Hard skills, like certifications and qualifications, can help get you the job interview but it's your soft skills that will help you land the job. In an article on Fast Company, they site a LinkedIn Global Talent Trends report which found that “92% of talent professionals reported that soft skills are equally or more important to hire for than hard skills. The same study reveals that 89% surveyed said that when a new hire doesn’t work out, it’s because they lack much-needed soft skills.” Soft skills are important for all professions and are related to how you work and interact with your colleagues. If you’ve been in school or working for a while, you likely already have developed some soft skills. However, because these skills are so valued, they’re worth sharpening and cultivating. In this week’s blog, we’ll focus on a few of the top soft skills and ways to go about improving them…
It doesn’t matter if you’re an extrovert or an introvert, everyone can become a skilled communicator. The three main methods of communication include written, verbal, and non-verbal and all are essential for being successful in the workplace. An effective communicator can express their ideas clearly, leave little room for misinterpretation, and have more engaging conversations. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re an effective communicator, you can ask those close to you for feedback. If you have a work mentor or someone you trust, ask them what they think you can improve on when it comes to your communication skills. Also, if you’d like to delve further into this topic, Indeed has a great in-depth article on the main types of communication and how to improve them.
Time management is another important skill to learn and can help in both your professional and personal life. There are all sorts of ways you can manage your time better, but some quick and effective ways to do so are: Making a list of your tasks and putting them in order of importance, scheduling and blocking off time on your calendar to complete tasks and automating or delegating tasks whenever possible. By organizing your day, staying focused on the task at hand, and minimizing distractions, you’ll likely feel more in control and productive.
Organizations want employees that can handle challenging problems and calmly and quickly implement solutions. This is a key skill that employers seek, so you’ll likely encounter at least one question about this during the interview process. It's important to be able to show that you can solve problems on your own and are self-reliant; demonstrating problem-solving skills can illustrate a range of other competencies such as your ability to think logically and creatively, and your level of resilience and self-determination. How you handle problems will go a long way in determining your level of success. There are several steps usually used in problem-solving and they are:
- Identifying the source of the issue
- Brainstorming possible solutions
- Implementing and executing a plan
- Following through by evaluating the solution’s effectiveness
If this isn’t an area you feel you have a lot of experience in, start by familiarizing yourself with common issues that arise in your work industry and learn what more experienced employees have done to problem solve those issues.
Stay tuned for next week and part two where we’ll be covering more on this topic.