The Importance of ‘Soft Skills’
Keeping in theme from last week’s post on “street smarts”, we thought it wise to outline some more soft skills that would be helpful to jobseekers. Remember while it’s important to have the required skills and core competencies for the role you’re applying for, they’re not the only things hiring managers look for. The ‘edge’ or more importantly ‘your ‘edge’, may lie outside a textbook.
While soft skills are often acquired innately, they can be learned, though not normally via a formal learning environment. Day to day life offers these lessons up as a matter of course and you choose whether to acquire the learning or not. The greatest aspect to this is that everyone has access to them and they don’t cost a thing.
Here are a few soft skills or qualities that may help in your job hunting:
Leadership skills. This is a must not only for those who are pursuing supervisory roles, but also for those who want to eventually rise up in the ranks. Formal experience isn’t the be-all-and-end-all here, the ability to demonstrate you can lead is just as important. Make mention of instances where you’ve taken the reins or been instrumental in helping bring about change.
Being a team player. This means being able to work well with others even if you do not have a team of your own. Organisations want people who interact well with others when required. Be sure to talk about how you can easily work with not only people in your team but also with others who you might need to collaborate with.
Being goal-oriented. This doesn’t mean that you’ll simply set goals for yourself in the office, it may be more impacting to discuss your personal goals too. Setting goals is proven to improve your chances of success both personally and professionally (writing goals down improves success even further!). Employers want people who set standards for themselves and that employing goal setters will ultimately help the organisation.
Communication skills. Being an excellent communicator can definitely be an edge over other candidates. Employers desire people who can speak and write clearly as it means they do not have to worry about the content being conveyed to other staff and clients. With communication being so powerful, both in good and bad ways, it’s understandable why this is one of the most sort after soft skills.
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