The traditional job hunt puts an emphasis on hard skills. What are hard skills? Hard skills are learned through education, hands-on practice, and training. Examples of hard skills include copywriting, photo editing, language skills, etc.
But in this world, competition is F.I.E.R.C.E. And that means companies have to consider more than just hard skills, and job seekers need a way to stand out from the masses.
What other types of skills may employers be looking for? Soft skills.
Unlike hard skills, soft skills are acquired through experience and interactions. They are things such as the ability to communicate well, build relationships, manage time wisely and problem-solve. Soft skills even encompass things such as core values. In other words, we are talking about culture alignment!
Who Needs Soft Skills?
Soft skills are synonymous with certain professions, such as customer service. However, everyone uses soft skills on the job. Any time you interact with a coworker, client or customer, you utilize soft skills to make your work easier, better, and more efficient.
Skills of Import
Are soft skills really that important? Yes! Soft skills demonstrate that you understand the different characteristics at your job and within the organization. While a company may not specifically list soft skills in the job posting, employers are using soft skills to vet candidates.
Now, let’s discuss specific reasons why soft skills are important for job seekers to highlight and employers to look for in interviewees.
The Long Haul
Employers don’t want to be in a constant hiring loop, so they are looking for signs that a candidate will stay at the company long-term. How do you decipher that during the hiring process? Soft skills such as conflict resolution, commitment, motivation and attitude can make a person a long-term asset. Employees who share the same core values as the company and feel like they are contributing to something bigger than themselves are happier and get more fulfillment out of what they do–meaning they are much more likely to stick around for longer.
Many jobs require people to work as part of a team and employers will judge candidates based on how well they fit into the existing group dynamic. Soft skills such as communication abilities, conflict resolution and the ability to build relationships can tell how much of a team player someone will be. Want to stand out on your resume? List soft skills such as flexibility and active listening.
When we go to work, we don’t exist in a bubble whether we work within a team or as an individual in a department. Soft skills can differentiate candidates who are qualified for the job and will exceed expectations by putting effort into their professional relationships at work.
When an employee has the ability to network, pursue professional leads, and develop industry knowledge, it benefits the company. Candidates with strong soft skills are naturally curious and will network like a pro. Want to stand out to an employer in an interview or on your cover letter? Mention how your network can help you solve problems for the company or be able to recommend useful services to help the company overcome challenges and be more successful.
Attention to detail, good time management skills, and the ability to delegate are all soft skills that can help employees stay more organized and be more productive. Combine these soft skills with good communication, and co-workers and managers will come to rely on you and trust you.
Employers are looking for candidates who are motivated and will take initiative. They are also looking for strong leadership skills. These candidates are more likely to think creatively, solve problems, focus on personal growth and have the leadership strategies needed for the entire team to succeed. Hiring managers should look for candidates that emphasize their plans to grow and inspire others through their focus and drive.
A Better Way to Evaluate Soft Skills
There is only so much you can learn about a company from a website or job listing. Conversely, there is only so much you can learn from an applicant from a resume and job interview. How do you evaluate cultural alignment to the best of your ability?
We developed Workzinga so companies can make better and more informed hiring decisions. Our Culture Alignment Assessment gives companies the ability to evaluate soft skills, personality, or cultural alignment on a deeper level. We like to think of it as a matchmaker for the working world. Schedule a demo today to try it for yourself!