05 Sep What are soft skills and which ones do companies look for in candidates?
Recruiters want candidates with these 5 basic soft skills
Having the right technical skills is important when looking for a job, but so are soft skills. Companies look for candidates who have strong soft skills because they know that those are the qualities that will help them excel in their new role and stay with the company long term.
In an increasingly competitive job market, these little things can be the difference between getting an interview and not getting one. Soft skills are essential in any career and hiring managers will be impressed if you demonstrate these qualities in your application and interview.
But what exactly are soft skills, why do employers value them so much, and which ones are most in demand?
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are those traits that aren’t directly connected to a job role but still make you more employable. These are the personal qualities that aren’t specifically related to your job, but still make you more likely to succeed.
Some examples are being reliable, having great communication skills, or being trustworthy. The ability to work well as part of a team, or to manage your time effectively.
These skills can be applied in many different situations, no matter what your job is. As you’ve probably noticed, the job market is extremely competitive, and employers can be picky about who they hire. Because of this, they often look for evidence of specific soft skills in job candidates.
2. Why are soft skills so important?
You might be wondering why soft skills are so important when employers are looking for their ideal candidates. After all, they’re pretty vague traits.
Well, these skills are actually everything when it comes to work. Employers want to know that the people they hire can do the work, but they also want to know that they’re going to fit in and be a good fit for their company.
Having the right soft skills means that you can not only complete the tasks that are required of you, but also get along well with your coworkers. All of these things add up and make you a more valuable hire.
3. How to showcase your soft skills
When it comes to showcasing your soft skills on your CV and during an interview, it’s important to highlight examples from your past that show these traits. It’s not enough to just say that you have these skills, you have to show employers that they are evident in your work.
In any job interview, when given the chance, talk about your strengths and how they’re evident in your work. Use evidence from your past jobs of moments where you showcased your soft skills.
Remember to not only list skills but also provide proof.
4. Communication skills
Communication skills (which can also be considered hard skills if it is a specific skill such a as fluency in another language, copywriting, translating, customer service, negotiation, transcribing and so on) are an important part of any job, even if you’re the person who works in a cubicle and doesn’t have to talk to anyone.
Your potential company wants to know that you can communicate effectively with your manager, your coworkers, and any clients you might have.
You can share how you’ve communicated with team members and managers in the past. You can also talk about any effective communication training you might have completed at work or outside of work.
When it comes to demonstrating communication skills, be sure to focus on the outcomes. Did you convey your message clearly? Did it have the desired effect? Did you communicate with the right people at the right time? All of these things make up communication skills, and you have to show them on your CV and in an interview.
5. Problem-solving skills
To be successful in any job, you have to be able to solve problems. Employers want someone who can tackle issues as they arise, and make the necessary changes to get the job done.
Providing examples of when you’ve had to solve problems on the job is key. Talk about how you identified them, how you came up with a solution, and what the result was.
6. Time management and organization skills
Time management and organization skills go hand in hand with problem-solving skills. Having these skills shows a potential employer that you’re capable of prioritization and setting goals.
To explain these skills, you can talk about how you’ve organized projects or identified time-saving practices at work.
You can talk about how you’ve demonstrated these skills outside of work. Have you ever had to organize a large project? Have you ever had to set up a calendar for yourself? Employers want to see that these skills aren’t something you do at work – they’re something you do all the time.
7. Culture fit and collaboration
A big part of any job is working well with the team. Recruiters want to know that you’re a good fit for their team, and that you can collaborate effectively with your coworkers.
8. Confidence and accountability
Confidence and accountability show that you are confident in your abilities, but also take responsibility for your actions.
You can show these skills by providing examples of how you’ve demonstrated confidence at work. Have you ever given presentations? Have you ever had to negotiate a contract? Have you ever had to present a project?
Having the right soft skills means that you can not only complete the tasks that are required of you, but also work well with the team and match well with the company culture.
When it comes to showcasing these skills on your CV and in an interview, you have to share proof from your past so that employers know you have them.
💡The job search process can be challenging but if you can avoid these common errors, you’ll be one step closer to your next job. Read more here →