In a competitive job market, applicants need more than just solid hard skills to impress the people making hiring decisions. While mentoring experience might not be the top keyword recruiters are searching for, it adds a little something extra to your CV or resume that can help you stand out from the crowd.
Suggests a growth mindset
“When we recruiters see mentoring experience in a candidate's CV, it is a sign that they have a growth mindset, that they want to improve and want to help others improve too,” says Nicolas Bowles, Femme Palette mentor and Talent Lead at an early-stage data science startup. Using your spare time to work on developing your own personal and professional skills by helping others work toward their goals signals that you are dedicated to growth, which is an important mindset to have for many positions in forward-thinking organizations.
“Having mentoring on your CV shows ambition, growth and a type of development that's not predicated on bonus or financial reward,” shares Becca Garner, Femme Palette mentor and Global Head of People Operations & Partnering for an innovative cyber-security company. “It's an admirable trait that shows someone's commitment to growing someone else's skills by sharing all of their skills and knowledge.”
While mentoring experience can be an asset when applying to any role, it holds extra weight when it comes to being considered for leadership positions. “Recruiters are looking for CVs with accomplishments that stand out above the rest, identifying strong passionate people-centric leaders can be challenging,” says Becca. “To a recruiter, seeing that someone's taken the time (especially personal time) to mentor someone is a huge selling point.”
Nicolas adds, “Among other things, having mentoring experience also signals involvement in the community as well as commitment and expertise in what they do. When talking about Managerial roles, this experience may come in particularly handy, since mentoring is a crucial part of a good manager.”
Highlights soft skills in action
While someone might look great on paper when it comes to hard skills, it can often be tricky to identify their soft skills competencies. “What companies are looking for in new colleagues is not only the content-related skills (such as coding, for example), but also the soft skills,” suggests Olga Castillo, Femme Palette mentor and Head of Recruitment BeNeLux at a unicorn company. “In a fast changing environment, it might even be argued that soft skills are the most impactful.”
Communication, conflict resolution, confidence, negotiation, and flexibility are just a few of the soft skills that companies are looking for when it comes to hiring top talent. According to Olga, “Having mentoring experience shows that the person has proactively worked on improving these things, as being a mentor requires a high level of most of these soft skills.”
“When I see that someone's got experience in mentoring, and not just mentoring as a people manager but mentoring that's involved committing time to a programme, it demonstrates to me that they're truly invested in sponsoring someone else's growth and success,” adds Becca. “That's a brilliant quality and trait to have, and particularly great when you're trying to get your CV to stand out in the crowd.”
Taking part in a mentoring program and showcasing this on your CV or resume gives those making hiring decisions a deeper sense of who you are as a person before they even schedule an interview. “Your mentorship brings to life your values — as an employer, it highlights that you're not just hiring an individual and their skillset, you're hiring someone who is willing to share their knowledge, experience and develop people around them,” Becca continues.