Soft Skills: what are they?
The term “soft skills” is relatively new but the concept itself has been around since the beginning of time. Soft skills are employee personality and character traits that help to ensure success in the workplace. A good set of soft skills is vital for progress in your career and have a good relationship with your employers and clients.
Soft skills can be interpersonal skills, social skills or even transferable skills that relate to the way in which you interact with others and manage your professional life. It can be difficult for an employer to measure an employee’s soft skillsbecause there are no certifications or qualifications that you can obtain when it comes to soft skills.
Regardless of your career, if you have solid soft skills, you will likely do very well in your chosen profession. Although it may take some effort to demonstrate that you have the necessary soft skills, if you succeed in doing this, you will be a highly valued member of your team.
A few examples of soft skills include creative problem solving, communication skills, a good work ethic, being a team player, leadership skills, conflict resolution and time management skills.
When employers select candidates, they normally choose potential employees who have the necessary qualifications and work experience and these “hard skills” are very important. However, if you happen to be on a short list of candidates, what will separate you as a winner is definitely your soft skills. This means that you are able to work well in a team, have a good work ethic, are organized, loyal and have a positive attitude.
There are many ways in which to improve upon your soft skills and a good way to start is to try and become a better communicator as this is the backbone of all soft skills. Always make eye contact with others and pay attention to your body language. If you feel you are not a good oral communicator, practice talking to yourself in the mirror. Additionally, good writing skills are a must and if yours aren’t up to scratch, take time to read emails before sending them to make sure that they are clear, professional, friendly and without grammatical errors.