Soft Skills

What are Soft Skills?

Typically, most employers search for soft skills when they’re recruiting and they’re required for most jobs. These skills are sometimes referred to as employability skills or transferable skills by employers. Hard skills are the abilities required to do a particular job and are usually acquired through work, learning, and training. However, soft skills are acquired through personal experiences, like how you relate to people or how you deal with stress.

The main categories of soft skills are:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Organisation
  • Positivity
  • Flexibility
  • Problem-solving

Soft skills will be important to employers who want to hire someone who fits their company’s culture. The interview and application process will involve proving your soft skills match theirs.

Communication

Communication is an important skill for all jobs, in all sectors. Communication could mean:

  • clear email and letter-writing skills
  • writing communications for an online audience
  • dealing with customers, over the phone or in-person
  • helping and caring for people

Communication skills start developing from a young age and we continuously improve these throughout our lives. Good examples of your communication skills for an interview could be:

  • Learning a new language
  • Giving presentations or public speaking
  • Played as part of a team

These kinds of situations call for continuous improvement of communication. If you want to develop your communication skills further, however, you should consider:

  • Joining a debate team
  • Organising a presentation or a pub quiz with friends
  • Practising your email and letter-writing skills
Leadership

Leadership skills are typically equated with management skills by employers. This also shows that you are capable of handling your workload independently. Whether you are a manager or not, you are likely to have leadership experience, such as:

  • time management
  • conflict management
  • problem-solving
  • mentoring

To develop your leadership skills you could:

  • tutor someone in a subject you are knowledgeable of
  • organise your schedule by creating a timetable
  • resolve the conflict between friends or colleagues
  • motivate others – you could do this by organising activities, fun or educational like a quiz
  • teach skills to others – you could create instruction manuals or videos to share with family and friends
Teamwork

You must be able to work well with others regardless of your role, and you should communicate your teamwork skills to hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employers.

Good Teamwork examples to have are:
  • The ability to give good, constructive feedback
  • Know how to co-ordinate a team or group of people
  • How to use the correct language depending on the who you’re interacting with
  • Good listening skills
  • Be able to empathise with people
  • Understand how to work collaboratively

Being a part of a team in a previous join role, or being a member of a sports or arts club can give you great real-world examples of being a team-player.

Orginisation

Having organisational skills allows you to plan your thoughts, time, and tasks efficiently so that you can accomplish your goals. You apply a systematic approach to every project that you undertake. This will enhance your performance at work. Multitasking, avoiding serious mistakes, and meeting deadlines will be possible with this important soft skill.

Some great ways to both keep yourself organised, and demonstrate your organisational skills are:

  • Write To-Do Lists: Prepare a list of all the steps that you will need to take prior to beginning a project or task. Sort them according to their importance. List the steps that need to be completed first. In some cases, easier tasks should be handled before more complex ones.
  • Set a Routine and Stick to It: The key to staying organised is having a routine. Even if your schedule is flexible, you should start and finish work at the same time every day. Make sure to schedule specific periods for working on specific tasks and take regular breaks throughout the day.
  • Take Note of Deadlines: Synchronize your calendar across multiple devices, such as your phone, tablet, and computer. Set up alerts to notify you of approaching deadlines. A large calendar can also serve as a visual cue near your workspace.
Positivity

Many employers look for employees with a good attitude. Employers want people who see solutions, not problems. This is an easier soft skill to display in an interview. A smile goes a long way! Having a positive attitude and being eager to meet new people would be a great way to catch people’s attention.

Employees are looking for someone who will be happy at work and get along with the rest of the team.

In your interview, make sure to smile – even if it’s over the phone! Smiling subtly changes your voice, and the other person will subconsciously get a friendly vibe from you. In face-to-face interviews make eye contact, don’t be afraid to smile or laugh when appropriate, and answer each question you’re given with a can-do attitude. These small and simple signs of positivity show the employer that you’re someone who will be a boon to their team.

Flexibility

Employers look for flexible candidates because they can adapt to different situations. This demonstrates a willingness to change and adapt quickly.

Additionally, it tells employers that you will assist in situations outside of your job description. You are willing to go above and beyond what you need to do at times.

To demonstrate your flexibility skills you could share a time where you:

  • Had to rearrange your day because of an emergency
  • Completed more than one task at a time
  • Did something outside of your comfort zone
  • Took on a challenge that stretched you
  • Changed your plans to help someone at short notice
Problem Solving

Problem-solving skills quite simply show that you find a problem and you fix it! Employers are always looking for people with good problem-solving skills, as it shows you’re a quick thinker, can think outside the box, and that you don’t shy away from tackling a problem.

To develop your problem-solving skills you could:
  • play logic puzzles and games
  • keep a journal – looking at your mindset and how you look at solving problems
  • develop your communication skills
  • learn to do data analysis
  • try brainstorming and developing plans for problems you have
If you have any questions please get in touch

If you have any questions please get in touch

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