How Soft Skills Can Set You Apart from Others
There’s no question that keeping your skills sharp and mastering new ones keeps job seekers like you competitive in the jobs market. But did you know there are ways to improve your soft skills as well?
By understanding what soft skills are and discovering how you can develop them, you will strengthen your resume, which is especially useful if you’re thinking about changing roles or careers.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you work, and how you interact with others. Think of them as your interpersonal skills – how you interact with colleagues, how you think, how you manage your time and prioritize tasks, and how you approach – and solve – problems. They’re the non-technical skills employers look for and mastering these skills will set you apart from other applicants.
What Employers are Looking for in 2021
Depending on the position, you’ll need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with customers, coworkers, and managers either in person, online, in writing, or on the phone. These scenarios require you to have good communication skills. The mark of a good communicator is to have the ability to listen with empathy (or to read with empathy), and to respond to the situation in an appropriate manner.
Inclusive Customer Service Skills
Now, more than ever, there’s a focus on using inclusive language for people with diverse backgrounds and personal preferences. This extends further than just getting someone’s name right – it’s also about ensuring the use of the proper and preferred pronouns, and providing equitable access to help.
Sometimes, a situation doesn’t fit any of the textbooks we’ve read, or the training we’ve been given. This is a chance to flex your creativity to find out-of-the-box solutions based on previous experience and knowledge. Articulating your ability to find creative solutions in an interview or your cover letter will help you stand out among the crowd.
Adaptability and Resilience
This soft skill requires you to be able to adapt to ever-changing situations and find the mental fortitude that goes along with it. Our top tip: highlight how you’ve pivoted your working style to match the needs of the time during COVID-19, and you’ll rise to the top in any employer’s list.
Making decisions may feel like a daunting task, but employers will often look to hire those who can make quick, easy decisions without having to ask managers every step of the way. Employers who hire to fill a role often need employees who are able to think on their own and make decisions along the way.
Collaboration & Teamwork
Everyone who’s ever worked in a team knows the value of collaboration and teamwork. Being able to demonstrate how well you work with others will definitely make you stand out to an employer.
Emotional intelligence is defined as being able to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions, and being able to infer what another person may be feeling. Working on your emotional intelligence can simply mean practicing empathy and understanding, and this will put you in a much better position to understand how to handle difficult customer service situations.
Social and Digital Media
Knowing how to use social media is one thing, but knowing and understanding how to use various digital media tools the right way will help raise your profile with employers. Using your social channels as a key touchpoint for future employers will not only give them a glimpse into who you are as a person, but also show employers why you’re the right fit for the team.
Resources to Develop Your Soft Skills
go2HR offers quite a few resources for job seekers to work on soft skills, including our SuperHost Customer Service Training program. There are also many other resources available for free, or a small fee, such as discussion groups on Facebook and other online forums, continuing studies courses offered by local colleges and community centres, online learning sites like Udemy and Coursera, or participating in LinkedIn Learning courses. Asking for informational interviews with seasoned employees or managers in the industry is another way of learning, and it also helps grow your network.