Soft skills such as an ability to adapt, resolve conflict and think critically are what sets exceptional employees apart from the mediocre. Yet a recent story from the Wall Street Journal states that these skills are in short supply, “Companies across the U.S. say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find applicants who can communicate clearly, take initiative, problem-solve and get along with co-workers.”
Employees who have excellent soft skills are becoming as desirable, if not more so, than those without. Hiring managers have discovered the importance of fielding job applicants for both technical and soft skills before making a job offer.
In an article for Monster.com, Bruce Tulgan, author of, Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent, recommends hiring managers turn away job candidates who don’t have the soft skills needed for a position exactly as they would turn away a candidate without the right education. After all, he points out, “one very good hire is much better than three or four or five mediocre hires.”
If you’re a job seeker, brushing up on any of the below soft skills could help you land the position you want:
- Decision making
- Problem solving
- Leadership skills
- Critical thinking
- Conflict resolution
- Self motivation
- Time management
- Research skills
- Project management
- Emotional Intelligence
Consider selecting a few skills that are most in demand for the position you want and improving those. For insight on which skills to target, carefully read job postings for ideas and ask people who already hold the position you want which skills they think are most beneficial. Finally, be sure to include the soft skills you possess on your resume so employers know you are a well-rounded candidate.