Why you should showcase soft skills on your CV

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Don't be shy about showing off your extra-curricular experience on your CV - it may just set you apart from the candidate pack in today's tough employment market.

Jon Michel, principal of Jon Michel Executive Search, says including all-around abilities indicates that a candidate can work hard, play hard and is therefore robust enough to cope with the long hours in the banking sector.

"Successful candidates will ideally be good communicators, so debating will be useful, while sports achievements, community work, travel and adventure will indicate an all-rounder and team player," adds Michel.

Luke Heath, chief executive of Chandler Heath Executive Recruitment, warns candidates against using CV clich├ęs. "General comments such as 'self-starter', 'thought leader', 'team player' are over-used. And be sure to avoid embellishments as there is a high probability of being found out," he says.

Heath adds that a CV must be succinct, so limit it to three pages. The contact details must be clear and on page 1. "Be specific about achievements and use numbers wherever possible."

John Coles, managing director of search firm Coles Christie & Associates, says if candidates make it through to an interview, then they must show flexibility.

"Also demonstrating good corporate connections and work in progress will help. No one will hire anyone who won't bring in a deal flow straight away," he warns. "No one will be training up i-bankers for a year or two."

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