Professional soft skills are the sort of qualifications that employers are highly interested in. They provide the foundation for success in almost any employment scenario. Soft skills include communication skills, teamwork and leadership skills, personality, conflict resolution, flexibility, and even overall likability. Soft skills are a high priority for hiring managers looking for their next recruit. In fact, finding candidates with a good cultural fit can be such a challenge that many employers depend on professional recommendations and referrals for their next hire. But not everything is meaningful in an interview setting. Here are four of the most sought-after soft skills that employers are hoping you’ll bring to the table.
What Soft Skills Do Employers Look For?
Communication is an important soft skill for most job applicants, no matter what industry they are working in. If your talents and technical skills are supported by real world experience, you need to be able to communicate those skills to an interviewer or hiring manager. It can make all the difference in your job search. Employers are also looking for examples of how you have succeeded at communicating with past clients and coworkers as a way to forecast your future communication skills. If you need to brush up on your speaking, writing, and interpersonal skills, try to do so before the interview because that is an excellent opportunity to show your skills in action.
Good teamwork skills could mean the difference between a successful project and one that spins in circles. Your teamwork skills and ability to work cohesively with coworkers and supervisors is critical to your success in this job market. Few employees ever work in a vacuum. You can expect to need to interact with clients and support staff to get the job done. Teamwork skills involve the ability to communicate issues and potential solutions, collaborate in effective ways, and maintain positive relationships despite stressful or highly demanding situations. Prove to your interviewer that you are a team player with concrete examples of your skills in action.
Flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing situations are skills that are not only in demand, but it’s hard to succeed without them. Situations are constantly in flux, and business emergencies tend to crop up when everyone least expects them. The demands of a project can change in response to a client’s fluctuating expectations, bugs in a program, or the availability of resources (including time and budget). The ability to think on your feet and maintain a calm and professional demeanor are highly valuable soft skills. Before your next interview, come up with a couple of solid examples from your past work experience to showcase how your flexibility helped reduce conflict and produce a strong end result.
Businesses thrive on the leadership skills of their employees. Not everyone is necessarily placed in a position of leadership, but the leadership skills those individuals bring to their job can have a huge impact on the business and the work they support. Mention several examples of when you showed leadership skills in past work scenarios that drove business results for previous employers.
Ready to Find a New Career?
For more advice on what soft skills you should focus on to grow your career, connect with the team at CPS today.