When developing job descriptions, employers tend to emphasize the specific abilities required to complete a job. These are typically identified as “hard skills,” and are most often learned through education or training (i.e. computer programming, foreign language proficiency, or a specific degree or certificate). However, soft skills can play an equally as important role in getting and keeping a job.
Soft skills are the personal attributes that enable us to interact effectively with others and succeed in the workplace. Sometimes they are referred to as “people skills.” Unlike some hard skills, soft skills are transferable from one job to another, and are either inherent or developed over time. These are the attitudes, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and habits that make us desirable employees and valuable team members.
Here are 7 soft skills that are sure to help you find and keep a job:
It’s important to remember that managing your time effectively not only impacts you, but your colleagues as well. Quite often, our work correlates with others’, and a missed deadline can reflect negatively on an entire team or business.
While developing your soft skills doesn’t happen overnight, it is never too late to work on them. Simply observing people that demonstrate these qualities or asking someone to mentor/coach you in these areas can be beneficial. Additionally, choosing to take on more responsibilities in the workplace, such as serving on committees or signing up for an additional project, can help you hone your strengths and recognize areas for improvement.
For more resources and best practices on soft skills, check out the National Soft Skills Association. Job seekers and employees with disabilities can also reach out to the Getting Hired team for resources and ideas on how to develop your soft skills.