When you begin looking for a job, you will find that employers are looking for two types of skills: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are the measurable knowledge and abilities that you have that make you qualified for the job you’re applying for. But, equally important are your soft skills, the “people” skills or interpersonal skills that are harder to quantify.
No matter what job you end up in, you will always have to work with other people in some way. Although different jobs require a different set of soft skills, there’s no denying how important they are. Imagine a doctor who can quickly and accurately diagnose any illness because he has every medical book memorized, but he doesn’t have the ability to effectively communicate with others.
Here are the most sought-after soft skills by employers, according to Indeed.com:
- Working in a team.
Most people will need to cooperate as part of a team under somebody else’s leadership as well as step into a leadership position themselves over the course of their career. Be prepared to both follow and lead in your workplace.
- Be flexible.
Few jobs are the same every day, so you never know what may be asked of you. Employers truly appreciate people that are able to adapt to new situations and who they can depend on to keep doing their best even if things get crazy.
- Communicate effectively.
There’s so much that goes into communicating effectively, whether you’re interacting with your boss, co-workers, or clients. You not only need to be able to express yourself well, but also need to listen well and use the right body language to convey emotions.
- Solve problems.
There will always be problems that come up in your work. Your ability to figure out the solution to these problems or how to work around them will be a valuable asset to your future employers, which is why resourcefulness and problem-solving are soft skills employers are looking for.
- Accept criticism.
Whether it’s constructive or not, it’s important to take all feedback you get as an opportunity for personal or professional growth. Whenever you get feedback, take some time to reflect on it, and then make a plan for how you can make changes to be better.
- Be confident.
If you have the skills and knowledge to get the job done, be confident with them. You need to demonstrate to prospective employers that you are sure of yourself and that you know you can get the job done right.
- Think creatively.
This is something that’s being lost in upcoming generations which makes it so much more valuable. Thinking creatively will help you work more effectively and efficiently, and it drives innovation in your company, making you invaluable to your employer.
As you go through your college years and begin searching for a job, don’t forget to keep these skills in mind and develop them as much as possible. Honestly evaluate yourself for each of these soft skills and be prepared to demonstrate them to your employer.