According to a LinkedIn survey, 57% of 2000 business leaders surveyed identified soft skills as the most important to them.
Jobseekers can be extremely prepared to rock an interview, but if they focus solely on the technical or hard skills that are required for the job and neglect to emphasize their soft skills, they decrease their chances of landing the job. Employers want to know that a jobseeker has the technical skills required for a position, but they are also trying to determine whether a jobseeker has the necessary “people skills”.
Jobseekers can stand out from the competition by showing they have these top soft skills and a demonstrated interest in using them.
1. Flexibility. Employers want to know that a jobseeker can handle whatever comes their way. As we all know, many unexpected things can happen on a project or during an assignment. The question for the jobseeker is “Can you adapt to any situation or environment and still be relied upon to get the job done?”
2. Leadership. This is a key soft skill for anyone to have and develop, especially those looking to advance in their career. Leadership requires a person to be a problem-solver and to be resourceful. Having a creative, out-of-the-box way of thinking allows employers to feel confident that you can engage and lead others, motivate teams of individuals and work with people of various diverse backgrounds and experiences. Leadership does not require a certain position or title! There are many ways to develop and demonstrate leadership skills in just about any position.
3. Communication. It is imperative to have dynamic oral and written communication skills. Jobseekers will want to develop, hone and emphasize presentation skills. The ability to communicate effectively with people inside and outside of an organization while engaging in active listening is increasingly important in the workplace.
4. Influence. More and more employers are looking to hire thought-leaders and influencers. Companies want individuals who bring innovation to their organization and will stay current and even ahead of industry trends and standards. Jobseekers can demonstrate they are influencers for example through a LinkedIn or other appropriate and professional social media profile, published articles, and activities that have had a positive impact in a community or field.
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