What Are The Top 10 ‘Soft Skills’ Employers Want?
Employers often say that students who have just left school, college or university lack the ‘soft skills’ they’re looking for. ‘Soft skills’ are the people skills you need to succeed in the workplace.
‘Soft Skills’, or as recruiters call them ‘Emotional Intelligence’, are personal qualities and attitudes that can help you work well with others and make a positive contribution to organisations you work for.
Here are the top 10 ‘soft skills’ that employers want:
1. Communication skills
If you’ve got good communication skills you should be able develop constructive working relationships with all types of work mates and be able to learn from constructive criticism.
Communicating is perhaps the most common ‘soft skill’ employers want, and for good reason. Skilled communicators get along well with colleagues, listen and understand instructions, and put their point across without being aggressive. They can change their style of communication to suit the task in hand – this can be invaluable in many different situations, from handling conflict to trying to persuade a customer of the benefits of buying your product.
2. Decision making skills
There are different styles of decision making, but the important thing is to be decisive.
Gathering all the important facts, seeking advice, looking at the big picture, considering alternatives, being aware of repercussions – these are all things that go into making a good decision. Things to be wary of are indecision and making snap decisions.
3. Commitment skills
Employers want people who are dependable, reliable, enthusiastic, and enjoy hard work. Employees that are committed need very little supervision or motivation to do their best and get the job done.
4. Flexibility skills
We live in rapidly changing times in the workplace, so if you’re adaptable and flexible, you’ll be able to change with the times. It’s a great asset if you are able to step outside your comfort zone and try your hand at something you haven’t done before. Employers like people who are positive, upbeat and have a ‘can-do’ attitude.
5. Time management skills
When deadlines are looming, good time management is about prioritising the most important tasks, and then deciding which actions will produce the maximum output with the minimum effort. Are you a good juggler – can you work on several different projects at once?
6. Leadership skills
Even if you’re not managing staff yet, employers value leadership qualities. They look for people, who lead by example, constantly look to improve, motivate themselves, are positive, and know when to follow instructions and when to show initiative.
7. Creativity and problem-solving skills
The ability to apply both logic and creativity to solve problems is highly valued by employers. If you are the kind of person who tries to see the solution as well as the problem, this will stand you in good stead.
8. Team skills
A good team player has the team goals clear in their mind and works with others to achieve them. They are open and honest, and offer constructive suggestions and listen to others.
9. Personal responsibility skills
Employers are on the lookout for people who take pride in their work, and are confident enough to put their name to it. They also respect people who can hold their hands up when things go wrong, and don’t pass the buck. Everyone makes mistakes – it’s how you react and learn from them that count.
10. ‘Work under pressure’ skills
Whether you’re trying to hit a challenging deadline or an urgent job has just landed in your lap, employers want to know you can put the stress to one side and focus on the job in hand.
Can you decide quickly which approach will achieve the maximum results in a short period of time, and then get the job done?
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
Want to Engage, Empower and Inspire students for their future careers?
MyCareerMatch is the ultimate career assessment for students – helping them connect who they are with what they’ll love to do. MyCareerMatch empowers students by delivering positive information about themselves and the qualities they have. It encourages self-discovery and provides ‘must know’ information to plan for a successful and happy future.
About the Author
Nathan Chanesman is Founder & Chairman of online career assessment company www.myprofile.com.aucreators of www.mycareermatch.com.au for student career planning and www.myresume.com.au for resume writing.