Proving you have the soft skills for the job
When putting together a resume and preparing to interview for a new job, many candidates forget that not only are employers looking for education, programs mastered, technical skills and certifications, but they are also looking for something else. Soft skills are attributes that can add value to your existing credentials. They can increase your worth, expand your usefulness and can transfer to any realm of employment. By using the following skills and enhancing them in your work life, you can tip the balance of your usefulness to a firm, growing you into a better employee.
Communication: Perhaps the most fundamental soft skill is learning to communicate with your colleagues and managers, both verbally as well as in the written word. Learning to let our ideas be known should be tempered with thinking about what you are saying before it is said, and using correct grammar, pointed words, empathy and respect for others. Communication not only involves getting your ideas across, but also needs couple with active listening. This involves sensitivity to the feelings, opinions and needs of others, working to removing bias when approaching an issue. Usually rising to the top of the management team, a strong communicator and can create rapport, respect and understanding with colleagues. You can start by practicing on using these skills for the interview and even asking existing coworkers where you can improve in these areas.
Flexibility / Adaptability: Work and life can get messy – and having the skills to deal with real life issues that arise in the work place is an asset to any firm, making you a go to employee when challenges arise. Going beyond what is asked in times of change, taking on new tasks and assignments creates a reliability in you that will make you stand out. Handling changes in job duties, work schedules and job requirements with a good attitude shows you are willing to work with the employer’s needs. Having examples of times you have exhibited these skills will show someone who is interviewing you or looking at your resume, that you are up for new roles and do not shy away from difficulties.
Team Work: A great team player makes work a place of shared input, mutual accomplishment and inclusion. Team work involves sharing ideas, delegating tasks, taking responsibilities for ones part in a larger project and reporting when that piece is accomplished. It involves willingness to jump in, define and use the strengths of each team member to complete a task that otherwise would be too overwhelming for one. The group takes credit for an accomplishment – not the individual, and sharing information and knowledge brings the task to completion. Being involved in a team project will help some of your strengths come to life. Having examples of where you were able display your success will help an employer to understand what kind of person they are hiring.
Problem Solving: This soft skill can be used in both a team as well as individual setting – where one faces on obstacle, problem or issue and creates a solution to work around that barricade. Real life is full of problems; being able to analyze and define an issue, without always trying to have a manager solve it, will prove that you are also management material. Being able to provide solutions after you have reflected on, researched, analyzed, and tested various methods of problem solving will create an invaluable asset to any company. Using creativity, brain storming and having the ability to think out of the box is critical to developing a reputation as an employee who has a ‘can do’ attitude. Adding a few examples during an interview or on a resume will show you are ready to take on the world.
By incorporating awareness of soft skills into your self-presentation, employers will obtain a much needed sense of what type of worker they are hiring and will prepare you to be a reliable, useful, motivated and articulate hire. This will give you an edge on longevity and growth potential in your future.