“What are soft skills?”
“Can soft skills help me get the job or promotion I want?”
These are two excellent questions – and ones Wood Personnel is going to answer in today’s blog post. Let’s get down to it!
What are soft skills?
Often referred to as “people skills,” soft skills are:
- the competencies and attributes that help you effectively interact with others.
- the “intangibles” that make you a successful team member or leader.
- an important part of your overall “cultural fit” with an employer.
Can they help you get the job or promotion you want?
Absolutely. Technical skills and experience are certainly essential in helping you get ahead, but they’re only part of the employment equation. If an interviewer doesn’t like you, or if he doesn’t see you as a good fit with current employees, he may rule you out as a candidate. Conversely, demonstrating great people skills in the interview or on the job can give you a decided edge over others.
So if you’re ready to get serious about taking that next step in your career, here’s a list of 7 key soft skills (applicable to a wide range of job functions), summarized from a recent Forbes.com post “The 20 People Skills You Need to Succeed at Work”:
- Open-mindedness. When you respect others’ points of view and feedback, you build trust and respect. Being known as someone who is open-minded also makes you more approachable.
- Flexibility. Having sound people skills requires the ability to shift gears when needed – in thought patterns, behaviors and even beliefs. Working as a temporary employee is a great way to show evidence of this soft skill!
- Persuasiveness. The ability to form a solid, convincing argument for why you, your ideas, your products or your services are the “right” ones. Being persuasive will help you achieve what you want in your job – including landing a promotion.
- A great sense of humor. Laughing is a great way to ease tension and break the monotony of routine work. When you can help create (appropriate) lightheartedness in your job, you’re more likely to be viewed in a favorable manner – and thrive in your job.
- Awareness of body language. Non-verbal cues account for the majority of how we communicate with others. Being mindful of others’ gestures, posture and tone of voice – and correctly interpreting those cues – greatly enhances your success as a communicator.
- The ability to support and motivate others. Look for opportunities to praise others and show your enthusiasm (without going overboard). When you effectively encourage others to perform, their success will drive your own.
- Good judgment. This soft skill comes from learning, listening to others and observing the world around you. It helps you select friends, colleagues and work allies wisely; gauge their actions, reactions and responses accurately; and ultimately make good decisions on the job.
Conduct yourself honestly, ethically and with empathy on the job (or in your job search), and you’ll make great strides in developing the people skills you need to move ahead.
Looking for jobs in Middle Tennessee?
Register with Wood Personnel today. Our team of recruiting experts will listen to your needs, match you with a perfect career opportunity, and then show you how to effectively sell your soft skills in the interview.