If you know what your dream job is, you’re probably already aware of some of the abilities you need to get hired. In fact, many jobs have clear requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to get the position – and don’t forget that it’s always best to be honest!
These skills are usually technical and quantifiable, and they’re generally very clear before you apply. For example, if you’re an aspiring accountant, you need to be able to use standard finance tools like Microsoft Excel. Alternatively, if you’re an aspiring chef, you need to be certified in food safety.
However, being capable of doing a job is a lot different than being able to excel at it. There’s so much more to doing a job well than just certificates or academics, and you definitely have a lot more to offer employers than just the basic qualifications.
That’s where soft skills come in. Having the right soft skills is invaluable to finding a job, getting hired, and being successful in your new role. However, understanding what these skills are and how they can help you can be confusing.
Keep reading to get a breakdown of the soft skills basics you need to know to hunt for your next job.
Defining Soft Skills
Traditionally, using the term, “soft skills,” was another way of saying, “people skills.” However, the definition of soft skills has evolved over time. Now soft skills are considered any qualifiable skill, such as being a team player or a critical thinker.
Essentially, ‘soft skills’ has become a catch-all term that describes any personal abilities or traits that aren’t a technical skill, or “hard skill.”
Here are some examples:
Being a team player
Conflict resolution and negotiation skills
Being agile and dynamic
Critical thinking skills
Top 5 Soft Skills That Every Employer Wants
It isn’t always obvious which soft skills are important to employers, unlike the technical abilities, degrees, or hard skills that a position may require.
If you’re working with people, no matter what your position is, you need soft skills. After all, the famous career phrase, “Hard skills will get you an interview, but soft skills will get you hired,” couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to today’s highly capable job market.
The job market has never been more saturated with applicants with post-secondary degrees, certifications, and technical abilities. The best way you can set yourself apart from the competition is by taking advantage of these personal abilities.
It isn’t always easy to discover what soft skills an employer is looking for. Sometimes they’ll list them in the job posting, but other times, you may have to do your research. However, you may still find yourself puzzled about what the best soft skills are for your application.
That’s okay. Choosing the right soft skills can be confusing for the most experienced job seeker. But there are always fail-safe options that every employer wants their next hire to have.
5 In-Demand Soft Skills
Here are five soft skills that are always in demand from employers, no matter what your dream job may be.
1. Problem-Solving Skills
Every role has its fair share of problems, no matter what industry you’re in or what specialty you have. And regardless of the role, you’ll have to deal with these professional issues to be able to do your work successfully. Problem solvers make everyone’s work more pleasant.
2. Communication Skills
If you work with anyone, regardless of whether they’re clients, colleagues, or supervisors, you’ll always have to leverage your communication skills. Being able to pass along information clearly, calmly, and concisely is a valuable talent, no matter what your role happens to be.
Similarly, if you work with people, there’s always a chance that there will be conflict or a need for negotiation skills. If you’re able to resolve social conflict by yourself and figure out the best solution for every party involved, you’re making an employer’s work much easier.
4. Critical Thinking Skills
Few traits are more fundamental when it comes to modern work than being able to think critically. Being able to carefully evaluate information, understand what it means, and then use that information wisely is a vital characteristic that’s relevant for every employer.
5. Time Management Skills
Finally, all employers want employees to have great time management skills. The more work you can do well, the more valuable you’ll be as a team player.