The common perception is that once college is over, you’ll be able to put everything that you learned into practice. In reality, it is the skills that you have acquired over time that help you succeed at work. Before a job interview, almost everyone is left wondering if they have the right soft skills that employers are looking for. When seen from the employer’s perspective, getting the right people means recruiting candidates with the right work values. Soft skills help you work more effectively in your chosen career. The following work values, though not taught, are fundamental for you to succeed. And, they are a sure-shot way to spice up your resume!

What do you mean by knowing soft skills?

Soft skills are more social than technical and reflect a person’s work values. These include the ability to accept feedback, maintain organization, problem solve, and collaborate with others. Soft skills also give you that competitive edge, when being considered for a role.

CareerBuilder reports that 77% of employers look for candidates possessing soft skills. You’ve probably noticed them popping up in job listings, paired alongside technical qualifications.

What are some of the most important soft skills employers are looking for?

Teamwork & Emotional Intelligence.

Ever wonder why lecturers request students to team up with a group of their peers to work on a specific project together? Working in a team is one of the most important soft skills that employers look for. Being a team player is essential while also being able to delegate and take responsibility when required. It boils down to building a good working relationship that helps everyone achieve their business goals and objectives.

And one of the biggest drivers of teamwork today is a high level of emotional intelligence. Though still a new factor in the soft skills employers look for, emotional intelligence is an in-demand work value. It is generally defined as the awareness of your emotions and feelings and those of others while being able to use the awareness to guide decisions and interactions with others.

Leadership & Persuasiveness.

When you start your career, you’re likely to get a job that isn’t in the upper hierarchy. Employers look for more experienced candidates for managerial roles. Still, displaying leadership qualities will put you in a good position to become a manager in the future. Leadership skills may not be expected from you if you’re just starting your career. However, you’ll probably still need to show that you can lead a group of people by delegating tasks, setting deadlines, and lead others by setting a good example.

Persuasiveness is one of the top soft skills employers are looking for today. Team members that are persuasive leaders use their flexibility to manage the tasks at hand to ensure their part of the project is finished on time. Persuasive peer leadership is an admirable soft skill employers are looking for, as it ensures the success of their teams. Having leadership and persuasiveness is also a sure-shot way to make your resume stand out.

Confidence & Communication

Being confident in yourself, but not arrogant, is a delicate balance that is hard to achieve. At the workplace, your confidence shows your colleagues that you believe in yourself and them. Confidence also indicates that you can always count on each other when facing everyday problems. It boosts the team’s morale.

Your employer will be observing everything about the way you communicate – from the way you talk and respond to interview questions to the way you write your emails. Regardless of the role, employers seek work values that allow employees to get along with others and communicate well verbally and non-verbally. Clear communication is an unsaid expectation since communication plays a crucial role in addressing issues and handling challenging situations.

Curiosity & Problem Solving

A creative problem solver is the mark of an independent employee. It’s so easy to write a letter of complaint to your boss about your colleagues missing deadlines or give a negative review of your manager just because they asked you to stay an hour extra after work. Creative problem solvers know that having a lateral mindset and a flexible approach plays a key role in coming up with an intelligent solution. Problems are inevitable in any organizational structure.

How you maneuver through them and manage them is what’s going to set you apart. To put this further into context, “life-long learner” is a desired skill used in many job postings. This refers to a person’s innate curiosity and desire to learn more, with the ability to apply what is learned at work. And, this is a highly desirable work value.

Strive for continuous improvement instead of perfection.

Kim Collins

Motivation & The Big Picture

Even if you and your team at work have all the necessary skills and talent to achieve your goals, if you don’t have the motivation, you’re unlikely to reach your true potential. Motivated people have a positive approach and find meaning and value in the work they do every day. Employers look for motivated people to hire since their excitement can be infectious and, in turn, leads the team in a positive direction.

It is also highly desirable to be able to conceptualize what organizations are doing. And how they are affected by certain circumstances or decisions. Employers are looking for people who can work towards the larger goals of a company, and make decisions that will have results focused on larger company goals.

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