When you are applying for a job, it’s important to show your skills, experience and knowledge so that hiring managers know you meet the demands of the job. But those skills are only one piece of the puzzle. Today, employers are looking for much more. They want to know that you will also be a great team member and that you will work well with the group. If you want to stand out, it pays to showcase your soft skills.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are traits that allow you to work well as a team member. They are less tangible than technical or hard skills and include things like:
- Communication. Nearly every job in every field requires effective communication with others, whether that communication is verbal, written or both.
- Listening skills. Listening allows you to follow directions, address concerns and needs, and do your job effectively.
- Accountability. Successful people do what they say they will do and take responsibility when a task doesn’t go as planned.
- Problem-solving abilities. Employers are looking for people who can solve a problem when a challenge arises, rather than becoming overwhelmed.
- Empathy. Empathy allows you to understand someone’s feelings without letting them impact your own.
- Emotional Intelligence. This is the ability to adjust your emotions and responses based on the situation. Emotionally intelligent people measure their approach and act rationally, rather than reactively.
How Do Soft Skills Help You Stand Out As A Candidate?
Soft skills will help you stand apart because they are critical for success. Why? Because technical skills are useless without soft skills. All of the hard skills in the world mean nothing if you can’t function well with your coworkers. While your hard skills ensure you can complete a task, soft skills ensure you are able to help move the team forward.
If you showcase your soft skills you will also stand out because employers know that soft skills take a long time to develop, whereas you can learn a new technical skill rather quickly. That’s why hiring managers look for people who already have the necessary soft skills to succeed. Finally, soft skills help you stand out because it is rare to find a job where you won’t have to interact with others. Strong soft skills make for more productive and effective teams.