Current Scenario: Importance of Soft Skills to Jobs & Hiring
So you think you are qualified for a particular job, fit to lead a team or the right candidate for a promotion, just because you have extensive experience or highly developed technical skills? Well, apart from these elements for professional success, one needs to also have great soft skills, also commonly known as “people skills.”
When employers say they are not able to fill up certain open positions it’s not because the candidate lacks technical skills or has inadequate professional experience. The major factor that contributes to this unfortunate instance is the absence of soft skills. Believe it or not, most of the time this is the primary reason.
You as a job seeker are not the only ones to “face the music” – even if you are working, you will face difficulties in the office if your “soft skills” are not polished enough. For example, if you have difficulty interacting with clients and with upper management becomes difficult. If you can’t clearly communicate your ideas in an e-mail to your team or your boss. These are just two of many examples of lack of soft skills that can deter your career progression.
Soft Skills: Why is it So Important?
Soft Skills can be the hardest abilities to acquire. The reason behind that bitter truth is that there is a general perception in people’s minds that companies want technical skills first, rather than art of repartee or speaking capabilities.
However, this is not true anymore. To succeed at work or in job search in today’s competitive market, you need to understand the importance of soft skills and know how to master them over time. This is because in any job, you must collaborate with teams to get things done. Moreover, there is more emphasis in being effective in meetings and client visits, all requiring soft skills like meeting management and networking skills. In these scenarios, if you have poor soft skills, you will under-perform, no matter how technical smart you are.
As per research done by American Management Association published on “Wired,” soft skills are a combination of four C’s- creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. If acquired, then you as a job seeker can more easily get job offers and you as an employee can attain new heights in your career.
- Importance of Soft Skills for a Job Seeker
An interview, as a matter of fact, is a showcase of your soft skills, especially your communication skills. To secure a job, it is important for you as an interviewee to clearly and effectively communicate your past accomplishments and experiences and why you are the best fit for the job. Moreover, you must also be able to communicate how you can bring significant value to the organization.
- Importance of Soft Skills for an Employee
Long after you get the job, soft skills, especially people skills continue to hold importance. Seen from a broader perspective, soft skills are easily transferable, and not developing them at an early stage can actually inhibit you from succeeding under your present employer, or from switching to another job. Strong soft skills can help you work well with others at any level.
Soft Skills Make Your Job Search & Job Effective & Successful
Forbes says in one of its research on job that everything ranging from your cover letter to your resume should appear as if you, the job seeker is interacting with the hiring manager. As such , interviews should feel more of a witty conversation, and this is possible if you have strong interpersonal and communication skills.
There is a difference between being talented and being employable. You can have great technical skills and command over your project intricacies, but if you lack certain soft skills, such as ability to deal with difficult situations or personalities, then doing well at your job can be difficult. Let us analyze two key soft skills.
- Interpersonal Skills
This skill is everything when it comes to talking with other people. If you have good interpersonal skills, then participating effectively as a member of a team becomes easy. Well-honed interactive abilities can result in smoother communication with clients and colleagues, leading to a better workplace environment.
- Communication Skills
Companies are always looking for those of you who have good writing and speaking skills. For instance, it is not enough just to be book smart or have hard skills. Companies looks for those of you who can build effectively relationships through both effective communication and interpersonal skills. Those of you who know how to get things done through working with others are the ones on the fast track for success.
What Employers Want In a Nutshell
Employers want those of you who can adapt quickly to any situation and work creatively with few resources to get things done. At the same time, employers looks for those of you who are leaders – those who are willing to take initiatives and proactive look out for ways to solve problem and at the same time who can get along with anyone above and below them as well as cross functionally.
All these are examples of the importance of soft skills and how they can take you to great heights, and inspire the companies to hire you or promote you.
The Bottom Line
The business world is all about interacting, so if you have effective soft skills, then the sky is the limit. The employment market is fluctuating; to stand out in this market really requires you to flex your soft skills like networking skills. Whether you are a job seeker or have a job, constant efforts to improve your soft skills can accelerate your path to success.
Your comments: Have you seen the importance of soft skills in your job search effort or at your work? Share your comments below and let’s have a discussion.
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Guest Author: Vineeta Tiwari is a professional writer and blogger, who follows and writes about the global economy and different employment markets. She currently writes for a premium job site based out in Gulf region. Follow her at Twitter @vinita1204
This is a guest post with significant edits made by Lei Han. If you would like to submit a guest post to www.BeMyCareerCoach.com, please follow these guest post guidelines.