Most people expect to tell a potential employer about their relevant experience and qualifications for the job for which they are applying and interviewing. These “hard” skills such as computer skills or technical skills you can see, touch, and feel, and can easily be measured and tested.
However, many candidates overlook the all important personal qualities or “soft” skills. In reality, employers are not just looking for your prior experience in determining your qualifications for a job. Communication and commitment are examples of soft skills and are just as important.
Below are some of the skills not necessarily shown on a resume which an employer needs to know about you!
Commitment to the job. The principle qualities employers are seeking here include honesty, dependability, and enthusiasm. Make the commitment just as the employer is of offering you the job. Be invested; take the responsibility to stick with it especially in accepting temporary employment. Someone is counting on you!
Effective communication. To communicate effectively you need the ability to express yourself clearly AND to be a good listener, to show empathy and understanding of others. Being able to clearly communicate will only quicken your ability to learn a new job and to gain respect of your supervisor and co-workers. Having the ability to work co-operatively with others, maintain a positive attitude and to accept constructive criticism will also allow you to gain respect of others.
Ability to accept responsibility. Many problems in the workplace are caused by people passing the buck, or not taking responsibility for their own actions, or inaction. Employers are on the look out for those who take pride in the quality of their work, evaluate it regularly, and use their time wisely. In addition, be willing to learn new things. No matter what the job, at times there will be new things to learn and an employer wants someone who will be willing to learn anything that is required, within reason. In this rapidly changing world, the ability and willingness to adapt and be flexible is becoming a core workplace requirement.
Ability to handle personal problems. Everyone at some time has pressures and stresses in their personal life. With the possible exception of major crisis, employers are looking for people who can cope with their personal lives without letting it interfere with their work. It’s ok to let others know that you may be dealing with something personal outside of work however, leave it at home!
From an employer’s point of view, it can often be feasible to teach you the necessary hard skills, but teaching soft skills is a much harder task. For example: how would you go about teaching someone a great attitude? This is a trait that is implied in several of the above soft skills and is widely considered to be the number one factor that will make or break a candidate’s chances of being hired.
So as you consider your skills for your next job, focus not only on your technical but also on your personal qualities. They just might be what make the difference in landing the job!