Do you have the soft skills to make it?
What are soft skills and what are employers looking for?
Here’s a hint: It’s not the ability to create the world’s tallest soft serve ice cream cone with the perfect twisty shape. However, that would definitely score you points at an office party!
Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.
Basically, the ability to “Play Nice with Others.”
They are the more intangible skills that are harder to prove but extremely important. If you are good at these, you will bring productivity and harmony to any team.
If you can demonstrate in a concrete way that you have mastered certain soft skills, you will be much more desirable as an employee. Demonstrating these skills is more than just including “I get along really well with people” on your resume.
Related: FREE Resume Critique. Do you have enough soft skills listed?
Examples of Soft Skills
The following list includes soft skills that most employers are looking for, beyond just your education and experience in your field.
1. Humility. Being approachable, authentic, and open to alternate ideas/approaches.
2. Communication. Defining your communication styles and techniques; knowledge of and appropriate use of different communication methods.
3. Conflict. Skills for managing conflict and identifying your conflict management approach.
4. Ethical Character. Identifying and demonstrating your core values and how they contribute to your ethical character.
5. Personal Judgment. Making good decisions and exercising workplace appropriate personal judgment. Exhibiting appropriate social behaviors in the workplace.
6. Problem Solving. Basic problem solving techniques that enable you to be part of the solution.
7. Time Management. Knowledge of how to manage your time wisely and avoid procrastination.
8. Diversity and Inclusion. Recognizing and appreciating the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond.
9. Self-Confidence. Understanding the importance of self-confidence and taking responsibility for and pride in yourself. Encouraging others to help build their own self-confidence.
10. Teamwork. Utilizing techniques for working well with a team of others toward a common goal.
11. Positive Attitude. Approaching work with a positive attitude and displaying this to co-workers and customers alike.
12. Initiative. Demonstrating how initiative and being proactive can lead to opportunity.
13. Flexibility. Recognize that change is a normal part of work, and understanding how to accept change gracefully and participate in change efforts. Developing a tolerance for ambiguity.
14. Work Ethic. Being productive, reliable, diligent and loyal to an organization’s purpose, mission, and values.
How to Demonstrate Soft Skills
Now that we have identified a list of key soft skills, how do you demonstrate them on a resume and in an interview?
An easy way to demonstrate these skills is to list any specific training courses you have taken. There are classroom and online training to help develop a number of soft skills. If there is an area that you want to pursue (or feel you are lacking in) seek out specific training in those areas. Then list the training on your resume.
Another way is to give specific examples of how you have used soft skills to enhance the work place or solve problems. For example,
“Formed and led a team to develop solutions for top customer service complaints. The result increased customer sanctification by 25% over six months.”
This shows that you took initiative, solved problems, got along with others, were a team player, created harmony, and had a positive attitude.
Many behavioral interview questions deal with soft skills. In some instances it is easier to demonstrate these skills in person. Let your personality shine through. In addition, prepare to talk in depth and give examples of times in your work history that you have used these skills to improve the work place.
A good place to start would be to take the above list and jot down examples of when you used these skills.
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