Working for a specialist recruitment agency in the Information Management and Analytics industry means many of my candidates have strong unique skill sets in their chosen field. Having the right experience, degree or knowledge is essential when applying for a job, but soft skills can be just as important, these skills are especially important when at the interview stage.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are usually attributed to you and not your experience, they are the things that cannot be easily taught or learnt and should come naturally to you when in a working environment. There are many types of soft skills that employers look out for, in my opinion and experience I always look for certain soft skills in my candidates.
Personality is a big one for me and on the top of my soft skill hit list. If a candidate is likeable and friendly, the employer may be more inclined to interview them. Personality really is something that can’t be taught, this one is purely down to you. Employers need to know that you will be a good fit in their team and that you will want to actively get involved. If you come across as negative during an interview they will be far less likely to want you to join their team.
Communication skills are the next soft skills I look for. Think about how easy you are to talk to, are your answers open and honest or is it just one word answers? From experience, I have found that it is really difficult to speak to candidates that won’t talk over the phone, I feel like when it comes to presenting them to a client I don’t know enough about their experience, or their personality and I worry how they will come across during an interview. Communication has to be a two-way street, employers and myself like it when candidates can have proper conversations and get to know who is interviewing them.
Another important skill I look for is organisational skills. Being able to organise yourself when applying for a job shows not just commitment but that you are serious about the role in question, if I ask a candidate to make a change on their CV and they come back straight away, it shows me they really are interested in the role. It’s not just recruiters that like organisation, employers do too. If you are organised it shows a potential employer that you will be able to prioritise tasks and won’t need your hand holding at work.
How to show off soft skills on a CV
Your CV and cover letter are the first touching points of a job application, although it is easier to show off your soft skills during a face to face or even phone interview you should still use your CV to emphasise what softer skills you have gained. When talking about your soft skills, try to back them up with real life experience – this doesn’t always have to be work related but do keep it professional.
As data and IT skills are becoming more in demand, updating and emphasising your soft skills is a must to stand out from the crowd.
Which soft skills do you believe are the most important when applying for a job? Please comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. To read the original article please click here
"Hello Amy, the ability to communicate, listen and respect views is something that is at the top of my traits list so soft skills are the back bone and the basis for you to sit in the interview and project yourself and the interviewers will perceive your soft skills.
Unfortunately this is all about how you are taught to begin with and sometimes people copy people they want to be like without understanding is it the right way.
Even emails are a growing concern as i always start mine with a greeting and kind regards for any level but i had a graduate email me with just my name Ta and his initials. The future need to learn soft skills before any other skill." - BI Anmol Sunsoa
"Simple answer - very important." - Ian Radmore