If you’re looking for a specific position, you probably understand that it requires a specific set of niche skills. Of course, applicants can get a job even if they don’t have proficiency in all of them, but most candidates have them in their CVs. So, is there a way for you to stand out? Here is where so-called “soft skills” come in.
What is the definition of “soft skills”?
You can define “soft skills” as a set of non-specialized skills related to your professional ethics and personal qualities. Some people might dismiss them as less important, but most professional recruiters know their value. These skills determine how well you work in a team, how fast you can adapt to changes and how good of a problem solver you are. But which soft skills should you focus on in order to impress the recruiter?
1. Time management
Time is one of the most valuable resources in our lives. That’s why the ability to use your time efficiently is a valuable quality needed in any field. It’s the skill that helps a person organize their day, maintain a good balance between work and rest, and manage and schedule their tasks.
However, if this skill is not your biggest forte, you can easily fix it. There are dozens of free online books and courses that can assist you in developing the time management skill. If you master just a couple of simple strategies, you’ll definitely be much better at controlling your schedule.
2. Communication skills
Communication is the cornerstone of our society. That’s why it is almost impossible to find a position that doesn’t require at least some level of socializing. Whether it is during meetings, public speeches or on more informal occasions, these skills will prove to be a great tool.
Communication skills can also be improved. However, online courses probably won’t cut it. This time it’s all about practice. So, if you’re eager to add this point to your resume, go out into the real world and talk to people.
This soft skill could be considered an extension of the previous one, but there is actually much more to it. To be an efficient team member, you have to be great not only at communicating with your teammates, but also at managing tasks, leaving valuable feedback, knowing your strengths and weaknesses and using them, and sometimes even at showing leadership qualities.
Being good at teamwork also comes only with experience. Many companies have regular teambuilding activities. They help to develop a better relationship between employees. If you want to be a team player, you should learn some of these exercises and use them with your new coworkers to improve the working process and make it more fluid.
4. Leadership and conflict settlement
These abilities are not crucial for every position you might pursue, but for some of them, they are pure gold. If one of your potential responsibilities includes any kind of management, this set of skills should be a given for you. However, they are still useful if your job doesn’t have anything to do with administration. Every group has a leader, and this leader has to be able to smooth things over between everyone.
5. Problem-solving and creative thinking
Employees that have this set of skills are thought to be invaluable. Their greatest advantage is the ability to overcome most obstacles and challenges without a constant supervision. Furthermore, their creative thinking can lead to coming up with new ideas and ways to improve the current workflow. Most employers (and, in turn, recruiters) search for active and assertive people to be working for them.
Unfortunately, you cannot really learn how to be creative. However, if you think you’re creative, or you love solving challenging tasks, don’t be afraid or shy to mention it in your CV.
6. Critical thinking
Critical thinking is basically the difference between a valuable worker and a robot. If you’re not a person that is going to mindlessly execute every order, you’re already thinking critically. It might be not fun for an employer to have an employee who is constantly putting into question their authority. However, employers can be wrong too, and critical thinking makes the impact from these mistakes much softer.
7. Work ethic
This soft skill includes a number of different concepts including:
- respect for authority;
- the ability to accept feedback;
- putting to work everything you’ve got to get the job done.
Despite the obvious points mentioned above, every company has its own work ethic and corporate culture that concern some parts of your job. So, if you want to add the words “great work ethic” to your CV, you should prepare to be adaptable.
You cannot measure how good at communication a person is. This is why it is really hard to convince someone that you have certain soft skills over a short period of time. So, how do you prove to the recruiter that you really have them?
Here are some things you should do to ensure the recruiter that you have all the soft skills listed in your CV:
- Prepare a couple of examples that can prove your skills. Both difficult work situations or examples from your everyday life can perfectly illustrate your point;
- Show, don’t tell. Be ready to use these skills – solve tasks, actively communicate, be creative;
- Use hypothetical situations as another way to illustrate your skills.
To sum up, soft skills are unique multifunctional tools that can help you in any job. Although they are not related to a specific field or industry, soft skills can definitely be considered the key to your success. Invest your time in their development and you surely won’t regret the result. Be ready to prove your worth to the recruiter and show off your skills whenever it is possible to be sure to get the job.