What does it take to get hired these days?
It helps to have the qualifications outlined in the job description. Increasingly, however, employers are looking for personality traits, or “soft skills,” that show a candidate will add value to the team.
What Soft Skills Can Set Candidates Apart?
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
Technical skills can be taught; personality traits are harder to train. No matter how well a person can execute a task, if they can’t take constructive criticism or collaborate with a team, they may be the wrong person for the job.
In fact, says LinkedIn, “there is scientific research that shows companies that focus their hiring criteria on soft skills will end up with higher levels of production over those that emphasize only hard skills in their hiring practices…. Hard skills are useless without soft skills to back up their task-related knowledge.”
Search the term “soft skills” on the internet and you’ll find a lengthy list of characteristics prized by employers. However, human resources professionals say the most sought-after candidates possess these three “superpower” skills.
Before 2020, few people would have predicted that so much of the professional world could transition to a virtual environment. The businesses – and employees – that adapted most successfully leveraged available technology and learned new ways to work.
As the way we work continues to change rapidly, being flexible and open to new technologies and systems will be an invaluable trait in the workforce.
“It’s increasingly difficult for companies to forecast what skills they will need,” says Cadigan Talent Ventures founder Steve Cadigan, in a LinkedIn Expert Roundup. “So they must default to hiring talent that can grow and learn new things because we know that will be necessary.”
In the working world, “curiosity” relates to several different traits. Curious people have an innate creativity and resourcefulness that is useful in solving problems. They tend to be critical thinkers with “the ability to use imagination, reasoning, past experience, research, and available resources to fundamentally understand and then resolve issues,” notes Live Career.
Curiosity can spark initiative, a willingness to try something new just to see if it can be mastered. It implies continuous learning – and with innovations always on the horizon, employers need people who are motivated to learn.
Good Communication Skills
A good communicator has a strong command over spoken and written language and can clearly explain a technical concept or point of view. However, communication also involves being a good listener and touches on open-mindedness, respect, and empathy.
“Using phrases as simple as ‘I understand where you are coming from’ demonstrate that you have been listening to the other person and respect their opinions,” notes The Balance Careers.
It also suggests that a person is open to giving and receiving feedback – a valuable trait for a team member to possess.
Reveal Your Super Powers
If you’re adaptable, a curious learner, and able to communicate clearly with your teammates and clients, you possess some of the top skills sought by today’s employers.
Be sure to mention these skills on your resume, cover letter, and during job interviews. Wherever possible, back up your claims with statistics or examples.
By emphasizing your soft skill “superpowers,” you’ll be demonstrating to employers that you understand their needs – and are ready to step in and help them meet their goals.
Does Your Candidate Have the Soft Skills You Need at Your Organization?
For help getting your technical and soft skills noticed by employers, contact Pro Resources Staffing Solutions.