When trying to get into a specific career, many people focus on the job-specific skills required – also known as ‘hard skills’. However, learning to hone your ‘soft skills’ is important too – many of these are critical in the working world. In fact, they may even be essential simply for getting through the hiring process. Here are six soft skills that will help you get employed.
Being able to speak clearly and concisely can help you in almost any career. It could be essential just for getting through the interview – whilst nerves are often responsible, many people talk too much or talk too little during the interview, which can stop them getting hired. Avoid one word answers, but similarly avoid babbling on until the interviewer tells you to stop. Learn to find the balance and you will be seen as a good communicator.
Some may see written communication as a job-specific skill, but in this age of emails and workplace group chats, it’s rare to find a career that doesn’t require some written communication skills. Whilst you don’t have to be an expert writer, you do need to be able to write in a professional tone. After all, you’ll generally need to apply for a job with a written application.You can find professional writing courses online.
Being able to complete tasks in a timely manner and prioritise tasks is also an important soft skill in many careers. An employer will know you haven’t got time management skills if you’re late to the interview. You can learn how to manage your time by always creating priority lists and scheduling events.
Negotiating is a key skill in many jobs too. Some may see it as a sales-specific skill, however it can be an important skill when resolving conflict in any trade. Some people are even able to use negotiating skills to persuade employers to hire them (and on their terms). It’s possible to take a negotiation skills training course to develop these skills. Good negotiators know that it’s not all about being pushy, but also knowing when to use restraint.
Problem solving is a bit of a general skill but it is essential in all careers. Many of us use problem solving regularly in our day-to-day lives, whether it’s working out directions to somewhere or completing a hard level on a video game. Some employers even test applicants’ ability to solve problems with puzzles during the interview or with surveys that ask situational questions.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to control one’s emotions and react to the emotions of others. It’s essential for any role which involves working with other people. Demonstrating emotional intelligence involves understanding when to offer praise, when to apologise and when to forgive. Good leaders often need emotional intelligence to help build camaraderie and manage their team.
This is a collaborative post that was ghost written for More From My Career.