When we think about the skills we need to excel in our careers , we don’t always think about soft skills. But the truth is, soft skills are extremely important in every role, and are not something that a hiring manager will overlook.

At the start of your career journey, when you’re deep in study or learning how to do your job, it’s easy to get caught up neglecting soft skills in favour of hard skills, or technical skills. Even worse is when you seek counsel from colleagues that end up telling you to focus on developing your technical skills and forget about the soft skills. I must tell you that’s a wrong path to tow.


What Exactly Are “Soft Skills?”

According to Collins English Dictionary is:

“ Soft Skills are desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude.”

I hate to break it to you…but they lied!

While this definition focuses purely on people skills and emotional intelligence, some definitions extend to cover all personal career attributes, including time management, leadership skills, personal habits, and language skills.

Soft skills are “people skills” that almost every employer wants, but they usually don’t make them super clear in the job description. We typically define soft skills as things like teamwork, communication skills, and having a positive attitude.
Soft skills are the emotional intelligence side of things: social skills and people skills. It’s your ability to work to accepted norms, to be sociable, and to have people like you.


Why Are Soft Skills Important?

Soft skills are super important for landing a job because they account for 50% of your interview. Meaning that half of your interview is focused on whether you have the technical skills to do the work, but the other half is really about seeing if you’ll be a good cultural fit for the team they already have in place. It’s the soft skills that display a candidate who is not only experienced but also has the makings of a successful and hardworking employee.

Did You Know ?
most recruiters will take a chance on someone with great soft skills vs. a highly qualified candidate who is weak in this area. A resume without a list of soft skills is lacking. When a company is making the final decision about what candidate they want on their team, the determining factor usually doesn’t come down to hard skills.

Your potential employer wants to know if you’ll get along with everyone. Your interviewer will be paying attention to if you’re naturally happy and positive, and whether you’ll bring something positive to the table with your personality.

For Example: Leadership. Effective leadership is a valuable trait to employers regardless of the title you’re applying for.
Having leadership skills means you know how to effectively delegate responsibilities to further the success of the company. It isn’t simply commanding others of what to do. It’s about being tactful, strategic, and personable in a way that gets the job done and keeps a team motivated.


Final Thoughts

I for one believe that soft skills are unnegotiable and should not be found lacking in your resume. They are abilities and traits that help you manage your job and relationships in the workplace.
The world is changing fast. With the onset of artificial intelligence in almost every field of work, machines are replacing and automating tasks that humans once performed. However, there is no substitute for soft skills. Hence, those become a differentiating factor for a job seeker to fit himself in the fast-changing job market and meet the hiring requirements of any organization.

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