According to Monster.com, in many job postings, you are likely to see “soft skills” next to the technical requirements for a position. Furthermore, Moster.com reports that “employment experts agree that tech skills may get you an interview, but…soft skills will get you the job—and help you keep it.”
Soft skills include things such as communication, teamwork, emotional intelligence, problem solving, empathy and compassion. Many companies are seeking employees that have a good mix of “hard” technical skills and “soft” interpersonal skills. Are you wondering how to best set yourself apart from the competition? Improve your soft skills!
Soft skills can be developed. And the good news is that improving your soft skills will not only help you with a new job or a promotion; it will benefit you personally as well!
How to Develop Your Soft Skills
Take a Course: Look for courses designed to develop leadership skills, enhance written and oral communication and improve your writing. Enrolling in these courses is a great way to become more effective in areas like public speaking or business writing. Below is a sampling of some of the courses Ed4Career offers:
Seek out Mentors: We recently wrote about the value of mentorship. To help improve a soft skill, seek out a mentor who is competent in that area and ask if they would be willing to spend some time with you. Perhaps you, yourself, possess a skill that the other person would like to learn more about. Sharing expertise can be mutually beneficial!
Volunteer: Volunteering with various organizations gives you ample opportunity to build soft skills. Listing these accomplishments on a resume allows you to showcase the interpersonal skills gleaned from your experiences.
Practice, Practice, Practice: Practice conversational as well as more formal speaking, be aware of your body language, focus on making eye contact with those you are speaking with, hone your listening skills. Find others around you who you would like to emulate. What is it about their speaking style, their posture, their mannerisms that draws you in? Pick up the good habits and let go of the bad.
Get Started on Improving Your Soft Skills Today
Take the time to develop your soft skills. In addition to improving yourself, you will show future and current employers that you possess the ability to learn new skills along with a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job or advance your career.