Though hard skills show off your experience and understanding of a particular, measurable ability, soft skills often indicate your ability to work with others and grow within a company. Soft skills help you build relationships and solve problems to use your hard skills to their full extent. Listing soft skills on your resume, demonstrating them in an interview and developing them in the workplace can support your career and open you to new opportunities.
Why are soft skills important?
Employers recognize the importance of soft skills in the workplace, so it’s important for people to put soft skills at the forefront of job applications. Soft skills demonstrate that you understand the different characteristics that will help you succeed within an organization and your specific position. Here are some of the top reasons soft skills are important when finding a job and growing your career. Soft skills:
When hiring for a position, most employers look for signs that an applicant will stay at their company long-term. If an employee shows the capacity to grow at a company, that employer will not have to expend more resources hiring a replacement. Soft skills like conflict resolution, commitment and motivation can make you a long-term asset to employers. Your attitude towards work is one of the most important indicators of longevity at a job, and employers may use longevity to decide between two similar applicants.
If you’re applying for a position as part of a team, the hiring manager will judge your application partly based on how well you can fit into a group dynamic. Employers use soft skills as a way to measure your teamwork and communication abilities. Regardless of how great your technical skills are, you need to be a team player to use them effectively. To appeal to an employer’s goal of finding a great team member, list soft skills like flexibility and active listening on your resume.
Soft skills not only support your relationships in the workplace, they determine your success working with clients and business partners. Employers seek out employees they can trust to represent the company in a professional and friendly way. Soft skills differentiate between candidates who are qualified for a job and candidates who will exceed expectations by putting effort into their professional relationships. People with a good disposition for customer service are good for business in any industry, at any level of experience.
Grow a network
Soft skills are critical for creating and growing your personal network and making professional contacts in the workplace. People with strong soft skills have a curious attitude that allows them to pursue professional leads and develop industry knowledge at a fast pace. Employers rely on people who have a strong professional network to help them make business connections, provide professional development and even make hiring decisions. If you can recommend useful services due to your network, your employer will likely value your opinions and ideas more highly.
Most soft skills contribute to your ability to not only use your existing skills well but to develop and grow those skills consistently over time. The ability to accept and implement feedback is a soft skill that many people struggle with. Employers also want to hire people who not only respond to criticism from others but consistently look for ways to improve without being asked. Use your soft skills to be self-sufficient and reflective when it comes to work, and you can quickly become a standout employee.
Attention to detail, time management and the ability to delegate are all soft skills that determine how organized you are at work. Being organized will help you prove that you are a reliable resource who can not only do their work well but do it in a timely manner. Organization combined with other soft skills like communication helps you build trust between your team because they know they can rely on you to help them find the information they need. You can begin showing potential employers your organization skills even before interviewing by communicating in a timely manner and submitting a well-formatted resume.
Employers hire and promote people who regularly demonstrate motivation and initiative. Having a positive attitude and being creative both show employers that you have the initiative to think of new projects or ways to solve problems. Soft skills also help you follow through on your ideas, using motivation to translate brainstorming sessions into actionable projects. Emphasize your soft skills to show employers that you have plans to grow and inspire others through your focus and drive.