When applying for a new job you create a relevant application. Addressing the key skills is essential to avoid the rejection pile and will hopefully open the door to an interview! But here's the thing. Landing the job is surprisingly subjective and there’s a lot more that goes into being the right candidate other than technical skills alone.
Whether you’re a C-level executive or a Customer Service Assistant, knowing your special soft skills can give you a serious competitive advantage. It’s a fact that managers hire people that will fit well with the culture and the team. Finding the right person-organization fit comes down to your personality and soft skills. In our evolving workplaces and competitive job markets, translating your soft skills into a valuable asset can help you stand out and land that new role.
It’s about the skills you develop as a function of excelling at work. You won’t be taught many of these at work and the expectation is that you hone them as you go. Soft skills can include personality traits, social behaviours, and communication skills that are necessary to do a successful job with an organisation. Some of the most common ones are:
And they value and embody a different set of traits just like having a different personality. It’s always a good idea to review the company values and to highlight the similarities. As a pro tip, teamwork and initiative are valued universally no matter what position you’re targeting.
Demonstrating your personal company fit requires authenticity. Listing a set of generic attributes will make you forgettable. Copying the organization’s values aimlessly is a recipe for failure too. People will see through a phony right away. Ok so how do you figure out what your soft skills are? A fun way to explore is to try some online profiling tools and complete a self-assessment.
Can you recall some of the feedback you’ve received by peers, management, and customers? Too fuzzy? No problem. Ask your colleagues or manager people to describe your top 5 skills. Ask them what makes you unique or how they would describe you. If you’re feeling brave, ask them if there’s an area they recommend for your focused growth.
Now that know what makes you unique, we need to weave it into your CV. Include a strengths summary or skills highlight near the top. In your cover letter add some personality to your application with your relevant soft skills. Keep it specific and concise blending hard and soft skills so that the reader has a chance realise why they want to talk to you more, which really comes down to the whole package.
If all has gone well by this point, chances are you’ve finally landed that interview – congratulations! Now is the time to shine. Managers assess soft skills through behavioural and situational questions that demonstrate how you applied your knowledge and personality to solve a tough issue. Find ways to highlight the soft skills and examples that will make you the best candidate throughout the interview. Storytelling is about sharing how you used your soft skills to excel at work and these tales will ensure you’re easily remembered.
We learn and grow more from challenges and failures often than we do from success. In 2020, we discovered new levels of resilience, adaptability, and many of us learned completely new ways of doing things. Flexibility and emotional intelligence are the most sought-after soft skills and are essential for success.
As we embrace automation and artificial intelligence, soft skills will be the key differentiator for career growth. In fact, Deloitte predicts that jobs focused around intensive soft skills will represent 66% of all jobs by 2030. Personal awareness is the first step on your journey to finding your happy workplace. Once you know who you are and what your environment helps you shine, you can select the right organization and bring your authentic self to work so you can focus on doing work that matters.