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Do you have any mad skills?

Okay, okay. You already know what hard skills and soft skills are. But did you know that there is a third category: mad skills? And more importantly: do you have any? After reading this article, you will know how to put forward your atypical skills.

Mad skills are all activities or hobbies that you practice at an advanced level, bordering on the professional. Straight out of Silicon Valley, mad skills are highly sought after by recruiters, making you a special and unique candidate for companies. Combined with your hard and soft skills, you get the winning trio to stand out during your interviews.

Some examples

As you will have understood, mad skills are the skills developed from your hobbies, but not only. They also concern :

- an artistic or creative practice such as drawing, a musical instrument, or theater, graphic design... ;
- a high level sport practice like marathons, soccer or ballet... ;
- a determining life experience such as numerous trips, a reconversion or an atypical professional path, voluntary work, a tragic event...

Your hobby could be a mad skill

By now, you're probably wondering how your love of the violin since childhood could help you land a job as a developer... For most recruiters, there are several aspects of this "simple" hobby that should not be overlooked:

- What are the chances that another candidate has been playing this instrument as long as you have?
- Think about what the violin brings: rigor, musicality, sensitivity, listening, self-expression, meticulousness, discipline, public performance with an orchestra...
- Then, translate these qualities to adapt them to the world of work: you know how to work hard and practice in order to reach a specific goal and go all the way to the end, but you also know how to listen to the members of your team, cooperate with them and you are used to public performances!

This method of thinking can be adapted to any of your hobbies or life experiences. The same applies to an illness you have had to face:

- What are the chances that another candidate has experienced what I have experienced?
- Think about what you learned about yourself after the ordeal: you are resilient, you are optimistic to the end, you were able to fight back and show courage
- Then, translated for the work world: you are a positive person who doesn't give up, ready to face any difficulty and solve it!

How does that look on your resume?

According to a 2019 Indeed survey, 68% of recruiters surveyed said they pay particular attention to the "Personal Experiences and Interests" section when they receive a resume. If you have a mad skill, you need to highlight it to make your profile stand out. Don't just list your hobbies, but detail and explain them.

Don't do :

Much better:

Now you know how to identify and showcase your mad skills. But be careful: while they represent an undeniable asset for your application, you shouldn't overestimate them and rely on them alone. Mad skills are a bonus to your technical skills and do not replace them in any way.

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