We all know the job hunt can be intimidating, especially if we don't have the experience or skills that exactly match a listing. This can leave us feeling defeated. The good news is, even if you don't feel you're the ideal fit for a position, this doesn't necessarily mean you should automatically exclude yourself from applying.
Hard skills are often trainable. In a job economy where a significant skills gap exists and is expected to widen, the soft skills you have might just be the ticket you need to land you the dream job you want. Here are four top soft skills today's employers actively seek.
Employers want employees who can use their critical thinking skills to troubleshoot and solve problems. In fact, 62 percent of them say it's the number one soft skill they seek. If you are a good problem solver, share anecdotes to recruiters and hiring managers to demonstrate how you have, or would solve, a problem at work.
2. Flexibility and Adaptability
Thanks to technology, today's workplaces consistently experience change. In response, employers want to hire people who:
- Easily adapt to new procedures, software or policies.
- Go with the flow as change occurs.
- Aren't adverse to changes that might disrupt their workdays.
If you're the type of person who welcomes change, be sure to highlight your flexibility and willingness to adapt as needed. Give employers examples because they place a high value on this soft skill.
Excellence in both written and verbal communication matter to employers−a lot. In our age of technology being a primary communication tool, be it an app, email, or video conference, employers heavily rely upon their employees to:
- Effectively communicate with one another.
- Have memorable interactions with customers.
- Present their brand in a positive way.
If you have solid communication skills in all channels, this is truly a good asset to bring to prospective employers. Be sure to share your communication strengths.
Many jobs require a certain level of autonomy, making leadership one soft skill employers want to bring more of into their ranks. They want self-directed employees who don't have to be checked on every step of the way by supervisors who need to focus on other important tasks. It's also about inspiration. Today's autonomous workers demonstrate to their bosses they can become tomorrow's leaders to motivate their teams. Do you like to manage projects or perform tasks without too much supervision? If so, definitely highlight this skill when you apply.
Soft skills are less quantifiable than hard skills. If you can demonstrate to employers you possess the above soft skills, along with a solid willingness to learn the technical aspects of a job, you'll better position yourself in their pool of applicants.
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