Hard skills are easy to measure because you gain these types of skills through a college degree, formal certification or technical expertise. Soft skills are harder to determine, but they are important to employers because they transfer well from one job to the next and they represent inherent capabilities within your personality. Discover five reasons why employers love these skills in new hires and why they are so vital to your success.
1. Harder to Acquire
Soft skills are harder to acquire because they cannot necessarily be taught to someone. Rather than take a formal class on a particular skill, you have to hone these aspects of your personality through trial and error, experience and patience. Make a conscious effort to commit to learning a skill through regular practice. For example, you want to improve your communications skills. Learning how to communicate with your colleagues, peers, supervisors and co-workers takes regular effort and practice until you feel well-versed in communication.
2. Supplement Hard Skills
Soft skills supplement hard skills in many respects. In a programming or coding position, you need the technical skills to write code for a computer program or app. However, you must also get along with your co-workers and clients. Knowing how to fix a computer glitch comes from the knowledge you gained during school or your certification, but being a team player is something you need that you can't learn from a textbook. Typing 3,000 lines of code per day is great, but you still have to talk to co-workers to make your skill set complete.
3. Customer Interaction
Soft skills come in handy when interacting with customers. A survey in 2018 noted that customer service skills represent a key aspect in 11 out of 12 major industrial classifications in the American workplace. In other words, companies all over America rely on people who have good customer skills regardless of the type of work you do. When people have various choices for their products and services, customer interaction may be the one aspect that creates a loyal customer base and keeps customers coming back time and again.
4. Increase Productivity
Your personality-based skills increase productivity on several fronts. Skills such as collaboration, innovation, communication, listening and presenting your ideas are all things that modern workplaces need to succeed. You may find yourself in an office in Chicago, yet you collaborate with a remote team in China to solve a problem or land a contract. Learning how to communicate and collaborate with that team is a skill that companies seek out in candidates because of the importance of a global economy and stiff competition.
5. Future Innovations
Despite technological innovations such as automation and artificial intelligence, soft skills are important to employers as they try to win more market share. That's because it takes creative minds to solve technical problems. Problem-solving and creativity are two things that cannot be taught in school.
Brush up on your soft skills to land more job opportunities on the path to success. Consider reading books, taking short courses, or developing techniques that improve upon your skill set to impress employers and set yourself apart from other candidates.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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