What are Examples of Soft Skills & How to Improve Them
Job openings, particularly in demanding career fields and places to live, regularly garner hundreds of applicants. It makes it very difficult to separate your name from the pack. Therefore, your resume needs to highlight both your hard and soft skills.
Hard skills in relation to applying for new work revolve around your education and job certifications. They are direct, tangible pieces of evidence that indicate you are qualified for the new position.
On the other hand, soft job skills are character traits and personal integrity that not only help define who you are as an individual, but also how well you’ll fit in with the job environment and coworkers.
Consequently, hiring managers often look for these specific qualities during a job interview. Before you can land that next gig, you need to find ways to make your soft skills stand out during the job search..
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What are Soft Skills?
Once you begin applying for new jobs, it is vital to understand the difference between soft and hard job skills.
Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal aptitudes that impact your ability to work as well as interact with others. These natural abilities (unlike hard skills) are generally characteristics that you cannot teach in a classroom.
For example, having a stellar work ethic and always being punctual are extraordinarily important characteristics of an excellent employee as well as something you cannot teach in school. Therefore, your work ethic and punctuality fall within the category of “soft skills”.
Meanwhile, hard skills are real, tangible indicators that you are qualified for the position. Your education and relevant certifications are examples of “hard skills” that correlate to a new job opening.
You need to present both types of job skills on a resume. Showcasing both types of skills will enable you to ace job interviews and secure your next assignment. However, focusing on your soft skills may enable you to steal the job opportunity from a similar candidate that had more hard skills, yet lacked the same personality and applicable job characteristics.
Why are professional skills important on a job resume?
Soft skills are much different from hard skills. While it is important to have a combination of both on a resume, some hiring managers actually place more importance on them compared to hard skills.
Hard skills may prove more quantifiable on a job application or resume that you know how to complete a job yet the soft skills truly identify you as an individual.
Such qualities demonstrate that you are a team player or are terrific at problem solving. These are specific to you as a person, and indicate that you will be an appropriate fit for the image of the company.
As a result, knowing which of these to highlight on a job resume and interview can make all the difference in the world. Fittingly, make sure you include at least a few on a resume along with your hard skills/attributes.
Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills: Soft Skills On Your Resume
There are critical differences between the two skill sets. While your degree and certifications are important to getting interest from hiring managers, soft skills ultimately allow you to stand out among fierce competition.
These are your natural abilities and attributes that you cannot teach in the classroom. They include characteristics like attention to detail, good communication, strong work ethic, leadership skills, and emotional intelligence.
Furthermore, soft skills can include personality traits that ultimately affect the bottom line of the company such as work ethic and punctuality. Supervisors need to make sure that the applicant they are considering for the job has the ability to work well with others and listen to directions.
These are your natural abilities and personality which are useful in every hiring industry. Additionally, these prove to an employer that you have the emotional intelligence and composure to handle stress, pressure, and deadlines.
Meanwhile, hard or technical job skills are generally specific to the job. You either learn these hard skills through job training or school. These traits are much more based on technical knowledge compared to soft skills, which is another term for your intangibles.
What are examples of soft skills?
How do you improve soft skills? First, by understanding what separates these attributes from hard skills and secondly by application.
Once you recognize which are most desirable in the work environment, you can highlight your strongest personality traits on a resume and during the job interview. Moreover, it can allow you to focus on any you struggle with to eventually become a better overall employee. When applicable, there may be specific soft skills training available to improve your suitability for the job.
Hiring managers review applications for soft skills and especially look to make ascertains during the interview process. For this reason, you need to make sure that you showcase your personality traits and characters during every stage of the hiring process.
These are the six primary categories that relate to the hiring process and securing new work:
- Positive Attitude
- Critical Thinking
- Work Ethic
The job candidates that are able to demonstrate they have soft skills in the six primary categories that hiring managers seek have the greatest chance of getting off the unemployment line sooner.
In addition to the above categories, these additional qualities will only help you stand out:
- Time management skills
- Verbal communication
- Interpersonal skills
- Technical skills
- Communication skills
How to Improve Your Professional Skills
You should continue to build your soft and hard skills while you wait for more work. Hiring managers review applications, resumes, and job interviews for soft skills. You need to make sure that you highlight them in every stage of the hiring process as nearly 3 in 4 CEOs indicate that soft skills are more important than hard skills when considering which job candidate to hire.
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Soft skills are necessary to organizations as they impact the workplace culture, leadership, attitudes, and behaviors. Candidates that have a well rounded arsenal have the greatest likelihood of finding work sooner.