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Professional Soft Skills Everyone Needs to Master

  • Post category:Soft Skills
  • Reading time:4 mins read

You may look perfect for a position on paper – you have all the experience and qualifications for the job. However, do you have the necessary professional soft skills to truly succeed? Soft skills are those intangible qualities and attributes that help employees work well with one another and enhance overall productivity. Furthermore, they truly matter to employers.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 63% of employers stated that one of the top questions they’re attempting to answer when seeking candidates is “what are their soft skills?” Furthermore, a Google study found that “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills.”

These studies cause one to ask the following question. What soft skills do employers think are important for their employees to possess? The following are six skills that companies are currently seeking in their search for successful employees.

Top 2 Professional Soft Skills

#1: Thirst for Knowledge

Employers place a high value on candidates who possess the ability to learn when it comes to professional soft skills. Adrian Ridner. CEO and Founder of Study.com states, “workplace needs are constantly changing, so we need employees who will be willing to learn & adapt along the way to meet those changes. During the hiring process, it’s important to assess if candidates have learning agility and the hunger to develop professionally.”

Professional Soft Skills
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#2: Team Mentality

According to Carrie-Anne McGrath – senior consultant at firstPRO – “many jobs are teamwork driven and rely on each team member to get the project completed.” McGrath continues, “it’s not enough to robotically say ‘I’m a team player’. Focus the discussion on your work with teams and the important role you played. Give examples of a team-focused project – share some interesting details of the work and describe how it was completed successfully.”

2 More Professional Soft Skills

#3: Flexibility & Commitment

McGrath also believes that being flexible and showing your commitment are often hard to convey in an interview. However, it’s still important to prove you possess said qualities. “Describe your flexibility by talking about a project that was changed just before a due date and how you adapted to meet the new requirements. Discuss an assignment that required a great deal of time and lasted longer than anticipated and how you stuck with it until its successful completion. When things move quickly and deadlines and scope change frequently, hiring managers want to know their new employee is flexible and able to adapt easily.”

Professional Soft Skills
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#4: Project Management

Regardless of what type of role you’re seeking, hiring managers seek candidates who possess two major professional soft skills: organization and the ability to stay on task and work well under pressure. “Team members should hit deadlines and let others know where there are on project timelines,” says Jason Patel, former career ambassador at George Washington University and the founder of Transizion, a college and career prep company. “You need to be able to update others and give alerts when trouble arises.”

Last 2 Professional Soft Skills

#5: Self-Awareness

Professional Soft Skills
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“People perceive us by how we carry ourselves,” says Christopher K. Lee, founder and career consultant at PurposeRedeemed.com. “Being aware of how your words and actions come across, whether intended or not, is a foundation for successful leadership.

#6: Communication Skills

Ada Chen Rekhi, founder and COO of Notejoy, says that when she’s hiring, she looks for communication skills as a professional soft skill. She wants to create a team that can collaborate together effectively. “They need to be able to explain the motivation for their decisions. Persuade others in the team to come along with their viewpoint,” she says. “There’s a huge difference in execution when the entire team buys in. Rather than tasking them with work they don’t understand or disagree with the significance.”

 

Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is a Digital Consultant at Shift Digital. He is also pursuing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University