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What are soft skills?
If you’ve been researching ways to get ahead in your job hunt, you may have come across the term soft skills. Even though the term is used frequently, you may not understand exactly what it means and therefore, its importance.
When trying to enhance your resume or position yourself perfectly during your next interview, you should know how to showcase your soft skills. But before you can do that, let’s get familiar with what talents or abilities they refer to.
Defining soft skills
While hard skills are directly related to your education, experience and background, soft skills can be a little vague. They’re not as easy to quantify or evaluate but they are just as valuable. And luckily, they’re a little bit easier to prove and demonstrate during an interview.
Soft skills are typically interpersonal or communication skills. More and more, they are also being described as “human skills”, as they typically come naturally to you as a person. But it’s also possible for you to hone them over time with some practice. Additionally, soft skills are aspects of your personality and work ethic, which make you a great team player and good culture fit. Remember they are also criteria that hiring managers seek but may not be stated outright in a job description.
With the right amount of training and awareness, you can display many soft skills during an interview. With active listening, thoughtful answers, and creative thinking, you can exhibit these skills and impress any interviewer. Plus, a skilled interviewer will absolutely expect you to do so, especially if you’ve listed any of your soft skills on your resume.
Examples of soft skills
Since soft skills are a little harder to define than hard skills, we’ve compiled a list of core soft skills for you to exhibit during the job search and interview process. While this is not a comprehensive list, it will give you a better idea of your own soft skills strengths:
- Communication skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Creative thinking
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
- Ability to perform under pressure
While you can exhibit some skills naturally during an interview – creative thinking, communication, listening et cetera – you’ll have to be more creative to prove some of them.
Conversely, don’t explicitly tell your interviewer you’re excellent at time management or conflict resolution. Instead, look for opportunities to discuss moments in your career when you were able to utilise those traits. This will prove that you possess these soft skills and also show you’re able to apply them in the workplace.
For more articles that can assist you with your job search, take a look at our advice section. You can also browse our job listings, submit your resume, or get in touch with one of our expert recruitment consultants today.