What Are Soft Skills And Why Do They Matter?

Soft skills are associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient). These are a combination of personality traits, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, optimism and social demeanour that characterize relationships with other people. These skills are individually unique as they are related to your feelings, your emotions and your insight. Many of your soft skills are inherently developed, through nurture in childhood and further developed in the work place. These unique skills become honed and tweaked throughout your career and prove highly valuable in many work sectors, when combined with Hard Skills (those skills which are occupational requirements, developed through education)

A person’s soft skills are an important part of their individual contribution to the success of an organization, especially those organizations dealing with face-to-face communication.
Employers identifying soft skills, such as dependability and conscientiousness, can yield significant return on investment for an organization. For this reason, soft skills are increasingly sought out by recruiters and employers, in addition to standard qualifications.

Soft skills are worth £88 billion to the UK economy. However, a survey of over 2,000 employees revealed 1 in 5 people wouldn’t feel confident describing them to an employer and over half have didn’t include them in a CV believing they were irrelevant or “a bit naff” (or corny, to my friends across the pond)

Consider these 5 skills that can make the difference to grabbing that dream job!

  1. Communication

  2. Communication is by far our most essential skill and a pre requisite for any job role.
    You will already have demonstrated one facet of this skill set by submitting a CV and correct spelling and grammar are a good metric of your attention to detail. To maintain good eye contact, demonstrate a varied vocabulary, adapt your language to suit your audience, listen and present your ideas effectively can be the difference between getting the job or not. Fundamentally, your communications skills are what ultimately make the lasting impression.

  3. Time management

  4. Do not underestimate this skill. Meeting a tight deadline, working within a project timeframe and arriving on time to a meetings or perhaps an interview, are all absolutely essential and can make or break a first impression.
    Using your time effectively makes you more productive and allows to achieve more within a given time frame. Remember gents, don’t believe that only woman can achieve Multi-Tasking Nirvana. Use your adaptive and versatility soft skills to master your time management.

  5. Teamwork

  6. Merely assessing candidates on their Hard Skills and IQ, is not enough. Forward thinking employers are asking the question, ‘will this person fit in?’ Chances are, that’s the question employees will be hoping the interviewer thinks about. Culture is crucial to any business’ success and an employer will want to make sure you have something to add.
    Integrating within a group and shared dynamic, creates a positive environment. Business confidence runs high when you have a cohesive team ethic.
    Sharing a time you worked well as part of a team illustrates your sociability, willingness to support and pro-actively contribute to creating new ideas and achieving goals.

  7. Taking responsibility

  8. Taking responsibility is a skill borne of confidence and courage. Do you remember steeping forward to volunteer for a task? By taking that step, you demonstrate this skill by emphasising how you can follow and manage a process from start to finish. What it also highlights it that you can work alone as well as part of a team. For any employer, this is critical when measuring success.

  9. Decision making

  10. Do you possess the fortitude to make the right choices, not afraid to take the initiative?
    Think about when you needed the confidence and courage to make a decision where you decision effected a positive outcome? Be sure to use this example when you next edit your CV!
    Confidence is the key ingredient. ‘A decision’ rather than ‘no decision’ is more important.
    In fact in some cases, even out weighing a bad result.

To close:

Social Media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, linkedIn etc., are becoming a recruiting tool for dynamic businesses.
They recognise that acquiring good talent is the merger of both soft and hard skills and leading media sites present that, albeit informally.
What is becoming more evident is that soft skills will change the recruiting mind set, more and more.

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