You hear the term “soft skills” often regarding the workplace and job applications. What exactly does that term mean? Primarily, your marketable skills are categorized into two separate sections. First, there are hard skills, which involve mathematics, writing, and reading. Then, there are soft skills, which require less teachable skills, such as time management and collaboration. While it has been known that hard skills are heavily looked at by employers, soft skills are now proving to be an essential trait of every qualified candidate. Here is how to market your soft skills and present yourself in the best way possible.
Think about situations you have experienced where you had to adjust your behavior or work style to adapt to a particular environment. The ability to do this will be desirable to your employer, so definitely brag about this soft skill! Employers want to hire candidates who can join their team and quickly learn the ropes. Being able to catch on to routines and systems efficiently will set you apart in the application pool. Share an example of a time when you adapted to a new situation at work with your employer!
Example: I previously held a position at a supermarket where I stocked shelves. I was worried at first that I would not remember where every product goes, but I quickly memorized the colors of the items to help myself adapt.
You hear it all the time, but communication really is essential. Having the ability to express emotion and receive feedback from coworkers and supervisors in invaluable. Demonstrating excellent communication skills when assisting customers will make you a valuable team player. Having the ability to communicate problems, suggestions, important messages, and more is an essential soft skill to possess.
Example: My communication skills have helped me relay information to my team effectively and inform my boss of challenges and successes.
This is a big one. If you can effectively manage your own time, you are golden! Being able to accomplish tasks in a time-efficient manner is what every company is looking for in their employees. Being able to stay on task and get the job done in accordance to a schedule is more valuable than you might think. Consider purchasing a planner to layout your days and keep organized. Managing yourself and making sure you arrive to all shifts on time and fully prepared is crucial.
Example: My time management skills set me apart by giving me the ability to effectively complete tasks following a set schedule. I am also able to manage my own time so that I am never late to shifts and always come prepared to work.
Don’t let the small stuff get you down. If you have a conflict with any coworkers or other employees, it is essential to handle yourself professionally and continue completing the task at hand. Being able to manage conflict is a wonderful soft skill to mention during your application process. Employers love to see candidates who are willing to work through problems and rise above to continue working hard. If you’d like to improve your conflict management skills, check out our blog here!
Example: I can manage conflict so that small disagreements never distract me from the task at hand.
Listening skills are the unspoken hero of workplace success. Have you ever had a coworker or boss who never seemed to really grasp what you were saying? It’s common to find people who can’t wait to jump in with the next thing they have to say instead of listening to your thoughts first. Being able to listen to coworker’s insight, supervisor’s directions, and customer concerns is a great thing to mention during your interview.
Example: I pride myself on having strong listening skills, which allow me to take direction and understand others on a deeper level.
What are the soft skills that you value in your professional career? Let us know!