Hard skills can be trained while soft skills are harder to teach and takes time to fully develop. Soft skills are the elements that build up and strengthen relationships in the workplace. It reflects how people conduct their tasks and behave in the workplace environment. Soft skills usually include personal qualities, attitude and behaviour of an employee when they are at work.
In the recruiting process, modern employers tend to look for candidates that possess strong soft skills rather than technical skills that candidates have learned from school. Soft skills can vary depends on the nature of the profession. For example, positions such as Customer Service, Human Resources or Marketing requires better efficiency in soft skills in order to perform their tasks successfully. Therefore, more and more organisations have begun to hire for soft skills and train for technical skills later on.
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Top 5 soft skills for young professionals
Communication is one of the most important skills in a professional workplace as it is the factor to connect people and exchange information. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and even slow down the workflow, preventing the success of completing given tasks.
In your interactions, both in-person and online, you want to be clear, kind and professional. When speaking, be sure to make eye contact, speak up and use body language that conveys confidence. This is the most crucial skill since it reveals how people will perceive you as a professional. Effective communication helps build relationships with colleagues and results in better understanding, resolves conflicts, inspires innovation and eventually boost the team’s performance.
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2. Attention to details
Recruiters have to look at hundreds of résumé every day, so if you have a typo in your profile, it may mean that you've just disqualified yourself. Show that you are detail oriented from the beginning will increase your chance of getting hired.
Get into the habit of slowing down to notice more details in the long run. It is crucial to remember to double-check all of your work, including reports, meeting notes and even emails before submitting them. A detailed staff is a trusted, valuable staff who gets their hands on important and decisive tasks within the organisation.
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3. Interpersonal skills and collaboration
A successful project rarely depends on one person’s effort - it is the mutual work of the whole team toward a common goal. In today’s workforce, much of the work is often done in teams but there is also a need for employees to work independently in order to get the daily work accomplished. Everyone has different talents and responsibilities, being able to collaborate well with your co-workers will result in the most quality outcome.
Problem-solving skills prove employee’s ability to work independently and think critically to find the most suitable solutions for specific issues. Problem-solving is shown by how you prioritise and plan to finish a project in the most effective way within the shortest time possible.
Being able to think on your feet makes you stand out from others. Critical thinking and problem solving are all about using logic, rather than emotion, to identify, understand, analyse and finally work to solve the issue. Cultivating problem-solving skill will also help you to prepare and equip yourself with leading skills to become a successful leader in the future.
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The way companies operate nowadays isn’t the same as before and is not going to stay the same in the future either. Companies depend on their employee’s ability to adapt to changes and keep the organisation at the forefront of the business trend, thus achieving great success.
When a project is carried out, things can go different ways from your plan, and it depends on your skill and flexibility to adapt and pivot around the changes. An individual with a high level of adaptability will be able to fit themselves into the ever-changing landscape of a business. He or she will be able to work efficiently both independently and in a team environment, will think strategically, and will be able to accept criticism and improve upon faults or mistakes. The person will possess innovative ideas, but will also have the ability to execute.
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Employers are always looking for people who can show initiative and solve problems on their own, without complaining or burdening the boss. Instead, pause, think methodically, research possible solutions, and take action.
Fill the “skill gap” to prepare for the professional environment
There are many ways to develop your soft skills early at the starting point of your career. Knowing what organisations look for in a candidate and cultivate your skill set to meet the requirements will differentiate yourself and increase your chances of getting hired or promoted.
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Demonstrate your soft skill set through your internship, school activities or previous jobs that show your eagerness to learn and develop constantly. During the screening process, the recruiters will look through your résumé to check for details that reflect your soft skills. Possessing strong soft skills enable you to work well with others, communicate clearly and solve problems effectively. And while hard skills will get you the job, soft skills will help you truly shine through your work.
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