Soft skills are described as “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” (Investopedia). Soft skills are transferable skills that we can use in all types of jobs and situations. They are the basis of what make us who we are!
There are many, but here are some of the top soft skills (AOL):
- Self confidence.
- Team player.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Strong work ethic.
- Positive attitude.
- Time management.
- Good communication skills.
- Accepting of criticism.
- Working well under pressure.
Hard skills, on the other hand, are described as “specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as typing, writing, maths, reading and the ability to use software programs.” (Investopedia). Hard skills aren’t always transferable; you may need to go back to school or study to develop new ones.
Hard and soft skills complement each other. Soft skills enable us to implement our hard skills effectively and efficiently within the workplace.
For all the jobs that there are in the world, there are specific character traits that the person who carries out the role needs to possess. Therefore, on job adverts, and on our own adverts, there is usually a description of what sort of person the role would be suitable for, and what soft skills the company would like the applicant to have.
Under Cover Recruiter has commented that, in regard to what employers are looking for in candidates, “the majority of the UK’s most desired soft skills focus around an individual’s behaviour towards the company and their work, rather than individualistic or interpersonal behavioural tendencies. In addition, confidence is a soft skill that only features in the UK’s top list.” (Undercover Recruiter)
If you want to increase your employability, you should work on developing your ‘soft’ skills, as these are the most distinguishing factors between applicants. If there are two candidates that have the same hard skills, it is the soft skills that are going to be the deciding factor for the interviewer. However, soft skills are completely personal, and not everyone possesses the same. If you were to look at the individual workers in a company, they will all possess completely different soft-skills, so don’t be put off if you are lacking or don’t have as many soft-skills as others.
Nick Hurd, the former Minister for Civil Society said recently, “What we see in survey after survey is employers saying qualifications are important, but that just as important to us are so-called soft skills, character skills, the ability to get on with different people, to articulate yourself clearly, confidence, grit, self-control. They are saying we are not seeing enough of this in kids coming out of school.” (Telegraph)
What soft skills do you think are most important in the workplace? Comment below!