The 9 Most Common Soft Skills Employers Want

Discover the soft skills in high demand by employers to get ahead of the competition.

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Candidates who maintain strong soft skills are currently in high demand by employers. Although every job specification declares the hard skills required, there are still particular soft skills companies look for when bringing people into the organisation.

Soft skills are imperative, they are your personal skills that enable you to fit into an environment and are often the reason employers choose to promote or keep on an employee. You may have all the hard skills needed, but so does your competition. Possessing strong skills could help you distinguish yourself from the opposition.

Here are the most common soft skills employers are looking for:

1. Communication

Within any soft skill list, you're more than likely going to see communication scattered throughout. Although this skill is a broad category ranging from conversing with co-workers to emailing new clients, within any job role solid communication skills are vital to have. You need to be able to communicate with others clearly and confidently, whether this is in person or via electronic methods. Listening is also an important part of this skill, with employers wanting people who can communicate with others but also effectively listen to their thoughts and ideas.

2. Teamwork

If the profession you’re in or applying to requires you to work with others, then teamwork skills are a must. When hiring, companies need to make sure the person will blend in seamlessly with the culture and can work well with other members. Good team members can easily collaborate with their team, being able to work and negotiate well. Being able to work well within a team will not only improve the quality of work produced but also allow for genuine connections to be formed. Being a great team player is all about realising everyone has something important to contribute.

3. Positive Attitude

Having employees who possess a positive attitude can do wonders for the workforce. Employers are actively seeking out candidates who possess a ‘can-do' attitude, as the individuals who take a positive approach are often more positive and motivated employees. Positivity is contagious, making the workplace more uplifting and greatly reducing workload stress levels.

4. Adaptability

Change plays a major part in the modern-day workplace. With technology continually evolving and constant workplace changes, having team members with adaptability skills is the key to any successful business. Employers are now looking for people who don’t shy away from change but embrace and adapt to it accordingly. Having effective adaptability skills can differentiate you from other candidates, you need to be passionate about learning new changes within your industry and also recognise when you need to make changes.

5. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

Critical thinking and problem-solving are closely related skills, both are equally important and considered necessary skills to have by employers when hiring new team members. No matter the position you’re in or want to be in, businesses are looking for team members who can analyse and make informed decisions to come up with solutions. You need to be able to bring fresh original ideas as well as come up with solutions to address existing issues faced by the business.

6. Self-Management

With many of us now working from our homes, this skill has become more important than ever and something companies seek when selecting new candidates. Employers need to know you're capable of organising and managing yourself efficiently to get your workload done on time and to a good standard. Companies are looking for people who can work on their own initiative rather than someone who needs to be told what tasks they should be doing. You need to be able to manage your time efficiently and be as productive as you can be.

7. Respectfulness

Demonstrating respectfulness is not only necessary in your personal life, but also throughout your professional journey. There are many ways you can display this skill such as meeting all promises, treating other team members well, showing up on time or being polite to clients. Employers are looking for someone respectful of the businesses as well as others, giving them a good impression of you.

8. Leadership

Even if the job opening you apply to isn’t a leadership role, employers are looking to hire people who are competent in developing their career. Leadership skills will be expected at all levels of your career, you need to show you can not only make decisions if needed but also manage situations and team members. Displaying this skill will make you more noticeable, leading to further opportunities.

9. Computer and Technological Skills

Over the last decade, the workplace has seen a tremendous shift in technological advances. Most companies now require their workers to have some knowledge in this area. Even before the pandemic, the majority of work was achieved through the use of online programs and services. This doesn't mean you need to be a computer scientist, you just need to grasp the basics. If you feel unconfident using technology, the internet is a wonderful place full of tutorials to help you on your journey.

Whether it be in your application or interview, make sure to think about the ways you can incorporate these soft skills. Remember to use examples of how you’ve previously practised these soft skills, to give your employer a great first impression. Employers want people with soft skills, they are a representation of your character and attitude. For further support, why not consider finding a mentor to help you develop these skills and stand out from the crowd.
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