the only fast, accurate, and free service of its kind that verifies employees’ data against millions of government records.


Step 1: Visit enrollment website Enrollment website.

Step 2: Answer Access Method Questions There are four access methods, each providing different functions within E-Verify for your company.  The four access methods are: employer, E-Verify employer agent, corporate administrator, and Web services. E-Verify will guide you through four questions to help determine which access method is right for your company.

Step 3: Sign MOU (Memorandums of Understanding) Review the terms and conditions explained in the MOU.  Indicate whether you agree with the terms, which will be your electronic signature.  You will be given the opportunity to download a copy of your electronically signed MOU at the end of the enrollment process.  

Step 4: Enter company information Continue enrolling by entering your company information.  After entering in all the information, review to make sure it is correct,  certify your information, then submit to become E-Verified!

Step 5: Print MOU Once you have reached the Enrollment Confirmation page, E-Verify has received your enrollment information.  Be sure to print a signed copy of the MOU for your records.

Once verified, an employer can enter the information from an employee’s Form I-9 in E-Verify, which will then compare the information to records available to the US Department of Homeland Security.  If the information matches, the case will receive an Employment Authorized result almost immediately.  If the information does not match, the case will receive a Tentative Nonconfirmation result.

For more information click here.

10 Disastrous Resume Mistakes

Avoid these common errors to stand out and secure that job!

Everyone knows to include their name, contact information, and work experience on a resume. But what is going to make your resume stand out? What should you avoid to give you the best chance of being chosen for your dream position?

  1. Typos and grammatical errors. This is important for every job candidate to avoid, but for international students, it’s a good idea to add an extra step and have a native English speaker with good grammar skills review your resume for grammar and usage. It’s important for employers to be confident in your command of the English language.
  2. Using passive language. U.S. employers value self-motivation and action. The more your language reflects action, the better. This list of action verbs from The Muse will help make your resume stand out.
  3. Including illegal information. In the U.S. it is illegal for employers to ask certain questions. If this information is included on your resume, you will automatically be disqualified from applying. Illegal information includes:
    1. TOEFL Score
    2. A Photograph
    3. Immigration Status
    4. Age/Birth date
    5. Hometown/Home Country
    6. Marital Status
    7. Race/Ethnicity
    8. Religion
  4. Focusing on group accomplishments.  Group accomplishments are a great thing to include on your resume because they demonstrate your ability to work on a team. However, you should focus this description on your role within the team.
  5. Listing tasks instead of problems solved. “Responsible for updating social media accounts,” becomes “Increased social media engagement scores by 13% by implementing new strategy.”
  6. A Hard to read format. Hiring managers generally have a lot of applicants for one position and want to be able to scan your resume quickly at first. Instead of writing in paragraph format, use bullet points whenever possible. In addition, an easy-to-read open sans font is a must.
  7. A lack of imagination or creativity. Hiring managers get tired of reading “resume-speak.” They also get tired of looking at resumes generated from templates. The level of creativity should match the type of position you are seeking. A graphic artist, for example, may have some graphic elements included in their resume, while an engineer would be expected to have a more traditional resume.
  8. A lack of focus. If you’re applying for an IT Specialist position, the time you spent as an intern in the IT Department at the University, or serving as the technical consultant for your favorite student group is relevant. Working in the dish room of the cafeteria is not. Make sure you highlight the experience that is relevant.
  9. Not including keywords. Especially if you submit an application online, hiring managers will likely use software that searches by keyword to sift through the first round of resumes. If you do not have those keywords in your resume, it will not make the first cut. A good practice is to identify the likely keywords being searched by reading the job description carefully, and then making sure those keywords are in your resume.
  10. Not offering references. If this is your first job, list professors in your major area of study, academic advisers, research partners, or anyone else that can speak to your work ethic and knowledge of your area of study. If you have job experience, a supervisor or a co-worker in a position of authority is the best reference.

Download our handy Resume and Interview Guide for more tips!

And don’t forget to sign up for the GOregistry and keep your profile up to date so employers search for YOU!