While many people think that securing a new position is all about the technical qualifications you have, there are other skills that are equally as important - these skills are called soft skills. Hard skills refer to technical, job-specific skills while soft skills are more generalised to good teamwork, time management etc.
Below, are five soft skills we should all master to become the ideal candidate and not ‘the best of an adequate bunch’.
1. Ability to work under pressure in time sensitive situations
This phrase (or something similar) is standard on most, if not all, CV’s. The ability to be able to work under pressure is a great soft skill to master. An employer will relish in an employee they know they can count on. An employee that can remain calm under pressure, keep a clear focus and manage time makes them ideal, not adequate.
2. Having Self-motivation
Being self-motivated is definitely one of the top soft skills that an employer will look for. Having the initiative to take on tasks, without being asked or being supervised, not only shows commitment but allows the employer to trust you. Remember, saying that you are self-motivated and actually being self-motivated are two, very different things. Have some examples up your sleeve – they will ask!
This one is a no brainer! One of the most essential soft skills is having the ability to communicate. This includes verbal, face to face communication with, depending on job role, colleagues, clients and customers. A good telephone manner, polite and professional via email and the ability to listen are also important.
Teamwork will always be a desired soft skill and if you’ve mastered this, it will definitely increase your employability. It is inevitable that you’ll have to work as part of a team, the whole company is a team. If the employer doesn’t see your potential to quickly adapt to working within the company, they may not see you as a good cultural fit.
5. Being a Problem Solver
The ability to recognise and provide solutions to problems gives you a distinct advantage. A good problem solver should be able to detect, observe, create solutions and make a decision which leads to a positive conclusion. If you know you have the ability to do this, make sure you put this across at the interview stage.
So, qualifications and technical ability are great to get you through the door but make sure you mix in some of these soft skills. They will highlight your ability to integrate well with a new company and give the employer confidence that they have chosen the ideal candidate!
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