As a job seeker in a highly competitive job market, you may be concentrating on your technical skills and training as you prepare to go out and capture your dream job. For many employers, though, soft skills are becoming as important and attractive for potential employees as any technical skills.
Soft skills help you work well with others and grow in your career. Soft skills, also called interpersonal skills, are challenging to teach but are vital to long-term success, professionally and personally.
Here are six soft skills that can help any job seeker get and keep a job.
1. Communication skills
From the interview process through to daily work on the job, communication skills are helpful in every aspect of your job. They are necessary, since communicating effectively with others is vital when you are working on a project.
Communication skills include:
- Active listening
- Conflict resolution
- Public speaking
The ability to adapt to change in today’s fast=paced and ever-changing work environments is critical as a soft skill. Change happens quickly, and adapting and accommodating those changes is a very valuable skill. Adaptability skills include flexibility, organization, optimism, cooperation, and patience.
Employers highly value the ability to solve a problem quickly and effectively. Whether it requires immediate action or research and consultation with colleagues, problem-solving skills set you apart from other candidates.
Problem-solving skills include:
- Critical thinking
- Risk management
4. Work ethic
Work ethic is the ability to follow through on duties and tasks. A strong work ethic ensures that work is completed promptly and demonstrates an eagerness to learn and succeed. Many employers would choose a candidate with less training or experience who has a strong work ethic.
Attention to detail, time management, motivation, and being results-oriented are all characteristics of a strong work ethic.
Teamwork is the ability to work well with others. Being a good team player at work means pulling your weight and working together with team members to get projects done. Giving guidance and feedback, collaborating, coordinating, and contributing are valuable teamwork soft skills that employers are looking for.
Many different skill sets are included under this broad category, including some that are technical skills. Creativity as an employee means finding new ways to complete jobs and perform tasks, engineering new ways to improve systems or processes, or even exploring new business angles. Innovation, experimentation, open-mindedness, and taking calculated risks are examples of creativity at work.
If you’re currently looking for work, cultivating soft skills and including them on your resume and cover letter can help you go further no matter what type of job you’re after.