Looking to advance your career? Want to make a lateral move to another company? Wishing you could quit your job and start over in a brand new field? Having the right soft skills will make all of those things easier to do. But what exactly are soft skills? How do you measure them? How do you show that you have them?
Keep reading to learn these answers and discover the top three soft skills that every employer is looking for in a new hire.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are talents that can’t exactly be measured. They include things like your ability to communicate, resolve issues, and think critically.
You can’t judge a person’s soft skills by looking at their sales performance, ROI, or conversion rate. These traits are intangible.
Some people have them. Some people don’t.
Soft skills also include things like adaptability, leadership skills, being a team player, and being able to adapt. Unlike technical skills, they apply to almost every job in every field. That’s one of the reasons why they’re so important.
But can soft skills actually help you get a job?
The answer is yes. Your soft skills alone can help you land a job. The only trick is that you must be able to demonstrate that you have them.
You can’t list them on a job resume like you would technical skills. But, you can include them in a cover letter, and you should discuss them in an interview.
So let’s get right down to it. Here are the three soft skills that will help you land your next job:
#1 Communication Skills
Regardless of the type of work you do, communication is key. And being a good communicator doesn’t just mean being able to speak – it also means being able to write.
It’s essential that you are able to communicate with your team, boss, clients, and vendors.
But it goes beyond being a good writer and speaker. The people with the best communication skills are also good listeners.
Unfortunately, you can’t really teach someone else how to listen and respond. But, that’s why it’s an essential soft skill.
The better you are at communicating, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to lead – and leadership is another trait that employers look for.
Companies look for strong communicators because they’re trustworthy. After all, your manager wants to know that, if they send you into a meeting, you’ll be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner.
And, it demonstrates that you have the potential for growth. The better you can communicate, the more likely you are to ask questions, absorb information, and learn. If you can perfect your ability to write, speak, and listen, you’re sure to grow within the organization!
To be successful in any line of work, you need to be able to identify problems – and know how to solve them.
Being proactive and having the ability to identify problems is a useful skill in its own. But what employers are reallylooking for is someone who can find solutions to those problems.
Complaining about a problem is of no use to anyone. If you’re the type of person who loves to point out issues but never tries to rectify them, you may struggle in the workplace.
You should be able to come up with solutions when you see a situation arise, and you should be able to handle small issues on your own.
Employers want to hire people that can work independently without constant supervision. They want team members who can predict the next steps without having to be told what to do.
In a crisis, you should always let your boss know what’s going on. But when it comes to day-to-day issues, especially those that arise among coworkers, you should be able to handle them on your own.
Problem-solving goes hand-in-hand with another soft skill: conflict resolution. Being able to resolve conflicts shows that you’re a mature, confident performer, even in times of trouble.
Whether you’re in a management position or an entry-level employee, you must be able to adapt.
In the professional world, projects often change. New issues arise all the time. You should be flexible enough to roll with the punches and switch gears when needed.
Being flexible demonstrates two other traits that employers are looking for: patience and the ability to take charge.
Let’s say you’re in the middle of one task and your boss asks you to drop what you’re doing to work on something else. It’s important to demonstrate that you can tackle things head-on – regardless of how frustrating that may be.
In a professional environment, a little bit of patience goes a long way!
Along with flexibility, you also need to maintain a positive attitude. When something doesn’t go your way, you can’t stamp your feet or huff and puff about it. That will get you nowhere.
Instead, show that you have an optimistic outlook and that you can take things in stride – especially when a project is challenging.
Regardless of how technically talented you are, the right soft skills may be enough to land you that new job.
In your resume, cover letter, and job interview, highlight your soft skills as much as possible. If you do so effectively, it may not even matter if you don’t have all of the technical know-how the job requires.
Show off your communication skills by writing concisely, speaking effectively, and listening attentively.
Make it clear that you’re a problem-solver and that you know how to fix problems when they arise.
Demonstrate that you are flexible and can maintain a positive outlook, even in high-stress scenarios.
Perfect these three soft skills, and you’ll have a much better chance of landing that new job!
Angus Flynn has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. Her ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to her residents and prospects has propelled her into a successful career that now finds her leading the team at 2300 Wilshire.