Soft Skills to Master as a Candidate

As a job seeker, it can be tempting to dismiss the importance of soft skills. But unless you have an exceptional and unique background and skill set, highlighting your soft skills is one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from other candidates. Read on to find out which skills to focus your efforts on.

  • Listening – We all assume we are good listeners, but being able to really absorb information from others is difficult. This one is especially important during the interview and training stages.
  • Resilience – Setbacks are inevitable, especially in your professional life. Getting back up, learning from your mistakes, and trying again are all essential if you want to succeed over the long term.
  • Assertiveness – Sometimes the right answer is “no.” Professionals that are able to assert themselves in a polite way tend to get more of what they want out of their careers.
  • Humility – Confidence is an asset, but overconfidence is an obstacle. Being able to play down your contributions and give credit to others is essential for navigating the waters of office politics.
  • Rationality – Business decisions are more ruled by emotion than many of us would like to admit. In all things, being able to make the right decision, rather than the easy, fast, or popular decision always produces better outcomes.
  • Empathy – You need to understand others if you are going to work with others. But empathy travels in all directions. The best professionals treat those above and below them with equal respect and understanding.
  • Calm – There is a time for emotion in the office, but those moments are rare. Hiring managers are looking for candidates with a demonstrated ability to keep their cool, even in times of extreme stress.
  • Focus – Professional life places dozens of conflicting demands on your time and attention. Being able to identify what’s important when it is most important and blocking everything else out is an essential soft skill.
  • Diplomacy – Great professionals work with everyone, and consider every option rather than trying to push through their own agenda.
  • Determination – Hiring managers are evaluating you based on who they think you will become, not who you are right now. They want to work with people who have the drive to pick up new skills, set bigger goals, and achieve everything they set out to do.

You might possess all of these soft skills. But if you are not able to effectively communicate that to hiring managers, they won’t be an aid to your job search. Find out how to inject some of your personality into your resume, cover letter, and interview by consulting with Selectek.