You’ve probably heard of both hard and soft skills in relation to your job search. But if you need a refresher, think of hard skills as those that are teachable and easier to identify. Think of degrees, certificates, or proficiency in a second language. Needless to say, they’re really important.
But soft skills are right there with them. In fact, they may be even more critical when an employer makes a final hiring decision. According to a study by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and the Stanford Research Center, 85 percent of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills, and only 15 percent from technical knowledge.
- Soft skills are personality qualities that make a person a positive and productive member of any organization, as they enable them to interact more effectively with others. They can also help you to build the right kind of visibility with not only your peers, but upper management as well.
- In the Monster Future of Work 2021 Outlook Survey, recruiters chose soft skills as the most important qualities they sought in new hires.
To zero in on six of the most in-demand soft skills as you job hunt, consider:
1. Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
When something goes wrong, you don’t want to be known as a complainer or that person who panics or just gives up. Instead, demonstrate that you can think on your feet and engage others in finding an alternate solution. Companies rely on problem solvers to handle unexpected challenges.
2. Verbal and Written Communication
Your communication skills set the tone for how people perceive you. They also help boost your job performance as they help you to get clear expectations from your supervisors. Effective communication includes active listening and paying attention to nonverbal cues, such as body language, eye contact, and tone of voice, in others as well as yourself.
Employers look for team players who will help build a friendly, cohesive company culture. Always be ready to lend a hand when someone needs it, whether it’s helping them out of a bind or filling in when they need to leave early. The Golden Rule applies, and you’ll make everything better as a result.
If things don’t go as planned, you need to be ready to pivot. The speed of workplace change can be off the chart. Embrace it, and be willing to adapt at an early stage. For instance, welcome the latest tech advancement versus lamenting on how much you miss the old one.
Being dependable means you do what you say you will, when you say you will. It’s powerfully simple – and it’s a solid foundation for building trust. Which, when you think about it, is what matters in the end.
6. Emotional Intelligence
EI is a powerful mixture of self-awareness, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Done right, it helps leaders create a safe environment where everyone can freely exchange information and present ideas, without fear of reprisal, and help their company break new ground.
Build Your Career with Search Wizards
At Search Wizards, we can help develop the soft skills – and whatever else you need – to land the talent management job you’ve been dreaming about. Give us a shout so we can get started today.