Wondering how to make your CV stand out or how to improve soft skills? Struggling to land your dream job? We tend to forget that beyond technical skills, soft skills play a great role to land a job successfully. The importance of soft skills in the workplace is growing and hence it’s wise for you to have soft skills added to your CV.
In this competitive world having a degree isn’t enough to get the job of your dreams. Every year millions of students graduate from Mumbai University alone. In countries like India and China, with a limited amount of jobs in comparison to the huge population, it gets even worse. You can do the math.
So how can you stand out of the flock? The answer is pretty simple.
To get your dream job, you need to have something more than just an educational degree or technical skills.
Soft skills are something that can make you stand out from the crowd. I am sure you must have heard this term multiple times on various occasions before.
As per statistics, 67% of HR managers would hire a candidate with strong soft skills even if hard skills were weak.
What Exactly Are These Soft Skills?
Soft skills are a combination of various intrapersonal as well as interpersonal people skills that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. They are also well known as professional skills. In addition to this, soft skills relate to your attitudes and your insights.
Soft skills are those things that make you wonder how come somebody is so charismatic, without you being able to name those qualities straightforwardly. Additionally, soft skills are highly sought by employers in the workplace.
Soft skills are much more difficult to define and measure as compared to hard skills. However, while recruiting employees, companies look for applicants with both types of skills. Adding soft skills to the CV is crucial.
Understanding The Importance Of Soft Skills
Many freshers, as well as professionals, fail to understand the importance of soft skills to land a dream job. In contrast, they prefer highlighting the hard skills on their CVs. It is crucial to remember that your soft skills are as important as hard skills.
While recruiting for a job, employers look for both. Additionally, both are required to achieve success on the job. In the long run, soft skills play a major role. Clearly, the importance of this soft skill can be understood while retaining and attracting customers.
As per a 2016 study by the assessment company Wonderlic, it was found that 93 percent of employers said soft skills are either an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions.
Here is the importance of soft skills:
- You feel comfortable and confident while interacting with other people in the office.
- Soft skills ensure a healthy and positive work environment.
- Additionally, employees with soft skills are more productive.
- Soft skills also help to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers.
- Thanks to technological advancement, soft skills will be much more in demand as compared to hard skills in the future.
- To make hard skills valuable, soft skills are essential.
- You can think creatively as well as critically with soft skills.
Eight Soft Skills That Every Person Must Have
The importance of soft skills is often underestimated. To be successful, employees need a range of soft skills in the workplace. Here is a list of eight soft skills that every person must have:
1. Communication Skills
When we say communication skills, it doesn’t mean you should know to talk proper English. It’s much more. Undoubtedly, this is an essential soft skill for every workplace. Moreover, being able to communicate effectively is very crucial.
Communication skills refer to the ability to convey or share ideas and feelings effectively.
A person with good communication skills can hold up communication with another person and can communicate clearly and effectively. Moreover, they are not only good speakers but also good listeners. Strong communication skills are the simplest, most important and most useful soft skills you can have to succeed!
Ways you can improve your communication skills:
- Join classes, read books or magazines.
- Learn or ask for tips from excellent communicators around you.
- Use simple, straightforward language.
- Pay attention to your choice of words and body language.
- Listen to others, ask questions, and discuss views.
- Think before you speak.
- Make sure you are understood. If not, rephrase what you said.
- Develop your listening skills. Listening is crucial in communication.
- Maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to.
2. Leadership Skills
If you’re keen to know how to improve soft skills, then you must focus on your leadership skills. Knowing to lead is one of the challenging yet best skills a person can possess.
Great leaders, inspire their people to reach higher, dream bigger, and achieve greater. Perhaps the most important leadership skill you can develop is the ability to inspire your team. If you inspire them to reach for the stars, they just might bring you back the moon.
It should be noted that leadership skills are highly sought out by companies. This is because companies plan for the long run to fill the posts of managers.
You must add this soft skill to your CV if you are applying for a manager position. Moreover, leadership skills can be learned like any others.
Here’s how you can improve leadership skills:
- You must take the initiative.
- A leader should never stop learning.
- Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
- Take on more responsibilities.
- Try to look into the future and see the bigger picture.
- Be an inspiration to others around you.
- Take feedback from your subordinates.
- Be a visionary.
- Recognize efforts and reward employees.
- Keep an open mind when discussing and planning activities.
- Learn to follow instructions.
- Value and respect others on your team.
- Anticipate problems before they occur.
3) Team Work
A person who can be a great team player along with being a team leader is very much accepted everywhere. Furthermore, having teamwork skills is very important.
Teamwork skills include:
- being able to adjust in groups,
- accept different perspectives on the topic,
- being able to put across your own opinions without being aggressive,
- being helpful and not a solo player.
How you can develop the soft skill of teamwork in the workplace:
- Remember, teamwork is not about me but instead of us.
- Be clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing
- Focus on the strengths of your teammates.
- Share ideas and be open to feedback
- Communication is the key to success.
- Try to cut off misunderstandings. Settle disputes through conflict management.
- Be excited and enthusiastic while working with your team.
- Have frequent team-building exercises.
- Be committed to your team.
- Align your goals with your team’s goals.
- Make sure you are not isolated. Be an active listener.
- Show gratitude to your team members.
- Make your team members feel valued.
4) Critical Thinking
One of the most important soft skills for your CV that every employer is looking for these days is critical thinking. Critical thinking is the contrast of everyday thinking.
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe.
It is based on the skills, the insights, and the values essential to that end. Moreover, these skills can help you engage in a more cautious thought process.
Sadly, statistics say that 81% of employers said prospective employees lack critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills.
Here is how you can improve critical thinking:
- Don’t believe everything you see and hear at the workplace.
- Learn to ask questions.
- Think for yourself.
- Do your research before making any decisions.
- Be open to being corrected.
- Don’t be easily manipulated by others.
- Question your assumptions.
- Evaluate your beliefs about what’s appropriate and what’s not.
5) Problem Solving
Having this skill is important for both your professional as well as your personal life. If you are a problem solver, you can easily tackle any storm that comes your way. However, being a problem solver is not as easy as it sounds.
One of the biggest things in building a problem-solving skill is never giving up. Critical thinking helps to build a strong base for building problem-solving skills.
How you can improve problem-solving soft skills at the workplace:
- Remember that there is a solution to every problem.
- When you come across a problem, try not to panic.
- Prepare a step-by-step plan of action.
- Make sure you completely understand before jumping to solutions.
- Collect as many facts as possible concerning the problem.
- Brainstorm solutions and ask others for inputs.
- Don’t get too emotional. Keep emotions out of it.
- Make sure you know when to speak up.
- Avoid procrastinating.
- Don’t be afraid to take the help of your superiors or colleagues.
- Do not go around telling everyone about the problem.
6) Flexibility and Adaptability
Flexibility and adaptability are some of the most important soft skills that employers look for in a CV. When we talk about a person having the skill of flexibility or adaptability it means that he/she can adapt to new situations.
Additionally, it also means that they can improvise, and shift strategies to meet different types of challenges. Indeed, many employers look for these skill set in their employees.
Companies and institutes are transforming their setup and structure every passing minute in order to survive.
If you are someone who isn’t comfortable with these rapid changes then I am sorry to inform you that you lose out many points and fall on the list. In my view, flexibility and adaptability can be a make or break deal.
How you can be more flexible and adaptable at the workplace:
- Be optimistic while working.
- Have an open mind.
- Redefine your motivation.
- Don’t be a wallflower.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks.
- Try to stay calm when things start changing too fast.
- Strengthen the relationships and have a strong support network.
- Be prepared for the unexpected
- Don’t let others take advantage of you.
7) Self-Improvement: Self-Motivation and Self-Control
One of the biggest and the most important thing that most of us lack is self-improvement. We all are so focused on improving the environment around us that we usually forget to improve ourselves.
No, I am not talking in terms of dressing up and makeup but rather in terms of skills. Often due to the lack of self-esteem people convince themselves that they do not deserve good things in life. As a result, they decrease their expectations for things such as promotions at work.
The two main pillars of self-improvement are self-motivation and self-control.
The importance of this soft skill can’t be stressed enough. With self-motivation, you can easily face all your challenges and accept failures gracefully.
Similarly, with self-control, you can deal with major problems like anger, frustrations, and temptations.
Here is how you can be better at self-improvement:
- Face your fears.
- Learn to admit your mistakes.
- Furthermore, believe in yourself.
- Learn to deal with temptations.
- Challenge your limitations.
- Stay strong on what your values are.
- Prioritize your physical as well as mental health.
- Take help to heal the past and move into your future.
- Stop worrying about gossip and what others think.
- Look for a higher purpose in life.
- Learn to manage stress.
- Forgive yourself.
8) Patience and Observation
Last but not least; every person needs to have the quality of being a patient observer. We are usually so excited to do things or so quick to judge people and make rash decisions that result in us ending up in a loss.
Every person needs to be patient and a good observer. Besides, you will not realize the amount of knowledge you will gain just by observation and patience.
Here is how you can be more patient:
- Learn to be mindful.
- Make yourself wait.
- Don’t try to be a perfectionist every time.
- Practice gratitude.
- Be ready to embrace the uncomfortable situations.
- Have a listening ear.
- Just relax and take deep breaths.
How Can I Improve My Soft Skills?
You can practice your basic soft skills like observation, self-improvement, etc at a personal level. The internet is here to help you. Furthermore, you can find an ocean of knowledge about improving your soft skills on the internet.
You can also take the help of some experts. Teachers, parents, friends are a great source of learning soft skills. Nowadays many classes offer various courses on improving soft skills. Also, make sure you have a systematic arrangement of your soft skills on your CV.
In this article, you must have learned how to improve soft skills. The importance of soft skills in the workplace is growing.
Hence soft skills are a vital component of any cv. Moreover, they help to differentiate between adequate candidates and ideal candidates. However, the good news is that soft skills are learnable. With soft skills, you can achieve heights of success in the workplace.
Key Takeaways On Soft Skills
- Soft skills play an important role in your CV and can make you stand out from the crowd.
- They relate to your attitudes and your insights.
- Additionally, soft skills are highly sought by employers in the workplace.
- Many freshers, as well as professionals, fail to understand the importance of soft skills to land a dream job.
- Soft skills also help to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers.
- The importance of soft skills is often underestimated.
- Strong communication skills are the simplest, most important and most useful soft skills you can have to succeed.
- Great leaders, inspire their people to reach higher, dream bigger, and achieve greater.
- Furthermore, having teamwork skills is very important.
- Be optimistic and have an open mind while working.
- With self-motivation, you can easily face all your challenges and accept failures gracefully.
- Apart from this critical thinking and problem-solving skills also play a crucial role.
- Take help to heal the past and move into your future.
- Don’t try to be a perfectionist every time and learn to be mindful.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to take help to improve your soft skills.
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