Unlike hard skills (the professional skills and knowledge that are unique to each particular field), soft skills are more flexible and suitable regardless of your position or sphere of activity. These skills are not taught at universities but are gained from life experience, jobs, trips, etc. These are the skills that shape our personal profile and determine the impression we make. Here is a list of them:
Communication skills: effective communication is hard work as it requires not only the ability to state your opinion clearly but also to listen attentively, without interrupting, all the while making eye contact, and, of course, understanding what the other speaker is trying to explain to you. Communication skills also involve good public speaking skills - a must-have ability for both senior and junior specialists. It is always nice to be able to speak in front of an audience without stuttering or turning red, isn’t it? But this only comes with practice!
Technical literacy: a two-year-old can easily play games on a phone or a tablet today. So it is a matter of course that every self-respecting man knows how to work on a computer with such programs as Microsoft Office, Excel data-bases, and Google forms. This skill is applicable to any sphere of life, thus, we are so used to computers in our lives that one can’t imagine the world without Information Technology.
Interpersonal skills: the ability to work with others is crucial, and it has always been so. As an old saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” There has been a lot of proof of the essential importance of cooperation among people throughout the course of history. Nowadays this skill will look good on your resume. Team work allows people to achieve their goals faster and more effectively by dividing up the responsibilities among the team-members.
Adaptability: another valuable skill is adaptability. It means that you can easily adjust to changing reality, the pace of work, and other factors that are not constant. It is fair to say that employers are looking for those candidates who are not afraid of innovation and new ways of doing things.
Research skills: in a world where people receive more information with a click of a button than our ancestors did in years of their lives, it is important to know how to work through the incoming data. Always work with reliable sources as we all know that the Internet has all kinds of false and inaccurate ones. The ability to find the essentials and to eliminate the distractions is a useful skill to have in any job. And remember, those who own the information, own the world.
Skills at taking initiative: people are seeking leaders who are not afraid to take responsibility and show initiative. These people are the drivers of progress and are the ones who make a difference in the world. One should decide whether s/he wants to be a policymaker or a doer.
Project management skills: knowledge of the components of the project that must be implemented is an advanced skill that is important throughout the whole period from the beginning to the end of any significant undertaking. Set the goal that you want to achieve by doing what you do, find a team that will support you and your point of view, set the necessary deadlines, and take action!
Openness, initiative, resourcefulness, team work, effective cooperation, and leadership are the criteria that are required for young adults to become competitive and successful in the job market. Develop your soft skills and you will experience all the benefits that they bring!