Having technical skills is critical to having a successful career. However, it is not the only factor that will determine your success. The strength of your soft skills is another factor that is arguably just as important in shaping your career. However, soft skills aren't usually discussed in school. If you find your knowledge of soft skills lacking, here are answers to some of the questions you may be asking yourself.
What are soft skills?
There is no single, clear-cut definition of soft skills, and, thus, it can be tough to classify them. However, in the most general sense, they are the intrapersonal skills that help you work effectively. Examples of soft skills include communication skills, problem-solving skills, leadership skills, work ethic, and creative-thinking skills.
Why do employers value them?
Put simply, life is a group project. No matter what field you find yourself in, you will need to work with others. Having strong soft skills will ensure that you can effectively contribute to a team and be valuable to a company or organization.
How can I develop my soft skills?
An essential step in developing your soft skills is identifying where your weaknesses lie. You may be an incredibly strong communicator, but struggle to organize your time effectively. Or vice-versa. If you have trouble identifying them, personality tests like a Myers-Briggs test may give you some insight. No matter where your weaknesses lie, once you identify them, you will be able to make a conscious effort to improve.
How can I demonstrate to employers that I have them?
Unlike technical skills, your soft skills aren't listed on your resume. As a result, you may have to be more creative in showing employers that you have them. Suppose you're trying to make sure an employer is aware of your strengths. In that case, you will want to have a charismatic interview, polished social media, and excellent references, as these are a few easy ways to showcase your interpersonal skills. Another great way to demonstrate your soft skills is by highlighting your participation in team projects, such as project-based learning experiences or service trips.